Through Lowcountry To Charleston

T-Intersection on the ICW

From Beaufort we wound our way through the natural beauty of the ACE (Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto) National Estuarine Research Reserve from Beaufort to Charleston SC. The ACE Basin is the delta of these three rivers.

These streams have a 7-8 foot tidal range

Most of our route cut through remote marshland and around large sea islands. Crabbers were harvesting their catch, and we saw eagles, dolphins, pelicans, and many sea birds.

The ICW follows a twisting path through Lowcountry fields of seagrass, from one stream to another river, then crossing a river, around an oxbow, then through a man-made canal connecting one waterway to the next, and so on.

The canals have fun names like the Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff and the Fenwick Cut.

We fast-cruised through the large and open Saint Helena and Wadmalaw Sounds, coastal inlets where rivers meet the Atlantic.

Charleston’s seaports have the deepest ship channel (45 feet MLW) in the South Atlantic, and the seaports are busy.

Charleston seaport areas

As we approached Charleston, I overheard a VHF channel 13 radio exchange between a fishing boat and a container ship. The container ship captain suggested to the fishing boat that he not troll for fish in the middle of the ship channel, but if he decided to do so he should watch behind him to avoid close encounters of the dangerous kind!

The Elliott Cut, last ICW canal before Charleston
First Mate Rhonda preparing lines and fenders as we approached our Cton marina

Our marina home for two nights in Charleston is on the historic peninsula of the city. After we arrived we joined a Loopers event sponsored by AGLCA, whose “home port“ is in Charleston. (Thanks for the ride, Jim and Marilyn!)

Charleston page from our ICW Chartbook

Sunday we participated in online worship with our Michigan home church, celebrated Rhonda‘s birthday at one of Charleston‘s many good restaurants, and strolled the city’s historic Battery district.

Birthday lunch at Amen Street Seafood
The Charleston Battery

Happy birthday to the First Mate!

Sunset in Charleston harbor

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