Originally Posted by RTB
How was that part of the trip? We had planned to make it up to the Chesapeake, but gave up and stayed in Georgia for this hurricane season. It was July when we got here, and afternoon thunderstorms were nasty. The Georgia ICW seems pretty challenging, even considering that we did the ditch from Galveston, Tx, to Pensacola, Fl.
The ICW from Charleston-Norfolk was quiet pleasant, and no serious issues to report. The fixed bridge in Isle of Palms was clearing 63' feet at high tide, so we drug our VHF antenna on the top. There were a few inlets that were challenging in NC, with Little River inlet being the most south bound one of note, the trick is to run the mainland side of any channel going past an inlet, the ocean side fills in faster. We did nearly get stuck in an inlet channel, watched my depth gauge plummet from 10-5' in seconds, backed straight back up the channel and made it through with relative easy hugging the mainland side.
The rock pile in Myrtle Beach was quite a narrow squeeze, would have been a bad time to pass anyone, but we cleared fine. I believe the worst stretch is 349-352, regardless stay in the middle of the channel and you should be fine, we cleared with a 6' draft and went through on a rising tide.
On a positive note I saw way more dolphins than I expected. Starting 25 miles north of Norfolk, all the way into the city with a sighting every 15-30 minutes. Had a few sightings in NC, with the closest encounters being in Cape Fear, NC (we made eye contact). Dolphins all over SC, sometimes miles inland into the marshland. The last day, Georgetown to Charleston so many dolphins in the marsh, then again at the marina in Charleston watched a guy swim right past the dock in the evening going upstream, woke up the next morning and he swam right by again going downstream.