Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-03-2016 Thread Starter
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Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

I'm tired of the ICW ditch and want to jump out from Cape Fear to Georgetown through the Winyah Bay entrance. I read mixed things about this entrance so if anyone has done it and is willing to share I await your experience words.

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post #2 of 14 Old 11-03-2016
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Re: Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

Never had a problem with it either in or out... You can have some pretty good tidal rips at the end of the jetties, and a fierce ebb tide depending on upstream weather. Best to hit at slack water if you can. Decent anchorage behind the lighthouse (in decent weather) better anchorage just inside the ditch cutoff heading soutn.

That being said, weather permiting I have always prefered to just stay outside from Southport (Cape Fear River Entrance) on to Charleston... Only about 40 miles further and bipass the foul stretches around McClellenville, Isle of Palms and the Ben Sawyer Bridge.
Easy entrance if you follow the marker chain. Watch close around the "dog-leg" at the Sullivans Island channel. Can be a bit confusing.

Several decent anchorages around James Island both before and after Elliot's Cut. Headed south, you will want to run the cut on slack water or an incoming tide. Short run (less than a mile) but you can get 2' standing waves in there on an outgoing tide. Depending on how your vessel runs against a current, can be a real PITA for such a short stretch. Best to anchor up north of the cut and wait for the tide. Believe me on this one...

Good luck on your voyage

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Last edited by Cap-Couillon; 11-03-2016 at 07:17 PM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-03-2016
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Re: Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

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Originally Posted by Cap-Couillon View Post
Elliot's Cut. Headed south, you will want to run the cut on slack water or an incoming tide. Short run (less than a mile) but you can get 2' standing waves in there on an outgoing tide. Depending on how your vessel runs against a current, can be a real PITA for such a short stretch. Best to anchor up north of the cut and wait for the tide. Believe me on this one...

Good luck on your voyage
take this advice on Elliotts Cut seriously. I once ran against the tide is a 37' trawler with 145hp and was seriously concerned that I wouldn't make it. Once in there is no chance of turning back safely.

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post #4 of 14 Old 11-04-2016
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Re: Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

To my way of thinking, from Southport to Georgetown you get the best and the worst of the ICW. The worst? Myrtle Beach to the Wacamaw R., but once you get to it, it's some of the prettiest country you'll go through.

That said, you don't want to come into Winyah Bay on an ebb or go out on an incoming tide unless you have to. As has been suggested (and I didn't particularly care for Georgetown myself), go on down to Charleston or overnight to Hilton Head. If you don't want to be on the ICW, you can make it down to Miami in overnight hops.

John
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Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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post #5 of 14 Old 11-04-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

I don't even see a place named Elliott Cutso just where are you guys talking about? Far as current goes I'm in Wilmington and have been watching the current go back and forth for days and figure all large rivers in the are are going to be the same.

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post #6 of 14 Old 11-04-2016
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Re: Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

Attachment below is for Wappoo Creek / Elliot Cut. Elliot Cut is 'just' south of the Ashley River (Charleston "Mega Dock" / Charleston Harbor) and is the manmade 'cut' between the Ashley and the Stono Rivers.

Elliot Cut can be a royal ***** at full flow ... depending on tidal flow can be 4+kts. with large standing waves in the cut. Functionally, the 'cut' is very NARROW (100 ft. wide ?) and resembles a 'fish ladder' during full flow.
Tow boats with barges generally don't run this cut 'downstream' at full flow due to the turbulence, and the possibility of having their barge passing in front of them. If you scrutinize the banks in the cut, you will see the scars from those commercials who 'tested' the cut at the wrong time.

Do pass through Elliot Cut only near/at (high) slack water. The Stono is quite shallow at low tide; so, I suggest passing through Elliot AT high tide and 'ride the high tide' all the way down the Stono.
Best time to pass this area, when going 'south' is to enter the Wappoo Creek just before High Tide (anchor in the Ashley R at the mouth of the Wapoo; or, take the outer face dock at the Mega Dock). Choosing slack water will also avoid the swirling waters ... with lots of 'backing and filling' to hold position at the Wappoo Bascule Bridge - usually crowded with waiting snowbird boats with poor boat handling skills. Time your passage precisely through so your wait time (at the bascule) is at an absolute minimum, as on either side of slack water there can be a lot of turbulence ... at the bridge. The Wappoo Bridge doesnt open during 'rush hour'!!!
(FWIW - If choosing the Mega Dock, plan to arrive/leave at SLACK water. Same for taking a slip at Patriot's Point, etc.).


If high tide is early in the AM, consider to run from Charleston, all the way to Steamboat Creek (03236.20N/08017.37W) off the ICW & off the Wadamala R. Just anchor off the 'ornate tide station' for one of the prettiest anchorages in SC. Good for all except strong NE winds. Give the 'red' (now missing???) a wide berth when entering Steamboat.
Attached Thumbnails
Elliott.jpg  

Last edited by RichH; 11-04-2016 at 11:52 AM.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-04-2016
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Re: Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

Elliott's Cut is on the south side of Charleston, Wappoo Creek to the Stono River, the Cut being at the Stono end. Not all Inlets are equal for inflow and outflow.

John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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post #8 of 14 Old 11-04-2016
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Re: Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

A superb post RichH, thanks for taking the time to do that.
RichH likes this.

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post #9 of 14 Old 11-04-2016
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Re: Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

FWIW ... do check the status of "Hell Gate" @ Mile 602 (Georgia) before proceeding down the ICW.
Hell Gate at mile 602 is alway a trouble spot and usually needs to be passed through AT full high tide. Ditto - the Little Mud River.

Boatpoker - Thanks for the kudos. Much appreciated.

Last edited by RichH; 11-04-2016 at 12:25 PM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-04-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Cape Fear to Georgetown (Winyah Bay)

My plan is to skip it and go Southport (Cape Fear) to Beaufort SC.

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