I know that when we meet people that live on land and they learn that we are full time cruisers, they have visions of a life of relaxation, of umbrella drinks, clear blue ocean, and tiki bars. A vacation, essentially. I snicker to myself, because most of our time is spent planning: where to go, how to get there, how to stay there, where to provision, where to get fuel, where to get water, and how to move all of those things onto the boat. Our leg from Charleston to an anchorage in Toogoodoo Creek, SC, is an example.
Just past the Charleston City Marina is Elliott’s Cut, an area that has notoriously high current in a narrow body of water. We needed to leave at a time when we could hit that at slack water (e.g. between high tide and low tide). Relatively near the end of Elliott’s Cut is the Wapoo Creek Bridge, a bascule bridge that has restricted openings (closed weekdays from 6:30-9 AM but otherwise opens on demand). Put those together, and that meant that we needed to leave Charleston between 11AM and 12 PM. But wait! Given the distance we needed to cover, would we make our anchorage before dark? Looks like we would given an average speed that was reasonable.
So on Jan. 24, 2017, we left Charleston City Marina at 11:30 AM and made it through the cut and bridge with no problems. It was a beautiful day of sunshine and sparkly water. We only saw four boats all day, all going south. Most of the day we travelled through marshes full of tall, wavy grass.
We anchored for the night in Toogoodoo Creek in 20 feet of water at high tide, which is +5 feet. The current does rip through there, so in the wee hours of the morning, you may have started your trip south without knowing it. Setting the anchor was a little tricky because we had wind and current opposing, so we had to let the boat settle for about 15 minutes before we could back down on the anchor to set it hard.
We were totally alone, surrounded by marsh grass and stars. It was silent and tranquil, and I loved it. I would highly recommend it as a peaceful stop. It’s probably buggy as heck during the summer, but it was delightful this time of year.
This day was 5.25 hours for 24.1 nm (27.7 statute miles).