Monday, October 21, 2019

Charleston - at the Maritime Center

An early morning start!
We left just as the eastern sky showed light but before the sun came up, it was 7:00 pm at Georgetown. We were headed to Charleston through the notorious shallows of Minim Creek, McClellanville, and Isle of Palms. Now we knew that the Isle of Palms had been dredged and that part of McClellanville had too but Minim Creek had not been touched.

We were due to arrive at Minim Creek at exactly dead low and we (I had another boat following me) had to hit a very narrow slot for the best water. There were many such narrow spots where the difference of 30 feet laterally could mean 2 feet less water. Even hitting the slots exactly, the low water I recorded was just 6.1 MLLW. So if you had a 6-foot draft, you could have gotten through at low tide by paying careful attention to the USACE surveys. Or, you could just download my track and follow it for the same result. By the way, the USACE surveys shown in Aqua Map matched my depth sounder within a few inches.

0.8 miles to go! (to McClellanville)
We found the dredge was within 0.8 Nm of reaching McClellanville! The notorious shallows of McClellanville are almost behind us! That last 0.8 Nm still contained 5.2 MLLW spots until you finally reached the dredged part. There are still sections between Minim Creek and Isle of Palms not dredged and you need to be on your toes and follow the USACE charts (or my track).

Our reception at the Charleston Maritime Center was the pounding of this steel beam, all day long
The reason for our early start was to reach the Ben Sawyer Bridge before 4:00 pm when it closed for 2 hours. With our early start, we were there by 2:00 pm. So it was onward to the Charleston Maritime Center which we thought would be crowded with boats. We were surprised to see we were one of only five boats in the marina, there were many empty slips. Then we learned of the reason for the scarcity of boats. They are pounding in the steel foundation pilings for a huge, new museum next to the marina office building. They work from 8:00 to 5:00 and it makes a terrible racket, very loud. I didn't know of this when I made the reservations and I would not advise anyone else coming either until the foundation is laid - which may take months. They have a lot of pilings to pound in.

It's quite a project. It seems expensive to build a raised structure for a museum.
We will be here another day and then head south again if the weather holds.