Georgetown SC to Charleston

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This is an easy section of the ICW, Georgetown SC to Charleston SC, with your biggest challenge being the Ben Sawyer Bridge and the Charleston harbor current. After a lovely few days walking the town of Georgetown and buying shrimp at the coop, and taking in the many beautiful homes on self-guided walking tours, we decided to move on. Again, we have no schedule, no agenda, just working our way south to the warmth of Florida. Of course, our near-term goal is to be in Stuart Florida for the best Thanksgiving on the waterway, but other than that, no rush at all.

Anchored in the Georgetown SC harbor is a joy. We have been stopping here since 2008!
Obe of the sunset rewards of this harbor.

Shrimp and Grits…..ahhh

Radeen is a great boat chief and she loves to cook, so when in “low country” you always buy some shrimp.  In Georgetown, there is a local fish coop where the fishermen dock and sell directly to the public. Large shrimp with the heads off costs $7.00/lb! We bought two lbs and steamed some for a chilled shrimp cocktail and then Radeen made some wonderful shrimp and grits for a mid-afternoon meal. What a joy…..

Happy Radeen cooking up some Shrimp & Grits in Georgetown.
The presentation…soooo good.

Walking Tours of Georgetown, SC

With the many rice plantations and then indigo plantations nearby, this was a very prosperous town. Add in the deep water harbor and the close ocean access one can easily imagine the many colonial ships docked here in the early 1700s. The town’s museum is amazing and has been here for decades. The visitor’s center has a free self-guided walking tour of over 50 homes. These homes are within blocks of the harbor and we always walk the town and study the architecture of these beautiful colonial homes. Here are two beautiful examples.

Georgetown, SC Colonial Homes
Gas lanterns light the front door. This is my favorite.

Moving on to Whiteside Creek

Departing Georgetown, takes you back into the ICW for a simple two-day run to the next dream stop of Charleston, SC. Day one is about a 40+ nm run to a remote creek called Whiteside creek.  These long and deep (15-20 ft) creeks run into the salt marshes and wind their way back off the ICW. With four Island Packets running together, this creek was a perfect stop for our fleet.  We easily arrived by sunset and anchored for the night. The current will ebb and flood in and out of the creek, and your boat will always bow into the current. Your anchor may be under your stern with the anchor chain going aft, but that is the way it is in a fast-flowing creek. Not a problem at all, just something to get used to,

Sun set as seen from Whiteside Creek
High tide as told by the salt marsh grasses and the small finger of water off the main channel.

Charleston in Sight….YES!

The next morning we planned our short run to make the Ben Sawyer Bridge opening at 10 am, then once thru there it is a quick 45 min run up the Cooper River to the Charleston Maritime Center. The challenge to docking in the fast currents of Charleston is to time your docking at slack tide. Today for our docking this was at 11 am and we hit it right on. I have seen many yachts crash into other yachts when trying to dock in these currents. It is something to take seriously. 

One of the photos we always try to capture is the view of the Ravenel Bridge from just after the Ben Swayer Bridge. This always raises excitement because that is a landmark of current-day Charleston.  When we see this bridge over the horizon we know we are near one of our all-time favorite stops. Charleston South Carolina. 

The famed Ben Sawyer Swing Bridge
THERE SHE IS…..the Ravenel Bridge….ahhhh Charleston is near.

Docked at the Maritime Center

Many boaters will arrive in Charleston and dock over on the Ashley River to the west at the MEGA DOCK. but, those that know the city and where all the action is will dock on the Cooper River to the East. This places you directly on East Bay Street where you want to be. From the Maritime Center, you are a few blocks from Harris Teeter grocery store and all the fine restaurants and markets on East Bay Street. You are an easy walk a few blocks into the College of Charleston where you will then intersect King Street for a fun walk past all the amazing shops. This will lead you down to Market street where you turn east and take in all the local vendors and maybe even a horse-drawn carriage ride.  Charleston, what a joy to discover and re-discover. We always book one week here and have for over ten years. We love this town. This is a must-stop location on the ICW.

Our fleet of 5 Island Packets docked at the Maritime Center, all but one have never been here before!
Our first of many walks into town, Each day we walked over 15,000 steps. You Gotta Love CHS!
The centerpiece of the College of Charleston
The lobby of Charleston Place, someday we will spend a day here!
The typical side porches of a Charleston Home

The next post will show more of Charleston….

Thank you again, for sailing along with Team Island Spirit. with this being our 11th year of running south, we still love this activity. As long as the boat systems are running well, life is good. So far, lucky for us, all systems are running well. Imagine, after a full summer of tearing apart the entire motor and drive train, along with Autopilot, radar, B&G network, and the windlass, we simply then took off. Today, we feel relieved that all systems are performing well. Lucky we are and we know it.
In the words of Neil Young….LONG MAY YOU RUN…..

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7 Replies to “Georgetown SC to Charleston”

  1. Thanks for the memories

    The reason for the “side” porches is that the houses were taxed according to how many feet of the house faced the street… so the builders placed the house sideways with the “front” door on the side, in the middle of the wide part of the house

  2. I’ll join Reubens in saying thanks for the memories! Our bike rides over the bridge were always a highlight too! Enjoy! Loretta Elliott

  3. Reading your recent blog about stopping in Georgetown and shopping at the Co-op reminded me of one time that Ken and I went in there to buy fresh fish and make a giant shrimp cocktail for dinner. Ken shouted to me if I wanted him to buy cocktail sauce? I yelled back, “No because I have everything on board to make it fresh, including -lemons, limes, celery salt, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, and red sauces.” The Waterman salesman looked at me and said, “Boy you must be a gourmet chef”, and I responded,
    No, I’m an alcoholic sailor and that’s how I make my Bloody Mary’.
    Big laughs and now good memories of the Co-op that day…
    Sail on my children,
    Cap’n Bill

  4. Such great photos and interesting history.
    Thanks for the revisit to a beautiful city.

    And then the “food porn – “oh my god you’re killing me! Those shrimp with the bacon and the perfectly caramelized onions…. it’s only 6:30 AM and I’m already thinking about dinner. .

    Kudos to the chef!

  5. Your posts are like a BBC Murder Mystery series. Even though we have followed much of the same track as you, we see so much more in retrospect because of your observations .
    You make us want to go back and experience it all again.

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