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Old 21-10-2008, 10:42   #1
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Georgia Atlantic Anchorages

Does anyone know of any anchorage or marina between Hilton Head, SC and Jekyl Island? We cannot get into Savannah and are hoping to get somewhere in between. We are a 47 foot sailboat with a 7 foot draft and 65 foot mast!

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Old 21-10-2008, 11:09   #2
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I would recommend Claiborne Young's cruising guide for SC and GA. Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net ~ Your home for all the cruising news along the ICW There are half a dozen inlets if you're looking just for an anchorage. Some require local knowledge. It's unclear from your post as to what you're looking for, someplace to hide from weather or someplace to keep your boat or what.
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Old 21-10-2008, 13:36   #3
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The ICW in that area will be problematic for a 7 foot draft but can be done. There are marinas in Thunderbolt.
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Old 21-10-2008, 13:45   #4
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From Tom Doveís on-line Intracoastal Waterway guide:
Tom Dove Home Page

MILE 536, SC - BEAUFORT (say "byoofert")

The anchorage off the waterfront is imperfect and the town is interesting to explore, so this is a good place to stop at a marina. Real stores are close by, the architecture is lovely, and lots of movies are shot here. Or, southbound, turn at the bridge, favor the starboard side, and go up Factory Creek. Farther up the creek, the passage turns toward the north and becomes much wider, allowing room for swinging on the hook in less current. Ladies Island Marina is "dinghy friendly". Groceries (?), booze, laundry, and bank are in easy walking distance. Motel available. The Downtown Marina has a courtesy car if you take a slip. A nice and convenient municipal dinghy dock is next to the Downtown Marina, which also allows cruising boats to tie up for the day (no overnights). Room for dozens of dinghies and 3-4 cruising boats. (Crescendo, LilaJ, Butter, Dory)

MILE 544, SC - CHOWEN (or COWEN) CREEK

Up creek about 2 mi north of QFL light at mouth of creek in 12 feet SE of grassy island. Very good holding but protection poor. Rode out Hurricane Kate here on 21 Nov 85. Enter from the South off the Beaufort River. 11' to 17' at LLW at junction of Cowen & Distant Island Creeks. Tides can exceed 10' and current is rather strong, but one anchor held very well. Quiet, lovely anchorage with very little traffic; only a few small fishing boats during daylight hours. (L'Etoile Du Nord, Snowbird, Aquila)

***

MILE 554, SC - SKULL CREEK (HILTON HEAD)

Enter from N and anchor in 10-11 foot depths among tiny islands. Beautiful anchorage. Note the 6-foot tide range and strong current. The 2 ft spot shown on the chart at the south end of the anchorage, next to the marina, has been dredged to greater than 10 ft. As a result, traffic now passes through this alternate channel, but you can still anchor on the east side. (Crescendo, Nina)

MILE 558, SC - JARVIS CREEK (HILTON HEAD)

A bail-out anchorage to port (southbound) at Ferry Point near G "1" and about one mile south of the high bridge. Somewhat narrow but good holding in 14'-17' MLW. (Freedom)

MILE 564, SC - BROAD CREEK (HILTON HEAD)

Cruisers miss this one because it is just off the strip charts. Travel up Broad Creek turning east past Opossum Point. Anchor above or below the mooring field in good holding and good protection. Adjacent Palmetto Marina is dinghy friendly, fuel, travel lift, mechanics, shore side restaurants and a mile walk to supermarket. Recommend two anchors because of tidal current. (Epic VI)

MILE 565, SC - BULL CREEK

It is easier to anchor in the 8-13 foot section above the bend than in the deeper water downstream. Good holding and adequate swinging room. Friendly local shrimpers. (Crescendo, Freedom)
MILE 583, GA - THUNDERBOLT

This famous, large, aging marina (Palmer Johnson) is geared to megayacht repair but is friendly to small craft and has full facilities and services, including daily newspaper, daily doughnuts delivered to your deck and an email line. Excellent restaurant 1/4 mile walk from yard. It is the most convenient waterfront to Savannah, which is well worth a taxi ride to see. Bahia Bleu Marina has been completely redone with new showers, docks, etc. It is on the west (Savannah) side of the river just beyond the high bridge when you are heading south. There is an excellent marine supply store (River Supply) within a half block walk. Visit Factor's Walk in Savannah, a restored warehouse district with stone streets and buildings. Motel available. (Crescendo, Freedom, Oengus, Narnia, Butter, Dory, Aquila)

MILE 584, GA - HERB RIVER

Watch the shoals at the entrance. Good anchorage inside in 13-19 feet MLW. Grasses on one side (and many birds), and very nice houses on the other. It is easy to see what the tide is doing, because the 10-foot watermarks on the dock pilings show, and every dock has a section of floating dock connected by a gangplank that goes up and down with the tides. Not protected from NW winds. (Le Point, Luv It, Rosalieann)

MILE 590, GA - ISLE OF HOPE

Attractive old houses, adequate anchorage among yacht club moorings. (Crescendo)

MILE 595, GA - MOON RIVER

Isn't very wide, and four feet deep inside. I grounded here in style, one day... (Crescendo)

MILE 602, GA - HELL GATE NAVIGATION NOTE

Watch the route (wrong side of the green mark) at the S end of Hell Gate and stay away from the shoals where the ICW goes through the Middle Marsh. It's essential to use the range to stay out of trouble. (Crescendo, Freedom)

MILE 606, GA - QUEEN BESS CREEK

Just before Redbird Creek, on port side (stbd if northbound). Charted 5 foot depth at entrance at low tide, but we saw 8-9 minimum, and 10-20 once past the entrance at low tide. Tide is 8-9 feet here, so easy entry/exit for even deeper draft boats. The creek wraps around Bear Island, with the only trees visible in the area, so you can select anchorage to dodge winds. (Dory).

MILE 606, GA - REDBIRD CREEK

Upon entering Florida Passage, this spot has good holding in 12' - 20'. Go just beyond the first bend for increased protection. (Freedom)

MILE 608, GA - BUCKHEAD CREEK/CANE PATCH CREEK

Abundant space in deep (10' to 40') water with good holding. Tugs with barges "on the head" sometimes lay over by nosing the barges in just east of R "102". Pleasant and wooded in Cane Patch Creek adjacent to Pine Island. (Freedom)

MILE 613, GA - BIG TOM CREEK

SE of "FLG 105" go in one mile, past the bend, or in the first leg in 10-12 feet. Kilkenny Creek, which is just across the waterway, is much deeper. Reversing currents. Marsh. (Snowbird)

MILE 614, GA - KILKENNY CREEK

A much-used marina (fuel available) with a sizable shrimp fleet is approximately two miles upstream from R "106" and there's an anchorage just beyond. The shrimp fleet is based still farther upstream. (Freedom, Aquila)

MILE 619, GA - WALBURG CREEK

Anchor about 1.5 miles south of the St. Catherine's Sound entrance to the creek. A beautiful and quiet anchorage in 16' - 20' feet of water at MLW. Hard mud bottom with excellent holding. Good protection from NE, E, & SE winds by trees on St. Catherine's Island. Shrimp boats use creek to anchor at night so make sure you have an anchor light on and visible. Waited out a four day storm here very comfortably . (L'Etoile Du Nord)

MILE 630, GA - WAHOO RIVER

Go up about 1.5 miles and anchor among the trees in a pretty place with good protection and ample water depth. (Crescendo)

MILE 643, GA - CRESCENT RIVER

An attractive place west of the ICW, among the endless miles of marshes that look much like midwestern grain fields. Nice spot right up past the shrimp boats. Very friendly folks ashore there; you can buy shrimp in season. Strong currents, as usual for this area. In a strong NE blow, we found protection behind a stand of trees, which are scarce along the ICW in this region of marsh grasses. This location was about a half mile beyond the fishing village. (Crescendo, Oengus, Luv It)

MILE 644, GA - OLD TEAKETTLE CREEK NAVIGATION NOTE

Do not run straight from one red stake to the next at the north end of Old Teakettle Creek. Favor the southeast shore and steer in wide, sweeping curves to avoid the shoals. (Crescendo)

MILE 647, GA - NEW TEAKETTLE CREEK

With 15' to nearly 40' of water, here you can find good protection and good holding. Avoid the shoal off Mary Creek and proceed beyond the bend. Another favorite. Grasses all around and lots of bends in the creek so not much fetch. (Freedom, Luv It)

Mile 658, GA - ALTAMAHA RIVER

West of Dolbow Island holding was good, but there is little wind protection. Another boat there anchored right off LIttle St. Simon's Island at the entrance of a small creek. (Rosalieann)

MILE 666, GA - WALLY'S LEG

Not a great spot, but trees give some shelter from the NE. Bahamian moor suggested, as current reverses strongly. (Molly B)

MILE 666/673, GA - FREDERICA RIVER

A nice detour with good anchorages, this river is navigable from G "220" to just before the high bridge at St. Simons Island (G "241"). Fort Frederica National Memorial (1736-1749), is a "must see" place that can be reached by the small dinghy dock accessible only 2-3 hours each side of high tide. Fee area; no charge for anyone on boat when using one Golden Age Card. The stretch between the fort and the next turn, southbound, is especially scenic. Anchor here behind the stand of trees for protection from easterly storms. Good holding. Have stayed there a number of times on single anchor in 30-40 knot winds. When entering headed south as you leave the ICW junction, favor starboard side of the Frederica River. Watch for the grandaddy of all alligators, a permanent resident, at G "229". (Freedom, Epic VI, Thru The Years)

MILE 675, GA - FREDERICA RIVER

Marina just off the ICW offers a courtesy car for one hour, but biking or renting a car is better if you plan to stay for more than a day. The Village, St. Simon's Lighthouse, and Christ's Church are highlights. The marina complex is more like a mini-mall than a marina, with shops, restaurants, laundry, marine broker, etc. (Roma).

MILE 679, GA - BRUNSWICK

Brunswick, a working port, no longer permits anchoring (2001 and 2002). Brunswick Landing Marina charges 0.75/ft including electric, has ample slips, and is walking distance to restaurants, convenience store, Post Office, banks, etc. Groceries are a taxi ride ($4) away. The marina has a nice lounge with modem line, and FREE washers and dryers. (Dory)

MILE 684.5, GA - JEKYLL ISLAND

No anchorage nearby, but Jekyll Harbor Marina has fuel, a restaurant, a pool and bicycling on paths around the entire island. You can anchor and (for $8) use the dinghy dock, pool, bikes, etc.(Freedom, Aquila)

***

MILE 694, GA - DUPLIN RIVER

There are trees on the west bank and some farther away on the east bank. We went up a one mile past the dock. Be sure to go far enough south in the sound that you can look up the river. That way you will miss the bar on the port side as you enter. There is a power line a bit farther up with 36 feet clearance. (Aquila)

MILE 696, GA - BRICKHILL RIVER

The north entrance at R "40" is very deep. Watch the first bend and stay in the middle; the chart is accurate and the river navigable for the next nine miles, with wild horses and mansions you can visit ashore. Drop the hook just south of Hawkins Creek (20'-30' deep) adjacent to one of many backpacker campgrounds or anchor in 13 feet (low tide) about 1/4 mile north of landing at Plum Hill Plantation. This house built by Carnegie for one of his kids is a bit shabby now, but well worth a visit. Some say the south entrance is tricky for deep-draft boats, but others report it is straightforward, with 20+ feet of water. (Callinectes, Freedom)
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Old 21-10-2008, 14:05   #5
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You're gonna have to work the tides to get through with 7 ft....I had 6ft. and had to time it as well. Fortunately, the range is 8 ft. or so, so you should be OK. The anchorages from Gords list above that I have used and find just fine are:
MILE 584, GA - HERB RIVER
MILE 590, GA - ISLE OF HOPE (marina is nice but if you anchor out they want lots of $$ for dinghy landing.
MILE 619, GA - WALBURG CREEK
MILE 647, GA - NEW TEAKETTLE CREEK
about MILE 675...we always anchor just south of Golden Isles Marina (nice marina) at St. Simons Island then make a short daytime passage outside to the St.Marys River and the Cumberland Island National park anchorage.
I will also second the Jekyll Island marina...but the approach just to the north is VERY shoal and you must await tidal help.
Hope this helps a bit.

P.S. Why can't you get in to Savannah...huge ships do?
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Old 21-10-2008, 14:46   #6
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I thought he was looking for shelter from the ocean. With his draft and mast height the ICW would not be my choice. He'll have a hard time getting through the Jekyll Island stretch and the bit up to Golden Isles Marina is very shallow too. Just stay on the range and plow through the mud! If he just wants to deke in from the Atlantic, Herb River is his best bet for anchoring or a marina in Thunderbolt.
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Old 21-10-2008, 15:28   #7
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There are lots of possibilities but reading between the lines on your request I suggest departing from Skull Creek on Hilton Head, going out Port Royal Sound, south to St. Cathrine's Sound. Just inside the entry is Walburg Creek with excellent depth and anchorage. Then it is easy to jump back out side.

About 62 NM from Skull Creek to Walburg Creek.

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Old 21-10-2008, 15:34   #8
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Caution needs to be used entering St. Catherine's sound with a deep draft boat.
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Old 22-10-2008, 04:33   #9
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I haven't done it this year (yet) but last year the channel was well marked and had good depth. I don't think we saw less than 10'.

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