"2000, November 20-21 ICW - Shrimp Boat Bumper" McClellanville by grandmaR

McClellanville Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 39 photos

November 20, 2000 - coming from the Wacamaw River

We need to get to Charleston tomorrow. We have a slip reservation there. But this story illustrates the reason why boating plans should be flexible.

Since we had so much bad weather and had to go so slowly through the Rock Pile section of the ICW yesterday, we did not make it as far as planned. And it is supposed to go down to 29 deg F tonight. So today we have to get to McClellanville because that's the only place within range of Charleston the next day where we can get electricity to run the heaters.

We came under the bridge north of Georgetown about noon and went across Winyah Bay. Georgetown seems to have a large number of smokestacks. I had Bob on the wrong side of one of the markers but it was OK. We saw a pilot boat heading out. Georgetown is an ocean port.

Pulled in the sail, and the current is against us too. It does get warm in the bimini from the sun. I take off my thermal hood. We go past Estherville Plantation, and I think I can see some houses through the trees.

It is 52 deg. outside, and Bob takes off his NSA sweatshirt. He expected the weather to be warmer than this and hasn't brought many cold weather clothes. I have only a few myself.

We come to a free running ferry (as opposed to a cable ferry), and it waits until we pass to cross. It is about a mile into the Estherville-Minims Canal. There are old rice fields and salt marsh, pine and palmetto on the canal edges. Saw some wooden towers like ranger towers that were not on the charts, and a house way back off in the trees. Most of Minim Creek has no sign of habitation - is very wild.

Approaching McClellanville

We cross Little Duck Creek, and it is a maelstrom of conflicting currents. Three big Canadian powerboats pass - two of them are named WRECK HUNTER and CASAMINE JADE. CJ had both bikes and motor scooters on the deck.

Cross the South Santee River at mile 420 at 2:59 pm after 35 miles. This is the last chance we have to anchor before McClellenville. We have 10 miles to go to McClellenville. I hear EQINOX calling Leland Marine Services, the only tie-up place in McClellenville and not getting any answer. I also hear other boats planning to stop there. I called Leland Marine last night on the phone and was told that they took no reservations, but they'd make a place for us. I called again and was told the same. I also hear COSMOS, and BETSY MARIE and MARYLAND YANKEE II on the radio to each other.

The exhaust and the bow wave makes the water look soapy It was that way in the marina last night too. The sun is in our eyes. At mile 425 it is 3:45. I call Leland Marine on the radio with no answer. I call EQUINOX on the radio. He says he is on a private dock and can't make Leland answer. Someone gives him the phone number so he can call. We get to McClellenville just before 5 (sunset). Bob cuts into St. Jerome Creek a little close to the side and the water gets a little skinny. The entrance to the creek will be too shallow for us at low tide.

Note: The pictures I have of McClellanville were taken the following year when passing on the ICW. You cannot see Leland Marine from the ICW.

Note: there is a wreck on the chart right at the south side channel entrance. The guides say (correctly) that there is a sandbar extending out from the north bank into the channel across the entrance.

No one answers the phone at Leland Marine. We see EQUINOX and also CASSANDRA JADE and her two Canadian power boat friends tied up along with another sailboat. Some boats are rafted with shrimp boats. There are two other docks with clots of shrimp boats rafted to them on the creek, and there is a sailboat alone at a dock across the river. The guys on the dock tell us that the owner has gone into town, but they help us tie up at what proves to be the fuel dock. The guy comes back and we pay in cash, and hook up to the electric. He lets me use the phone to download pocketmail.

There is a little power boat that has come in for fuel - 1983 USNA graduate and former Marine, although he doesn't look it - his hair is long. They tried to get fuel at Isle of Palms and couldn't. They are on their way north, and intend to anchor out tonight.

After they get fuel, there is a pervasive gas smell in the air, which makes Bob wonder about cooking. We have hot dogs and baked beans for dinner.

This is a fixed dock, and there is a 6 foot tide. Bob carefully adjusts the lines so that we won't get hung up. He gets up a couple of times to make sure that we are OK and at low tide the dock is over his head when he is standing on the deck. It might have been better for us to raft on another boat. The other boat would be floating too and it would be like being at a floating dock.

I put the sleep timer on the TV and fall asleep watching Monday night football.

November 21, 2000 - leaving McClellanville

I am awakened by a tremendous BANG by my head at 5:40 am. The shrimp boat behind us has clipped us on the way out. Bob pulls on pants and a coat and comes back saying that the bow wave just pushed us into the pole. I don't think so.

It did not get that cold here last night - only down to 46, although it dropped to 37 deg F this morning. We got up and were underway by 7. The sailboat at the dock across the way left first, and then EQUINOX, and we were right behind him. A small shrimp boat came out behind us and went out Five Fathom Creek. I saw his superstructure running along on the other side of the marsh grass from us. I thought it was a car at first.

I go out on the stern and look where I think the shrimp boat hit us, and find a rough place. Bob thinks they just put some paint on us, but I looked at it again later, and there's definitely a chafed place about 3 inches long on the corner. I didn't see how they could hit us there without hurting the dinghy, but Bob said their stern swung into us.

MARYLAND YANKEE II passed us at 7:42. We can see mud flats and sand beaches on each side of us as it is low tide. Bob cooks some bacon, and we have that with bagels. He comes and takes over the steering. There are pipes through the dunes with water coming out. I thought it was sewage, but there's no where for sewage to be coming from.

Bob pulled out the jib. The boat heels in gusts, but the wind is at 30 to 45 degrees so it is hard to keep the sail drawing. We hear about a sailboat aground up near Isle of Palms. Next stop Charleston Harbor (Mt. Pleasant) Patriot Point and Thanksgiving.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Has a seafood market to get fresh seafood
  • Cons:Fixed docks and large tides
  • Last visit to McClellanville: Nov 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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