Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Accounts of trips taken in Boston Whaler boats; organization of rendezvous for Boston Whaler boats
fly by night
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 6:35 pm
Location: Maryland and Kiawah Is. South Carolina

Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Postby fly by night » Sat May 14, 2016 6:48 pm

I'm a Chesapeake whaler (85 Montauk) but I have been spending more and more time in the beautiful South Carolina low country and may retire there.

For the Charleston crew: is it possible to circumnavigate Kiawah Island?

When I'm down there I see lots of boats on the Capt'n Sam's Inlet side of the Kiawah River, and I wonder how they got in there, since the inlet seems to be pretty shoaled-up. Did they come around the back side at high tide or come in through CS's inlet?

FBN
FBN
Maryland and South Carolina
1985 Montauk
75 Yamaha Four Stroke

runpasthefence
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:57 pm

Re: Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Postby runpasthefence » Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:18 pm

A Kiawah circumnavigation is entirely possible in a Montauk. I've done it in an 18' Outrage and a number of times in a 15'.
My route usually takes me out Stono Inlet, hug Kiawah in the Atlantic, shoot Captain Sam's Inlet, follow the creek until you travel under the bridge leading to Kiawah Island, and follow the Kiawah Creek/River back to the Stono.

The area past the bridge is mostly flats/shoals, but there are ways around and through the area leading back to the Kiawah River.

It looks a lot more daunting than it really is. Most people make the mistake of trying this first at high tide, but if you don't have GPS tracks to navigate by, there won't be a logical path in front of you.

Do it the fun way, plan to hit that shoal area around 2 hours after low tide. Plod your way through slowly, and if you make a mistake, turn around and try another way. Keep your GPS on, log the track, make mental notes of depth, and you'll be set to blast through there whenever you'd like.

Good luck!

Chasvalve
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:20 pm

Re: Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Postby Chasvalve » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:37 pm

X2--but there is a bridge to navigate under so watch the tee-top. The Stono entrance can be really tricky with all the shoals but with a small draft should not be a problem.
220 Outrage
250 Verado

runpasthefence
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:57 pm

Re: Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Postby runpasthefence » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:13 pm

A little update - I made this loop a couple of times this summer in my 25 Revenge Cuddy. It's still a little tricky, but pretty simple overall.

fly by night
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 6:35 pm
Location: Maryland and Kiawah Is. South Carolina

Re: Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Postby fly by night » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:35 pm

Thanks to all for the info. I had my Montauk in the Kiawah River this summer, but didn't have my bottom machine on the boat so I didn't try going through the flats. I will definitely give a try some other time.
FBN
Maryland and South Carolina
1985 Montauk
75 Yamaha Four Stroke

fly by night
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 6:35 pm
Location: Maryland and Kiawah Is. South Carolina

Re: Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Postby fly by night » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:49 pm

runpasthefence wrote:A little update - I made this loop a couple of times this summer in my 25 Revenge Cuddy. It's still a little tricky, but pretty simple overall.



Wow, did you run Capt Sam's in the 25 Revenge?
FBN
Maryland and South Carolina
1985 Montauk
75 Yamaha Four Stroke

runpasthefence
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:57 pm

Re: Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Postby runpasthefence » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:59 am

fly by night wrote:
runpasthefence wrote:A little update - I made this loop a couple of times this summer in my 25 Revenge Cuddy. It's still a little tricky, but pretty simple overall.



Wow, did you run Capt Sam's in the 25 Revenge?


Yep, I was actually near there on Labor Day too. You'd be surprised, a 25' with twins has a deceptively shallow draft.

fly by night
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 6:35 pm
Location: Maryland and Kiawah Is. South Carolina

Re: Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Postby fly by night » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:07 pm

How much water did you show in the "flats" area? The NOAA chart for that area (http://www.charts.noaa.gov/BookletChart ... Charts.htm, #11522) makes it look pretty scary!
FBN
Maryland and South Carolina
1985 Montauk
75 Yamaha Four Stroke

runpasthefence
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:57 pm

Re: Circumnavigating Kiawah Island

Postby runpasthefence » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:22 pm

fly by night wrote:How much water did you show in the "flats" area? The NOAA chart for that area (http://www.charts.noaa.gov/BookletChart ... Charts.htm, #11522) makes it look pretty scary!


I'll have to take a look at my chartplotter this weekend and see if it has logged that data, but from memory I recall seeing 2.5-3' at the shallowest point, and that was probably 1.5 or 1 hour on either side of high tide.

That sounds treacherous, but I'm sure I wandered slightly outside of the very-narrow channel. Someone has attempted to mark said channel with some PVC, but it's not intuitive, and I'm wouldn't be surprised if the they were a casualty of Irma. Still, the skinny-water part is a very small part of this loop, and if you idle through with an eye on your depth, it's really not so bad.