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  Waccamaw River--Conway, SC to where the ICW joins (Enterprise Landing)

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Author Topic:   Waccamaw River--Conway, SC to where the ICW joins (Enterprise Landing)
Highwater posted 05-28-2002 11:37 PM ET (US)   Profile for Highwater  
On Sunday, May 26, 2002, my wife, two daughters (ages 8 and 5) and I explored the Waccamaw River in South Carolina. We launched our 13' "Sourpuss" Whaler (The Highwater) where Highway 501 crosses the Waccamaw River (just east of Wadus Lake). The scenery was gorgeous but it took us a while to become accustomed to navigating a busy, narrow, winding river.

Birdwatchers would especially enjoy the Waccamaw as there were a wide variety of species to observe. We were especially excited to see two bald eagles in their nests (at least we think they were bald eagles). The kids were always pointing and saying things like, "Look at that bird--is that an egret? Look at those turtles!" And so on).

It would have been an even better trip if we had not done it on Memorial Day weekend--the river was so congested with boats that we did not feel comfortable pulling the children on intertubes as we had planned. I have never seen so many jet skis in my life. Some of the jet skis would travel in packs, staggered, like motorcycles going down the highway. Others would pull waterskiers. Since they liked to go faster than we did, and since they stopped frequently, we were often passed, a procedure which made my wife a little nervous since the river is relatively narrow and winding. Our idea of river exploration is to go 20-25 miles per hour and either pull the kids on tubes or let them "help" steer the boat. The jet skis seemed to prefer going 30-35 miles per hour, circling back and forth, and stopping for beverage or a change of riders every five or ten minutes.

It also took us a while to understand what the "NO WAKE ZONE" signs meant. Since most of my boating experience has been on larger boats, I was accustomed to throttling back when a "NO WAKE ZONE" sign was posted. Not on the Waccamaw! Maybe not anywhere in a 13' Whaler (please advise!). Several times when we slowed down for a NO WAKE ZONE we were narrowly missed being run over by a line of boats behind us who were waiting for an opportune time to pass. Yikes! After a while, I stopped slowing down.

When we got down to Enterprise Landing (where the Intercoastal Waterway joins the Waccamaw) we turned around and headed back for Conway. We wished that we had brought a small grill and something to cook as the jet skiers' riverside parties were looking more and more inviting as the day wore on. Luckily, we passed a houseboat that sold bar-be-que and hot dogs, and for six dollars we got enough food to satisfy everyone on board (I had expected the prices to be much higher since they had gone to so much trouble bringing their cooking supplies out on the river).

Everyone had a good time. We would like to do it again--please contact us if you want to bring your boat and want company :)

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