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Author Topic:   South Carolina: Hwy 17 Boat Ramp
runpasthefence posted 01-23-2006 05:24 PM ET (US)   Profile for runpasthefence   Send Email to runpasthefence  
I wandered down to Savannah this past Saturday to further mutilate my body with another tattoo. Everytime I travel south on 17 I pass by a boat ramp that is just off the highway. When traveling south it is after the stretch of road with marsh on either side. I tried to remember the name of the river, but failed miserably.

Anyway, the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow, and I was thinking about towing the 15' down there to poke around a bit, it looks gorgeous. If anyone knows what I'm babbling about, sharing your experiences would be appreciated. Otherwise, I'll report back either tomorrow or Wed. night with details.


zotcha posted 01-23-2006 06:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for zotcha  Send Email to zotcha     
Not sure of the river name either. Would it be the Coosawatchie? Anyway, it is about 15 or 20 miles south of Jackson, where 17 bears left (South) and the other road continues (West) to Walterboro. I believe just before the marsh the four lanes return to two for the last time coming south. 5 more miles and the road splits again. Left becomes 21 (to Beaufort) and straight continues to 95 south at Point South. That intersection is named Gardens Corner. Anyway, I think I know the ramp you speak of, but know no one who has ever boated there. Any help? Take pics. because it is pretty undiscovered I'm sure. Still very tidal and don't know about stumps. Let me know if you want my #. I could be in the water at that ramp in about an hour to 90 mins. should you lose your lower unit. Hey, I'm off next Sunday if you want to check out some more civilized areas about 40 mins. further south. Zot.
runpasthefence posted 01-23-2006 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for runpasthefence  Send Email to runpasthefence     
Thanks Zot,
It might be the Cossawatchie. If not, I'll figure it out tomorrow I guess. The only thing that bothers me is my GPS doesn't read that far inland...I don't think. Something else we'll find out tomorrow. Regardless, I'll probably leave around 9am to be in the water around 11-1130. High tide is around 3:00 tomorrow, and I'd like to be back in town before rush hour.
runpasthefence posted 01-24-2006 12:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for runpasthefence  Send Email to runpasthefence     
It's gotta be the Combahee...any confirmations?
runpasthefence posted 01-24-2006 12:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for runpasthefence  Send Email to runpasthefence     
Looks like Combahee, Steel Bridge Landing
zotcha posted 01-24-2006 07:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for zotcha  Send Email to zotcha     
Yeah, I think you are right. That river is the northern border of Beaufort County. Two rivers north of the Combahee, I believe, is the Altamaha, and the Edisto rivers come together, forming the ACE Basin (letters of the three rivers). I've heard it is beautiful there and some nice real estate for sale there. BTW, Sunday looks warm (almost 70) with rain. Have not checked the tides yet. zot.
runpasthefence posted 01-24-2006 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for runpasthefence  Send Email to runpasthefence     
It looks like all of the rain is off the coast now, and it is a solid 62 degrees outside now. So I'm heading out.
Keep me updated with Sunday. There is a chance I will have my wisdom teeth removed Friday, but I don't think it's likely.


runpasthefence posted 01-25-2006 12:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for runpasthefence  Send Email to runpasthefence     
I left my house at about 10am, and after fueling up and a short lunch I reached the ramp at about 12. The temperature was a pleasant 67 degrees when I put in. I decided I'd see how far inland I could navigate the Combahee. It is a nice deep river lined with rice fields and Bald Eagle nests. After winding north for some time at around 30mph I came to a shallow, sandy bottomed area with trees laying crossed in the waterway. I thought this was the end of the line This was the first of many "ends of the line". I managed to worm my way between and above the trees to find the river deepens again. This is where my cruise became more stressful than peaceful. I had my eyes peeled for stumps, trees, bottom etc and I had to stop fairly often to to squeeze by fallen trees. Just as I was seeing one of my goals (train bridge I found on my GPS) I was feeling lucky about not hitting any stumps. Just as I stood up to take this picture my lower unit took a minor, but scary) knock from a fallen tree.
I continued up the river a good bit longer. The river widened and narrowed on a whim. At one of its narrowest points my depthfinder read one of the deepest depths of that part of the river. It was about 8ft. right beside this tree
After passing some houses, I thought I had finally found an end, but as I turned around, I found another route that was barely large enough for my 15. I continued on, and as I became more and more antsy about the river I realized it wasn't fun anymore. The risk of damage to my Whaler was a litle to stressful, and there was still the ride back to the landing. So this is what was facing me as I turned around
The ride back was a little worse. I had a couple of hard "hits" going downstream. However, no visual damage resulted. All in all, it was mostly a peaceful, natural ride on a classic South Carolina waterway.
The rest of the pictures are at
there were more, but it all kind of runs together after a while
zotcha posted 01-25-2006 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for zotcha  Send Email to zotcha     
Mick, very cool pictures. You are very adventurous, and seems you were rewarded well. I always tend to gravitate towards the most amount of salt I can find. That looked very brackish, almost Cedar, but I guess down here it would be more Cypress based freshwater. Sunday is looking like possible showers. What do you do that allows you off during the week? I'm a firefighter and usually find a day or two off per week from my part time gig. Thanks for the shots. BTW, I worked all day yesterday on a woodworking project, and could have been to the ramp in an hour, had you needed assistance, and had my #. zot.
WhalerAce posted 01-25-2006 11:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for WhalerAce  Send Email to WhalerAce     

Ditto on Zotchas comments. We have passed over that bridge a million times and I always wondered how far up the river went and what it looked like. Thanks for showing us. BTW, how did the tides affect you?

We bought our 15 footer from a guy right around the Jacksonboro split, and were test driving the boat at the landing about a mile from there.

Thanks again!


runpasthefence posted 01-25-2006 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for runpasthefence  Send Email to runpasthefence     
Zot, it seemed just as I reached the ramp I realized I had forget to ask for you number, and after hitting my first stump...well I wasn't feeling too bright. As for my time off, well, its usually rare. My time is usually consumed by The Citadel as I am a sophomore cadet there. However, I am spending this semester abroad in New Zealand, and I don't fly out until Valentines Day. I have been working as a prep guy at a marine paint shop, but things have slowed down. During the summer, I'm ususally confined to 50hour work weeks, but my boss is very reasonable and I could cut that down to 20 if I felt the need...I don't.
I usually like to stay in the salt as well. If I had the time I would have run south. It was a very nice cruise, but it definately made me appreciate the waterways of Charleston.
As for the tides, according to my GPS it was around low when I reached my endpoint. At the very most, the tide fluctuation was only about 2 feet, probably less where I ended. Low tide probably showed more of the stumps and trees I wouldn't have seen and did not prevent me from getting where I wanted to go.
BTW my GPS logged 41.1 miles in 2.5 hours with an avg. speed of 16 mph (lots of idleing upstream). I think I burned about 7 gallons, but I'm not sure.


zotcha posted 01-26-2006 12:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for zotcha  Send Email to zotcha     
Nick, thats very cool. A Medic I work with is in the Citadel now, I belive is a sophomore and lives in Beaufort. Small world. If you're leaving Valentines Day will that boatyard still be available for a couple of tow rigs/trailers overnight? Still planning to make the southern rendevous and it sounds like a couple guys from Fla. as well. Thanks, zot.
runpasthefence posted 01-26-2006 01:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for runpasthefence  Send Email to runpasthefence     
Sure Zot, I'll speak with my boss tomorrow, and I'm sure he'll agree. No worries, he's not a whaler fanatic, but is a nice guy.
Class of 08! If you gave me a name, I might know your Medic friend.
zotcha posted 01-26-2006 07:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for zotcha  Send Email to zotcha     
His name is Bible,in India Company. In the old barracks. I actually work with his Dad. Mike.
runpasthefence posted 01-26-2006 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for runpasthefence  Send Email to runpasthefence     
If he's the guy I think he is, he has been to Army basic, and is at school on an Army contract. Don't know him personally, but he seems like a good guy/good cadet.

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