Blue Turtle Cruising

ICW & Atlantic Ocean northbound: Georgetown, SC to Wrightsville Beach & Beaufort, NC

Once we left Charleston, we motored 42 miles north on the ICW to anchor in South Santee River. The next morning, we pulled anchor and only had about 15 miles to get to our next destination, Georgetown, SC. We visited Georgetown for the first time last fall as we were headed south and in need of an anchorage to ride out remnants from Hurricane Nicole. We were so charmed by the small town feel and cruiser-friendly environment. This time, we decided to spend a long weekend there visiting the great local waterfront restaurants and bars and walking through the historic streets. It was great timing because while we were there, they were holding their Food, Beer, & Wine Festival. They closed down a section of Front Street and set up tents for local artisans and over 25 restaurants. The event also included 2 outdoor stages with live music. We loved that the festival still had the small town feel, without massive crowds. During the festival, we also toured the South Carolina Maritime Museum which we didn’t do last time. We’re glad we got to attend the event while there.

We took two days to get from Georgetown to Wrightsville Beach, NC. First, we stopped after 27 miles to anchor at Enterprise Passage on the Waccamaw River. The next day, we motored 29 miles and anchored in Calabash Creek which is just near the South Carolina and North Carolina border. From Calabash Creek, we had 52 miles to get to Wrightsville Beach. It was a long, 10-11 hour day and just as we were approaching Wrightsville, we were boarded by the Coast Guard. It’s hard to believe, but this was only our second time being boarded in 11 years! It was a standard safety check and the guys were very friendly and made the whole process pretty easy. Thankfully, we didn’t have any violations and they let us be on our way.

We spent about 3 full days in Wrightsville Beach getting the usual chores done (laundry and provisioning) and visiting the beach to go on runs and walks and then later to check out the bars for happy hour. We also got to meet Steve and Renee of SV Tourmaline, whom we were anchored next to in Charleston and then once again there in Wrightsville Beach. We’d had a few Facebook/Instagram exchanges so it was great to meet face-to-face. They had recently returned home from cruising the Bahamas with their 4 children.

We left Wrightsville Beach at 6:15am and headed out the inlet into the Atlantic Ocean. We were treated to an amazing sunrise and perfectly calm waters. There was very little wind (which is why it was so calm) so we motored the 73 miles to Beaufort, NC. We arrived in the Taylor Creek anchorage that evening around 6pm. We spent a couple days in Beaufort running and walking around town. I was happy to discover a brewery right in town that I hadn’t seen before.

We went to Fishtowne Brew House one afternoon with Sophie and grabbed a table. We noticed a young couple sitting next to us that we had seen at the dinghy dock in Wrightsville Beach. We struck up a conversation with Brandon and Karlie who had just sailed from the Caribbean on their 38′ Cabo Rico sailboat. Shortly after starting our conversation with them, Soren and Lene arrived and joined us. Randy had met the couple earlier walking past their sailboat in the marina, so we had stopped by on our way to the brewery to see if they wanted to join us. Soren and Lene are from Denmark and had been cruising the Caribbean as well. They were waiting for some additional crew to arrive so they could sail from Beaufort to Bermuda and then on to the Azores. It was a lovely evening hearing the stories of fellow cruisers.

On our dinghy ride home one evening, we arrived at the boat and saw several wild horses grazing on the strip of land behind us. This piece of land, known as the Rachel Carson Reserve, is a coastal nature preserve featuring salt marshes, wild horses, and other wildlife. Many times, we’ve seen the horses on shore further down the anchorage so it was a real treat to see them right in our back yard.

Next up: Leaving North Carolina to head to Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.

Charleston, SC to South Santee River (anchorage) = 42 nm
South Santee River to Georgetown, SC = 15 nm
Georgetown, SC to Waccamaw River = 27 nm
Waccamaw River to Calabash Creek = 29 nm
Calabash Creek to Wrightsville Beach, NC = 52 nm
Wrightsville Beach, NC to Beaufort, NC = 73 nm

TOTAL miles to date: = 3,152 nm

2 thoughts on “ICW & Atlantic Ocean northbound: Georgetown, SC to Wrightsville Beach & Beaufort, NC”

  1. Good on’ya guys…looks great! I REALLY enjoyed the ICW in SC…so pretty and such cools stops along the way as I recall.

    Be well,


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