Once boaters have crossed Charleston Harbor and the Ashley River on their way south, Wappoo Creek picks up the Intracoastal Waterway route on the west side of Charleston off the Ashley River at Albemarle Point. Wappo Creek connects the Ashley River with the Stono River before its terminus at Elliott Cut.
Use NOAA Chart 11518.
The primary obstacle in Wappoo Creek is the Wappoo Creek Bascule Bridge, which crosses the body of water about half way down its length towards the Stono River. Currents in Wappo Creek can run at velocities up to four knots, and as such, the bridge is one place you do not want to be stuck waiting for an opening during a foul current.
The bridge operates on a restricted opening schedule. From April 1 to Nov. 30, Monday through Friday, the bridge opens on the hour and half-hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Weekends and Federal holidays, the bridge opens on the hour and half-hour from 9 a.m. To 7 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 30 and Dec. 1 to March 30, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, the bridge is closed from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m.
To reach the creek, pick up green daybeacon “1” southeast of Albemarle Point off the Ashley River, and then set a course for green daybeacon “3” just before the 67-foot fixed vertical clearance bridge. The Wappoo Creek Bascule Bridge is about one mile away form the fixed bridge. Be sure to time your arrival in sync with the bridge schedule.