By Captain Chad Stewart for The Island Connection
One of our favorite trips at Holy City Sailing is to Beaufort. The Downtown Marina is situated right on the boardwalk lined with shops and restaurants. It’s a full day on our sailboat but don’t be afraid to venture down for just the day on a faster boat.
The ride in the intracoastal is beautiful and calm, save for some fairly open water as you cross St. Helena Sound. When the wind is up and the tide is opposing, it can look like the worst day you can remember in the Charleston harbor for 7 miles or so.
Once you have crossed the sound, you’ll probably want to take a detour to Morgan Island. It’s home to a colony of a few thousand monkeys. Yes, you read that correctly. They can be shy and all but invisible and other times there may 50 or more out on the beach. Don’t feed them and certainly do not approach them or step foot on the island. They are not friendly and not safe but they are fun to watch from your boat.
You’ll pass the fuel dock at the Marine Corps Air Station and perhaps see (and hear) some jets as MCAS Beaufort is home to the 501st Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron with the hovering F35B jets.
The only gasoline between Charleston and Beaufort is at Bohicket Marina. Plan your fuel accordingly. The Lady’s Island swing bridge is a concern it you have a taller vessel. It operates on demand, but note that they do not open during rush hour.
If you choose to overnight in Beaufort, don’t miss the 9 a.m. recital of the Pledge of Allegiance at the delicious Blackstone’s Café.