Sea Kayak Carolina Online Guide
Online Kayaking Guide for Charleston, SC
A Sea Kayak Trip to Deveaux Bank!
What a magical kayak adventure to this barrier island and its habitat! Deveaux Bank is a sea kayaker’s favorite destination for a day-trip in Charleston, South Carolina.
Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, Bonnethead sharks, Blue Crabs, Brown Pelicans, Reddish Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets, Bald eagles, Osprey and even pelagic birds like the Northern Gannet are among the magnificent wild life commonly viewed at Beveaux Bank.
After launching from Cherry Point, paddle west from the boat ramp towards the town of Rockville, a lovely sleepy, picturesque town. We pass Adam’s Creek on our right, and enter the North Edisto River where we’ll see a 16’ seeward range marker (if you look over your shoulder to the northwest, you’ll see the 45’ landward range marker). Our paddle passes some beautiful Marsh areas of reed grass as we begin to encounter wildlife.
Bohicket Creek joins the mighty North Stono River less than 2 nautical miles from Cherry Point. Heading out towards Deveaux Bank, paddlers can hug the east bank of the river, with Privateer Creek and a long sandy beach at Camp St. Christopher as a possible rest stop or alternate destination. Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are often seen feeding and frolicking at the junction of Privateer Creek and the river.
Bottlenose Dolphins are a top predator in South Carolina’s salt marshes and coastal waters and are commonly seen along the banks. Many of us have seen these animals swimming and hunting in our creeks, where they exhibit a fascinating behavior called "strand feeding."
We’ll pass by Seabrook Island on your left, and approach Deveaux Bank. Our arrival typically places us at the northeast corner of Deveuax Bank. If present, vegetation is sparse and delicate, consisting of smooth cord grass, glasswort, marsh hay and sea purslane. Most paddlers will have lunch, take a nap, work on some rescue skills, beachcomb, or swim. Take precautions against the summer sun.
Alternatively, kayakers may decide to cross the North Edisto River to Botany Bay Island. This is a strategy that has been employed during moderate westerly or southwesterly winds to seek the protection of the lee of Botany Bay Island.
Vistas from Deveaux Bank are astounding, with a panorama of blue sky, blue water, and uninhabited islands of wildlife species abounding. If you have never experienced this tour, or experience it often, a kayak trip to Deveaux Bank is among the best coastal kayaking opportunities to be found on the East Coast.
• At the ramp: Fire ants, and oyster shells. Bare feet never at the ramp; unless you are looking for a trip to the emergency room! (Think “Blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop-top, cut my heel had to cruise back home.”).
• The trip from Cherry Point Landing to Deveaux Bank is about 4 nautical miles one-way. The water is wide, and sometimes rough on windy days. Make sure to check your local forecast prior to launching. Less experienced kayakers are strongly encouraged to paddle with more experienced local paddlers from the Charleston Sea Kayaking Meetup Group or with instructors and guides from Sea Kayak Carolina. Water temperatures during the winter can dip below 45⁰ F; which is lethal for paddlers that aren’t properly dressed for immersion and trained for rescue practice.
• Summertime hazards include dehydration and other heat-related medical issues, and thunderstorms. There is a fair amount of commercial and recreational vessel traffic.
Route Planning :
We begin our tour at Cherry Point Boat Landing, maintained by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.
It is optimal to plan kayak trips to Deveaux Bank on an ebb tide, working with the outgoing tidal current. Plan to arrive before or at low tide, take a beach break, and plan the return trip after the start of the flood tide, again working with the incoming tidal current.
Kayakers may wish to paddle on one of the other many beautiful tours in the area during the weekend of the Rockville Regatta, which occasionally has seen alcohol mixed with boating. The regatta is centered nearby the Sea Island Yacht Club.
To find the Cherry Point Landing, take the James Island Connector from downtown Charleston. Turn right on Folly Road, left on Maybank Highway (Route 700), and follow Maybank Highway over the Stono River, onto Johns Island. Continue southwest on Maybank Highway thru the oak lined road bisecting Johns Island, and on to Wadmalaw Island by crossing over Church Creek. Then left (at the Pink Panther’s house) onto Cherry Point Road. Finally, take a right on Boat Landing Alley and you have arrived. Approximately a pleasant 45-minute ride from downtown Charleston.
Kayakers arrive at the landing and stage kayaks and gear in the grass near the boat ramp. Cars and trailers park in the adjacent dirt and gravel parking lot.
You may find yourself alone mid-week in the off-season, or with lots and lots of company during the weekend in warmer months. The ramp is a favorite of area recreational boaters, and commercial crabbers and commercial oystermen make use of the ramp as well.
A favorite on-line resource for tide and current information is tidespy.com. Another great tide and current resource is the Tidelog, available at Sea Kayak Carolina.
Tidelog offers a great visual presentation of tides, currents, sunrise and sunset, and other useful information for coastal kayak trip planning.
Current information from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources can be found at their website.
View Cherry Point to Deveaux Bank in a larger map
RELATED LINKS —
›› SKC Photo Gallery on 2009 Deveaux Bank Trip
›› SKC Weather Forecast links
• Lake Moultrie and Pinopolis Locks
• Wando River and Cat Island
• Garris Landing to Bull Island
• Oak Island Marsh Tour
• Sol Legare to Sandy Point via the Mighty Stono River
• Capers & Deewees Island
Don't miss Sea Kayak Carolina’s Resources page for information on tides, weather and other critical information to help you plan your kayak trips in Charleston and other coastal areas in South Carolina.