ICW Cruise: Harbour Town Y.B. with All the Trimmings on Hilton Head Island, SC

ICW Cruise: Harbour Town Y.B. with All the Trimmings on Hilton Head Island, SC


Editor's Note: The ICW series of blog entries details the April 2010 cruise down the ICW made by WaterViewHome Network Publisher David Lott. The purpose of the trip is twofold: to accompany Captain Steve Weisbrod who is delivering a 43-foot Lagoon PowerCat from Lewis, DE, to Key West, FL, where it will become part of a charter fleet, and to visit golf and waterview communities and report on them. You can read all other posts by clicking on the headlines on the list of entries at the end of this installment.

Mile 559: Harbour Town Yacht Basin, Hilton Head Island Island, SC

The weather is beautiful for April, in the 60s and sunny, so we decide to head south to Hilton Head Island by going outside the ICW. What a change of scene when you 'go outside!' The tight corners, encroaching vegetation and shore debris all fall away as you break out into the open sea and a limitless horizon.

No more worrying about going aground, the depth gauge shows 20, 30, 40, 50 feet and more to the seabed far below. We listen to the chatter on the radio, but instead of cocking our ears for bridge closings, moving shoals and boats aground, we hear about submerged debris that has fallen off of freighters and the approach of supertankers that have a blind spot a quarter-mile long.

#1 shallow
The water into Hilton Head Island is very shallow, hence long piers are needed to get to a comfortable boat depth.

Towards day's end we came into Hilton Head Island, arriving by going under the bridge to the island from the mainland. I had been coming to the island every October since 2001 for an industry conference and had always driven over that bridge. Very strange to be coming by boat and slipping by under it.

#2 HHI bridge
The bridge over to Hilton Head Island, my first time motoring under it.

#3 kayakers
We were greeted by kayakers enjoying the inlets and marsh.

We continued on past the bridge and Harbour Town Yacht Basin at Sea Pines Plantation came into view. The Horizon Classic had just ended the week before and vestigates of the tournament were everywhere, a kind of ghost tournament town all set up with no one to cheer.

Harbour Town's distinctive lighthouse tell us we are almost there.

#5 tournament town
Tournament ghost town: everything but the people.

#7 18th
The finishing hole offers not only great golf views, but also water views.

#8 Basin
Easing up to the entrance to the basin.

#9 in the basin
Good-sized yachts save you the trouble of hotel reservations and check-out is whenever you want.

We had made good time into the basin, arriving around 5 o'clock. I had spent most of the day calling area clients to see if they could come over to our boat for cocktails. It was the middle of the week, but fortunately a few could make it. What a pleasure meeting for drinks in the harbor. A great way to spend the evening.

#10 mags burgee
On display: the new
#11 party
_Captain Steve with Tobin Spirer of
#12 party
_Guests include Pat Judd, sponsor of Dataw Island, and her husband, and Beverly Serral, sponsor of Sea Pines Plantation.


The day ended with an excellent seafood dinner at the dinner located at the base of the Harbour Town lighthouse. On the way the back to the boat, I took the show below, a glimmering reminder of a memorable day.


#13 harbour town lighthouse
Time-lapse photography, not quite successful, but evocative of the magical atmosphere of Harbour Town.

Next Installment: A Visit to Windmill Harbour, SC


Follow the Complete Trip Down the ICW by clicking on the headlines below.


ICW Trip Announcement DAY 1 - Havre de Grace, MD - Engine Trouble

DAY 2 - Alligator River Marina, NC - River Forest, NC

DAY 2: A Visit to River Dunes, Oriental NC

DAY 3 - The Oriental Boat Show Is a Town-Wide Celebration

DAY 4 - Tiptoeing Past Firing Lines to North River Club & Brunswick Forest

DAY 5 - St. James Plantation Marina - New Home Construction

DAY 6: Charleston's Mega Dock Is a Showcase for the World's Most Beautiful Yachts

Day 6: Daniel Island's Mitchell Wharf Offers Deepwater Docks, River Views

Day 6: Harbour Town Yacht Club with All the Trimmings on Hilton Head Island

Day 7: Discovering Windmill Harbour's Elegance and Privacy on HHI, SC

Day 8: Going 'Outside' to Fernandina & The Peaceful Marshes at Oyster Bay Harbour'__

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