Blackbeard Island


The entrance to Blackbeard Creek has plenty of water. Going in, keep green day marker number “11”, which is part of the Sapelo entrance marker system, to STARBOARD. Depth there is 10 feet or so between it and the beach. We felt our way in after that, as there are no markers in the creek. It narrows down in places, but even with a 23 foot beam, we had no issues. The daggers were down six inches or so, which gives us a total draft of about two feet. It was low water at the time, and we only touched bottom in one place, where the passage runs up close against Sapelo Island and turns. From there you can see Nelson’s bluff straight ahead. the chart says four feet, but there is a bar there at the mouth of a branch creek that runs to the left, or north. At high water you should have no problems as the tide range is at least six feet. We dropped the hook just past the Ranger station dock at the bluff. The creek widens back out there, so there is room to swing with the tide on one anchor. It is very protected once you get in, but the entrance is wide open to the north and the whole fetch of Sapelo Sound, so that spot might get exciting in a blow.



Along the creek bluff there is a trail that runs eastward through the woods. It is only a few hundred yards to the ocean. We walked there the next morning and then turned north towards the Sapelo Sound entrance. The beach is in an erosion phase, with fifteen foot high sand cliffs, where hundreds of mature oaks and pines have toppled into the surf. At ebb tide the walking is not too bad, but when it comes back in you are often forced to wade around or climb over them. The island must be young, as islands go. We didn’t see much diversity in tree species, mostly palms, live oak and pines, with an occasional holly. The forest is a series of accreted ridges, or old dune lines separated by fresh water sloughs and/or valleys.



Blackbeard is very quiet, especially at night. The thump of the surf lulled us to sleep. Next time I might try going a little farther down past the Ranger dock, as the lights there are the only interruption in an otherwise perfect darkness.



Good reading re Blackbeard and Sapelo history.

Can anyone identify this plant?


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