Saturday morning: We will meet at 9:00 at the Isle of Palms Marina. Map here. Picture here. Coastal Expeditions, our supporting outfitter, has an outpost right there for those renting boats. The long parking spaces in the lot are for trailers; don’t use them unless you want to be really unpopular. On busy weekends there will be attendants telling you where to park. There is a $10 fee.
All day Saturday: Out on the water. Bring everything you need. See gear list. We’ll be off the water around 4:30 Saturday in time for a shower before meeting for dinner.
Sunday : Meet at 9:00 to caravan to the beach. All day at the beach, playing in the waves. Bring lunch. Bring chairs if desired. There are no bathrooms. Wrap up around 3:00 PM, or earlier if folks are tuckered out.
Monday (Spring only): Meet around 9:00 to caravan to the put-in. We’ll paddle about 2 hours, stop for lunch, play, relax, beachcomb/explore for a while, and head back.
• Pump* and paddlefloat* if you have them
• Lots of water, like 2 liters. A bottle you can open with your teeth is handy. Or a hydration pack.
• Energy snacks. You'll need them about 3:00 PM
• Something to keep your glasses on your head, and not just a librarian cord.
• Dry bag or multiple heavy duty ziplocks to keep stuff dry
• Some people like to wear gloves. Wear thin ones only, not padded bike gloves.
• If you’re not good at keeping water out of your nose, you may want to bring some nose plugs or a snorkel mask for rescue practice.
• 15 feet of 1/4"-3/8" nylon rope or 1" webbing
• Anything else you need to be safe and comfortable
*–provided by the outfitter if you’re renting
I always dress in synthetics on the water: polypropelene, Capilene, Coolmax, Thermax, etc. Cotton gets clammy and can actually be dangerous if the temperature drops. Also, it's nice to have a paddling jacket, or some kind of nylon shell to put over the whole thing, if you get cool (like if there's rain). Have something for your feet just in case you have to get out of the boat and walk through oyster shells. Coastal Expeditions has some bomber paddling shoes for about $15.
• Charleston has some beautiful Bed and Breakfast Inns, if you want to go plush: http://historiccharlestonbedandbreakfast.com/
• I usually go to http://www.travelocity.com and search for a hotel near 514 Mill Street, Mt Pleasant, SC. There are about a dozen on US 17 in Mt Pleasant, just over the Cooper River Bridge from downtown Charleston. I often end up at the Microtel. Don’t go to the Masters Inn. The Days Inn was a little iffy last time we were there.
• There is a KOA campground (http://www.koa.com/where/sc/40146.htm) about 6 miles north of Mt. Pleasant on US 17. Decent place. Also a campground at James Island County Park on the other side of Charleston, about 30 minutes away