We began our trip on Thursday from the South Island Ferry boat ramp which is located at the very end of South Island Rd. There is plenty of parking and a store located not far from the landing that sells fishing licenses and gear. The boat ramp is located on the Intracoastal waterway and the tide is fairly strong here, this made for an easy paddle out to the bay.
Once in the bay the wind can get strong. Our destination, North Island, was on the opposite side of the bay. We hugged the right side of the bay until we came to a point, we began the cross of the bay then, headed towards the Georgetown lighthouse and pier. Make sure to cross at a diagonal, because due to the currents you will not be able to go straight across. Rip currents, swells, and wind can get very strong in the bay so we crossed as quickly as we could.
About 50 feet from the beach of North Island you will notice a very strong rip current that travels at 10-15 knots. Our intention was to camp on the Ocean side of the island. But too late we realized there were no dunes or trees to shelter our campsite from the wind. After a strong storm and a very windy sleepless night, we accepted defeat and retreated near the lighthouse where a campsite is marked by a tree stump on the beach decorated with hardhats and other pieces of trash found drifting in the ocean. This proved to be much better except for the mosquitoes.
The paddle is a total of 5-6 miles one way to the campsite.
Things we learned from this trip were:
large parking area at boat ramp, store a couple of miles from boat ramp with fishing licenses, gear, gas and other gas station merchandise.
Campsite on island is large with no facilities.
Perception Carolina 14.5 foot
Perception Shadow Sealion 16.5 foot
Permit required from the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center
Take US-17 or US-17 Bypass South towards Georgetown