|Why Knot sitting pretty at Ashley Marina|
|Adios Good Karma|
|Adios One September|
The first thing you notice is the architecture. It is job-dropping beautiful. Many of the structures are from the late 1800s with a few dotting the landscape from even before that. Its hard to put a finger on what style of buildings they are. They are not exactly colonial in design and not exactly far southern.
As we walked around the main streets of the historic district, mostly on Broad and East Bay streets, there were numerous old buildings with placques that would briefly say what the building was and when it was constructed, along with a description of some historical fact. We learned that during its history Charleston has pretty much been destroyed and rebuilt several times, falling victim to either large fires, hurricanes, and of course to the Civil War. One such interesting building is the Post Office on Broad Street.
East Bay Street is the center of all things touristy. There was a six block long covered market with booths selling all kinds of knick-knacks.
Food! As I have noted in many previous posts the quality of restaurant food has varied widely on our journey. Wonderful places such as the Mel's Riverdock Restaurant in Hardin, Illinois, the restaurant at Coinjock Marina, Patty's 1880s in Kentucky and only one or two others were exceptions with their wonderfully delicious food. (Overall the best eats have been from our own galley. Lisa's cooking is amazing.) Now I must add a restaurant named SNOB, which is an abbreviation for Slightly North of Broad. We were urged by Judy of One September to stop there for a meal and to order the shrimp and grits. We did, and wow, are we glad we did. It was outstanding. It is more in a style of a jambalaya with the grits instead of rice. The varied tastes just melted in our mouths. Outstanding. Plus we had a pleasant conversation with a couple from Colorado there on vacation, Tim and Sharon. They asked us a lot of questions about our boating life and we both got the feeling the Tim was letting himself get sucked into the idea that maybe they too could do this. Sharon appeared to be intriqued.
We walked down East Bay to the end of the penisula to the battery park. There were old cannons and stacks of cannonballs but it was covered with trees making it a cool and pleasant place to rest. We decided to walk back to the marina which allowed us to take in many of the beautiful homes in the area. The conditions of the homes varied from painstaking restorations to modern updates that never strayed too far from the original styles. There were a few more run down homes that were being worked on. But all of them were filled with a southern charm that delighted us.
|Among the many relics we found this. A pay phone?|
Our second day in Charleston was just as interesting as the first. We got a ride on the marina shuttle over to the Charleston Maritime Center where we hopped onto a water taxi to Patriot Point, a large development that includes a large marina and an exhibit of World War 2 ships.
The first ship we visited was a post WW2 submarine called the USS Clamagor. The exterior of the sub is badly rusting away but the inside was in good condition. We had visited a sub in Mobile that had actually seen combat. Man, sub duty must have just sucked. I'm six foot tall and there is no way I could have existed on one of those things.
The second ship was a destroyer, the USS Laffey, that had seen extensive duty during the war. It was in pristine condition and was the best exhibit of the three ships. The Laffey had been bombarded, strafed and hit all kinds of ways by the Japanese but she stayed afloat. She is a bit of a legendary ship having survived an incredible beating of five or six kamikaze strikes in one battle. Oh and she took several direct hits by dive bombers. She was featured on a History Channel show which was playing as a continuous loop in a small theatre.
The big party piece is the the USS Yorktown, a WW2 aircraft carrier. As you would expect she is massive with lots of aircraft in static displays in her hanger deck and on the main launch deck. It was certainly facinating but we both got the feeling that too much of her available touring space was devoted to displays that after a while began to be a bit repititous. It was however a great exhibit.
During our time in Charleston a large city wide arts festival was going on. One of the exhibits we wanted to see was a painting exhibit devoted to the Coast Guard, but we had written that off because we could not figure out where it was. Well, it turned out that it was on the Yorktown and we bumped into it. There were two guardians there and we enjoyed talking with them.
Upon returning to the Maritime Center we hopped onto one of the free trolley buses that crisscrossed the city. On it we were able to run through the real heart of Charleston, the downtown district, and it looked as charming and interesting as everything else we had seen previously.
All in all we enjoyed out time in Charleston quite a lot. Its a great destination and we heartily recommend anyone to stop and spend some time there. But it is time to head out onto Georgetown.
Georgetown - Not much to say here other than we stopped at Georgetown Landing Marina for the night. We also took on 550 gallons of diesel fuel which added a hair over two tons of dead weight to the boat. This added weight was apparent with our reach to Barefoot Marina in South Myrtle Beach, SC. It was sloooooow. Not only did we have all that extra weight but we also managed to hit all the outgoing tides. We were only able to get over seven miles per hour a few times. Most of the time we were going at six and a half-ish. But the weather was great! The breeze was just enough to keep the bugs away, there was a 70% clound cover that kept the bright sunshine slightly obscured and it never got very hot at all. Other than that it was a routine day. One of my favorite strips on the ICW is in this stretch. I think cruising the Waccamaw River region is beautiful, with its tall thick cypress tree lined shores.
We will be staying here for a few days. The weather pattern is shifting to the typical summer thing of there always being a 30% to 40% chance of precipitation in the afternoon. After here we will make the usual stops on the way up to Chesapeake Bay with a few exceptions. We will be staying at Bald Head Island in Southport instead of in Southport itself. We are also going to drop anchor in the Camp Lajeune Basin for something different. Also, instead of slicing through North Carolina on the ICW we are going to swing out to the outer banks and visit Ocracoke and Manteo. I have things plotted out up to Norfolk, Virginia so far.