swing-bridgeLeaving Isle of Palms on Saturday morning, we thought that the one bridge we needed to open would open on demand but soon discovered that it was only opening on the hour.  We slowed down and joined the cluster of boats waiting for the Ben Sawyer swing bridge to open. 

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After the bridge, we followed the channel into Charleston harbor.  The tall towers of the Cooper River bridge can be seen for miles.  We also cruised past Fort Sumpter which we had visited last summer.  Coming around the Battery, we found the Charleston City Marina and pulled into their ‘megadock’.  The currents and wind were very strong so, luckily, we had 2 strong young guys to help us on the dock. 

charleston-megadockWe ended up about as far as we could possibly be from dry land.  Walking Bailey out to find some grass took about 15 minutes just to get off the dock!  There were huge mega yachts on the dock with crews constantly cleaning them.  We were definitely the poor relations in this crowd!

 

As we wandered the docks we found a boat from Annapolis, Spring Moon, that turned out to be a neighbor of Bob & Cindy at Sailor’s Wharf where we spent the summer.  Also, some crew had just arrived for his next leg south that are in our Sabre club — Jerry and Christine.  Small world!!

Our nephew, Justin, arrived to pick us up and take us to his house in nearby Daniel Island.  Skip’s mother and sister were there and when we walked in the door they were so surprised to see us that it didn’t even register for a while.  It was so great to see Catherine and baby,  James.  James is such a good baby, so happy and loves to be held.  Most of Cat’s family were in town for the baptism so we all headed out to dinner at Shem Creek.

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We spent the night on the sleeper sofa and also did our laundry.  Catherine kept apologizing for the lack of room but it was pure luxury for us!  Bailey also did pretty well with their cocker spaniel Sadie.  They mostly ignored each other and didn’t get into any squabbles.

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Sunday was the big day–James’s baptism.  We attended the church service at the St. Phillips church (founded in 1680!) and afterwards, family and friends attended the baptism.  James did really and didn’t fuss or cry.  A lovely lunch was held at the Post House restaurant.  I ordered the crab cake–mistake!!  I have officially sworn off crab cakes until I return to Baltimore!

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Justin took us back to the marina on Monday morning where he joined us for breakfast at the nearby restaurant.  Left on our own, we did a few things around the boat and then took the shuttle into town to walk around and do a little shopping.  We found a great cooking store where I bought another french press coffee maker.  We use ours on the boat but it’s made of glass and I was worried about it being a single point of failure–we could be anchored in the middle of nowhere and not be able to make coffee.  That would be a disaster!!  I also found some silicon cupcake holders that I’m gong to try out.

Returning to the marina we found that friends Norm and Nancy on True Loev (another Sabre 38 from the Chesapeake) had arrived.  They invited us to join them for dinner at one of their favorite restaurants.  We took the last shuttle into town and had a lovely dinner at Slightly North of Broad (SNOB).  They had also invited Nancy who single-hands Avalinda, a very unusual semi-custom sailboat.  She was very well-travelled and had a lot of interesting stories.  Coming back late we weren’t looking forward to taking Bailey to shore–a very long walk.  He obliged us by pooping on the dock again.  I hope this is a good sign that he will ‘go’ on the boat when he needs to.

Leaving Charleston is a little challenging because the Wappoo Creek bridge doesn’t open between 6 and 9am and there are also very strong currents to deal with.  We decided to wait until after 9:30 so we took our time with breakfast and refilling the water tank.  Another Sabre 38 came into the dock that we had seen in Wrightsville Beach.  Ian and Peggy on Tuscan Sun had just come in from an offshore passage.  They were very nice and we hope to meet up with them again.

Although we had a lot of help at the dock (and some good advice from Norm), we still managed to make a spectacle of ourselves by getting tangled up in the currents.  We side-swiped the large power boat in front of us but luckily didn’t do any damage.  I think we just took off a layer of wax.

The bridge tender at the Wappoo bridge yelled at us to hurry up to make the opening.  We were against the current and really had to hustle.  Once we got up there, the 2 other boats circling in the swirling currents waiting for the bridge to open were pretty surly.  Hey, she ordered us to move up!  After the bridge, there is another lovely experience called Elliott’s Cut.  The current was very strong against us but at least the wind was behind us.  It was a short, but exciting ride.  (As I keep saying, I prefer the boring trips!)

toms-point-creekThe rest of the day was uneventful.  We decided to anchor in Toms Point Creek.  It’s recommended by Skipper Bob but isn’t a ‘dog spot’.  We’re trying the first experiment in getting Bailey to go potty on deck.  Stay tuned for the results….

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