Charleston is a hard place to leave. We left the city marina this morning after excessive eating, shopping, sightseeing and walking for the past 3 days. To recap, we left Isle of Palms on Sunday morning. We were supposed to leave just in time to make the 9am opening of the Ben Sawyer bridge but our friend Joe was challenged by the daylight savings time change and called us early. He was anchored north of us and we planned to head to Charleston city marina together. We left and had to circle for a while before the bridge opened. The fast running current makes it just a little challenging.
We arrived at the city marina (also known as the megadock) and were disappointed to hear that we couldn’t dock on the inside. The outside of the dock is plagued by wakes from clueless powerboats. Anyway, the weather was calm so we tied up outside while Joe got the last inside slip (darn him!!) The megadock is an interesting place. It’s probably 1/4 mile long and there seems to be an invisible line behind which they put all the sailboats–all at the very end of the dock. To walk ashore, we need to allow at least 20 minutes! It was fun to meet all of the other sailors in our own little ‘community’.
A huge (and I’m talking really huge) yacht named Turmoil was docked at the other end of the marina (the privileged motor yacht end). I looked it up on the internet and found out that it’s included on the list of 100 largest privately owned yachts in the world. It was built for the founder of Land’s End who passed away only 4 months after enjoying his 209 ft yacht. Read this story, it’s really interesting… http://www.showboats.com/Purpose-Driven. The boat left yesterday. Wonder where they’re headed…
For the benefit of my (unnamed) friend who has been known to make snarky comments on ‘mooching cruisers’, I saw someone pull their dinghy up to the dock and open up their laptop to use the wifi. Now that’s mooching!
It was a beautful warm sunny day so we worked on some boat chores. Skip changed the oil while I did the first real deck scrubbing since we left Annapolis. In the afternoon we took the marina shuttle into town and met Joe for dinner at Basil – a fabulous Thai restaurant that Justin recommended.
Monday started (and ended) chilly and dreary. We had breakfast at the restaurant next to the marina (creamy grits and flaky biscuits). We took the shuttle into town in the afternoon and met Joe for lunch at 82 Queen, a restaurant that specializes in low country cuisine. If you want to try the best shrimp and grits or she-crab soup, this is the place! Afterwards, we walked through the market and looked at all of the ‘crafty stuff’. The most interesting items sold are the sweetgrass baskets. They’re beautiful but expensive and not something I’d have room for on the boat. We walked back to the marina (quite a hike!) As soon as we got back to the boat we were invited for drinks by Bill and Carol on Interim. They have a cute Westie named Simon on board. He and Bailey got on well when they met earlier in the day. It was fun meeting other cruisers and hearing their stories. We also met Mike and Catherine on Falbala, a 49 ft boat they sailed over from England. I later read their blog–they have had some experiences!!
Originally, we planned to leave on Tuesday but it was so warm and sunny, we decided to stay one more day. I started polishing the topsides (now that the boat was clean.) After lunch, we took the shuttle into town and bought tickets for a carriage tour. While waiting for our tour, we visited the shops around the market. Skip was in heaven at the Moonpie store. The routes for carriage tours are decided by the city to control traffic congestion. They pull up to a booth and a machine popping bingo balls around spits out a ball that determines your tour route. Our tour was fascinating. We learned about the historic homes and churches (most of which have burned down a few times.) Did you know that Charleston sits on an earthquake fault line? They’ve had some big ones here!
Our new friends Carol and Bill were heading into town with another couple for dinner. We met them at Hank’s for yet another wonderful meal, seafood this time. We all decided to get icecream after dinner. I voted for a cab back to the marina since I had already walked it twice–that was enough for me!
We left Charleson this morning and followed the parade of boats down to the Wahoo Creek bridge where we waited for the 9am opening. Fierce currents make it very challenging to wait for bridges to open. After the bridge, we shot through the Elliott Cut at over 8 knots. Clear blue skies and warm, calm winds made today’s travel very pleasant. We passed through various cuts into different rivers with the current either pushing or pulling us.
Our friends Larry and Suzi also left today after resolving some engine problems. After the bridge, they had to pull over and work out an air lock in their water system that was causing the engine to overheat. We were sorry that they couldn’t make it to where we anchored, Wimbee Creek. We enjoyed another beautiful calm night at anchor. It would be absolutely perfect if there weren’t so many &^%# noseeums!
Interim is anchored nearby and they joined us for drinks. Skip braved the bugs to grill some fresh shrimp we bought in Charleston. Tomorrow, we’ll head past Beaufort and in a few days, we’ll be in Georgia!
(You’ll have to look on my Flickr site for more pictures…this internet connection is toooo sloooow.)