Charleston’s Many Charms

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Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River, Charleston, SC

Fifty miles on the ICW north of Beaufort towards Charleston took 2 short days of traveling but required 2 long days of concentration on the winding rivers and landcuts, watching for shallow water.

We anchored off the City Marina for one night, went ashore for a long walk, and then moved to the Charleston Maritime Center at slack tide at noon on Thursday, May 3.

Radeen, Bobbi, Janet, Carol and Pat

New friends, Jim and Carol on IP-370 A Summer’s Day, joined us for lasagna with Cutter Loose and Catspaw and our long-time friend, Janet Charbonneau. Seating nine for dinner on a boat is a challenge and the solution was the guys in the cockpit and the gals in the salon.

Jim, Eric and Carey

Friday we washed the many layers of salt off the boat, strolled King Street’s lovely retail shops and the Straw Market and then went out to dinner at Blossoms for incredible seafood and great company. The lure of Charleston is so strong, we decided to wait for the mid-day slack tide instead of the early morning tide to depart on Saturday. We made good use of the additional time – we went to Caviar and Bananas for breakfast with Team Cutter Loose and thoroughly enjoyed a horse drawn carriage ride through the neighborhood around the Old Jail House with Team Catspaw.

Note the door facing the street leading to the porch 

We learned so much from our driver, Janice, who expertly drove Ralph through the narrow streets. There are five different carriage companies, providing five randomly assigned tours. The horses may only work five hours a day, 6 days a week and are given 3 months out to pasture each year. There is a citywide program for cleaning up “radiator leaks” if a horse’s diaper fails.

Charleston is called “The Holy City” because it has 182 churches, including the first Unitarian Church in the nation. Even though it was Benjamin Franklin’s idea, Charleston was the first city to implement fire insurance companies. The city’s many fires were exacerbated by using black cypress, a wood that retains its oily and flammable properties long after construction. Eventually, this wood was outlawed completely. Charleston’s famous privacy porches were built facing the prevailing south and westerly breezes. If the street door to the porch was open, visitors were welcome to come onto the porch and knock on the center front door. However, if the street door was closed, it was expected that passers-by would not even look at the people on their porches because they might be sitting in their underwear!

Arriving Charleston at the Wappoo Creek Bridge
Bobbi, Carey and Eric at Blossoms on East Bay Street
Patricia, Hayden and Radeen, ready for fine dining

Shopping on King Street with palmetto trees

Charleston, SC…an ICW town that is very inviting and very beautiful and very fun to visit….

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