Made it to Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina after a wonderful two day cruise up the ICW from Savannah. It was another winding, scenic ride and the long docks of the South Carolina low country became more plentiful as we approached Charleston.
The last three miles of the approach to Charleston heading north includes a passage thru Elliot Cut and Wappoo Creek. The cut has 5 knot currents and the Creek has a bascule bridge with a 33′ clearance. Our air draft is 31′. We hit the cut at the turn of the tide and cruised under the bridge with a couple of feet to spare. On the other side is the Ashley River which provides the eastern border of Charleston.
Our marina is located on the Cooper River, the western border of Charleston. The marina is actually situated at Patriots Point in Mt Pleasant on Hog Island. The Cooper River is the entrance to the Port of Charleston. Countless container ships and freighters transit the river each week only a few hundred yards off our slip.
South Carolina is an unabashedly “Red” state and Patriots Point is home to the WWII era aircraft carrier “Yorktown”, the WWII Destroyer “USS Laffey”, and the sub “Clamagore”. We spent an afternoon touring the ships and the Medal of Honor museum on the Yorktown. Cath could live in this state and feel right at home.
The history of Charleston dates to 1670 when English settlers came to establish Charles Town after King Charles II granted the Carolina territory to eight loyal friends. The city has been a major force in the evolutionary history of the United States. Charleston played an important role during the American Revolutionary. In 1776 the British tried to sieze Charleston but were defeated by troops of William Moultrie. Four years later the British would return and the Siege of Charleston was the greatest American defeat of the war.
After the war Charleston prospered under a plantation dominated economy. The principal crops were at first indigo, then rice and cotton. The slave trade flourished and by the 1820’s the population was over 20,000 with a black majority. We visited Boone Hall Plantation. The plantation was founded in 1681 by Major John Boone. It is still a working plantation and has been open to the public since 1956. It is a must see for those visiting Charleston. We spent five hours touring the site and our visit ended with a presentation of “Exploring the Gullah Culture”. The entrance to the planation known as the Avenue of the Oaks is breathtaking.
Another major war that had roots in Charleston was the Civil War. As I write this I am looking out my pilot house window at Fort Sumter. Hostilities began on April 12, 1861 when Confederate forces fired upon the fort. From that date until April 9, 1865 when General Robert E Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House over 600,000 individuals lost their lives. In total deaths the Civil War was the deadliest in US history. Charleston of course played a major role and saw much destruction from shelling.
The city itself has some of the most beautiful old homes I have ever seen. A walking tour and carriage ride are two great ways to see the neighborhoods. Many homes date to the 1700’s but due to the many wars, fires and natural disasters that have befallen Charleston each block is unique and may span over 100 years of architectural style.
In addition to the history the food of Charleston is superb. Tripadvisor lists nearly 600 places to eat. We picked a couple of them and the tuna appetizer below is just a sample of what you can get.
We are at the Charleston airport now waiting for our three legged trip to Rutland VT. From there we drive to Lake George for two weeks where both of our kids will join us.