Three days in Charleston

Date                Sunday 22 April 2012

 

I think that I must have lost the plot!  Any sensible person having been up for the better part of 24 hours would have gone to sleep.  I decided to give the deck a really good scrub and clean.  It must have been the novelty of an abundant free source of water or something.  Suffice it to say that we have a sparkly deck and after a bottle of bubbles to celebrate something or other and a good barbeque I slept very soundly.  The Mate said that I did not snore too badly – she is prone to exaggeration in these matters; it cannot have been that bad I did not wake myself up.

 

 

We are on the inside of the “Megadock”, and it is just that.

 

Saturday 1030 we had an appointment at the Customs House to apply for and have issued a new 12 month cruising permit for the USA.  Bicycles to the fore we set off.  In good cycling fashion I vaguely measured the distance on the chart and saw 1.5nm.  Surprise, the satnav said 3.5 miles right across the city centre.  Good for sight seeing.  Well we made it, fought our way through the port security and arrived on time.  30 minutes later and not too bruised we emerged with the necessary piece of paper.  The CBP officer again was charming and helpful.

 

A more leisurely return journey allowed us to take in some of the sights of downtown Charleston.  It is a mix of beautifully preserved houses and grand public buildings.  Despite the four year siege of Fort Sumter the city was spared major bombardment during the Civil War and thus preserves a wonderful collection of ante-bellum buildings.

 

 

The old customs house is a fine example of the grand buildings.

 

 

Our return journey also took us along the Battery sea wall which would have given a great view over the harbour and the racing if it had not come on to rain.

 

 

The bicycles once again have proved their worth, even if only used for getting around and out of the marina which is quite a distance.  Parts of the city are busy but there are lots of quiet side streets and broad cycle friendly pavements.

 

I was particularly taken by this wonderful for the “cannot be too careful” brigade.  Think ‘Bay Watch’.  Notwithstanding that, it is a wonderful fountain.

 

 

Berthed just behind us in the marina is the Joint Services Adventure Sail Training Centre yacht ‘Discoverer of Hornet’, an ex BT Global Challenge 60 now owned by the Armed Forces.  This is on an around the Atlantic sail training exercise with regular crew changes to provide the maximum number of service people with the experience.  The crew that we met had sailed from Key West via Miami and Fort Lauderdale and were changing over at Charleston with the next crew sailing to Norfolk, Annapolis and New York.  From New York the yacht will be going via Halifax, Greenland, Iceland and back to the UK; sounds cold but good for the young chaps, what!

 

 

 

Not to labour the point, the yacht carries this badge.

 

 

I first sailed from the JSATC, then the JSSC in 1973 and was one of their very early yacht master instructors.  It makes me feel ancient; denials to this statement to be forwarded to me written on a £10 ($20) note please.