We stayed a week in Charleston and, after 4 nights at anchor, were able to move into the Maritime Centre (civic marina) for the final 3 which was a bonus. Our time ashore whilst out in the anchorage was limited by the bitter cold on all but one day and we were also extremely anxious about lifting our anchor when we wanted to move on. The area is notorious for “fouling” anchors and we watched a neighbouring boat try unsuccessfully to raise theirs. They ended up having to cut themselves free and buy another anchor (which would have been very expensive for us). Whilst divers were out trying to free others from the mess on the bottom, we managed to lift our anchor easily.
Charleston is as gorgeous as the guide books say and we loved strolling down the streets of beautiful old houses with their graceful porches. Many have plaques outside with the history of the house and owners, which adds to the interest and no two are the same. We also visited the Charleston Museum and found the information on the history of rice growing in the area the most interesting. The Carolina coast is known as the “low country” and its great wealth in the days of slavery was derived from rice and indigo. Working on a malarial ridden rice plantation sounded particularly grim and all those grand homes were built on the sweat of the slaves, needless to say. We also discovered that this area is the original source of “Sea Island Cotton” – D has had shirts made of this and it is wonderful, almost silk-like, and we had often wondered where the “sea islands” were. Now we know.
Charleston is a happening place in culinary terms apparently and we certainly had several excellent meals whilst there and especially to celebrate skipper’s birthday on the 19th. It made us feel a bit more charitable towards eating out in the US which hasn’t inspired us much in the past!
A selection of Charleston homes: