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charleston

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Beautiful Charleston & Towboat Velocir

Charleston by Velocir

After spending time with family friends in Beaufort, SC, we are back to our trek northward.  Every day we are trying to get 40-60 miles (8-12 hour days).  We travel at about 5 mph.  This is a lot faster than the way down, where we did 15-25 mile days, mostly under sail which made us usually slower.

We spent a rainy but beautiful weekend walking around Charleston.  Some great food, a fun Farmer’s Market and sailboats racing in the harbour.  The town is just restaurants, clothing stores and houses so we took advantage of the fine cuisine with a night out for sushi!

Charleston by Velocir

We enjoyed walking through the city last fall, but we especially enjoyed it in the spring with all the flowers out.  We even stumbled upon the carriage houses of Charleston.  There were 4-5 of these large buildings full of horses and carriages.  One carriage looked like a Princess carriage and was all dressed up.

Charleston by Velocir

After two rainy days walking around town, we pulled up anchor on an equally rainy morning.  We had two anchors down, a bahamian moor, because of the current (to keep us from swinging a lot).  So, we pulled up our primary anchor first, fell back (down current) onto our secondary anchor and pulled it up.  Charleston harbor is pretty mucky!

towboat velocir

As we were heading out of the harbor we noticed a 40 foot Beneteau tacking back and forth under genoa sail alone.  They were trying to head up current with less than 5 knots of breeze.  Really, they were drifting backwards in the channel towards a bridge.

We realized their engine may not be working and they probably needed help.  Sure enough, they were in need of assistance so we offered them a tow.  They accepted so we readied our 120 foot long yellow 1” polypro line we tow our dinghy Raptor on.  We have never cut it short in case of a situation like this where we received or gave a tow.  Amelia led it to the winch for a strong hold, then threaded it back to the chock for a good lead.

Velocir  was much smaller than them and we hadn’t towed anyone before, but we went slow and it went smoothly.  Amelia tossed the line solidly, and they used the big looped end to secure it to their boat.

Grant maneuvered us across the channel over to Charleston City Marina, where two staff members were standing on a dock waiting for us.  As we got closer, a trawler started to motor out of the narrow channel between the piers. The two young dock staff told us a boat was coming out of the marina and to get out of its way. We were up current and under tow, so we stopped, radioed them and asked that they give us the right of way.  Actually, we kind of demanded it.

In the confusion of this, the boat we were towing decided they were close enough and let go.  We didn’t really make a judgment call on this decision and just went with it.  It was too early to let go.  They drifted in the current to the left dock instead of the right dock (picture above).  After making light contact with the sailboat on the left dock (people were onboard) another boat got it’s dinghy going and passed lines over to the right dock.  Within 10 minutes they were all tied up and secure.

However, Amelia would like to point out that she saw a Charleston City Marina runabout boat on several occasions during our time anchored nearby.  At no point did they attempt to assist in any way beyond having line handlers on the dock.  Maybe there is some liability reason, but it seemed odd, because they were in radio contact with the sailboat and aware of the situation but did nothing to help.

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Charleston: A Charming Old City

We had a wonderful sail to Charleston with a great breeze.  Our friends, Way Happy, did the trip with us and shared a couple great shots and video of Velocir.  Thanks Capt. K & Lala!

Velocir Sailing in Charleston

Wing on Wing in Charleston Harbor- (Wing on Wing is what it’s called when the main and genoa sails are on separate sides of the boat)

Velocir Sailing in Charleston

Spinnaker sailing in the canal with the current helping us!  We are going about 7 kts here which is super fast for us.

We didn’t know if we would make it Charleston so quickly.  But with the wind and current helping us it was easy.  We’ve anchored close to shore and are excited to go exploring in a place with such a rich history, beautiful buildings and warm weather.

Charleston by Velocir

First we looked online for a self-guided walking tour, not wanting to spend a lot seeing the city.  It seems as if they don’t exist.  Perhaps purposeful, as Charleston is big on its over 20 varieties of walking tours.  Still, we found just walking around was enough to keep us interested and learning.

Charleston by Velocir

Every street was so interesting we kept walking around every corner.  This shrubbery on the staircase was popular.  I think we saw everything in the end, and there were plenty of plaques to read on buildings.

Charleston by Velocir

They call Charleston the Holy City, maybe because it is filled with churches and steeples on every block?  Very beautiful, and we explored some of the cemeteries.  There were a lot of people here named Susan in the 19th century.

Charleston by Velocir

On Thursday we went out to eat!  Our rule, “One Date Per State” had to fall in Charleston.  A college and tourist town, they have a little bit of everything.  We chose a restaurant called “Virginia’s on King” (King being the main street) for their great reviews on southern cajun inspired food.  There is a lot of reference to the “Lowcountry” here, and their star dishes were Fried Green Tomatoes (above), She-Crab Soup, Shrimp and Grits and Chicken and Dumplings (below).

Charleston by Velocir

All were amazing!  It’s fun to go out for a meal when it’s something we couldn’t really make on the boat.  And I’m not attempting the delicious Fried Green Tomatoes anytime soon.

Charleston by Velocir

Walking all over the place we saw so many cool buildings.  The lots and houses here are huge for a city.  In this historic area, there is no clutter of office buildings and high-rises, making it so charming. (Also, we would like to mention that there are a million female 20 something joggers here.  Constantly!!  All women here wear jogging outfits and/or jog.  The men not so much.)

Charleston by Velocir

As we travel we also keep a working list of places we might like to live.  So far we are adding places including Charleston, SC and Beaufort, NC since the voyage began.  This is in addition to a dozen other places.  We look forward to the Farmer’s Market in Marion Square on Saturday and then off southward!

Charleston by Velocir

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