Leaving Fort Pierce Florida, we made for the Gulf Stream, which added 2-3 knots to our speed. Three hundred fifty miles and 50 hours later after motor sailing with light winds and mostly calm seas, we were docked safely in Charleston. Enroute to the dock we motored passed Fort Sumter, the scene of the Civil War’s opening shots. This casual encounter with landmarks in our nation’s history was the first of many during our 8 days in the Charleston area.
Our chart plotter track from Florida to South Carolina shows our way north from south of “Vero,” our way point for Vero Beach Florida to “Chas,” our way point for the safe water mark for Charleston Harbor, 330 miles to the north. The slight bulge at the bottom of the track line marks where we headed east to avoid the unpleasant sea state caused by north winds hitting the opposing Gulf Stream.
An Albatross-eyed view of Fort Sumter, which we passed on our way in to Charleston. © Bob Krist/CORBIS.
Sumter from the water.
The downtown marina was full, so we stayed across the Harbor at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. The Marina offered free shuttles and an inexpensive water taxi to down town.
A walk down the street took us past John Rutledge’s House. Rutletge played major roles in South Carolina and U.S. history, as South Carolina Governor, signer of the Constitution and Chief Justice of South Carolina and the United States Supreme Courts.
The H.L. Hunley, in the shade behind Eulalie, was a hand-powered Confederate submarine. On February 17, 1864 it torpedoed and sank the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor becoming the first combat submarine to sink an enemy warship.
Another slice of civil war maritime history caught our attention as we walked back to the water taxi.
The Yorktown aircraft carrier is moored a short distance from the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. An unusual amount of unexplained activity prompted the ship’s curators to invite paranormal investigators to investigate the ship. On Memorial Day, we took the Yorktown Ghost Tour, a nighttime tour, that discusses these phenomena with careful respect for those who lost their lives aboard. For more information about these investigations see:
Colonial Charleston was renowned for its iron work, much of work remains today.
Charleston’s “pull” included whiskey and moonshine from the local micro distillery. It was our patriotic duty to partake, although in the future, the Captain will skip the Apple Pie Moonshine for her single malt.