Dateline Charleston, SC: First order of business is to clarify that even though we are back in the US and closer to our old stomping grounds, we are not done with this adventure yet. One of our original goals had been to sail back to the NY area to meet up with family and friends, and we are very excited to be doing that. But it is not the end of this journey. I think when that time comes we will just feel it and it is not here yet. So, we are taking this opportunity to visit favorite places and, perhaps more exciting, to visit parts of the US one or both of us have never seen. We may be domestic, but many places are still foreign to us.
Another benefit is that family and friends are closer at hand for quick visits. They aren’t burdened with trying to cram their week’s vacation into our wildly unpredictable schedule. Pete’s brother Matt was first to arrive for a 4th of July/Brothers Malloy visit during our stop in Charleston, SC.
Returning crewmember Chris was able to bring his whole family, giving us the chance to meet our new niece Sophia.
We even caught back up again with fellow cruisers Rob and Rose, who we’ve sailed off and on with since Pacific Mexico.
We arrived in Charleston to a harbor buzzing with Coast Guard and police boats. We later learned it was security for President Obama who was giving the eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of 5 church members shot to death at the Emanuel A.M.E. church.
It was truly inspirational to see the families and the city of Charleston rising above and forgiving, persevering and seeking light from such a dark and repulsive act.
Charleston is dripping with charm and history and bacon fat (the food is delicious but geez have they met a dish they haven’t merged with a pig part). Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t let that stop us and we ate and ate and ate. Hell, who doesn’t love a homemade biscuit or eating catfish for breakfast?
You know how I know I’m getting older, no not that it is harder to lose weight from all those biscuits or recover from a hangover, it is I’m going on a walking tour or taking a corny carriage ride and, gasp, enjoying it.
Where once I scoffed at guides leading me around with a group of other camera toting gawkers, I now find them a perfect way to get the lay of the land and god forbid learn a thing or two. Afterwards we can tackle the city on our own, seeing it at our pace and once again being too cool for guide books. Humidity be damned, we walked and walked (remember we ate a lot of biscuits) soaking in the gorgeous architecture, landscapes and everything else the low country had to offer.
Southern hospitality wasn’t just for us, Charleston is one of the dog friendliest towns we’ve been to and Lucy was welcomed almost everywhere we went.
But it’s not only about horses and dogs, we had another raccoon incident. This little guy somehow found his way onto the our dock, and was caught by Lucy actually trying to climb up our water hose to get on the boat. Since the dock is long and far from the shore, he was certainly not where he belonged.
The marina called the critter catcher who scooped him up and we were sad because we know where wayward raccoons go (and not to a big farm out in the country). But we later saw some commotion on the dock and heard that the little guy opened his cage and got out. But not to be deterred, the critter catcher caught him again. However, this guy was determined and once again opened his cage and escaped. This time he scampered into the marsh and the catcher said he would not go after him a third time. So here’s to a determined little guy. May he live long and prosper.
Note to cruisers: The Charleston City Marina was full of some of the most helpful folks we’ve met. They welcomed us and Lucy with open arms and dog biscuits. They provide a free shuttle service into town yet it is walkable if desired. If you are in the anchorage it is a quick dinghy ride to the marina’s dinghy dock. If you do go into the marina and they assign you to the Megadock be sure to request the inside. When those summer storms roll in the boats tied to the outside were getting tossed around like corks.