Charleston, South Carolina


Charleston Curmudgeon here. I’m not a fan of boating in Charleston. The anchorage is crowded, and after you’ve squeezed yourself into a very marginal spot, power boats use the anchorage as a short cut. 3 knot reversing currents add to the fun. Grumpy Captain reports indicate that many have fouled their anchor and never seen it again, lost to the murky, nasty torrent that is the Ashley River. Oh, did I mention that the water is brown and murky? Yes, I’m a little bit spoiled. We spent one night on the hook here and we did all survive (including our trusty Rocna anchor).
On the hook in Charleston
<<Since the anchoring options in Charleston aren't great, docking is a better option to see the city. The absolute closest marina to downtown is the Charleston Maritime Center, just a few blocks north of Market Street and very near a grocery store. The marina itself isn’t much to write about but if your goal is to be close by the city it’s the place. 

Charleston Maritime Center (our dinghy in the right corner)
The next best option would be the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina which lies across the Cooper River from Charleston but has water taxi service into the city. The marina is the location of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier and a Navy submarine which are open for tours. 

Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
The most popular marinas are on Ashley River on the other side of town, which is either a long hike (we were here in summer!) or getting on the free trolley. Because we were leaving the boat for awhile to drive out West, we opted for the cheaper Cooper River Marina 3 miles north of downtown on the (you guessed it!) Cooper River. Cooper River is a large country operated facility with transient docks and nice facilities. The downside is that it is very far from anything, but we did manage the 3 mile dinghy ride to downtown once (it was nearly the death of us, but that’s another story!).>>
Cooper River Marina from Independence
Saltwater Marshes surround Cooper River Marina
Non-stop container ship traffic on the Cooper River. We got some pretty hefty wakes!
Research Vessel, Ravenel Bridge, Rainbow (It was either raining or 110 degrees in Charleston)

Playing Tourist

Land side, Charleston is a pretty and vibrant city, with death marches to suit all tastes. I have some humans in genetic proximity to me that self-reportedly prefer death to walking, history, and nature. What’s on the plan today? Some nature and history walks! Maybe the ghost tour will be OK? Nope, thats a walking history tour! 

In Charleston, you can do death by churches, death by ghosts, death by plantations, death by carriage tours, death by shap-shap-shapping, death by eating, or death by submarines. The least maligned tour was the ghost tour, since it featured other people on their own self-inflicted death marches.  

Pineapple Fountain
Hastings enjoyed the carriage tour. Much better to make a different beast walk around in the heat!
Myrtle Tree, Charleston
We can always find the wine and cheese store!

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  1. I totally agree: Charleston is great to visit by land, but tricky by water. I don't care much for death stuff, though, I'll get to experience that long enough in the future. Looks like you guys had a great time on shore. Blue skies... hot to walk in, but nice in the photos. So, you guys are back east again now?

    1. Yes, nice photos beat out a little heat - the heat lasts for a day, but the photos forever! Yes, the blog was about a month behind, and now it's only 2 weeks behind. Currently, we are in Orcracoke Island, Outer Banks, NC. Our FB page is a little more current https://www.facebook.com/boatlifelarks/?fref=nf. Starting Sunday, I'm posting everyday about the ICW until we catch ourselves up!

  2. I've never been to Charleston which is kind of sad because one of my sisters lives there now (on the Ashley River). I hope to get there before we leave for the UK, but I'll make sure we do the trip in the spring or fall -- the summer heat sounds rugged.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    1. It's a great town to walk in - so it would definitely be nice to do in more walk friendly weather!

  3. Hastings can definitely sniff out a cheese store, can't he. The wine is just to draw you in so that you'll buy him some cheese, isn't it :-)


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