Charleston and Patriots Point

If you are in the Charleston area, be sure and visit Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.   You will find the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, USS Laffey Destroyer battle ship, and USS Clamagore submarine. As part of your very reasonably priced ticket, you can also tour a Vietnam Experience along the shoreline.   It took most of the day to go through the exhibits, and we still did not see it all.   Our dock was right next to the aircraft carrier, so we could see Sanctuary from the deck of the ship. A big THANK YOU to all our military personnel—those who’ve gone before us and those who serve us now! We owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

There is a lot to see and visit in the downtown Charleston area.   The area is rich with restored old houses and buildings for very interesting architecture tours.   We met with some other loopers (Captain’s Choice and Panacea) and took an educational, fun carriage ride through the city.  Our driver’s name was Joshua and his horse was named Samson, the largest horse in the fleet. After our carriage tour, we gathered at very popular Henry’s Seafood & Jazz on the Market for a tasty lunch and time to chit-chat.  We saw some scary loopers on the stairway, but did not see the ghost that is reported to hang out there. Later, we were invited to St. John’s Marina for docktails with Kim Russo, Director of AGLCA (America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association). It was good to greet loopers we met from the past and some we’ve recently connected.

The Charleston College Sailing School is next to Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, the marina we stayed at.  Every day we saw small racers head out for training and then sail back in right past Sanctuary. A convenient marina to both the naval museum, the sailing school, and gift shop.

From our deck we watched cruise ships, container ships, local sailing yachts, and much more as they traveled through Charleston Harbor. Dolphins also loved to frolic inside and outside of the long exterior dock where we were tied.

 

Submarine USS Clamagore

 

Aircraft Carrier USS Yorktown

 

Destroyer USS Laffey

 

Patriots Point Vietnam Experience

 

Carriage Ride Through City

 

Charleston Harbor

 

Sanctuary in Charleston

 

Loopers meet at St Johns Marina near Charleston

 

 

Bridge at Charleston

 

Beaufort South Carolina, Friends Visit, and Where is the Basement?


The next stop planned: to stay a couple days in beautiful Beaufort South Carolina, which is pronounced like beautiful not like the word bow.  The town of Beaufort in North Carolina is pronounced like bow, so its beau-fort SC and bow-fort NC even though they are spelled the same.  The tide changes are still strange to us. They can range up to 8 feet in these parts. Most docks are floating docks which allow boat lines to rise and fall with the changing tide levels otherwise they would need to be adjusted periodically throughout the day.

Rob and Bonnie Hess, friends from Erie PA, were visiting one of their sons (wife and grandkids) in Florida, so we planned a rendezvous with them on their return trip north.   We walked around Beaufort investigating the old southern mansions, very old churches, and then had dinner at Luther’s which had a special of ½ price burgers.  Later that night, thunderstorms and possible tornadoes were predicted.   When there was a tornado warning issued, everyone asked where our basement was located.  I told them it was the engine room. Not everyone thought that was a good idea.   As it turned out, there was heavy rain and lots of wind but not any severe weather in our area. Good thing because 4 adults in the basement (a.k.a. engine room) would be mighty crowded!

There is a nice book store in Beaufort (The Beaufort Bookstore), where Teresa spent a lot of time hanging out. The first time her friend Joan from Panache went with her. When Bonnie came to town, of course she had to introduce her to the bookstore and owner.

If you are in Beaufort at breakfast time, be sure and visit Blackstone’s. They have wonderful food and personalized service.   Steve ordered Cajun shrimp and grits which tasted fantastic.   They have a tradition every day at 8:00 AM when they recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag.  They call out to everyone and ask them to stand for the pledge.  The staff then leads everyone in reciting the pledge.  One day a week a local pastor come in and delivers a prayer after the pledge.

On Friday, Beaufort hosted an art walk.   They offered free snacks and beverages which naturally attracts the attention of loopers.   A bunch of the loopers at the marina, and from the marina from the other side of the bay, gathered together for the art walk.  It was fun looking at the art while touring and talking with other loopers (Bucket List, Captain’s Choice, Panache, and Tranquilly III). We even bought a couple of small pieces for home—one features a dolphin and the other a shrimp boat.

The morning we planned to leave was the beginning of a Red Fish Fishing Tournament.  It was a good thing we planned to be up early because all the activity would have everyone awake anyway.  They had count downs, singing national anthem, announcements and lot of fishing boats.

Our next stop is Charleston where there is a lot to do and see, so Charleston will be in the next blog posting.

Houses of Beaufort SC

In the South Carolina area the tides are 7′ to 8′, meaning the water level change can be very dramatic. and some of the currents caused by the tides are very strong.  Here is an example from the marina.  The shells on the pilings are below water at high tide and about 7′ of them exposed at high tide.

Tides

 

Churches of Beaufort SC

Loopers visit art walk in Beaufort SC

 

Book Store

Beaufort Marina

 

 

The girls got to go shopping

 

Dramatic Coast Guard greeting and another lighthouse with a lot of steps

Fernandina Harbor Marina was hit hard by Hurricane Mathew last year.  They are still working to recover from that and have only recently partially opened. The docks and facilities still need a lot of work.   They had an open t-dock available for us to stay on allowing us to visit the town and area.   The town is full of shops and eateries housed in the old buildings that have been updated inside.  The historic look of the streets and store fronts remained preserved.  We rented a car there because it was time to take Karen (Teresa’s sister) to the airport in Jacksonville.  We took a ride over to the beach on the Atlantic and watched surfers trying to catch the best big wave.

After dropping Karen off in Jacksonville, we continued to travel north along the ICW.  Soon after leaving Fernandina, we crossed the line from Florida into Georgia.  It took a long time to get around Florida since we first entered Florida in November of last year.  As soon as we entered Georgia, we were greeted by a large Coast Guard Flotilla.  They were well equipped with guns on many of the boats. One came up next to us and told us to keep over to the starboard side of the channel hugging the red markers.  They told us they were doing a training exercise.

We stopped at Jekyll Island Marina, the smallest of the Golden Isles of Georgia.  Jekyll Island was a winter retreat for Millionaires’ Club 1888-1942.  The most powerful American financiers chose the Island where they could relax and play in undisturbed isolation. You’ll recognize famous people who stayed on the island including the Rockefellers, Macy, J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, Sears, and Vanderbilt—just to name a few. If you’d like to read more about this winter refuge, I’d highly recommend reading “Splendid Isolation, The Jekyll Island Millionaires’ Club 1888-1942,” by Pamela Bauer Mueller.

Today, the Jekyll Island Club Resort has a large hotel with beautiful grounds.  Reminds us a bit of a mini Grand Hotel area on Mackinac Island, Michigan. There is a community of restored cottages on the grounds of the resort open to tour.   On the other side of the island is Driftwood Beach.   This is a very unique and photo rich location.  Driftwood beach is on the north east side of the island so storms and waves batter the trees along that coast.   When the tide goes out, there is a large area with huge trees on the beach.  The weathered and worn limbs/roots of the trees creates an unusual scene. People set up their beach blankets, umbrellas, and coolers among the random scattering of weathered trees and roots. It’s rather comical to see hats and wet towels hanging on extended branches. We walked the beach a couple of times marveling at the scene and taking pictures.

Our next stop was an anchorage on Walburg Creek. We spent a quiet night anchored there traveling the next morning to Isle of Hope.  We will spend a couple days at Isle of Hope Marina and visit Savannah from there.   The first day we took an Uber ride to the downtown Savannah water front.   We toured the water front area and some of the shopping districts up away from the waterfront.   As we were walking along the shopping district, we were surprised to see Phil and Mary (boaters from our LYH home marina in Michigan).  There is a lot to see and do in Savannah, and we sampled a small portion.

We used the marina courtesy car the next day to tour Tybee Island Light House climbing 178 steps to the top for a wide open view of the area.  The light is still functional utilizing a first order Fresnel lens which projects out 18 miles into the ocean. The tour also includes the museum housed in Fort Screven’s Battery Garland across the street.

We planned to leave Isle of Hope this morning, since storms were predicted, we stayed for another day.  The storms were uneventful here yielding a lot of wind and heavy rain (at least so far.)

The next planned stop is Beaufort South Carolina.

 

 

Scenes from Fernandina

 

Sisters on Sanctuary

 

 

Saying good bye in Jacksonville

 

Coast Guard Flotila

 

 

Driftwood Beach

 

Greeting at Jekyll Island for Sanctuary

 

Sanctuary at Jekyll Island Marina

 

 

 

Shrimp Boat anchored in Walburg Creek

 

Sunset in Walburg Creek Anchorage

 

 

 

 

Scenes from Savannah

 

Tybee Island Light Station and Museum

 

 

Isle of Hope

 

 

Sanctuary Sunrise at Isle of Hope