Here it is Monday, and we've been anchored in Charleston since Friday morning. After the overnighter we needed a few days to recover, and it has been nice to see another historic town.
We have met a few interesting fellow cruisers here in Charleston. The first was a single guy named Dan who is single handedly sailing his 35 foot boat north. He started in California, and cruised all the way down through the Panama Canal. From his stories I get the impression that he's quite the ladies man and picked up someone in every port. I guess this lifestyle has something for everybody... anyway...
Andy took the dogs to shore in our dinghy, and ran out of gas...putt...putt...sputter...sputter... and the current dragged him to our neighbouring boat where he enlisted the help of a really nice young couple named Patrick and Bessie. They gave him some gas and Patrick hopped aboard our dinghy with his little electric engine so Andy could come back to our boat for oil to add to the gas. The ice was broken, and we have seen a lot of Patrick and Bessie since then. They have come ashore with us several times, towed by our newly fueled motor, as their electric can barely beat the current. They joined us for dinner and drinks on Sassy II one night, and came ashore to explore downtown Charleston with us yesterday afternoon. Very nice couple, we're going to start the next leg of our journey together this evening.
The third boater we met here in Charleston was quite a character! We were down below and heard someone coming up to the boat. I stepped out into the cockpit with Henry and saw a man rowing madly against the current in his little wooden rowboat with mismatched paddles. He said, "Parlez vouz Francais?" His face fell when I said no, and he went on in very broken English to tell me that he saw our Canadian Flag and hoped to find French Canadians on board. Andy came above deck and his French being only slightly better than mine, managed to have an entertaining conversation with this gentleman in mixed English, French and charades! This wild haired frenchman was here from France, cruising with his Viatnamese wife and two children. He told us that his wife did not enjoy cruising. Very happy-go-lucky fellow. I'm sure we would have enjoyed more of his company were it not for the language barrier.
Charleston itself is a very nice town, at least from what we have seen of it. We took a free shuttle bus from the marina to downtown with Patrick and Bessie and spent the day walking many blocks in search of Happy Hour specials. We ended our expedition at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, a touristy restaurant built around a Forrest Gump theme. After many pints of beer and a whole lot of walking in the sun, we were picked up again by the shuttle and made our way back to the boat for a quiet evening. The buildings in downtown Charleston are very old and quite grand.
Today we are having a quiet day in preparation for the next leg of the journey. We plan to head out tonight to go off shore from Charleston to Southport. We are going to start out after Henry goes to bed to avoid the trouble we had on the trip here. Charleston to Southport is about 160 miles in total off shore, and about 300 in the ICW so another overnighter seemed like the sensible way to go. Wish us luck!!