30 Nov – 05 Dec 2013: Charleston , South Carolina – 32 46N 79 57W
We left Beaufort, North Carolina on the slack tide (we have got wise during our time in the USA), poled out the headsail and staysail and headed off downwind for our overnight passage southwest. It really didn’t feel right having the sun dipping on our bow at dusk, we did really want to be heading southeast to the Bahamas, not west southwest to Charleston.
But the weather windows to leave south from Beaufort just weren’t appearing – so Charleston, South Carolina it was. The passage was uneventful, the winds eased right off early afternoon on day two, we rolled away the sails and motored the last few hours so we would arrive with favourable tide and in daylight. We made our way up the river and dropped anchor next to Koza and Cristata with a few minutes daylight to spare.
We only spent a few nights in this charming spot, but had time to wander all the backstreets and appreciate the extensive variety of architecture in this compact historical city. There are block after block of beautiful old homes of nearly every design imaginable, most in immaculate condition. The streets are heavily lined with trees - palms and deciduous planted side by side, all looking like this is where they belong. What really struck us here was the diversity of architecture, vegetation and climate, such a blend working together to create quite a unique city.
We were lucky enough to time our visit to view the excellent variation of festive dress
Light southerly winds were settling in for a few days and although winds ”on the nose” were by no means an ideal forecast to leave in they would be in sync with the Gulf Stream and it was likely to be the best we might get for sometime. We would have been happy to use them to make our way further south to Florida but our 6 month tourist visas were close to expiring so our only choice was to leave the country.
We did yet another run to West Marine and the excellent Harris Teeter Supermarket by bus, the first time ever we have both been asked if we were “seniors”, I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry!! Fridges and lockers were now groaning at the seams, extra provisions were stowed in all manner of spots, fuel and water tanks were topped up yet again - Balvenie was full to overflowing and this time we were finally leaving “the land of stuff”.
We lifted anchor on a warm sunny morning, took the tide out of the river, raised the full main and rolled out the headsail.
Heading South Until the Butter Melts