Monday, November 19, 2012

Charleston, South Carolina

Architectural gem in Charleston

     Charleston, South Carolina exudes a certain quintessential southern charm. People are polite well mannered and friendly. Restaurants featuring traditional low country cuisine are virtually on every corner. In my opinion, it is one of the must see stops along the ICW.

An array of architectural styles from Georgian, to Federal, Italianate and Greek Revival mansions line the waterfront in the battery section of town. Along the side streets most of the private homes were built in a style that is characteristic to Charleston called the Charleston Single House. Some of these homes date back to the 1720's. The houses are one room wide and usually two rooms deep. They have two piazzas facing sideways with the gabled section of the house facing the street. The door on the street leads onto the porch instead of into the house. Strolling along Charleston's side streets and taking in these lovely southern homes is a delightful way to spend an afternoon.

      Prior to our arrival in Charleston we'd overheard other boaters reserving dock space in Charleston Harbor. Joe called ahead to reserve space in a marina for a couple of days. As usual, weather changes were looming and the forecast called for high winds, accompanied by rain and a 20 degree drop in temperatures. Normal high temperatures at this time of year are in the low 70's. Anchoring out in the forecast conditions seemed extreme and it would be a treat to be in at a marina. Joe reserved a spot at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina which is located across the Cooper River from the historic part of town. The marina provided a free shuttle ride to town and a water taxi. One negative aspect of staying in any marina in this part of the south is the presence of strong current. We'd hoped to arrive at slack tide which we did. Slack tide in Charleston is difficult to time due to its short time span of approximately 5 minutes. After that period of time the current picks up dramatically and can make docking or undocking very challenging even for the most experienced yachtsman.

With Simple Life secured safely at the dock we boarded the water taxi into town. The mate on the water taxi was most helpful and suggested a few places for cocktails and dining. Our favorite restaurant from our previous visit was Poogan's Porch. It had fireplaces in each of the cozy dining rooms and the menu featured traditional low country cuisine.

     Prior to our arrival at Poogan's Porch Joe wanted to try some of the special blends of whiskey served at a pub called Husk which was one of the mates suggestions, it was next door to Poogan's Porch. When we picked up the tab from our Husk experience I'm certain that "sticker shock" was written on our faces. I don't think they know the meaning of happy hour. Our dining experience at Poogan's Porch was wonderful as expected. I ordered shrimp and grits and Joe ordered Calabash style shrimp.

Our stay in Charleston was marred by a cold front that brought rain, wind and high seas. Small craft warnings were posted in Charleston harbor and it was an unreasonable plan traveling offshore or even move further down the ICW.
We planned our next move while waiting for better weather. Beaufort, South Carolina, another favorite southern town would be our next port of call.