Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Becharmed in Charleston

Joe checking the iPad for a
second opinion
With all the effort required getting from one anchorage to another aboard a sailboat having a few days of shore leave comes as a welcomed diversion. For a change, instead of being concerned with weather, currents and tides we're able to focus our attention toward what's happening musically, and gastronomically in our new port of call.

A typical anchorage in a South Carolina marsh
near Charleston, SC

An eagle eyes us as we travel the marsh

Waiting for a table at Hominy Grille, Charleston, SC
     Charleston is one of our favorite stops and it is one of the east coast's most beautiful and historic ports. Offshore cruising vessels use its wide inlet seeking respite from long offshore passages and southbound cruisers traveling the ICW route often enjoy a stop here, too.


Another favorite restaurant is Pearlz
(photo at the bar by Joe Boulay)
     Now that we've entered shrimp country I've changed my food of choice from crab to this local delicacy. Charleston's southern cuisine is one of several reasons we stop here each year. This town has overwhelmingly succeeded in putting shrimp and grits on the mainstream map. I've managed to sample this dish in almost every well known restaurant in the city. My favorite culinary preparation of this low country favorite is featured at Amen Street. I ordered the shrimp and grits at Hominy Grille during our recent visit and it was good, but it didn't have the savory spiciness of Amen Street's version.


Young artist discussing his work
at the farmer's market 

Jazz musicians having a blast at the farmer's market!

Choosing the best veggies is hard work
    There's always a multitude of events happening on any given day in Charleston. The farmers market held each Saturday in Marion Square is a delight for the eyes, ears and appetite. I look forward to buying veggies that are local and in season. It's fun to have a chat with the growers too. Local vendors offer food samples of their unique products which range from organic pickles and cheeses to pecans and pastries. Last Saturday a fantastic, young jazz ensemble performed from 8:00-2:00 PM. It was nice to sit and enjoy a few tunes after all that shopping.

     Even though it has been unusually warm this season cooler weather is certainly on its way. Because of this we try to keep on the move south taking a couple of days off after five or six days of travel. It's a slow progression but one that gives us the opportunity to visit interesting port cities like Charleston year after year. It sometimes seems we're getting so familiar with them that they're beginning to feel more and more like home!

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