Horses & Harley’s: Charleston, S.C.


We’ve just left a Saturday night outing to Charleston’s city market. As we unlocked our bicycles at a busy intersection, a pungeant horse-drawn carriage entered from one side while Harley motorcycles revved up from the other. Ah, the tapestry of America! So diverse!

This is where the Civil War began. The first shot was fired here, in the first state to secede from the Union — i.e., withdraw from the U.S. But this rather infamous history doesn’t dampen its energy or beauty. (Or smells! 😉 ) It certainly doesn’t deter the tourists. There were plenty of those, because Spring Break has begun and a cruise ship was in town. But they are mostly courteous and patient. (I forget sometimes that we are tourists, too. We’re different only because we do our touring by boat and bike.)

But we will remember Charleston most for the gusty winds and large ships that passed near our small marina, rocking Many Moons continually and keeping us here a 2nd night. (Nothing to complain about!) I will also remember it for the way we got here. We took a wrong turn and left the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). I hasten to add that Jeff was driving when this happened. 😉 I did give him some hints. “Jeff? We lost the Mile Markers. Have we left the ICW?” Five minutes later: “Jeff! How did Boomerang (a Looper boat that we were following for hours) end up behind us? Have we left the ICW??”

Some time later, he notices. “Oops! Looks like we got off the route!” He blamed it on a beautiful boat (62-foot Nordhavn) that caught his eye. To be fair, the narrow channel we accidentally bypassed was easy to miss if you weren’t watching carefully. And it was only a 20-minute detour. But I wasn’t about to let this pass without some razzing! Hehe. As you know by now if following this blog, we really have to keep our eyes on channel markers and navigation route in this nutty, curvy marshland waterway.

Arrival at Charleston was a bit jarring after our days of marshland meandering. What a busy harbor! And so beautiful. I’ve been here before but was eager to see it from the water. Our first task upon arrival was to pick up Jeff’s insulin supply from the nearby Walgreen’s. (He is a Type-1 diabetic, insulin-dependent, and manages it very well.) He had stocked up before we left Michigan but is beginning to run somewhat low. You can’t just walk into a drugstore and ask for it; it must be prearranged. This is another reason why planning ahead is necessary, even as we like to wing it at times.

Off to points north tomorrow, en route to another Beaufort — in North Carolina. Photos and captions follow.

Our friends on This Is It! took this pic of us just before we pulled out of Beaufort. That was just three days ago but it already feels like a week. One town turns into another….
Look who sped by us as we entered Charleston Harbor. I’m glad we’ve never needed a tow. (We know some who did.)
Battery Point in Charleston Harbor. I’ve walked this, but never saw it from the water.
Charleston Maritime Center, our home for two nights. Not many boats here now, but it will fill up next month.
My priority was to visit Fort Sumter, where Confederates fired the first shot of the Civil War. Since the fort is on an island, you get there by ferry. It was odd to be riding on someone else’s boat, like any other passenger!
A National Park Service ranger explains that the Union commander in charge of the fort was a friend of the Confederate commander who fired on it. Thus began a 4-year war that often pitted friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor. (I wonder why they call it a “civil” war?!) The South hung onto this fort through a 1.5-year siege by the North. Certainly determined!
As our ferry returned, guess who we saw approaching our marina? It’s Eleanor Grace! We had a fun reunion with them in Beaufort and enjoyed a few cocktails again here. We doubt we’ll see them again anytime soon, but who knows?
Nighttime view from our stern.
Boo was a little alarmed by the city noises during her evening walk – on a leash.
Our first stop in our exploration? Ice cream. Of course.
So many gorgeous homes here….
And gorgeous horses too. (This pair seemed to stop just for us at an intersection.)
The waterfront park.
The pineapple fountain. The pineapple is a symbol of the city. A local Looper couple brought us a fresh one as a “welcome-to-Charleston” gift. Sweet!
We saw several of these signs at waterfront fountains. An indicator of our risk-averse society, I think! (Can one really drown while wading? Maybe if you are an infant.)
We rarely take selfies. You can see why! We’re not very good at it.
A cruise ship came in overnight and tied up nearby. It rocked us about 3 a.m. and woke us both up.
Jeff tries his biking skills on a rocky street.
One wonders who lives in these grand homes. And do they use all those rooms?
We took our bikes down to Battery Point and ran into the stiff wind. This is why we stayed a 2nd night….
Africans were bought and sold at this former slave market in downtown Charleston. About 12 million Africans were shipped to the Americas over 400 years, but a fraction of that ended up in the U.S. Most were shipped to Brazil.
A cruise ship passes behind Many Moons, in lower left of this photo. See our bikes on the dock?
The USS Yorktown aircraft carrier/museum is behind the departing cruise ship.
Waiting for the next job…
The horse-drawn carriages work late. You can’t see the Harley motorcycles just in front of the horses.

3 thoughts on “Horses & Harley’s: Charleston, S.C.

    1. I should be using a compass and sextant, being a retired Navy officer! But no. GPS-enabled electronic navigation. (Two kinds. He preferred one and i prefer the other. But when driving, we both use both of them. Different advantages.) On the inland rivers, we also looked at paper charts but they are cumbersome. Flip, flip, flip….

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