Charleston, South Carolina and on to Brunswick, Georgia



We left the Georgetown area at dawn via the Winyah cut and sailed for Charlestown. This was our first outside passage since entering North Carolina and Moorhead City.

Arriving in Charlestown after an easy day passage we chose to anchor for the night in the Ashley River in an area just south of where the Charlestown City Mega Dock Marina is located. We desperately needed laundry, foods, John’s beer and other essentials, as we had been unable to get ashore really since Morehead City.

The following morning we went into the marina and had a slip at the end of the mega dock. The dock is 1/3 of a mile long, getting to the laundry or bathrooms was a major trek. Our plan was to use the marina for a few days to stock up, do laundry and clean up the boat, after the ICW we needed all the facilities. We planned on just a few days in Charlestown and then sailing the outside to Brunswick, stopping at different places each night, but the weather kept us hostage there for 6 days.

Most of the days were sunny, but the winds were in the wrong direction for our sail south. A few days we had strong winds and massive thunderstorms during the afternoons and I was very thankful for the shelter of the marina.

We really saw a lot of Charleston, by foot of course, but after being dropped off where we wished, as the marina had a courtesy car/van. We would tell them where to drop us and then get a ride back from the Harris Teeter grocery store. When we arrived Harris Teeter was where the courtesy van dropped us to shop for groceries. Well, I had never been in one of these before, but quickly found what excellent produce, breads, cheeses and sushi they had for sale. So nearly everyday we met the van driver at the Harris Teeter grocery store for pick up and of course bought back sushi for dinner.

“Founded in 1670 Charleston is the oldest and largest city in South Carolina. It is known for its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses, particularly in the elegant French Quarter and Battery districts. The Battery promenade and Waterfront Park both overlook Charleston Harbor, while Fort Sumter, a federal stronghold where the first shots of the Civil War rang out, lies across the water.”

Our first day out in Charlestown we walked the entire historic King Street Antiques and fashion district, plus the French Quarter, starting at The Confederate Museum along Meeting Street to The Battery and then along East Bay Street to the Water park area. We explored the historic Market on Market Street, visited the Confederate Museum and really enjoyed the whole flavour of the city.

Another day we went to the Maritime Center and got a water taxi across the Cooper River to Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. There we spent the day exploring the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, destroyer USS Laffey, submarine USS Clamagore and the Vietnam display. John really enjoyed all the displays.

The aircraft carrier USS Yorktown is the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the USA. She played a significant role in the Pacific offensive in late 1943. The ship earned 11 battle stars for WW2 service. It carried a crew of 380 officers, 3,088 enlisted men and an air group of 90 planes. During the 1950s she was modified for jets and converted to an antisubmarine carrier. The Yorktown served in the Vietnam War and recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts. We visited every deck and every display. John was fascinated.

The destroyer USS Laffey was built in 1944 and decommissioned in 1975. Again we enjoyed the information and exploring the ship. I found the submarine USS Clamagore quite amazing, as it was so small and cramped inside. She was built in 1945 a few weeks before the end of WW2 and decommissioned in 1975.

Another visit was to the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon.

The building is South Carolina’s most historic building. Completed in 1771, the Exchange and Customs House was the economic, social and cultural center of the colony. The SC delegates to the First Continental Congress were elected there in 1774. The Declaration of Independence was presented to the citizen from the steps there. The Constitution was ratified in the Great Hall. George Washington entertained there in 1791 and the British used the cellar as a Provost prison during the American Revolution, plus pirates were imprisoned there in the early 1700s. Another interesting visit!

Yes, we enjoyed Charleston, loved the old architecture and atmosphere.


Our next stop was going to be Beaufort SC, then Savannah, but we got to the mouth of the river near Beaufort, a beautiful anchorage there, –  

and decided to sail through the next day and over night for Brunswick. Reason being there were hurricanes around, Irma being the main threat.

Our overnight passage was again one that will not be forgotten! We had very unexpected, not predicted squalls. The lightening was everywhere around us across the skies, striking down into the ocean, the thunder was banging and I was a nervous wreck. I had to abandon the cockpit and hide down below, poor John was left the whole night watch to tend to as the weather continued through the entire night. He told me how he had to watch the radar and try to avoid huge cells developing ahead and around us, they were just morphing all around! It was very tense and stressful for him he had never seen anything like it before.

Arriving in Brunswick we anchored off of Driftwood beach near the entrance and John slept. Later in the morning we moved to an anchorage near Morningstar Marina. This is a very sheltered peaceful anchorage close to Morningstar marina where they allow you to use their dingy dock in order to get ashore and get supplies. We went to the nearby Harris Teeter grocery and were once again able to get sushi. 

We decided to get into Brunswick Landing Marina ahead of time and ready for the fast approaching hurricane Irma and our trip home. And we were sooo relieved that we did….

We checked in and it soon became apparent that we needed to secure Aeeshah very well for the possibility of a hit or a near miss from Irma. This included all the canvas, jib, main sail, covers and everything on deck that could move. The forward cabin became the storage locker. I did take advantage of having every cover off and did any necessary sewing repairs, which meant it wouldn’t be a wasted effort if Myra gave us a wide berth.

We were/are very impressed with the marina   The dockage includes wifi, laundry, use of 2 clubhouses, beer on tap, wine different nights a week and many socials. The staff are excellent, other residents very friendly and helpful, – we had 5 offers of a car to borrow! The Brunswick area is handy with all the shops we needed and areas to ride our bikes. However with all the preparation we hardly had time to explore the area.

With the approaching hurricane we decided to hire a car as a get away plan. We were in a mandatory evacuation zone which actually means you are supposed to leave, but can stay. There was a curfew put in place from 6pm till 8am, if you were to leave the county you would not be allowed to return till government decreed it safe. So with those conditions in place we decided to stay with Aeeshah. We needed to be there in case the docks broke loose, floated above their restraints or incase another boat were to break loose and crash across to our dock. Also we had volunteered to watch our neighbour’s boat. So we had a car and as the area evacuated with little traffic on the streets we were able to get to the shops to buy what we needed, but do little else. There were about a dozen boats in the entire marina with people aboard, it was deserted.

The wind started the night of September 9th and blew through that day and the night of the 10th and morning of the 11th was particularly bad. The wind blew up to 84 knots (as recorded on our instruments), the boat was taking a beating, shaking and straining. Outside in the early hours of the morning there was a dreadful banging. Upon investigation John discovered that a boat across from us, (the only one not to take his jib down), the jib was unfurling and slamming back and forth. Its mast was literally bending in the gale.

Sooo John along with Don a neighbour braved the elements to try to secure the jib. John got wacked in the eye by a halyard with a cleat attached that had broken free on the rebel mast. It was not possible to secure the jib as the halyard had snapped/broken and so the jib was left. – By the morning it was a shredded mess and John had a nasty sore eye.

The water rose during the morning so that there was little room left on the supports for the floating docks. The water rose over the car park, the docks were higher than the land as the water flooded ashore, but finally it rose no more and settled somewhat and finally by day’s end started to drain. The next morning dawned a beautiful day!

During the drama of September 11th our daughter Christina, gave birth to her son, Quest in Bermuda. This was the baby that she had wanted forever, after so many lost, finally she had a baby boy, thus he was called Quest.

“Everything we experience—no matter how unpleasant—comes into our lives to teach us something.”

—  Iyanla Vanzant

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