Charleston Maritime Center, Charleston SC
Position: 32 47.344N, 79 55.459W
Posted by Bill
We were off to an early start to make sure we caught as much tide as we could and headed toward Charleston. As I mentioned in previous posts, this section of the ICW is considered the worst from a shoaling perspective. The intended maintenance of the ICW was to maintain a depth of 12 feet, Mean Low Water (MLW). This is nautical chart speak for saying “it will be around 12 feet deep at an average low tide”. As we traversed this section we saw MLW depths of 3.5 feet (the actual depths were 9 feet). Our boat needs 5.5 feet, so you can understand why we needed to time the tide.
We went through the Ben Sawyer Swing Bridge…
…and into Charleston Harbor.
The first area you pass is Patriots Point which has a big marina and the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier:
You can pay to take a tour of the ship and it looked like it would be cool to do. Maybe we will!
The view of Charleston from the harbor:
The Ravenel Bridge connects Charleston to Mount Pleasent across the Cooper River. It is impressive:
We were in the main shipping channel and this massive container ship came around the bend:
The channel didn’t seem wide enough! I just can’t describe how massive these are when you are right next to them. Needless to say…I gave him a wide berth.
As we pulled in to the Charleston Maritime Center to dock, we pulled right next to our old/new friends on Paperbird. This marina is in a great location and you can walk to grocery stores, hardware stores, galleries, tourist attractions, restaurants and bars. It is amazing how vibrant Charleston is. The streets were packed with people and the number of restaurants and bars begs the question of how can they all stay in business? But every place was packed. Here is a view of King Street:
I was glad I wasn’t driving. The traffic sucked!
We went to the farmer’s market:
Then took a tour of the Charleston Distillery:
We learned how they make vodka, gin and whiskey here, and then enjoyed tasting samples.
We ate lunch and walked around all afternoon, hitting the grocery and hardware store on the way back. Greg and Lyn on Paperbird asked us to join them for dinner, so we walked and tried to get into one of the highly acclaimed restaurants called Husk. It was too long of a wait so we went next door to Poogan’s Porch. The food was very good and we had a good time getting to know Greg and Lyn.