Blue Turtle Cruising

Big ships, broken AC and breakdancing in Charleston, South Carolina

After we left Beaufort, we headed north to Charleston, South Carolina. We had roughly 62 nautical miles to go and since the Wapoo Creek Bridge near Charleston was closed from 4 to 6:30 pm (about the time we would be arriving) we decided to anchor out for the night at Sylvan Shores just 10 miles from Charleston. The next morning, we navigated the bridge opening and headed through Charleston Harbor to Charleston Maritime Marina.

We knew we definitely wanted to stop in Charleston, but it was difficult finding a decent anchorage. The harbor is quite busy with huge container ships, cruise ships and tour boats as well as recreational vessels. Many of the anchorages had complaints about being very rough and having old bridge rubble in the water that anchors would grab onto. We decided not to chance it and decided a marina was our best bet, especially since we needed to have our aft cabin air conditioner serviced. This would be only the second time we stayed in a marina since we left 2 months ago.

We arrived at the marina and were guided into our slip by very helpful marina staff. Once checked in, I decided to do some laundry (free laundry!) while we waited on the AC repair person to arrive. Our aft cabin (where we sleep) air conditioner hasn’t worked since we were in Marineland Marina at the end of May. We’ve only used it twice since we left but temps were starting to climb and we wanted to be able to use it if needed. The repair woman came and took a look and determined that the unit is TOAST. This means we need to replace it. This won’t be an easy task since it sits under our bed, under our steering cables. The unit is no longer made which means we have to find a replacement that fits very specific specs. (UPDATE: It’s almost a month later now and Randy is still researching options). Did I mention there was a heat wave while we were in Charleston? Thankfully, we could still use the main cabin AC during the warmest part of the day.

After the news of the AC unit being toast, we decided to head into town to drown our sorrows with some tacos and tequila. Afterward, we took in the sights. Charleston, the largest city in South Carolina, is known for its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, charming historic district and Revolutionary and Civil war battle sites. There are so many things to do in Charleston and with so few days there, I really just wanted to walk the streets and check out the lush parks and historic architecture.

Luckily enough, we were there on a weekend and were able to hit the farmers market on Saturday morning. The farmer’s market is held in Marion Square and it’s the largest one we’ve seen so far. As we were walking into the square, we came across a group of guys breakdancing for tips. We watched in awe for as they hopped, spun and moved to the beat. They were awesome and the highlight of the farmers market. (Check out the video above for some of their moves!)

On our last full day, we had planned to do something touristy (like check out Patriots Point), but neither of us were feeling very energetic after a couple sleepless nights in the marina. While we were able to stay cool with fans in the aft cabin, we still had to battle a few mosquitoes. On top of that, we were constantly being rocked by wakes from the large container ships coming and going under the bridge nearby. We got rocked more at this marina than any of the anchorages we stayed so far. Since we were both tired, we took it easy most the day and hit the nearby grocery to provision. One great thing about the marina (other than free laundry) was that there is a really nice grocery store just half a mile away. After provisioning, we decided to hit a couple spots for happy hour since it was our last night there.

The next morning we had planned to leave around 9am after fueling up, but instead we visited Olde Town Veterinary Clinic. For the past couple of days, Sophie had a goopy eye that seemed irritated. I ignored it since she’s had them in the past and they usually clear up on their own. Apparently, right before we were about to move the boat to the fuel dock, she decided to scratch her eye and make it bleed. Worried mama that I am, I wasn’t about to leave the dock and get somewhere remote and have it get infected. Thankfully, we were able to get a vet appointment that morning. The vet checked the eye to make sure the scratch wasn’t on the eye itself and it ended up being on the lid. They gave us some drops for the allergic conjunctivitis and an antibiotic for the scratch. Once the pooch was all patched up, we headed back to the boat to get a late start on our day. Thankfully, we had a short day planned….

Beaufort, SC to Sylvan Shores (anchorage)  = 52 nm
Sylvan Shores to Charleston, SC = 10 nm
TOTAL miles: = 862 nm

Bridges = 0
Total Bridges = 22

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