Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gypsies Travels 6

Hello again, my little pilgrims. Colleen here to fill you in on our adventures over the last few weeks. When last we left off we were on our way down the Intracoastal Waterway after a night of anchoring in Black Water Creek. This was one of the first times anchoring outside of the Cheasapeake Bay but our anchor held very well and the next morning we had lots of mud on the anchor chain and anchor to wash off. This is a good sign that we had a good hold through the night. When we wash off the anchor and chain, we get very wet from the hose when the winds are high so we have to wear our rain gear (foulies) so we don't get soaking wet.

Next, we headed to Elizabeth City, the Harbor of Hospitality. The town has that nickname because of a group of citizens called the "Rose Buddies." They like it when boaters come to town -- we spend money and they really like that! -- so they offer free dockage for two days, and every other evening, they host free cocktail parties for the boaters.

The rain and winds were so wild that we had to spend six days in Elizabeth City. The people and city were great but when the skies cleared, we were ready to start heading south again. We docked for a night at the Alligator River Marina in Columbia, North Carolina. That evening, after going to our first cruiser party, we headed out early again to Belhaven, North Carolina and got a visit from my Mom and Dad. They were driving down to Florida and went out of their way to visit us.

The next day, we headed down the ICW to Oriental, North Carolina. We had a great run with lots of dolphins enjoying themselves playing in our wake.
Again we spent the afternoon checking out the town and settled in early to get another early departure to Morehead City, a city ajacient to Beaufort, N.C. These two cities were alot of fun to walk around in. We stayed an extra day so we could see it all. Tammy and I got our picture taken with Neptune. He is the god of water and the sea in Roman mythology, a brother of Jupiter and Pluto. Someday you will study Roman mythology and learn all about him.

The next day we went to Surf City in N.C. and it was a good thing we made it before the rains came and the seas kicked-up. The walk on the beach showed us it was a good idea not to leave the next morning.
We needed to be near Charleston, South Carolina in 3 or 4 days so my husband John could catch a flight home for some business he had, so we headed out for a couple long days on the sea to Southport, N.C. -- some home owner on the ICW keeps a fake giraffe in his yard to entertain boaters
-- and then to Myrtle Beach, N.C. where we dropped John off to send him by a taxi to a bus and then to a plane to head back to Manchester, NH. Before he left, he enjoyed a meal of local jumbo shrimp, and we do mean JUMBO!

Tammy, Doug and I made it to Thoroughfore Creek in South Carolina to anchor in front of a little beach for the night.
The next day we traveled about 10 hours and made it to our destination Charleston, South Carolina. Tammy and Doug had some business of their own back in Massachusetts for a few days -- their neice Samantha was being married -- so the cats and I were left on our own to explore the city of Charleston. And what a great city it is! The first day I went to the Charleston Aquarium. This aquarium showed all of the sea life and swamp life that you can find around Charleston. First I went to the area that had the animals that live and hunt in the swamps. I got to see River Ottersriver-otter.jpg, Snakessnake.jpg, Alligators and Turtlesalligator-and-turtle.jpg, Heronsheron.jpg, Red Headed Ducksredheaded-duck.jpg and other birds that live in and around swamps.
Then I went to the area that had all the sea aminals that were indigenous to South Carloina. Can you tell me the name of the ocean off the South Carolina coast? I got to see an Octopusoctipus.jpg, Lobsterslobster.jpg, big Sea Turtlessea-turtle.jpg, a Sharkshark.jpg, a very scary Moray Eeleel.jpgeel-2.jpg and some very pretty fishpretty-fish.jpg. I even got to see some scuba divers in the tank cleaning it out and talking to us through a special mouth piece they were wearing.divers-cleaning-tank.jpg That was very cool. I even got to see a very big beautiful bird. Can you tell me what the name of this bird is and why it is important to us in America?

Well that was my day at the aquarium. It was time to head back to the boat and feed the cats and rest up for another fun day learning all about Charleston. I found a walking history tour that was going to be about a 2 hour stroll through historical Charleston, so the next day I headed out to meet Tommy Dew and about 8 other people to take the tour with me. The city was originally called Charles Towne in 1690 after King Charles of England. It was later renamed Charleston. Tommy Dew was very well educated on the history of the south and I found out very quickly how much the south disliked "us northern folks". As I went along the tour, I learned a lot more about the issues of the south and why South Carolina wanted to secede from the union. I also realized that my school in the north didn't educate me on a lot of those issues. The politics and beliefs of slavery was just one of the issues that differed from the north and the south. Southern states like South Carolina were agricultural states (growing and selling of crops, cotton, tobacco), while the northern states were more focused on industry. Religious freedom was another issue, and when Tommy the tour guide found out I was from New Hampshire, he proceeded to badger me (in a nice way) throughout the tour. I always knew about the Boston Tea Party, but I didn't know that the very first tea party was in Charleston! Again, you will someday learn about this in a history class. Remember to ask your teachers about the first Tea Party in Charleston, South Carolina. Some of the great attractions we went to see where first the Circular Congregational Church.
Originally built in 1681, (how long ago was that?) it had a few fires, an earth quake in 1861 and had to be re-built a few times. The British used it as a hospital for their wounded when they occupied Charleston during the American Revolution. Next we went into a square that was dedicated to George Washington with a tree planted in the square and statue of George in the middle of the square.
We went out to a park at the tip of Charleston called Battery Park.
Parts of this park was for Fort Sumter, the fort in the middle of the channel protecting Charleston from battle ships coming into the harbor.
The park was also a tribute for the many people who served during the civil war. We also stopped by the John Calhoun Mansion.
Calhoun was a former Vice President of the US. This house is the largest in all of Charleston, it has 35 rooms, 14-foot ceilings, a grand ball room and 35 fireplaces. It is now a museum. There is also a park in Charleston with a very big statue of John C. Calhoun in it.
Next we went by the Hibernian Society Hall.
Hibernian Hall, a National Historical Landmark, was built in 1840 to provide a meeting place for the Hibernian Society, which is an Irish benevolent organization founded in 1801. The hall is associated with the national Democratic Convention of 1860, one of the most critical political assemblies in this nation's history. Hibernian Hall served as the convention center headquaters for the faction supporting Stephen A. Douglas. It was hoped that Douglas would bridge the gap between the nothern and southern delegates on the issue of extending slavery to the territories. The divisive convention resulted in a party split, and the election of Rebublican Abraham Lincoln. Can you tell me what number president Abe Lincoln was? Another church we went by was St. Phillip's Episcopal Church. It was established in 1681 and has the largest steeple in the city.
One of the other attactions we went by was a place called the Powder magazine.
This is where they kept almost 10,000 pounds of gunpowder to be used from 1712 through the American Revolution. We finished our tour going through an area that has some of the most beautiful old houses built in the traditional old southern style.
There were many tourists taking their tour around the city on horse and carriage.
We also saw many trees with Spanish-moss growing on them. This moss grows on the trees and will kill the trees if they are not taken off. Our tour guide told us they have nothing to do with the Spanish and nor is it moss; it is actually a part of the pineapple family. Well, lots more history is to be found throughout Charleston, and maybe someday you'll have a chance to go see it yourself. As cities go Charleston is one of my favorite cities I have yet to visit, really spectacular! The next day, the day before my husband John came back from NH, I got a call from my mother informing me that an old friend from Manchester was doing her own traveling in a motor home and was in Charleston with her husband. I was able to hook up with both MJ and Brian for a lovely lunch and a great chat at one of the finest seafood restaurants in Charleston that MJ found called Hyman's.
That was a great day! Tuesday afternoon, John came back and we went out and I was his special tour guide through Charleston. He agreed that is just a fabulous city. We were able to meet up with Tammy and Doug and enjoy the last parts of this great city. Next, we are off to anchor out for a night and then head to Beaufort and Hilton Head, South Carolina and then to Savannah, Georgia. After that we make it to Florida! It has still been unseasonably cold and we all hope it gets warmer in Florida! Until next time, may your nose and toes always be warm!

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