Oct 27-29: Historic Charleston
This is the first time that we have both been completely exhausted the day after an ocean run. We could hardly move the first day. I cleaned the boat exterior while Andrew got our heating and A/C working again. The pounding on the ocean pushed air bubbles into the A/C system and wasn’t working.
After spending the next day cleaning everything, getting the boat back together and napping a bit we found a nearby restaurant for an early dinner and fell into bed exhausted again early in the evening. I know! It’s like we were lazy or something! We were both surprised at how little energy we had.
Saturday I worked on laundry for the morning while Andrew planned out our next stop. As I worked I met other sailing women, learning tips and tricks to simplifying, and made notes about must-see locations along the way. One woman I chatted with is a crime novelist working on her 19th novel. We exchanged many writerly stories but overall it was a good reminder to get working on my own writing.
In the afternoon we took a shuttle to Charleston to explore but not before getting a ‘To-Go’ lunch of unexpected ridiculous proportion. The aquarium was our first stop. As usual it was fascinating but I found the experience bizarre in light of our trip to the Bahamas. I was no longer solely marveling at these interesting fish but was also thinking, ‘These are tropical fish we will see!’ or ‘I wonder what those fish taste like.’ Very weird! (Lots of aquarium photos attached.)
From there we decided to walk back and explore along the way. In a weird way Charleston seemed homey, like we had been there before. The historical, ornate architecture was like the setting of romance novels and old black and white movies like ‘Gone With the Wind’. History met art and fashion at the Charleston City Market where we explored the craftsmanship of local artisans.
We had a wonderful time exploring, made time for Haagen Das smoothies and headed towards the marina, opting out of our shuttle ride into town to walk instead. It was a great opportunity to go off the beaten path a bit, see the posh side of town, get up close on some of the historic churches and buildings, but also venture into more residential areas. That was when we turned down the African American section of town and my heart sank. How can this be?
Now we were seeing the other side of Charleston where there still seemed to be segregation. In Toronto we are so used to seeing everyone together . . . races sharing spaces and cultures, dance and song. We suddenly realized that the only people begging on the streets were African Americans, young teens trying to get donations for woven goods by the road.
Upon further research I discovered that Charleston was one of the largest ports for slave trading right up to only a couple hundred years ago. The stories are horrendous, especially for a city also nicknamed the ‘Holy City’ with over 200 churches and almost every denomination represented. It was shocking. Where was, or is, the love for our African American brothers and sisters? Don’t they deserve the same freedoms? Although much has changed, much still needs to be done.
We believe that lack of knowledge does not excuse us. This issue, and overall issues of homeless and the disenfranchised, have become part of our prayers and discussions on the boat as we think about our next steps as a couple. We are also thankful for friends like Tim Huff who works in Toronto’s downtown core and has provided us with research materials to aid us. We are using these to plan forward.
As we wrapped up our time at Charleston we finally completed our freezer stockpile of veggies and meats for the Bahamas. Fish will be plentiful but we won’t be able to get some of the other things we normally cook with. We have a little way to go with our canned items but what we have is prepped and ready for the journey.
Every new stop gets warmer (although the residents are wrapping up like it is winter or something) and our regular attire is now shorts and t-shirts…fabulous! My stomach is adjusting and our tans are getting darker. Andrew rarely shaves and often gets whistled at by the ladies. His relaxed sailor style is working for him…lol.
Tomorrow we are back on the ocean and on our way to St Augustine, FL. We are not far from Bahamas now!!!