Southern Hospitality and the ICW

We’ve been in the states since May 8th.
Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Jupiter Island, St Augustine, Beaufort SC, Charleston and tomorrow we leave for Cape May, NJ.

Southern hospitality is legendary and we’ve experienced it in every port. Our mast is too high for the ICW (Inter Coastal Waterway) because the fixed bridges are 65’ and we are 72’ so we sail outside and that makes choosing weather windows trickier. There are great guide books for the ICW but not so much for the outsiders who need to know the best places to come inside. We are learning. In fact, cruising is all about learning.
Active Captain turns out to be a great app and boat owners weigh in on places which helps to make good decisions. This has helped us a lot.

Back to the hospitality thing.
The further north we go in the southern states, the more southern it gets, and the more we feel and experience this charm. Not that down south we didn’t feel it. But it is different here.
Example: We followed some shrimp boats into the ICW about half way between Hilton Head and Charleston,  and anchored in a small remote inlet next to low lying grassy fields that looked like a gator would slither out at any moment.

It was exactly like you’d picture in the movies. In fact we later found out it was where they filmed the Forrest Gump shrimp scenes. After a nap and a little exploring we were invited by a father son combo who owned a house nearby, George and John, for a beer that turned into a shrimp feast. John, the son took us around the island to see ruins of plantations and when we returned, George had cooked dinner.

We started outside with the shrimp looking through the moss covered trees out towards the water while the sun set. When the bugs started to eat us, we went inside for the perfect southern dinner of black beans and rice, delicious fresh fish, fried plantains, and French blueberry cake with Tuscan wine! It just happened to be our 2 year anniversary and we will always remember how cool that was.

When we sailed into the Charleston Harbor after a 50 mile beautiful downwind spinnaker sail and full main in 18-24 knots, we dropped anchor and 20 minutes later Eric crewed in a beer can race with Trey, a guy we met a few years back in St Thomas.

The next night we celebrated our anniversary with a night on the town and Treys friend Boris set us up with reservations at 2 restaurants and champagne at each one as a surprise! We LOVE the food here – Charleston is known for it’s fine cuisine. And the hospitality? It continues to make us smile.

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Yesterday we went to Ft Sumpter where the Civil War started. The story is not pretty, but it’s nice to think how far we’ve come as a nation with a black president and mixed races being common now.

John Forgrave has joined us for our sail north. That extra pair of hands gives us more rest and good conversations!

 

Here are several photos from our time in Miami, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and beyond. With all the work on the website, I didn’t do much blogging. I did however continue to snap away with phone, camera, and iPad!

 

MIAMI, FLA

 

JUPITER ISLAND, FLA

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PALM BEACH,  FLA

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ST AUGUSTINE, FLA

DATAW ISLAND, SC

CHARLESTON, SC

Tonight we will cook some shrimp onboard after taking a horse carriage tour of Charleston.  The boys are running new lines for our daggerboards while I finish this.

The reward will be another great meal onshore! Last night we were treated by John to oysters, fried green tomatoes with pork bellies, duck, salmon, and shrimp pasta followed by bread pudding.  Thank goodness we ride bikes to work some of this off! It’s REALLY hot though so we cannot drink enough water. My skin is glowing. 🙂

 

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