Thursday, January 20, 2011

Charleston and Beaufort Number Two

Leaving Beaufort, North Carolina we passed the Shackleford Banks and caught a glimpse of the feral horses that inhabit the island.  These horses are thought to be descendants of those brought over and abandoned by the Spaniards over 500 years ago and thus from the earliest horses ever documented in North America.  

Our second visit to Charleston was as positive as the first.  This is a lovely city with a nice community feel.  The children’s museum is fabulous and Emma and Macsen spent hours moving between the waterworks/ meteorology room to the medieval castle and back making stops in between at the other only slightly less intriguing exhibits.  In the evening we joined a crowd of Charlestonians watching local talent performing a Christmas pageant in Marion Square, culminating in the mayor (with the support of Santa Claus) lighting a giant Christmas tree.  The whole thing served us up a warm and cosy Christmasy feel.

A short trip along the ICW brought us to the historical town of Beaufort, South Carolina.  This Beaufort is (oddly I think) pronounced BYOO-fert.  This town was used as the headquarters of the union army during the civil war and thus still has many pre-1860s buildings.  

We holed up at the Lady's Island  Marina and planned to settle in for two days to install the solar mast that had arrived in Deltaville and Charleston.  Ted, the harbourmaster, has been living on his boat for 20 years and has a deep understanding of how to keep his fellow sailors happy.  Not only has he equipped the marina with a great workshop but he spent at least three hours of his time working with Seb in the freezing cold getting the mast ready.  And I mean really freezing cold with ice on the docks. When we tried to pay him he refused with a gentle “We cruiser’s need to help each other out when we can.”    

Sinterklaas also found us in Beaufort.  Emma and Macsen had been setting their shoes every evening filled with carrots, apples, oranges or whatever was available, often adding a picture or painting and singing a song.  Throughout this period one or other Piet often stopped in and dropped off a small treat or treasure.  On the day itself we were just tidying up after dinner when we heard a loud clopping on the deck, a hand hurled a spray of pepernoten into the cabin (thanks again to Ted) and we all rushed outside to find a great bag.  The rest of the evening was spent drinking chocomel, eating pepernoten (I baked 150 of them!!!), singing sinterklaasliedjes and opening cadeautjes

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