La Aventura with Patti & James

06 July 2018 | Faial Island –Atlantic Portugal
24 June 2018 | National Holiday day in Faial
22 June 2018 | afternoon whale watching boat trip
20 June 2018 | an enjoyable day trip to another island.
19 June 2018 | Fabulous Faial. – Azorean Island
18 June 2018 | Faial Island – Horta Harbour - Mid Atlantic
29 May 2018 | Mid Atlantic - in the middle of nowhere
26 May 2018 | the cruising yachtsman’s haven
25 May 2018 | party day in Hamilton
10 May 2018 | Vero Beach/Ft Pierce –road trip to Jacksonville.
12 April 2018 | Vibeke onboard
17 March 2018 | lovely to return to Belize and Mexico and meet up with sailing friends along the way
24 January 2018 | I have become so interested in Guatemala textiles
17 January 2018 | So great to catchup with so many friends and our families
01 November 2017 | what a wonderful Guatemalan fiesta to experience
29 October 2017 | Volcanic crater
28 October 2017 | Antiqua - Guatemala

South Carolina: stops in Georgetown & Charleston.

21 November 2015 | South Carolina - visiting friends
5th to 21st November

IMAGE friends visiting La Aventura in Georgetown.

November: THURSDAY 5th– great sailing from Beaufort and good timing. We arrived off the river entrance into Georgetown as planned in good morning light.

We anchored up and napped whilst waiting for the river to start to flow back in – we were not going anywhere again the full flow of the tide. It was a 15 miles ‘drive’ through Winyah Bay and further up the river, via a very well marked channel, with some commercial traffic. The Waccamaw river marshes are rich in both Native American and historical rice plantation area.

We found a beautiful little town and well protected anchorage in the Sampit River – just a short dingy ride from the town dock – so close we could row rather than use the engine. After making contact with Harry & Betsy and arranging for them to meet us tomorrow at noon, we had a quick walk of the pretty little riverside village and historical area, with some beautifully preserved vintage buildings. After 2 nights a sea, it was good to get off and stretch our legs – then it was an early night – up just a few time to check that the 2 anchors held OK with the change of the tide.

From Friday 6th for 1 week we moved ashore to be the house guests of our USVI friends Harry & Betsy, who live in Murrells Inlet, about 30 mins drive from Georgetown. What thoroughly enjoyable week indeed. We were to see the local sights, eat some great ‘southern’ food specialities and generally have a wonderful time just hanging-out together. We all enjoy boating and travel – so can easily spend hours chatting away about our various experiences. Harry has a passion for fishing and the associated fast fishing boats. Betsy is a very good fisherwoman, and just loves to travel the world. We all share a love for their ‘home island’ St Thomas. Our once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure together in Namibia in 2012 with some of our other good friends from the USVI is always a source of laughter and good story-telling and re-living that great time together.

THE FOOD:
A great start to our Southern Food adventure began when we met up on Friday at a downtown Georgetown French Bistro. We could easily have all be in any Parisian scene – all sat out on the sidewalk in the warm sunshine, tables set with pristine starched white tablecloths with a very attentive waiter with an accent! I enjoyed a large Portobello mushroom filled with locally caught crab meat, and James feasted on a spiced chicken open sandwich.

Friday night at H& B’s favourable nearby ‘local’ I just had to try fried green tomatoes with goats cheese, topped with shrimp- was very tasty indeed.

On Saturday we attended the annual ‘Taste of Georgetown’ lunchtime event – grazing our way along the various stalls and listing to the 3 different musical genres. This was an excellent opportunity to try some of the signature dishes from 20 local restaurants, and a great day out – it was beautiful, warm and sunny day – so that really helped too. Some of the southern specialities we sampled included Okra Gumbo, Chicken Prioleau, She Crab soup, Chicken Comfy, Rustic Chilli and pralines and homemade icecream.

Sunday breakfast is a tradition on La Aventura – so an opportunity to patronise one of the exhibitors from yesterdays Taste event was not to be missed. We went out for brunch at Rustic Table, where I had Eggs Benedict and really enjoyed them – the bloody marys and mimosa went down well too! A good portion of Harrys huge Blueberry Pancakes with hot maple syrup and smoked bacon, was boxed up ‘to-go’.

We visited a local Microbrewery restaurant/bar for lunch on Monday 9th. This was a very professional set-up and we all enjoyed a different beer or ale to match our meals. Betsy and I shared and swapped bratwurst and pork ‘sliders’, whilst the guys went for open sandwiches and a burger.

Betsy and Harry hosted a dinner-party for an evening get-together with their good friends Steve & Sarah and their daughter, husband and son. B & I successfully prepared and served a pasta dinner - in American traditional it was a pot-luck meal. Sarah bought along a tasty salad and her daughter served us very tasty cookies and icecream. We had a lovely evening and it was great to meet some of H & B’s good friends here in South Carolina.

James loves oysters – so when it was suggested that we have dinner out at a local Oyster Roast joint we were pleased to try this way of cooking and serving the local oysters. A huge deep cast iron pot was filled to the brim with oysters and then lightly steamed, to just ease them open. James & Sarah shared the pot whilst the rest of us had grilled shrimp and fried clams. The starter was ‘hush puppies’ – not at all like eating shoes – fired corn bread balls with various dipping sauces – tasty and filling.

At the Brook Green Gardens restaurant, we again ordered some more local special items – Shrimp and Grits and She crab soup – all very tasty indeed.

THE ACTIVITIES: (other than chatting away for hours and sharing stories and experiences)

James and Harry share a love for all things motor racing – so Sunday afternoon Nascar racing on the TV was a perfect indoor activity on a very cold Sunday. Betsy and I went to a few local shops – what else should girls do together on a cold and wet Sunday afternoon! When we came home we did the prep and cooking for tomorrow nights dinner party – baked pasta.

After lunch on Monday we went gun shopping - well not really – Pepper Spray shopping at a Gun Shop! – a very interest ‘redneck’ experience indeed. After lots of thought and discussion we have decided to ‘arm’ ourselves on the boat for our Western Caribbean journey – but NO guns – just pepper spray.

One sunny and warm afternoon Betsy and I attempted to go for a drive in their golf cart – but it was low on battery – so instead we rode the bikes around their housing development – until numb bum setin. Then we had a lovely ‘walk and talk’ to the Marina within their complex.

On Wednesday and Thursday we visited Brook Green Gardens. These gardens are a vast botanical and sculpture park and rare breeds zoo covering over 9,000 acres and 900 sculptures, featuring the magnificent works of Anna Hyatt Huntington. We attended a lecture from a local Gullah/Geechee cultural expert. The presenter is a descent of the African- American slaves that lived and working in the rice fields. His presentation was informative and interesting, covering their spicy cuisine, colourful art, and the cadence of their language – he even had us singing along to slave songs. The gardens were beautiful to walk through.

By mid-morning on Friday 13th H & B dropped us back to the boat – all good- she was safe and sound after a week at anchor in Georgetown, with just the batteries needed a quick generator top-up – the wind generator and solar panels worked well whilst we were not on-board. During the afternoon we managed to get the 3 big loads of laundry done – all easy as the coin laundry was just a short walk away.

Saturday 14 –still in Georgetown, back on the boat it was a cold night – obviously we have been too comfortable at H & B’s home! I got off the boat early to go to the local Farmers Market – but it was not on today due to a local fun run – anyway I got to look, and wander around the town again. Georgetown in its heyday was a major rice production area, the town still has some beautiful, large plantation homes. Mid morning we walked to the supermarket – our little trolley was needed to bring back the weekly shopping.

Sunday 15 – we moved from the anchorage to the town dock in the morning before breakfast. As arranged Harry, Betsy, Sarah and Steve and Shona and Paul arrived to visit and have a show-round of La Aventura at 12noon. We have a final few hours chatting with Harry & Betsy before we pulled off and headed out for the all night sail down the coast to Charleston. Harry and made contact with a fellow USVI’er (Toby) now working on boats in Charleston and he said he would have a complementary marina berth available. This will be just fantastic as we have heard various ‘bad experiences’ stories about the town anchorage in Charleston and were concerned about being there.

We had an excellent run – motored to the mouth with the current and then the winds were still a bit light. We were heading south west – and as forecast the north east winds kicked in enough to sail through the night – and even reducing sail to slow down so not to arrive before 1st light.

MONDAY 16 – arrived off Charleston just on dawn – beautiful to watch the early morning light help the city to wake. James contacted Toby and he said the current was still rushing – so we anchored off to wait for a few hours before coming into his marina berth. After coming into the berth about lunchtime we didn’t do much, and couldn’t make contact with Toby – so no shore-side hot shower or internet – both things I was looking forward to. We were in Patriots Point – opposite the main city. The Charleston Harbour Marina, Hotel and resort was huge – and also home to the US aircraft carrier and associated navel museum.

TUESDAY 17 Charleston. I got both and shower and internet code sorted early this morning and we caught the 12noon Hotel trolley into downtown Charleston. Our 1st stop was at the Customs & Boarder Control main office, where we met with an officer to ask about the possible extensions of our US visa – basically we cannot extent our stay and must leave by 20th December – at least we know now and can make plans and flight arrangements etc. We walked and walked for 4 hours around the charming town – beautiful southern homes with very interesting side verandas off a small front door. The central market featured many local arts and crafts. The ‘sweet grass’ hand-woven baskets and flowers were very beautiful indeed. Charleston is full of high-end shopping and restaurants. Before dinner we went into the Marina Hotel for some internet time after catching the trolley back from town.

WEDNESDAY 18 Charleston. Toby came by today, it was good to meet and thank him. We are OK to stay in this dock and the owner needs to have a double dock due to the tidal run and the associated problems with coming and going from the berth in his boat. Toby is responsible for the care and overseeing the maintenance of this large Hattress motorlaunch. Yes the tidal run is amazing – up to several knots. A bit of a wasted day – the weather was OK for playing tourist back in Charleston – but we didn’t get our act together. Spent the late afternoon at the Hotel booking my Cancun flight and moving some money around to pay for this expensive short trip home to Oz in February.

THURSDAY 19 Charleston. As forecast the strong southerly came in overnight. A dull, misty overcast day. We have a problem with the charging of the wind generator, and James took some time in the morning trying to sort it out – no luck. Weather not good for playing tourist in Charleston – so just another internet day. I had a good telephone chat with Sue – she is currently in Miami after her and Abrie have returning from a company jolly in Japan – which they both thoroughly enjoyed.

FRIDAY 20 Our final day in Charleston. H & B and S & S drove from Georgetown to meet us and Toby for lunch. We had a great few hours in a waterside restaurant in Shem Creek – the local working shrimp boat harbour. We made a quick stop at the supermarket, before H & B dropped us back to the Marina – and we said our final goodbyes.
We caught the 4pm Hotel trolleybus back into downtown Historical Charleston for a final walk around this beautiful city. The night time ride back to the marina across the magnificent Ravenel Bridge, now beautifully lit was a great sight.

Saturday 21st – as It was dark when we got back last night, we were up at 1st light to do the preparations needed to get sailing again today. James took the wind generator down and set it us as a towing generator for this passage to help with our power consumption. We had breakfast whilst listening to the Chris Parker weather forecast and then pull out of the tricky slip, by 8am and were on our way south. Good passage weather and conditions with a steady north wind.

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Vessel Name: La Aventura
Crew: James & Patti

Who: James & Patti