We left Myrtle Beach early and headed on our way. We stopped a few hours before Charleston and anchored at a beautiful anchorage. When we first pulled into the creek the wind was against the tide which made the water a little choppy. David suggested we go up the creek a little further and around a bend to anchor. As soon as we hit the bend the water changed and was smooth. We put down our anchor and enjoyed the beautiful sunset over the marsh land.
The next morning we travelled just a few hours to reach Charleston before lunch time. Our only stop by boat in Charleston was Fort Sumter. It is built on a small island in the middle of the Charleston Harbor. The fort encompasses the entire island. We called the day before to see if their dock would accommodate our boat, and they said “sure thing, just don’t dock on the end of the T-Head where the ferry docks.” So as we pulled up, we took in the current and wind and the ferry, and david decided to try to dock where the current would push us off the dock. It was tight quarters trying to dock and we were struggling against the current to try to get the boat turned the right way to tie up. The sign on the dock in bold letters says “please use cleats to tie up”. So I attached our front line to a cleat on the side of the dock. For those of you that don’t know, a cleat is a metal hook like thing you tie your line to. They come in different sizes, but this one was about a foot long and metal. We got the bow line attached to the cleat on the dock and I tied it off to the bow cleat on the front of our boat. I was waiting for david to turn the boat and move in closer so I could tighten the line before going to attach another line on the back. As I was waiting, crouched over our bow cleat, the boat drifted back and the line pulled tight, often we can use the tight line to spin the back of the boat in to where we want it, well as the line pulled tight, I heard a SNAP, and I thought our rope broke. But soon a metal cleat knocked me in the head and I knew our line had held, their cleat hadn’t. We have netting along the front of our boat to keep the kids from falling thru our railing, and luckily as the cleat came flying thru the air, it got wrapped up in our net which slowed it down, before hitting me in the back of the head. Had it not been slowed down, it really could have hurt. Instead I was left with a sore spot for a few days. I am so grateful for that netting and will be cautious here on out of flying cleats.
We decided to move the boat to the other side of the dock where the current would push us in. It was much easier to dock, and a few Park Personnel had come down to help us tie up. Having seen me get knocked in the head they recommend we use the pilings to tie to, rather than the cleats.
Once we were tied up, we enjoyed the exploring and learning about the fort. The kids enjoyed earning yet another junior ranger badge. By the time we returned to the boat, the tide had shifted and we were getting blown off the dock which made for an easier departure. It would have been tough if we had tied up on the other side as first planned. The current there is quite strong and hard to overcome without the room to really power the boat. So being where we ended up was really the best situation. We still had a few hours of daylight so we headed south of Charleston to anchor for our last night in South Carolina down in the Hilton Head area off a little creek. Tomorrow we enter Georgia.