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In South Carolina, they call it Beaufort, rhymes with New-fort, and the locals are put out if you pronounce it Bo-Fort, like their neighbors from North Carolina. What ever you call it, we liked it here. It's a quaint, small town with a friendly, southern vibe. And I guess Hollywood feels the same way about Beaufort, because they’ve filmed several movies here; The Big Chill, Forest Gump, Bagger Vance, White Squall, Rules of Engagement, just to name a few.
We learned a ton about the town from the horse-drawn wagon tour we took of the historic district of Beaufort with original homes and municipal buildings still standing from prior to the Civil War. Beaufort played a huge role in the Civil War, Harriet Tubman was a nurse in Beaufort for two years during the war and the town was the site of the “Big Skedaddle” when the Union came in and the town surrendered in four hours and then all the white towns people left. The Union then hired all the black slaves in the town to help run the homes that were turned into hospitals during the war. Also, the Ordinance of Secession was written in 1860 in Beaufort, announcing the states withdrawl from the Union.
Beaufort is also home to Pat Conroy, author of The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides. It’s also home of the Marine Corp Air Station and boasts the Marine F/A-18 squadrons that create the “sound of freedom” that you can hear overhead periodically during the day. Add a delightful downtown with shops and restaurants and a park all set on a beautiful river.
We stayed at the Downtown Marina of Beaufort and there were lots of other Loopers there as well. Saturday evening, we all got together on United 771 for docktails and had a chance to meet some of the folks we hadn’t met yet. We were originally going to stay only two nights, but the weather altered our plans when it decided to give us 45 mph wind gusts and rain most of the day Friday. But the bad weather gave us a chance to do some route planning which is so necessary when your dealing with 8-9 foot tides and a shallow ICW!
Below are a few shots from our time in Beaufort….
Childhood home of Robert Smalls, an American businessman, publisher, and politician. Born into slavery in Beaufort, South Carolina, he freed himself, his crew, and their families during the American Civil War by commandeering a Confederate transport ship, CSS Planter, in Charleston harbor, on May 13, 1862, and sailing it from Confederate-controlled waters of the harbor to the U.S. blockade that surrounded it. He then piloted the ship to the Union-controlled enclave in Beaufort-Port Royal-Hilton Head area, where she became a Union warship. His example and persuasion helped convince President Abraham Lincoln to accept African-American soldiers into the Union Army. After the American Civil War he returned to Beaufort and became a politician, winning election as a Republican to the South Carolina State legislature and the United States House of Representatives during the Reconstruction era. Smalls authored state legislation providing for South Carolina to have the first free and compulsory public school system in the United States. He founded the Republican Party of South Carolina. Smalls was the last Republican to represent South Carolina's 5th congressional district until 2010. I just love wikipedia :)
We took off Sunday, Easter morning and traveled 66 miles up the ICW to Charleston. It was a bit of a milestone for us since Charleston is where we attended a Looper gathering and learned about The Great Loop.
Charleston is such a great city both historically and gastronomically! When we were here before we toured the historical section of the city so we knew where to go and have been out walking the neighorhoods, seeing all of the landmarks and churches and of course all the eateries.
We've also had to do a bit of work on the boat. Our port engine has been acting a bit boogy so Tom got down in the engine room and replaced raycors while i worked on routes and slip reservations for the next week. We didn't get to spend a lot of time here, only two days so here are just a few pics of our time in Charleston.
Before I close this post, we want to give our condolences to the Henderson family on the passing of Apple Jack. You have all been in our thoughts and prayers. RIP Apple.
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.