Although there is a reassuring security about not needing to work against gravity, I enjoy traveling by air because it reveals a different perspective of the Earth — and, yes, because I get to experience some of the finest machinery running today. In over two years in Charleston, I’ve been in the waterways but had not yet been on the waterways. You might call that my oversight and my loss, because the view and the calm of being on the water can be breathtaking.
I was actually on a pontoon boat earlier that day, but heavy wind and rain chased us off the water (and ripped apart the canvas canopy of the boat). The storm had mostly passed through Charleston in the hours afterwards, so hoping the sunset could be a dry and good one, I took a boated friend’s (N.B.: if it sounds familiar, it should: I’m borrowing this sort of description from the more familiar “landed elite”) offer to head to the harbor for an evening on the water.
The view of the Ravenel Bridge from Shem Creek is obstructed, though the storm cloud — or, rather, its benign cousin — that chased us off Lake Marion earlier made for an interesting foreground nonetheless.
The last time I had taken a photo of downtown from this area, I was on land and saw a decently colorful sunset. This time, the sun ducked behind some clouds and turned the sky a dark orange. I don’t know how photographers on the open seas get horizontal horizons — it can be frustrating to hold a camera steady on a rocking boat!
We left Shem Creek and headed toward the Battery. Rainbow Row didn’t seem visible from the shipping lanes, but the houses toward the tip of the peninsula weren’t so monochromatic themselves.
I have no elaborate story about boating like the ones about my love for the 777 to share here, and because I love mountains above all, I still think that I’ll prefer ground to air to water. However, suffice to say that my first time seeing Charleston from the water surrounding it was pretty cool. The full-Crayola-color sunrise or sunset still eludes my camera, but one day it will happen — and I hope to be on the water when it does.
2 thoughts on “Water ways”
While I was growing up in Charleston, a favorite phrase was “If you don’t own a boat, get to know someone who does.” That, and learning to swim at an early age, made me water borne and happy here.
Another local expression is “A true Charlestonian knows the tide table (when it’s high/when it’s low) even if they don’t own a boat.”
That comes in handy if you’re driving toward downtown during a storm…at high tide. There be flooding there.
I don’t mind water, but the murky waters in the Lowcountry certainly make me think twice before jumping in with both feet.
I’ve seen minor flooding downtown and hope that’s the worst of what I see. I’ve heard people tell me about Hugo and the water levels as a result all over the Lowcountry.