Charleston’s Smoke on the Harbor

Thanks to Cristina Sison on co-leader boat m/v Tadhana and Melba Covert on s/v Il Nostro Sogno for being guest contributors for this post!

Ravenel Bridge Spracher

Getting into Charleston Harbor Marina can be tricky with the strong current in the Cooper River, but the Rally boats managed to get themselves situated in their slips with little trouble, coming in one after the other and keeping the dockhands busy. Once tied up and settled and with time to look around, everyone’s first impression was “What a view!” The views got even better at night, with Charleston’s city lights across the water and the nearby USS Yorktown and Ravenel Bridge all lit up.

Charleston is not a one-day visit and the Rally was scheduled for three days. Aside from whatever each boat arranged with their Cruising Club of Charleston buddy boat, Rallyers were free to explore on their own. Charleston Harbor Marina had a free trolley to town, or you could take the water taxi to the historic district. Some of us simply broke out our onboard bicycles or rented bikes from the resort to do some local exploring.

Smoke 3 Covert

Last year the Rally stayed at St. Johns Yacht Harbor on nearby Johns Island, but this year our Charleston pre-planner Harbor Host Jan Massey alerted us months ago to an opportunity to time out with the 4th annual “Smoke on the Harbor BBQ Throwdown.” By docking the fleet at Charleston’s Patriots Point, the fleet would be on-site during this two-day festival and state championship barbecue competition. Day one was chicken wings! Charleston takes its chicken wings seriously, with local chain restaurants like Sticky Fingers specializing in BBQ wings. Day two was chicken, pork ribs, pork, and beef brisket. The winners had names like Redneck Scientific, Killer B’s BBQ, Blowin’ Smoke, and Pig on Fire. The two-day festival, which also included live music, took place at the Lookout Pavilion at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, right where we were docked!

Smoke 4 Covert


{Photos by Steve Spracher (1) and Melba Covert (2, 3)}

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