N 32 46.5 W 79 57.2 Hooray! We are anchored off James Island looking at Charleston. From the boat we look over to the City Marina, down to the Battery, and then out east we can barely see Fort Sumter. Yesterday we traveled from our anchorage on Toogoodoo (be true) Creek up to the last mile through the Wapoo Creek Cut. There's a bascule bridge there that only opens on the hour and half hour between 9 and 4 and after 6 (said the sign). We arrived at 3:35 and missed the last opening until 6:30. We have the greatest respect for all of our previous bridge tenders - they have all been helpful, courteous, and sometimes funny. This one however wins the sourpuss award. The first dat we went ashore we caught a cab to the Market downtown and wandered around with all the other tourists. Then we booked a horsedrawn wagon (four rows of seats - 4 people each) and were driven around the old town. The guide was great - he obviously loved the Charleston history and knew quite a bit of the arcane stories. One of which was the [almost] Slave Uprising led by Denmark Vesey. This guy was born in Africa and was a ship's slave for years until he won $1500 in a lottery and bought his freedom. He then set himself as a carpenter and began speaking out against slavery. Over four years he and his lieutenants built up a network of over 6000 slave and freemen plotting to rise up, kill all the white slavemasters, burn Charleston down, and then sail off to Haiti. It almost worked but two slaves ratted them out and Vesey and 40 of his co-conspirators were executed. This was several years before Nat Turner. Our timing was excellent. The whole city is blooming with purple and white crepe myrtle. Apparently after a hurricane hit town in the 60's, the civic leaders planted thousands of the crepe myrtles everywhere. For those who don't know Charleston, the area south of Broad Street is the "old town". The houses are built "Barbados-style" with a single room wide and the house turned to the prevailing wind so that the cooling breeze would air-condition the place. Typically, the houses are sideways on the lot with gardens on the side and 2nd story porches looking at the neighbor's wall. We played super tourist and took the quite cheesy Dungeon tour. Guides dressed in period costume and "disney-tronic" robots telling the history. Charleston was the only English walled city in the new world. Quebec (French) and St Augustine (Spanish) were the other two. The jail was built into the wall and the council meeting house was built above it. Made of brick in the Rathskeller manner with arches on pllars it has withstood fire, earthquakes, and hurricanes for 300 years. I must admit it is pretty interesting.