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Community Cruising Gregarious. Engaged. Supportive; and active. The Cruising Club of Charleston has been bringing sailors together for nearly 50 years. By Dan Dickison The annual Fourth of July raft-up is an occasion for full colors. Photo courtesy Cruising Club of Charleston.


ead over to Mrs. Rose’s Fine Food & Cocktails in the West Ashley section of Charleston, SC, on the first Thursday evening most every month and you’ll hear a bit of ruckus emanating from the private dining room just off the main entrance. Sometimes you’ll catch speeches. Sometimes announcements. And sometimes awards. But almost always you’ll witness joviality as members of the Cruising Club of Charleston (CCC) enjoy each other’s company at one of their monthly gatherings. Mrs. Rose’s is the de facto headquarters for this organization, which has been going strong for almost 50 years. (SOUTHWINDS last reported on the CCC in the August 2008 issue.) Despite its longevity—the club was established in 1972—the organization owns no real property and exists solely (as we stated in 2008) “on paper, on the Web, and in the hearts of its members.” These monthly gatherings— along with the 12 cruises that the steering committee orchestrates each year for its 50-odd members—are what the club is all about. According to Florance Anderson, who became the club’s commodore in early March, “We get together to enjoy being on the water and each other’s company. For me, the club is about using one’s resources. You have to own a boat to be a member of this club, and the club

requires you to maintain your vessel so that you can go on these overnight cruises or longer cruises. We use our monthly meetings to educate the membership on boating skills and maritime issues. Yes, the club has rules and bylaws that articulate its purpose, but it’s essentially all about fun, friendship and learning.” That learning she mentions transpires mostly by way of presentations from regional and local experts along with experienced members. One month they may hear from a staff member at the state’s Department of Natural Resources; the next it may be a presentation by the executive director of a local sailing nonprofit such as Charleston Community Sailing; and the following month could feature a member who’s returned from cruising some exotic destination. At each month’s meeting, says Anderson, details about the upcoming cruise are shared. Three times a year, these “cruises” are land-based. In February, there’s an annual oyster roast. In August, the club stages a luau. And during the winter holidays, there’s a Christmas party. Another aspect of membership, says Anderson, is volunteering. Nearly every month, members are informed about opportunities to support various maritime events. In recent years, she says, CCC members have volunteered at the 2017 Tall Ships event in Charleston, the 2018 edition of

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Profile for SOUTHWINDS Magazine

Southwinds May 2019  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds May 2019  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...