Marie McAden



Sail Charleston harbor for a true delight

Posted 7/29/2010 6:02:00 PM

As many times as I have visited Charleston, I thought I had experienced all its wonderful pleasures. But I recently discovered a whole new way to enjoy this historic seaport city — aboard a 42-foot classic sailing yacht called “Cythera”.

From the teak deck of the Alden Caravelle yawl, Charleston Harbor becomes much more than a scenic backdrop to the Historic District. It is the life force that has driven the city since English colonists settled here in the 1600s.

Flying across the channel, the wind filling our sails, you can feel the energy of the bustling harbor, traveled by freighters and cruise ships making their way to the Port of Charleston. At the same time, there is a serenity about this place that runs as deep as its waters.

The “Cythera,” a classic sailboat built in England in 1969, lends itself to the romantic setting of a Southern city steeped in history. It’s why owner Barry Bistis chose Charleston for his sailing charter business, Classic Charleston Sailing.

The U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain sailed the vessel from Lake Erie to the Lowcountry last fall. He keeps the teal-colored boat — named for a Greek isle in the Mediterranean Sea — at Charleston Harbor Marina in Mount Pleasant.

You can book a two- to three-hour afternoon cruise for up to six passengers on the “Cythera” for $375. A sunset sail runs $425.

For a truly unique Charleston experience, try the Bed & Breakfast Couples Package, which includes an evening sail and overnight accommodations on the docked boat. The next morning, Bistis and his wife Lisa will deliver a gourmet continental breakfast to the cockpit. The cost is $550. I’m thinking anniversary present!

For more information on Classic Charleston Sailing excursions call (843) 388-9242 or visit www.classiccharlestonsailing.com.