The Adventure Ship at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Park in Charleston, SC

Written by
Jason Barnette
Posted on
September 13, 2013
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Written by
Jason Barnette
Posted on
September 13th, 2013
Share story

Charles Towne Landing State Historic Park sits on a point of land where English settlers first landed in 1670. They established a trading post and village that would become the birthplace of the Carolina colony and, later, Charleston. The park has many features, including an animal forest habitat zoo, replica of the original fort, the Legare-Waring House, and plenty of hiking trails.

People tour The Adventure, a fully-functional replica of a 17th-century trading vessel, at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Park in Charleston, SC on Saturday, September 7, 2013. Copyright 2013 Jason BarnetteTHE ADVENTURE IS A REPLICA of a 17th-century sailing ship used for trade up and down the East Coast and Caribbean. The trading ships were shallow on the draft, allowing them to easily maneuver in shallow waters and evade pursuit by larger warships. The ships were small, featuring only a single cabin for the captain and first mate to share and a large bunkroom for the other crew. Although the ships were capable of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, they were mostly used to trade with colonies in the Caribbean.

This replica is a fully-functional sailing ship that floats in the water on the edge of the park. It was sailed into the narrow channels when it was constructed just a few years ago and periodically sails out for maintenance. Everything on the ship with the exception of a diesel engine used for maneuvering the boat through the channels is completely authentic for a 17th-century sailing ship of this class. As you tour the main deck of the boat, a helpful ranger will tell the history of The Adventure and how these types of boats were used in the early colonial days. You can walk down a small flight of stairs into the main cargo hold of the boat to view the captain’s quarters. Back on the main deck, you can walk around the entire boat to admire the views of nature and marvel at the complexities of a sailing boat.

While the ship is easily accessible from a floating dock and short flight of stairs, it is not handicap accessible.It is possible for people in wheelchairs to reach as far as the floating dock, although the ramp leading down can become steep during low tides so I would not advise it. However, people with handicaps who are capable of walking can probably make the trip down the ramp, up the 6-8 steps, and onto the deck of the boat.

A young boy assists a park ranger with

Bringing children to The Adventure is a great idea. Although the boat floats on the water, it is completely safe for most children (younger children should be watched or held). School field trips will often visit the boat for a lesson on history, trade, and seamanship. Depending on the weather and climate, a ranger may ask for volunteers from children to help “raise” an anchor or “steer” the boat. But make no mistake: this is something just as much for adults as it is for children. Standing on the deck of this fully-functional, authentic replica of a 17th-century boat takes you back in time to the birth of our nation, allowing you to look through the eyes of history and see what once was. Even if you have only a small interest in history, it’s an exciting adventure!

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