Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fishy Business

Let's face it: Frozen fish filets just don't cut it after a week spent near the Atlantic coast.

I considered making salmon filets for dinner yesterday, but I thought I should give it another few days to develop a little amnesia from the sumptuous seafood we had during our trip. While Brent's Columbia, South Carolina, apartment isn't on the water, we spent several days in Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., before Thanksgiving.

It was a different world. On the County Line, we might hear a tractor go by our house during dinnertime. But it's pretty amazing to look out the restaurant window and see a container ship passing by.

These landlubbers marveled at that kind of traffic right across the historic cobblestone streets of Savannah.

But it didn't distract me from eating my seafood strudel at the Shrimp Factory. For the record, it had shrimp, crab, spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo leaves, and it was topped with dill butter. Randy had the shrimp boil lunch, half a pound of shrimp steamed in the shell with herbs and spices.

Savannah's port is one of the busiest in the U.S. The terminals that serve the port are only surpassed in East Coast trade volume by the combined ports of New York and New Jersey.

Some of the world's largest merchant vessels bring in cargo from Asia, Europe, South America, the South Pacific and Africa and return with American commodities.

A variety of ships travel the Savannah River. In addition to private boats and stern-wheelers, container vessels from a number of shipping lines transport cargo to and from the terminals.

This photo shows how massive these ships are by comparing it to the bridge it passes under. Inbound and outbound ships pass within yards of Savannah's River Street and provide a glimpse of international vessel traffic.

Tug boats also play a critical role in the maritime commerce of Savannah. Without their guidance, large ships couldn't maneuver in the tight bends and turning basins of the Savannah River. I wish I'd gotten a photo of how the tug boats are dwarfed by the huge ships. (You'd think in 640 photos I would have one or two. But I don't.)

We got a little closer look at the ship traffic on a River Street Riverboat Company tour.

Years ago, there was an unofficial Welcome Wagon representative who greeted ships that sailed into the Savannah harbor. Florence Martus (1869-1943) was known as Savannah's waving girl and is commemorated with a statue at the waterfront. Her story is kind of sad, though. She fell in love with a sailor and would rush to the waterfront to wave a greeting, expecting him to return to her. He never did, but thousands of other visitors felt welcomed by Florence and her collie.

Savannah wasn't the only water spot on our travel agenda. We also watched this container ship sail toward the Charleston (South Carolina) Harbor at sunset from a pier just outside our motel.

The city of Charleston is located just south of the mid-point of South Carolina's coastline, at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, which flow together into the Atlantic Ocean. The harbor lies between downtown Charleston and the Atlantic Ocean.

It's definitely a different scene than a farm in south central Kansas!

1 comment:

  1. As a Massachusetts-born Nebraska-dwelling girl, I have to admit, I miss fresh seafood. My husband made fish for dinner last night, and even though I was grateful for his culinary skills, I still found myself thinking that it just wasn't the same as fresh New England flounder!