Some day I will look back on these times and the memories we've made, and I won't even remember the fact that our Cruising life was nothing like what I had imagined before setting out. I'll look back on the great things we've done and the unique places we've been, both exotic and mundane... and maybe I'll say "Remember that summer we lived in Charleston?".
Our stay at St. John's Yacht Harbor was everything we had hoped it would be. The staff were friendly and more than accommodating. We got to know the young folks working there and they really made us feel welcome.
The marina is on John's Island in the Stono River just south of Charleston. When we first arrived, we took a rental car to Texas to visit our daughter and to get our car.
Having a car to zip around Charleston in made all the difference and by the time we left, this place was beginning to feel like home.
We met several of our dock mate neighbors and had some happy hours and some dinners aboard. Hanging out with new friends, here in this quiet marina, was such fun.
|Neighborhood Pirate Cat|
They are immaculately clean. They have enough stalls so that we never had to wait. The fixtures are all top-shelf and gleaming. The water comes out in never-ending warm showers of Cruiser heaven!
Our time in Texas is a blur. We saw friends from our old Yacht Club... we had dinners with family, we fixed things around the house and we sold a bunch of stuff that had been stored in our garage, on Craigslist.
But... children are meant to live their own lives, so we returned to ours... on the boat.
We had a whole long list of repairs and upgrades that we wanted to get done while we were on the dock. None of them were particularly difficult, just things that we really needed to do while we had access to parts and electricity...
|On his way up!|
While he was up there, we asked him to inspect the rigging and see if there was anything else that needed attention.
And of course, there was... Before leaving Charleston, we replaced the track on our sail slide system, and installed a new upper swivel for our roller furler. Neither of these things was critical, but they would be giving us trouble in the near future... so we chalked it up to preventative maintenance and considered ourselves lucky that we found the need for these repairs the easy way, instead of the hard way...
|Old diverter... ICK!|
The entire project took us three days, beginning to end. We have two heads (marine toilets) and the hoses all run beneath the floors, inside the furniture and up into the walls. The hoses are very stiff and difficult to work with, requiring a heat gun, some lubricant and a lot of manhandling, both to remove the old (read stinky) hoses and to install the new ones in their place. Our bodies were sore from exertion of effort in unusual ways... to say the least.
The big surprise was how, after about five minutes, the smell of open sewer hoses inside my house ceased to be unpleasant. I must be losing my mind...
KISS ground for our SSB radio was a snap! Bruce just hooked it up to our tuner (easily accessed behind our bed) and we ran it down along the hull.
I highly recommend this if you're in the market for a new ground for your SSB. The original grounding system (copper ribbon affixed along the inside of the hull with 5200) was in tatters. It was doing us no good and we could barely use the SSB.
Now we get MUCH better reception and we're completely thrilled that it was so easy and so inexpensive.
MarineBeam.com. Now we have enough light to perform surgery (read plucking my eyebrows) and I don't have to feel like I'm going blind!
We provisioned, we cleaned, we rearranged things... but it wasn't all work.
|View from the top of the bridge|
|The Marina at High Tide|
|Turtle cruising through the marsh at high tide|
Greek Orthodox Church and sampled their decadent treats!
|These are the Four Corners of Law|
Ghost Tour! That was such fun. We never would have ventured out and strolled the dark streets of Charleston had we not taken the tour. And we would have missed one of the highlights of our stay!
Fort. It came with a nice harbor tour by boat and we made a day of it with a lunch out in town.
made a day of it with one couple and visited the outlying beautiful countryside.
We could have walked the streets of Charleston for days, but we had only so much time... And suddenly it was over!
|Sun setting on Florida's West Coast|
We had to get our minds back into Cruiser Mode, and we were surprised at how sluggish we had become. But we dusted ourselves off and blew out the cobwebs that had taken up residence in our minds and flipped the switch.
Summer was gone. We have the Bahamas to look forward to. We are READY and with nothing more than topping off our water tanks and slipping away from the dock on a quiet Thursday morning... our time in Charleston was done. What beautiful memories we have made here. Charleston had truly begun to feel like "home"... and essentially, we HAD lived here. Remember that summer?
|We celebrated our birthday on October 17th. Our second as Cruisers!|
|Bruce had some help putting the sail back on after the sail slide project|
|Jezabelle (our bad cat) took a stroll on the neighbor's boat. BAD BAD!|
|Fascinating "Single Houses"|
|We sampled canned meats - part of a three day provisioning frenzy.|
|Driving over the Ravenel Bridge|
|Beautiful quiet cemetery at Drayton Hall|
|We strolled along the Ashley River|
|We grew to love the dripping Spanish Moss|
|Very soon the magnolias will bloom... we will miss it.|
|We visited the local Farmer's Market|
|Charming mossy walls along the streets of Charleston|
|Tiny crabs came up through our sink and floor drains.|