Dec 16, 2007

A Trip Home To Michigan

We left warm and sunny Charleston. Descending down through the clouds into Detroit we were welcomed back to a grey, cloudy, and freezing landscape. Back in Michigan!

We met our teary eyed mothers at the airport. It was weird coming home. It took us 3 months to get to Charleston, and just 3 hours to get home. Everything is pretty much the same, which is nice because we feel at home!

Its been nice to live without tanks for a bit. The first night at home, my Mom turned on the water, full blast, and walked away while it warmed up. I jumped to the sink and turned it off.

"What are you doing?" my mom asked?

I was about to say "We're gonna run out of water if you let it run like that!" then I remembered "hey, there's no tank! we've got all the water we want!"

Dec 4, 2007

Third times the charm

So we tried to stop in Wilmington, North Carolina. No luck there. No jobs, No boat slips. We then went for John Island located in Charleston. Not bad, but 10 miles out of town, and not a very nice marina.

We are now at Ashley Marina, right in downtown Charleston. This place is amazing. We're talking prime location, free shuttle bus, free laundry, WiFi, free pump outs, free electric, and perhaps the nicest marina showers I have ever seen. When I say nice showers, I mean magazine worthy, millionaires home style showers. Ceramic tile, large glass doors, drenching shower heads. Showers on a cruising sailboat are a luxury, really nice showers are like hooking up with a super model.

So here we are. We have signed a 6 month contract, which will put us here until May. Maybe longer, because if the super model wanted you to stay.... wouldn't you?

Not to do more Southern bashing... but just some fun facts:
South Carolina was the first state to leave the Union before the Civil War. South Carolina was the last state in the Union to abolish Segregation. All that aside South Carolina was 68 degrees today while my hometown is under a blanket of snow!

Wheres the good in good bye?

Our good friends of what we have taken to calling the “International Cruising Club” (Ray, Irene, Sue, Peter, Roman and Ohla) have caught up with us for the last time. They stopped by to say good bye before they continued south. We had a big ol' jamboree with guitars, singing, and of course beer.

We're going to miss them a lot, but chances are we will see Sue and Peter on their way back North. Ray and Irene have invited us to crew on their boat when they cross the Atlantic. So, although we will probably never all sail together again, all is not lost.

Things I will remember and miss:

***Meeting Ray in the middle of the night, in the middle of a thunderstorm, our boats both run aground after the mooring balls had drug.
Ray: "hi my names Ray... tickle ur ass with a feather?"
Me: "what?"
Ray: "particularly nassty weather"

***My anchor dragging down towards peter's boat during "tropical storm 15" Peter says "looks like I’m anchored in your spot."

*** backpacks shouldered, exploring streets of unfamiliar towns.

*** "Pre-Dinner Drinks," which turns into "All night Drinks," which turns into "maybe we should leave at 9:00 am instead of 7:00 am .... oh lets just stay another day"

***Riding in a car with Roman who is saying "it's a known fact Americans can't drive in snow." As he turns past "wrong way" signs posted on "one way" streets, veers off the shoulder of the road, and in and out of the on coming traffic lane... all this leading me to believe "Canadians can't drive in the sun."

*** being called "the kids" by a bunch of “California Raisins.”

*** Late night comedy hour on the VHF Radio:
Me: c-drifters c-drifters, are you monitering this Channel?"
Ray: "no"
Me. "Thanks for the food, Irene's tatey hash was good"
Ray: "did you just say Irene's tasty ass was good? Steady on, tiger!"

*** Ray (after the cat falls in the water) "looks like you've got a wet pussy on your hands"

*** Ray on the VHF: "Okie Dokie"

*** Peter Burns on the VHF: "Carnation Carnation" (deviated from our name "cambryation")

*** Peter Burns on cooking "you take a stick of butter"

I could go on and on about the good times and the inside jokes that have accumulated over the last couple hundred miles. So I suppose I will just stop now. It is to say the least, that I have had a very good time, and will miss our new friends very much. But goodbyes are apart of sailing. LeeAnn and Irene cried, and so did a nice lady we had just met named Cindy.

“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; 
they make the latitudes and longitudes.”

Dec 1, 2007

Arriving in Charleston, SC. Our home for the next year.

We arrived in Charleston, South Carolina at St. James Yacht Harbor. The marina was recently bought by a company in Maryland. I asked the first people I met how they liked the marina.  The primary complaint from one of the men was that the new marina owners made him take down the confederate flag from his boat.

The two men went on to complain about how it is unAmerican that the federal government made the South Carolina state capitol building take the confederate flag down. I see their point, America is supposed to be a free country... He said it was "heritage." I would have liked to say "heritage belongs in a museum, not on a capitol building" but I'm not that witty, and I didn't want to make a bad impression. I did however point out to him that the confederate flag is unAmerican based on the fact that is was used by the south upon their succession from the United States.

The men went on to explain that many black people took up arms to defend the plantations they worked on ... I'm thinking to myself "is it possible you are so ignorant?"

During my short time in the South so far, I've heard many people refer to "Yankees." It's strange, and a bit awkward. I keep asking myself "the civil war is over right?" South Carolina was the last state to abolish segregation in 1968. It is also apart of the bible belt.

LeeAnn has just finished reading a few books about racism, and I'm finishing up a book called "The God Delusion." To say the least I think we are going to have an eye opening winter. We're not in Michigan anymore.

Sushi checking out some shrimp. We paid 4 bucks for this pound of shrimp. We got well over a pound a few days later for free.

shrimp boats.
Fog creeping out from the swampy trees. This is alligator country.

Traveling down the ICW on a really calm day.