Jan 31, 2008

Half Head

When we first got here we learned that Charleston is known as one of the most haunted places in America. Neat! I thought. But I never believed much in "ghost" stories.

I went about my business and got a job at Embassy Suites, which turns out is the old Citadel. First built as an Arsenal in 1830 then later converted into a military college in 1842. It was citadel cadets who fired shots at a Union relief vessel approaching Fort Sumter... starting the Civil War.

Well the hotel is haunted. There are places where some of the employees refuse to go, such as the weird “basement” under the catering staging area on the mezzanine.

I went down there once, and it is creepy as all get out. There is a hole in the wall leading into a completely unfinished area with a sand floor that might as well have a sign above it reading “undiscovered bones located in here, complete with ghost of angry confederate cadet.”

The staff told me how some guests end up switching rooms. Some leave in the middle of the night.

One ghost is called "half head" or "the lost cadet.” He is young, has no head from the eyebrows up, and is often reported as a happy ghost.

One lady woke with an eery feeling that someone was in the room, and she asked if anyone was there. The reply was, as stated by the lady, that his name was George. She then asked "George" what he wanted and he replied that he was looking for his pocket knife which he had lost. As she reached around to -touch -George, she found that his head "was not all there" as she stated later upon having her room changed to another part of the hotel.

The hotel does have an old pocket knife on display. It was excavated from the hotel site along with many other artifacts of Civil War and Colonial origin.

There are people who say they've seen men in full confederate uniforms walking around. These "ghosts" are mistaken for Civil war re-creators.

I haven't seen any ghosts... yet. but I will be keeping my eyes open!

Jan 24, 2008

Cool Quotes from Cool Cats

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

What if the spell of a place falls upon a youthful heart, and the bright horizon calls! Many a thing will keep till the world's work is done, and youth is only a memory. When the old enchanter came to my door, laden with dreams, I reached out with both hands. For I knew that he would not be lured with the gold that I might later offer, when age had come upon me. - Richard MacCullaugh

Life is something to be devoured because at any moment it might be snatched away. You just can't trust life. You have to seize it by the throat. You have to pursue your dreams relentlessly, recklessly. It is too much of a gamble to waste time. - John Kretschmer.

Two courses, by the chart, now lay before us: the open sea and an inside passage between successive islands and the mainland. The outside course was much longer, and dirty weather was in prospect. That was, however, was my choice, and being then at the tiller I headed seawards. -Rockwell Kent

Immerse yourself in the minutiae of [sailing] somewhere slowly and deliberately, while secretly hoping you'll never arrive. –Paul lutus.

Not all who wander are lost.

Jan 20, 2008

Living In Charleston on a boat

We're settling in. We have a 6 month slip contract. I'm working banquets/bartending at the embassy hotel, and LeeAnn is working at Victoria's secret (oh yeah!).

So we are settled back into a pretty normalish life aside from the fact that we live on a boat. We’re docked right in downtown and we use our bikes for everything from getting groceries to getting to work. On rainy days we pack a change of cloths.

When it comes to bike riding in the rain, once you are fully soaked, it’s really pretty enjoyable. I mean, when is the last time you marveled at the miracle of fresh water falling from the sky. It’s also part of the adventure because it’s not something I would normally do. I suppose I could just spend $5 on a cab if I really didn’t want to do it. And there is the marina shuttle van which LeeAnn sometimes takes.

The marina has laundry machines and showers. We got local bank accounts, and library cards (for cheap yet a surprisingly good DVD selection).  Wifi, electricity, water, and cable are all included in our monthly slip fees of $350/month. From talking to others we are starting to think that we have perhaps the lowest slip fees out of anyone in the marina. The slips are owned, dockominium style, so the owner of the slip sets the rate.

I LOVE living on the water. Coming home to the boat at night after work, taking a long walk down the dock to our boat. Being next to the water, all the boats tied up to the dock. It puts me in such a great state of mind.

I probably won't post much until we start traveling again. We've got a few ideas for the next adventure... U.S. West coast? British Columbia Canada/Alaska? but before anything else we hope to hit the Bahamas and the Caribbean this fall 2008.

So thanks traveling along with us so far. I'll be throwing a few posts out, but for the most part we will see you this fall!

The main marina building includes the showers, laundry, and some offices.
View of Marina

Beautiful ... beautiful showers. and yes I was naked when I took this picture.
Free laundry!

Jan 5, 2008

Chad and LeeAnn's sailing

Lake Michigan Sailing:
Chaumont, New York to New York City
Bermuda to the Azores:
New York City to Charleston, South Carolina