November 2009 Wild Dunes, SC

November 2009 Bender Blog
Isle of Palms, SC
This month saw no water travel at all but our Michelins have seen many road miles and we're still in Charleston, SC. We returned from our mountain get-away the first of November. I love islands and clear waters but gotta say that western North Carolina's my very favorite corner of the world.
Don't you just love the way the clouds come down to embrace and kiss the mountain tops! This was shot between Maggie Valley and Waynesville, NC.
We've been in Wild Dunes Marina since mid-October and plan to remain here a few more weeks. We hadn't planned to be this far north so late in the season but we hit a little detour early November and have high hopes of continuing our trip south by mid-December. We rarely stay in one place more than 2-3 weeks, and eventhough we're thoroughly enjoying our Wild Dunes stay, we're pawing the earth to be on the move again. Our sailing friends from Solomon's, Curt and Judy, spent a couple of days in Isle of Palms on their way south so sounded like a good reason for a party. We had them, with Kate and Steve, also sailors, aboard for dinner one night and had a great evening. Our nephew, Ron, and his darling daughter, Teagan, drove down from Columbia, SC, for a visit on a gorgeous weekend. What a treat it was to get to visit with them. Fred, one of our Greenville, SC, friends, provided a 2 week crewing opportunity for us in 2005 to bring his trawler to Isle of Palms from Annapolis. This was indeed the impetus that catapulted us into Trawler-hood. His trawler lives in Wild Dunes and Fred was down for a few days to put some sweat equity into Adagio. His bride, Jill, remained at home, so we had Fred and Dick, another "trawler person", for a Louisiana red beans and rice dinner, a recipe from my far and distant past of living in Cajun Country. On YouTube last year I discovered Straight No Chaser, a 10 man acapella group who began singing for fun during their college days in 1996...and they're still at it. They performed at the Charleston Music Hall---we were there---and we were NOT disappointed. They were fantastic!! Their sounds are amazing and even though it sounds as if there's instrumental accompaniment, there isn't---they produce all those sounds vocally. Ernie, my old (not as in vintage) swim coach (perhaps ex would be a more appropriate adjective) was in Charleson on business, and came for a visit. He was also our sons' swim coach and then we were on the same US Masters Swimming team. It was great to reminisce about lots of hard workouts, swim team mates, and fun times. We've heard about Allouette's Jazz Cafe in downtown Charleston so we popped in there one evening for a delightful surprise. It's across the street from Marion Square and has a truly magical atmosphere and was jumpin'! The clientele is very diverse, warm, and welcoming, making us feel that we were guests in someone's home. We enjoyed impromptu original poetry readings and music played on conventional instruments and accompanied by home-made rhythm instruments. When you're in Charleston, put this on your not-to-be missed list of things to do. For Thanksgiving, my brother, Bob, drove up from Atlanta, to spend the weekend with us. Turkey Day gifted us with spectacular weather!!! In order to keep our galley clean, we had a wonderful dinner at Morgan Creek Grill, a stone's throw from our slip, and with a tantalizing view of the AICW. Prior to our casting off our lines to be full-time live-aboards, we were in Ashley Marina for almost 3 years so we knew Charleston's downtown area and had our favorite hangouts. Being in Wild Dunes has acquainted us with an entirely different area of Charleston and we've nailed down a few favorite spots for food and fun. The guys at the marina bend over backwards to be helpful. They even hop in their little skiff and deliver our mail to us. If you're headed south and want to stay in this area which is north of the Ben Sawyer Bridge, here's their link. This has been our neighborhood since mid-October. A wonderful advantage of being in one place for a while has enabled us to get back in our "home" church and temporarily into a 'small group' for the time that we're here. We've met some great people with amazing testimonies. We've had a real hunger and have felt a huge void for this type of consistent fellowship since we've been on the move and this has been a real blessing.

Just had a serendipity! David, a friend, (boating, of course, who lives aboard his boat along the eastern Florida coast, surprised us with a visit on his return trip home after Thanksgiving holiday visits. He's a hoot and we loved his visit. Same afternoon, we also had a great visit with daughter and granddaughter, Courtney and Ali. A delightful end to a land-locked month.

This does it for us for November. Hopefully next month we'll have some sea stories for you. We wish for you a wonderful Christmas season.
Bill and Laura Bender
M/V Kindred Spirit III
Wild Dunes Marina Isle of Palms, SC


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