#37 Wild Dunes, SC. October 2011

October 2011
Blog # 39

This month continues to find us securely snugged in our slip in Wild Dunes.  Boat work continues---sanding, varnishing, cleaning, draperies finally finished and hanging....  Thought we'd be southward bound by this time but mechanical issues have succeeded in manifesting themselves.  We're waiting on parts to be shipped and installed.  The heat pump for the salon arrived in 2 shipments and not speedily, either.  Upon unpacking it, there's STILL a vital piece missing!  At this rate we'll be celebrating Easter right here!!!  Our wanderlust spirits tell us that we're way overdue in heading south.
Nancy, Bill, and Laura
Despite the "joys" and frustration of boat ownership as well as the uncertainty of this life, we've had many opportunities to catch up with friends.  Nancy, an Atlanta friend, visited us and we shared beautiful SC fall days with her. 

4+ years ago I met Jim in a (believe it or not) ukulele class in Greenville and our paths never crossed again. He tracked us down, contacted us, and came to IOP to spend a day with us.  Jim bought his first trawler in the spring, is staying busy making her his.  We had a conversation-filled visit and spent a delightful day filling his ears with more than he could possibly tolerate.  I love spending other peoples' money so put him in touch with the dock master in Marathon where we'll spend the winter.  So now, so will he!

We missed our "mountain fix" last fall so needed to make it a point to breathe that mountain air this year.  My college roomie and her husband have a summer home perched upon a mountain top in western NC and that was our retreat for a few days.  While we were there, we also visited with mutual friends who live in central FL.
 A fireplace was an enjoyable luxury for us.  We're not fond of cold weather but for a few days it was refreshing.
                             View from our veranda
One of our full-time cruising mentors (who cruise aboard a Nordic Tug) were gracious hosts for us in their home on beautiful Lake Keowee.  We were treated to a Low Country Boil and also a visit with another couple who also have a trawler on Guntersville Lake.
                                  Downtown Greenville's beautiful Falls Park         
We retired from Greenville, SC, after living there for decades.  We returned  for a brief stay and fell in love with it all over again.  A navigable river doesn't run through it but it's still a beautiful city that looks very prosperous and  is enjoying tremendous growth.  Bill's "best friend" opened his elegant home to us while we were there, making it possible for us to see quite a few of our old friends.

Downtown Greenville is bisected by a wooded valley park containing the falls of the Reedy River.  Completed in 2004, the Liberty Bridge is located just downstream from this group of waterfalls.  The bridge has a curved clear span over the river that curves away from the falls providing an aerial amphitheatre from which to view the cascading water.

The 345' long bridge gently slopes into the ravine and is supported by 90' twin inclined towers, each weighing 20 tons.  A single suspension cable with thin cable suspenders are only on the side away from the falls allowing for unobstructed views.  The bridge appears to float over the well manicured landscape.  Beneath it, the anchors and piles are 70' deep into the bedrock.

Europe has bridges with similar structural concepts but Liberty Bridge is unique in its geometry and the U.S. has nothing like it.
                       Reedy River Falls
Beneath the bridge is the site where, in 1768, Greenville's first European settler established his trading post.  Later he built saw and grist mills at the same site which was the hub of Greenville's early industry.

In 2006, the Liberty Bridge was awarded the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Merit Award.

Getting back "home" was great and our visits are memorable.  We relish the memories as we resume 'boat work'. 
Would make these...if only I knew where to find 112 pounds of chocolate chips!!!

Mid year 2006, we initiated our "nautical" residence in Charleston.  For 5+ years we've said, "let's tour the USS Yorktown" but kept procrastinating.  On an errand-running day we said, " it's now or never!"  If we were visiting Charleston, which was recently voted the #1 U.S. tourist destination, we'd have made that historic attraction a priority---we we spent an afternoon on the aircraft carrier docked in Patriots Point, Mt. Pleasant.  The Yorktown is the 10th aircraft carrier to serve in the USN  She played a significant role in the Pacific offensive which began late 1943 and ended in 1945 with the defeat of Japan.  Proudly, she earned 11 battle stars for WWII service.

At 888 feet in length, the Yorktown displaced 27,000 tons during WW II, she carried a crew of 380 officers, 3088 enlisted men, and an air group of 90 planes.  In the '50's, she was modified with the addition of an angled deck for jets, increasing her displacement to 41,000 tons.  She served in the Vietnam War in the '60's and in '68, recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts, the first men to reach the vicinity of the Moon.  Decommissioned two years later, the Yorktown was towed from NJ to Charleston and dedicated as a museum in 1975.
                                              Submarine Clamagore
Adjacent to this carrier is a 322' submarine, Clamagore.  She was decommissioned in Philadelphia in 1975, towed to Patriots Point in '81.
                           French tires on US planes in WW II?
Also, on the ground is a true-to-scale exhibit showing the living conditions and operational areas of USN ATSB.  Visitors are taken back to South Vietnam (1965-1970) when the USN supported the ground troops and counter-insurgency ops throughout a network of waterways.  The primary mission of the "Brown Water Navy" was to block the movement of insurgents and their supplies into South Vietnam.  The exhibit features a River Patrol Boat, helicopters, various displays and artifacts relating to the Vietnam War.
                                         Ravenel Bridge from Yorktown's flight deck
Hopefully we'll be heading south very soon and will have more news and pictures for you next month.

Bill and Laura
Wild Dunes
Isle of Palms, SC


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