22 December 2013 Merry Christmas to All!!!

An excursion boat (Bill thinks it's a private yacht) coming into Atlantic Yacht Basin, Great Bridge, VA

A spectacular fall day describes 14 November when the wind abated, giving us the bluest of azure skies. Our 3 water tanks were topped of, both 300 gallon fuel tanks full, holding tank empty, fridge and freezer packed---and we are underway in a southward direction! Life is Good!  In our five years of being full-time cruisers, this fall has been the most lengthy and seemingly habitual weather and mechanical delays that we've ever had.  When we reach Isle of Palms, our arrival will have been impeded by 6-8 weeks.  This "true life example" reinforces the seasoned cruisers mantra when we're underway, "we can tell you where we intend to be but not when".  Certainly I've mentioned this enough for it to be ad nauseam to you by now but October 2012 I made ALL of our annual medical/dental/optical appointments for mid-October 2013.  Dolefully, I had to cancel ALL of them.  End of story, we had head to toe physicals, A colonoscopy (my turn is next year), dental, oral surgeon, DXA scan, mammogram, ophthalmologist, optician (new glasses) dermatologist---seems that about covers it and we won blue ribbons at every exam.  Two excellent bills of health is a wonderful Christmas gift.  At the distinct risk of boring you, not a day passes that we aren't grateful to our God for granting us this gift and we do our part each day by incorporating exercise and a healthy diet into our unusual life-style.

The USCG approaching our stern for our virgin boarding

For the 5 1/2 years we've been full time cruisers, we've always wanted to be boarded by the USCG, albeit with much trepidation because of the alarming tales we've heard from other cruisers who've told us about their boardings.  Our turn came at last and what a positive experience it was despite the horror stories that had fallen upon our ears. Four of the youngest, cutest, nicest, most polite men in the springtime of their lives, just completed our first experience. They were absolutely adorable!  They visited Bill on the fly bridge and instructed  him to maintain his speed so we wouldn't loose time.  Wearing big smiles they came into the galley where I was preparing lunch, introduced themselves, made polite conversation, saw what they needed to see and were gone. Felt like I wanted to hug them bye! 

Bill and I had never done that drill before because we'd heard so many conflicting tales as to what they'd ask for but he had all he needed on the bridge and I even surprised myself by being able to put my hands on every item on their list.  I took several photos and asked their permission to post them on Face Book and our blog.  Further down the waterway, they were refueling at a dock, saw us, and each gave huge smiles and waves.

Southport's Yacht Basin Eatery
We had wonderful REAL Italian meals in Southport, NC, at the Yacht Basin Eatery, just mere steps from where Kindred Spirit  was docked. We lent an ear toward the kitchen but heard nothing of which their chalk board cautioned. Great food; attentive service; close to "home". We could not ask for more! Also, had nice visit with Port Captain Extraordinaire, Robert, who told us about this hidden gem.

Nothing like a little adrenaline surge to start the day, 20 November. (That's what I don't miss about nursing!) We had a near-disaster with some ancient old man on a 55' boat with an equally old woman on the bow clutching a line attached to nothing. They were hell bent on fitting themselves into the 30' space in front of us with the Little River current raging through. We were in their cross hairs and were approaching us at what didn't seem to be a prudent docking speed even if they'd HAD enough room. I'm on our deck screaming at the top of my lungs,"you won't fit!!!" She screams back, "we're only 55'!"  That wasn't an ideal time for a spatial relations lesson. Never have we unplugged power and cast off lines as fast as we did then.  End of story, in about 10 minutes they flew passed us making pleasant conversation on Channel 16.  Have NO idea why they needed to be where we were at that very moment.  Think they must've just left the showroom sans classes with that boat.  We were hit twice by the same boat in Baltimore about 6 weeks before and that repair was freshly completed so wasn't ready for another "incident" so soon. I'm still quaking in my boots so am in process of attempting some composure reclamation.

These past 2 months have been horrendous and definitely NOT our style of cruising. We went to marinas only when it was so cold we needed to plug in. Anchored rest of time because it was easier to drop the hook, pull it up the next morning and go again. We've moved just about every day and haven't been able to slow down long enough to smell the roses. Definitely seemed more like a delivery or just "moving the boat" than our relaxed style of cruising. Getting from Point A to Point B, like we've been doing, is definitely for the birds but weather and mechanical ills are to blame!!! 

At last!!! 21 November and we're about 4-5 hours north of Isle of Palms. We can smell the barn and are going just as fast as our little trawler fins can carry us!! Can't wait to shout, "Home at last! Home at last!"

Although this is true,
Mt. Pleasant has our hearts and is home to many of our friends.

The Eagle has landed! Soooo wonderful! Of course we were met with champagne, dancing girls, balloons, and a marching band!!!  Although we retired from Greenville, SC, Isle of Palms/Mt. Pleasant feels like home to us. Our home church is here and many wonderful friends.

Linda and Betsy
If you'd like to reduce the number of glasses of wine you have each night, then here's the Christmas gift for you!

Linda and David had us over for a welcome home dinner --and there's Jim!  Looks like he and Bill are napping.  David's the only one awake.

A Wild Dunes golf Cart all ready for Santa
When there's ice on the dock, you know you're arrival in FL is long over-due! 🌞
Between northern VA and Isle of Palms, our "cruising" (if you could call it that) was like a marathon boat delivery. We'll resume our snail's pace of cruising when we leave here which will be 5-ish hours a day and we won't be on the move daily. If you have an iPhone and/or iPad, you can download the free app, Find My Friends, send us an invitation, then you can follow us in our travels and always know our location--if you're curious. 
This is a portion of what FMF will look like on your device and when one of your friends is underway, their little blue dot will be moving.  Pretty cool app.
Although I graduated from a very small woman's college, my dad and brother are both Auburn alums---and most proud of it.  Auburn is not only my favorite team but it's the only team in which I have any interest.  Auburn's win over their age-old rival, Alabama, is ancient history by now, as is the poem below written by Chuck Porrettobut please indulge me and read it again.

‘Twas the night after Auburn and all through the land, not a “Roll Tide” was uttered by a Crimson Tide fan. They used to be boisterous, they used to be loud, they used to be boastful, and cocky and proud. But they lost all their swagger, they lost all their swing. For one little second had changed everything. 

The score it was even. The clock had run dry. When Nicholas Saban then started to cry. He demanded a second be put on the clock. The worse that could happen? A miss or a block. But fate it is fickle, and greed has a price, and what happened next just wasn’t too nice. The previous kicks, wide left and wide right. So he put in a rookie, 'twas not very bright. 

The kick was a boomer of 56 yards, but the extra yard needed was not in the cards. And back in the end zone a lone Tiger stood. He caught that ol’ football, he caught it real good. He started to run, he heard the cheers grow. The Crimson Tide offense? Too fat and too slow. One hundred and nine, he ran for a score. If needed, he could have run one hundred more. 

The crowd it erupted while storming the field. The Crimson Tide’s season was settled and sealed. A cry of “War Eagle” soon echoed the Plain. Nick Saban’s expression was one of pure pain. 

And up in Ohio they shouted "Go Bucks." For it gave hope to all, well, except for the Ducks. And in Tuscaloosa you could hear a pin drop. And in Tallahassee a tomahawk chop. For the night after Auburn, the Tide has no clue. The new boss in town wears Orange and Blue!

Since we won't be back this way for a couple of years, this little Baby Doll of Bill's is garaged and wearing her little nightie.
1976 Triumph 6
Farewell to Charleston, SC, for a long time

We intended (!) to leave Wild Dunes on Sunday, 15 December, but Mother Nature had other plans so since we were all ready to go, we had a lovely rainy day on board for reading, talking, piddling, with no pressing "to-do's" on our list.  We were disappointed in not being able to leave but is was a relaxing interlude.

The day was beautiful. We cast off our lines, as did Jim and Betsy aboard their Grand Banks and we cruised to Church Creek Anchorage for our first night.

I am most thankful to be a GRITS (Girl Raised in the South) and not live where it does awful things like---SNOW.  This cute little link provides all of it that I need and if you're a REAL Southerner or a transplant, I think you'll like this.  Type in your (or any address) and watch, from across the street, snow falling on your home.

Aren't Georgia Marshes breath-taking!

Buoy and her Paddler out for a Saturday morning dabble

Entry to Bethany in Isle of Hope, GA
Having grown up in Pensacola, I grew to love the old moss bearded trees bending away from the ocean as if trying to retreat from the winds' never-ending gales.  These are equally as beguiling and graceful as they provided a protective canopy over our bike paths on this little island.

Archway leading into Bethany

More of Isle of Hope's Historic Beauty

Wormsloe's Arched Entry

Below are a few of the beautiful homes along the Isle of Hope Waterway

St. Thomas Episcopal Church
And of course we couldn't be within a stone's throw of Savannah and not spend an afternoon strolling the streets there.
Along Savannah's Waterfront.
This has nothing to do with cruising or Georgia or Christmas…but I think this is pretty significant! If you think you have a good grasp of grammar, prove it by testing yourself with Grammatically Speaking, an interactive grammar quiz.  Wouldn't it be loverly if, when people took this little quiz, they'd miss no more than one!!! I LOVE it! When you have a little break in your hectic holiday schedule, this is kinda fun. http://m.staples.ca/sbdca/en_CA/cre/programs/grammarquiz/#.UoR_kHkrzb7.facebook

Speaking of grammar, look what I found on a Florida TV station's site. "Child dies after being ran over by F250."
Bill and I wish you a warm and wonderful Christmas.  To borrow one of Ruth Bell Graham's quotes, "All He asks this Christmas is you.  You with your failures, your sins, your problem, your fears.  You."

Bill and Laura about Kindred Spirit heading south in search of warm sunshine, palm trees, and sandy beaches.
22 December 2013
Anchored Cattle Pen Anchorage, GA


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