The First Leg: Completed

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Charleston … The Holy City

As of late this morning, Calypso and her intrepid crew of Rick and Skip, arrived at the Charleston City Marina and its Megadock — so named because of its length of more than a quarter mile.  (Makes you pack your shower kit really carefully — lest you forget your shampoo and have to go back for it — if you’re hoping to indulge in unlimited water and a shower stall that doesn’t rock.)  Calypso has a much more convenient slip assignment, but they will wait out the tide at the Megadock and then reposition.  Calypso will be staying in Charleston for a few weeks, until Rick and the next complement of crew return to continue the journey.

In the meantime, Rick and Skip will enjoy a well-deserved dinner at Poogan’s Porch, while I enjoy my last evening of delinquency (without Rick’s supervision) at home.  Starting tomorrow, I’ll need to force myself not to put on pajamas right after getting home from work, and I might even cook a proper meal instead of taking my chances with what’s left in the freezer.

Rick’s being away, and on the waterway, really demonstrated the quality deficiencies of our iPhones as actual telephones.  Whenever we talked, the connection was so crackly we gave up after a few minutes.  Mostly, we communicated by text message, with a few emails and Facebook posts thrown in for variety.  So, until Rick chimes in with a more detailed post about this part of the journey, I’ll patch together a few impressions from our fragmented communications.

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Columbia, Maryland is not the only place with interesting place names.

I’m not sure I need to elaborate any further here….

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One of these things is not like the others….

In Annapolis, we are surrounded by a large contingent of boats with sticks and, by extension, lots of people who understand what we’re up to for the coming months.  This dock in North Carolina, where Calypso’s is the only mast, shows where the marine industry is heading.  And it’s not in the direction of more sailboats.  Our own manufacturer — Sabre Yachts — has abandoned building new sailing vessels altogether, as has Hinckley.  We’re a dying breed.  (Of course, our boats last forever, so you can’t get rid of us so easily.)

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Local Fauna?  Wilmington, North Carolina.

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Marsh Houses

Maybe it’s just as well that I didn’t join Rick on this leg of the trip.  I’ve long though about retiring in the South Carolina Lowcountry.  I’d probably be taking down realtor names and mentally furnishing and decorating my dream home on one of the tidal creeks.  We’ve enjoyed several beach vacations and tennis trips, but I imagine that seeing this beautiful region by sailboat is a completely different experience.

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Price Creek, just north of Isle of Palms, SC

This was last night’s anchorage.  These waters are so unlike the Chesapeake that we’re used to.  The tides create significant currents, and the tidal range is measured in feet, not inches.  At night, you can hear a snap*crackle*pop sound that to me sounds like sizzling bacon.  But the only thing that sound has to do with bacon is that it’s made by shrimp (which are really yummy over grits with bacon) snacking on the bottom of your boat.  Dolphins are also regular visitors.

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Other Wildlife….

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I undertook a major cleaning and organizing project, to ready our house for our absence.  When cleaning out one of the cupboards, I found this beastie.  How such a large bee or wasp could have been missed by me, who is almost comically terrified of flying, stinging insects, is unfathomable.  And how it got inside the cupboard to die is also a mystery.  (If it had been alive, Rick would have heard my shreiking and flailing from South Carolina, and I probably would have moved into a hotel until he returned to dispatch the monster. Bug killing is a Blue Job.)

I’ve also been handling the more mundane paperwork and busywork to get ready, both at work and at home.  Stuff like arranging for mail forwarding.  Cancelling subscriptions.  Dealing with bank accounts.  Doing battle with a certain health insurance company whose name begins and ends with the same vowel (grrrrrrr!).  Although I am anxious about sailing offshore and standing watch, that might be better than dealing with some of these bureaucrats….

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