We generally love living aboard, but being away from family and
friends can be hard. Holidays have a way of bringing those feelings front and
center. This Thanksgiving, even though we're apart from family, we are
fortunate to be spending time with cruisers from all over.
Every year, the small town of St. Marys, with the
proprietors of the Riverview Hotel
as the driving force, opens its arms to cruisers who are Thanksgiving orphans.
Volunteer townsfolk cook turkey and ham and cruisers bring the side dishes. In
addition to the big feast, there are activities every day leading up to
Thanksgiving. Locals give rides to the grocery store, propane shop and the laundry.
The food is great and the company is even better. Man, can some of these cruisers cook.
Cumberland Island is an otherworldly place that is accessible only by boat (there are ferries that service this National Seashore). The forest is green with enormous ground palms and hanging mosses. Matt and I kept expecting dinosaurs or Sleestaks to appear around the next bend. Park Ranger Rene Noe gave one of the best tours we have ever had, punctuating her talk with tidbits gained from her many years of living on the island as a ranger. She included a memorable dramatic re-enactment of the meeting between James Oglethorpe and Chief Tomochichi, enlisting half of our tour group. We learned that most of Cumberland Island was owned privately by the Carnegies for a long time and a few of the Carnegie descendants still own property on the island.
Back in Charleston. Back in the fountain. In November. Silly boys.
Matt mentioned several times that our trip from Beaufort, North Carolina, to Charleston should be windless, smooth and flat. So of course it was like a washing machine (Matt's reading over my shoulder and saying it wasn't that bad, but he's wrong), and we all felt sick for the first half of Day 1. He has a knack for saying, "If this wind holds, we'll be in __________ by _______" and then having the wind promptly die. But the seas calmed down and the rest of our motor-sail (mostly motor) was pleasant.
Huddled around a space heater lent to
us by another boat in the yard
A year after buying our boat, we have come full circle as we sit out of the water in a boatyard. When we purchased Perry, she was hauled out in the Bahamas. As we approach the end of week 2 of our estimated 1-week haul-out, we can reflect on the past year of boat ownership: we have been to the Bahamas and back twice (4 times for Matt), sailed the eastern seaboard to Cape Cod and done approximately 14,703 repairs.
After a much too exciting arrival, we have settled into boat fixes and life at the boatyard. It can be depressing to spend time at what is essentially a big boat hospital. However, we are well aware that things could have been much worse.