Goodbye Charleston

Jim and I left Charleston (well actually Mt. Pleasant), South Carolina yesterday. We are heading north on the ICW, stopping in Georgetown, SC last night, headed for Holden Beach this evening. A two day trip that we took us nearly 3 weeks in late January. We had hoped to take an offshore journey, but the weather would have been just a bit sloppier than we wanted, so back to the ICW.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of dolphins. When the water temps are over 60 degrees, we see dolphins. We saw lots of dolphins in this area and there were several who ran with us for maybe 10 minutes, just cruising along beside the boat.

Why Are We Headed North in Winter?

We are heading north once again to leave the boat for…. more work! We are still working through the backlog of things needed when we bought it that we don’t want to do. So, we’ll leave the boat and head back to New Mexico for a few months while they do the work. We wanted it somewhere warm enough that we do not have to winterize the boat. We’ll be working with a company we’ve used before, but in a different location. Wish us luck!

The yard is small. The boat next to us…. oh my. Why is it there? The yard tends to rent slip space, so the boat next door likely has nothing to do with the yard. It was HARD to get into the tiny slip. Wind, current and narrow slip with a sailboat on each side sticking out well past the end of the slip. Lets see…. 8 or 9 tries before we got in. But we did! The yard and travel lift in the background that will haul the boat for the new depth tranducer.

But What about the Boiler?

Phase one of the boiler (installed, circulating and producing heat to warm the boat) was completed about 2 weeks ago. Yeah! Works much better than the reverse cycle heat.

The shiny new Hurricane Chinook boiler in the lazarette. The red hose in the foreground is the heated liquid leaving the boiler for distribution around the boat (an antifreeze type fluid). The black hose front right is the fresh air into the boiler. White hose to the back and left is the exhaust which goes through a muffler and out the transom. AC electrical in the little gray box on top. The BIG black hose overhead is the exhaust from the John Deere engine for the boat. Other stuff around (the cylinder to the right) is hydraulics for boat steering.

Still some kinks to work out as well as phase 2 (tying into the hot water heater as an option) and phase 3 circulating through the engine when running to take advantage of that heat. Not critical, but something we want to do. Other projects will be rolled into these phases such as changing the zinc in the hot water heater and cleaning out the radiators in the engine. When we return.

Did we get to have any fun in Charleston?

We may not have done as much touristing as one might thing for being in Charleston for a month, but we did enough for ourselves and also got a good feel for living in the area, one of the things we enjoy about visiting places. We did several nature walks with quite good birding. Many of the walks are nearly in neighborhoods with a swampy area very close by. So very different than New Mexico. It is shocking how many yellow-rumped warblers we have seen on these walks. Apparently, the South Carolina coast is where they winter.

Most of the trails were through manicured neighborhoods. But, we found this trail that led through swampy area from a neighborhood to the beach. LOTS of those yellow-rumped warblers in there as well as ducks, thrashers, and others.

We visited Fort Sumter, where the first shots were fired in the Civil War. Fort Sumter is on an island near the entrance to Charleston Harbor. What a good place for a fort; great protection for a harbor. Fort Sumter was built around 1812 and important in the War of 1812. It was held by the, held by Unites State until the Confederate Forces took control very early in the Civil War. It also did some duty during the World Wars but is now retired.

Original inner walls of Fort Sumter. The Fort was originally 3 stories high with quarters, barricades and all.
This whole area (including canons), circa Civil War, was completely covered over with rubble for World War era usage. After it became a National Monument, it has been discovered excavated.

Unfortunately, you cannot take your own boat (easily), so we took the official ferry. A bit strange to go on a different boat now. It was a quick trip as you get limited time at the Fort. But, it was enough and interesting.

We also spent some time wandering old Charleston and also old Mt. Pleasant. Very quaint and clearly old. But, we also visited the Slave Trade Museum to see a bit of the other side of the story. I’ve done a fair amount of reading on the slave trade and life as a slave, but this museum brought into reality a bit more of the horrors.

Ohhhhh, I want these steps. How MUCH water would I need to do this.
A very typical house. The entry gate is on the street, but to enter the house, you go through the courtyard on one side of the house. Space conserving.
This street could be in many countries.
Entry to the old market. maybe 4 blocks long and ventilated. Today, arts crafts and trash and trinkets.

We did our best to seek out some outdoor restaurants to get a flavor of Charleston. Some tasty meals. As an added bonus, the people who live in the homes that surround the marina walk the docks every morning as opposed to the neighborhood. We met one couple in particular who were quite gracious, accepting our packages and befriending us. We socialized with them several times and have gotten to know them a bit. Hopefully we’ll keep in touch and be able to see them again.

More projects!

We also finally found some new rugs for the boat. The ones here may have been originals, were solid red or blue and not to our liking. Finding rugs the right sizes that do not cost a fortune (rugs on a boat have to be a bit tough) for the limited spaces was a challenge. FINALLY, it turns out you can order rugs through Lowes and Home Depot. Reasonable quality wool rugs in lots of styles, sizes that work and affordable prices. And the best, with all special orders at the big box hardware stores, they are returnable. So, we ordered 8 rugs for 3 different locations, picked one for each and returned the rest. Yeah! Now, pillows. A harder proposition so the next step may be making them.

Nikki enjoying the new salon rug.

And the last little project. We had a spare prop that came with the boat. Knarley.. We had it checked out and it was salvageable for about a quarter the price of a new one. So, had it re-worked. Then, to move it from the Lazarette to storage under our bed.

The shiny refurbished prop sitting in its new box. The prop weighs about 60 pounds. A challenge to move it around from the lax, to the tiny rental car at the faaaaar end of the dock, back to the boat and under the bed. The box is made out of scrap from our new friends Ginna and Jay’s new house in construction in the housing community.
The prop in its new box under our bed. Jim securing the top to the new prop box.

Heading Home

Oh…, I’m working so hard to not talk about New Mexico as home and the boat as not. Not there yet. As I finish this post, we are sitting in our slip at the boatyard in Holden Beach. The next two days we’ll get ready to leave the boat, pack up the kitties and head to New Mexico. We do so with mixed feelings. Transitions are always hard for us and we feel we are just starting to get the swing of things here. But, I do miss just about everything of New Mexico and am looking forward for a change of pace. Jim might be happier here as he has the weight of his Mothers estate (along with his Brother who has been holding down the fort) to address. I’m already making the lists of things to do when we get back to Santa Fe.

Hopefully we’ll be able to see many of you when we are in New Mexico, or perhaps on the boat as the Covid world subsides.

A pelican at the entrance to one of the nature trail/boardwalks we took. This is all junk taken from the salt marsh in this area.