Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Morehead City to Charleston SC – The scenery is the same but we are changing!

When we prepared to go cruising the whole concept of basic necessities was very different than the concept of basic necessities now that we are underway. For Pat and me, we have been talking about our cruise for several years and interestingly most of the planning surrounded preparing the boat for the cruise. We have added all sorts of systems ranging from diesel furnaces to water makers and of course the obligatory suite of marine electronics that will allow us to send telegrams to Mars. What we have discovered however is that having a well prepared boat, is not the same thing as being prepared to go cruising.

There are things that I do today without thinking, that I would not have even dreamed about doing when I was a land dweller. A case in point, we will go very long distances for something as simple as a loaf of bread. Indeed the actual act of grocery shopping becomes an integral part of our impression of a community. For example, I would have to check my own blog to remember details about some of the earlier ports of call in our voyage, but I can recall in pretty fine detail where we bought food and the quality of the experience. For example Tadoussac is the town where we bought frozen ground veal and home made maple fudge in a little 2 cash register village supermarket, and Baltimore, despite the world class aquariums and museums is best remembered as the docks that were within walking distance of the Whole Foods Supermarket.

Although the willingness to walk great distances is a change, perhaps the biggest change for me is my desire to meet new people. Pat and I lived in the same community in Mississauga for 17 years. During that period of time, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that I actually entered one of my neighbours homes, yet out here on our cruise visiting other floating homes and having others come to ours has been some of the highlights of the trip.

Personally I have always characterized myself as a hardcore introvert, so my idea of a good time, is a quiet evening with a good book, or an afternoon of crawling around in the bilge installing or fixing a boat bit. While I always had the ability to “work a room” as part of my career requirements, it was always just work, something you did because you had to. It has come as a complete surprise to me how quickly friendships develop and how important these new friends are to the quality of our cruising experience.

Pat and I are natural optimists so perhaps we are just seeking out more of our kind, but we both agree that however spectacular the sights we have seen, the people are what we appreciate most. It is interesting that we can maintain a cheery outlook when you consider that we tend to be surrounded by a lot of bad news these days. One would think that with negative headlines combined with lousy weather, narrow channels filled with sand bars, and the US Marines closing the ICW for maneuvers, that any sane person would be looking for a plane ticket out at the next opportunity. Of course while none of us are immune to the events of the world, there is a “je ne sais quoi” about the attitude of cruisers that seems to find the silver lining behind even the darkest cloud. The analytical side of me is trying to understand why this is happening, but the emotional side of me doesn’t really care. I’m just happy that it is happening.

We are safe and sound in Charleston SC. I have only gone aground twice this week, and in doing so I did the cruising community a service by showing other boats where not to go…note to self, fancy electronics will not replace a good set of eyes and a little common sense. Other note to self, sailing straight and moving in a straight line are not the same thing; current can cause you to drift sideways even though your heading never changes…I’m learning!

Even though we have been making steady progress towards warmer climes, the goal of sitting in a bathing suit and having a beer is still very elusive. While “chilly” is a relative term, the majority of people we have encountered this week will agree that temperatures low enough to freeze water will almost certainly qualify. There have been a few evenings when the temperatures dipped into the 20s as well as a couple of days when there were headline making snow flurries. Oh well at least there will be another generation of Carolineans that can say they have seen snow, and an older generation that can say they have seen snow before Thanksgiving….maybe that’s not exactly a silver lining, but its gotta be close!

Pat and I are debating our next move. We can either head offshore from Charleston and be in Florida by the weekend, or we can continue into the hinterlands of South Carolina and Georgia. Since Beaufort and Savannah are both cruising highlights we are in a no lose situation. Anyway you will find out our decision next week. In the meantime, we are going to stay warm, and go looking for a turkey that will fit in our oven.

So to Sylvie, Denis, Heidi, Ken, Gerie, Bill, Georgie & Mike and to all the others we spoke to on VHF and have yet to meet, thanks for making our cruise special this week. Everybody have a Happy Thanksgiving and a great week I know I will. Please keep the comments and suggestions coming!


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Maureen and Doug said...

Hello Pat and Addison, through your posts I think we are enjoying your trip almost as much as you are! We hope to take a trip much like yours one day so we are following each instalment with great interest. Perhaps you can make your next fortune by turning all these writings into a best-selling cruising guide. You can count on us to buy a copy. Have a great time and keep on writing.

Maureen & Doug

Pat & Addison said...

Thanks Maureen and Doug. I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. Hope to see you out here soon.

Addison & Pat

Sailorman said...

Hi guys ... Another interesting chapter in the blog. Too bad the weather isn't warmer, but you're heading in the rigth direction and it will warm up soon. The ICW sounds like an adventure. Some of the pics show it can get pretty rough which is surprising. How has the depth been. Could I make it with my 6' draf?

All the best and keep the updates coming ....

Barb & Alan

Pat & Addison said...

The ICW is not difficult if you can stay awake. There are tricky spots but with a little TLC you can get through without too much difficulty. There are boats with much deeper drafts on the route and they do just fine...maybe the odd touch on the bottom, but then I only draw 5 feet and I've touched several times.

Lots of bigger and deeper boats out here!! All I have to do is look down the dock!


Anonymous said...

The question that Alan really wanted to ask, but was afraid of what Barb would say to him is if there's room for a 44' Kady Krogen to navigate through the ICW.

I hear Alan has Victura II on order.

Carol & Helmut said...

Hi again P&A.

Another great instalment, thank you.

I was delighted to open GAM the other day and see your article there. Is this your first publication? Congrats, I always thought that your lively story telling and fantastic photos should appear in print some day, well done!

We are enjoying your blog along with everyone else so keep it up, always insightful and entertaining.

Carol & Helmut