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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Ben Sawyer Swing Bridge
11/29/2008, Dewees Creek SC to Charleston, SC

Rainy, foggy morning & I had to sidestep the puddles on the floor to make coffee. The rain came dripping down the mast again so I had towels all over the floor (we've gotta get that mast sealed) to keep it dry and a bucket under the mast that the drippings missed. It was a rainy blah day out but at least it wasn't freezing - temps got into the 50s so even with the rain it wasn't so bad.

We had plenty of time to get to the Ben Sawyer Swing Bridge and fell in line (3rd of 4) for the opening so I radioed ahead of our intention to cross at noon, but the lead boat slowed and by the time we got up there the bridge still hadn't opened. At 5 after, I radioed to see what the problem was. The Bridge tender said you guys didn't get up here in time to open the bridge, you missed the opening, and next opening is in an hour. Two of the other boats pleaded their case but to no avail so we all circled for an hour until 1:00pm. She'd said something about us not being up by the green sign, we didn't see a green sign anywhere unless she meant the green channel buoy of which we were all beyond that one, so I made sure that I circled fairly close to the bridge and then at 12:55pm radioed our intentions to cross at her 1:00pm opening. This was the first bridge tender that said nothing to us - move up, hustle up or ANY thing to us - until after I'd radioed to see what the problem was THEN she told us we missed the crossing time knowing we were all there in a holding pattern waiting for her to open the bridge. Nice, real nice of her. Not one boat thanked her that passed the opening but I think we all had the same thoughts as we passed through the bridge.

Charleston Harbor is a good-sized harbor - easy to get lost if you don't follow the buoys and we got into the City Marina around 3:30pm and tied to the Mega Dock. 3 of the 4 bridge boats (including us) are tied up here on the Mega Dock Mike & Judy (Sea Sharp) and Carol & Russ (Ziveli). I wasn't sure if Bilbo went on but one of the others said they thought that Bilbo was here too. I can't believe the size of some of these yachts - they're bigger than our house! They have "Mega Yachts" on the Mega Dock Yikes - I can't imagine the amount of money to purchase let alone use some of these floating palaces that are in the 100s of feet long! I'm glad I don't have to worry about the upkeep LOL. This City Dock is amazing - floating laundry and shower docks and unfortunately 50-amp power with no adapters available so we don't have power tonight. If they can find a splitter we're going to share it with Sea Sharp & we'll both have power - they're one of the Bridge people that came through the Bridge with us. I was going to go over and give them our boat card & chat with Carol but the border patrol was going over them (they're a Canadian boat and it reminded me of when we came back from Canada) I hope the border patrol weren't as hard on them as they were on us when we returned from Canada - Mike and Judy seem like very nice people.

We got a wonderfully hot shower then caught the courtesy van to the CVS and got our scripts filled. While there, Wayne discovered that he didn't have the backpack (it was left in the van) but when the van came back to pick us up it was still there in the back seat (whew - our keys were in it).

Made steak and salad for dinner and tomorrow we'll do the laundry and visit the town during daylight hours. I hope I can get some pictures of Charleston; the weather isn't conducive to carrying my camera around.

Pic is of Judy on Sea Sharp (one of the Bridge people)

Post Thanksgiving planning
11/28/2008, Dewees Creek SC

Quiet day spent at anchor planning our route to either go through or get around Georgia. The ICW through Georgia is notoriously shallow - it sounds like they don't have the powerful communities to keep it open that S. Carolina seems to have. You must need clout in congress or the state to get the money to keep the dredging operations funded, at least it seems that way from the places we've passed through - the wealthier the community the better kept the area is... Wayne did some repair work to the boat - filling in the holes made for the davits, teak repair, etc... I lazed and worked on pictures, caught up on email stuff, posting materials and going through my phone numbers to add to my phone. Most of my phone numbers were lost in the transition of phones so I needed to piece together the ones I could find and plug them into my phone. Weather is supposed to be heading in this weekend so I'm not sure of our travel plans... As I write this, the winds are starting to howl and the sky is getting more grey and bulbous...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
11/27/2008, Dewees Creek SC

Happy Thanksgiving everyone & Thank you for the call Nate. I got your message and I hope you had a terrific one too - and yes we did have turkey... Actually turkey breast - there's no way I could fit a whole turkey in our little 10 x 15 x 8.5 inch oven LOL - but it was gooood so thanks for asking! Mrs A made turkey, stuffing, corn & yams and we had cranberry sauce and my infamous pumpkin pie I made yesterday for today's dinner. It tasted good - even though half the filling sloshed out and burned all over the oven after that big powerboat "waked" (rolled) us - what remained was yummy. Some greens and crescent rolls would have made it perfect but we'd have been to full so it was satisfying as it was.

Cooking and watching the Lions lose - a traditional Thanksgiving day but did they have to lose with such gusto!?!? Our reception here is amazing - it was picture perfect T.V. and temps during the day were in the 60s.

It was kind of funny because while I was in the galley cooking I was watching the tide get lower from the galley window and a small boat pulled up next to the swamp grass. A woman dressed in rubber boots, gloves, broad brimmed hat and armed with some tools started sifting through the tidal area and started filling up a bushel and bucket with what I assume were oysters and crabs. She continued doing this for a good part of the morning and afternoon so I can only assume that this area is quite fruitful as far as shellfishing. Her "traditional" Thanksgiving day (I'm assuming) was more fruitful than our watching our poor lions lose.

Seemed strange today to be making out Christmas cards on the boat. I don't have all the addresses that I need and my student addresses that I wanted to send cards to are at home too (can I get another recking frekin smecker!?!?) Ali & Nate if you could help me out and email me I'd appreciate it!

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