Charlie Gibson Goes Home Nov 2013
24 November 2013 | Whortonsville, NC
I had a week off for vacation. I would have scheduled it earlier but work schedules did not allow. The original plan was to join Nick and Jeanette, and maybe others for a cruise to Ocracoke. It was apparent that a long trip was off the table long before time to leave. The weather was just not cooperating. Nick suggested a shorter trip. Perhaps to Belhaven but the weather was questionable even for that. We learned long ago not to be disappointed when plans don’t work out because they seldom do. We have learned to roll with the punches and have a good time even if we are not doing what we intended to do. Just being at Ensign Harbor and hanging out with the folks there is enough to provide a relaxing vacation. That said, the predicted high winds for early in the week did not sound inviting even being tied up to the dock.
I could have stayed home to work on my shop. There is certainly plenty to do there and around the house in general. I spend the majority of my time at home. That is not a complaint. I consider myself lucky to be able to work from home but it does present opportunities for a case of “cabin fever” sometimes. I had two activities with my amateur radio club on Saturday and Sunday but I told Judy that I did not want to stay home this week so we should consider a trip somewhere at least for the first few days of the week. We decided that we had not been to Charleston in many years and that would be a good place to spend a couple of days while we waited to see what the weather would do.
We left for Charleston on Monday morning and arrived at about 2pm. We had reservations at the “Meeting Street Inn” and they allowed us to move into our room a little early. We stayed there because friends had stayed there and recommended it. They were certainly right; it is a great place to stay. It is located half a block from the old market in Charleston proper in easy walking distance of most of the Charleston attractions. They have a free shuttle to get you to other parts of town which is really nice. Driving and parking a car in Charleston can be a bit of a hassle. The hotel served a nice breakfast and provided a social hour with wine and cheese each afternoon at 5pm. We highly recommend the Meeting Street Inn. It is not the fanciest or most expensive place to stay but it is clean, the staff is very nice and you get a real taste of the old city. As for restaurants, just take your pick. We ate seafood at Hyman’s and Hank’s for dinner as well as a lunch sandwich at Groucho’s deli. All were excellent. From what we can tell by talking to the other guests at the hotel, I don’t think a poor restaurant would last a week in Charleston because they are all so good.
Judy never met an old graveyard she didn’t like and Charleston is loaded with them. We walked about town for two days. We even found my first apartment when I lived there years ago and the apartment we shared just after we were married. Both have changed a lot. Both areas at the time were occupied by students and other folks not very far up the economic ladder. Now, the College of Charleston has absorbed a lot of the downtown area. What they have not taken over has become “gentrified” to the point that they are way past the means of average folks. We had a great time seeing the old city and staying in (what is to us) an elegant old hotel.
Wednesday November 20, 2013
According to Google maps, it should take only 30 minutes longer to drive from Charleston to the boat than form home to the boat. When we left on Monday we had decided to pack for the whole week and travel directly from Charleston to Ensign Harbor. It was a fairly pleasant drive up highway 17 but the drive was more than 30 minutes longer. We arrived at the boat in time to unpack before dark. We had a light dinner and turned in.
Thursday November 21, 2013
We had considered the possibility of sailing to Oriental and getting a slip on Thursday but the weather kept us from being excited about it. We had received a Christmas request for a T-Shirt with “ORIENTAL” on it from Carson. We took the opportunity to head into town and do some shopping. We had lunch at a new place called “The Shanty”. The building has housed any number of establishments and this one is not remarkable. They were serving cheap tacos and the sweet potato fries were quite good. When we got back to the boat neither of us were willing to take on the less than desirable weather just to sail to Oriental so we just hung out for the afternoon. The weather was not bad, it was just not good. Rain threatened off and on all day. Judy needed help from Jeanette on a knitting project and I did several boat chores that needed doing. There is always something to do on a boat. We took our tomato soup to the cockpit at around 5 and enjoyed a visit with our friend Art. The electric heater kept the boat very comfortable all night.
Friday November 22, 2013
Nick had invited me to join him and Art on a trip from Minnesott beach back to Ensign Harbor. He was going to bring Dan’s Pearson 28 back from the yard there after her bottom was painted. We had a leisurely morning and left (by car) at 11 am. After a bit of trouble getting the diesel cranked, Donnie (boat yard staff) found a loose battery connection. She cranked right up and we were on our way. Getting out of the slip was a bit of a challenge because there was a really tight turn to port and another to miss the docks ahead. We only bumped the bottom once on the way out of the notoriously shallow and changeable Minnesott beach channel. That is really quite good. The rest of the trip was uneventful but there was no wind at all and we motored all the way. That is about right. Too much wind for 5 days then none at all. Judy fixed salmon and rice for dinner and we watched a movie on the computer and turned in early.
Saturday November 23, 2013
This was a good morning to NOT be at the boat. We got up and out fairly early. By the time we got everything packed and ready to go the wind had picked up and the clouds were closing in. We had a good hard rain shower and found that we needed new wiper blades so we stopped at an auto parts store in Kinston and had them replaced.
I named this blog entry “Charlie Gibson goes home” which will make sense only to regular readers. Our dingy is named “Charlie Gibson” after a dear family friend. Ol’ Charlie never got out of his cover this summer nor did his little gas kicker see any action. We kept trying to schedule a cruise but it never worked out. The weather this summer was unusually rainy which makes lousy cruising weather. Charlie Gibson came home this time to spend the winter in the basement where he will be nice and warm and out of the weather. Bringing him home means the active sailing season is over. We will be down to check on the boat when the weather allows and we may even be able to go sailing but not extended stays are planned until the spring fitting out / maintenance visit.
We are looking forward to seeing our children at Thanksgiving and Christmas and as long as we stay healthy we will be at Ensign Harbor in full force in the spring.