Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 2012

Happy 2012!  We are moving south again.  Matt has always been a gypsy for along time, but was tied to the land by homes and kids and jobs.  It gets hard to remind him that we need to watch weather and ENJOY what is around.  We learned that the temperature is the same in the low country of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida.  Why are we in a hurry to get to Florida?  There is so much to see before we get to Florida.

 Beaufort, SC is an amazing place.  The city is steeped in history.  We took a carriage ride. Never had been on a carriage ride before.   The price was reasonable and we had time to get lunch at a local bar/cafe.  The guide was friendly and gave us a great tour.  Forrest Gump was filmed in Beaufort. The city is one of the few in the south that was not ravaged by the Civil War.  The homes in Beaufort were actually the southern planters' summer homes.  The homes were used for partying and hanging out with other 1% ers.  They had one home that was built just so that after the bugs started swarming in the party field the party could be moved indoors.  The windows were large, the porches are wide.  The homes face south to capture the cooling breezes
Plantation style home

formal garden and live oak with moss

The Great Santani tree.  Pat Conroy lived in Beaufort and his books are based on the surrounding areas. 

Party House

First all black owned/established church

I like the little homes better, less upkeep.

secession house

One of the homes was called the secession house.  The 1% drew up the papers for South Carolina to withdraw from the USA and become their own country.  They filed the papers and went back to the parties.  The union army was not real happy so they decided to come and visit South Carolina and have a 'conversation' with the gentlemen.  The southern gentlemen learned of the unions' plans and skeedaddled out of town. Lots of BIG talk, but when it was time to back up their talk, they ran away.  Beaufort was taken without a single shot.  The white people ran away and they slaves/blacks weren't going to put up a fight.  The homes were empty, the union officers moved in and created a command center and hospitals. 

We met up with the Butler's through SSCA.  The Butlers' helped us with a rides and advice and the use of their mailing address.  They are one of the best resources we have met.  We thought we had some good ideas about boat equipment for this adventure but we are sorely lacking in some areas.  They have taken us under their wing and are teaching us how to equip our boat with the right stuff.  We are rigged for the Chesapeake Bay, weekend excursions, not the ICW.  Our dock/spring lines are frankly- pathetic.  Saving money by using 'old' lines is not such a good idea.  You need to remember that the lines are holding the boat and need to be stout enough for the job.  We are going to buy 4- 5/8"x 40' bow and stern lines (one for each corner), 2- 5/8"x 25' spring lines, and 2- 5/8"x 50' heavy weather rafting out spares.   Fenders needed:  2 big teardrops, 4- 10" x 30" (minimum) cylinder or double ended, all hanging on 3/8" minimum lines at least 6' long.  We felt, at times, that our lines were not up to the task we were asking them to do.  Now we have a good plan on what to buy/use and a maintenance schedule.  Old sheets as lines can serve a purpose back at the 'home' pilings, but your 'traveling' set of lines need to be in great/new condition and long and wide enough to do the job.  Love learning all this new stuff.  There are sooo many things that we never thought of before we started this trip.  We were prepared, somewhat, but not in all areas. 

Just hangin out

New Years Sunrise
Last night the low temperature was 20F.  Heater is working great!  They called for gale warnings and the wind arrived at midnight.  So glad we took all the cockpit canvas down and secured the bimini.  The wind is still blowing, but at small craft levels.  Sun is shining.  Getting ready to move down the ICW to Georgia.  Had thought of going outside, but after speaking with Commander Butler, we decided we didn't want to miss the flora and fauna of Georgia.  We will have to watch the tides, but the bottom is soft mud and the sides of the rivers are soft sand and mud.  There are historical sites that you can only see from the water. 

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