It was a bit tough to wait in our anchorage on Dewees Creek on the morning of Day 30. We had to wait for the tide to rise to make it through the Isle of Palms reputed shoaling, then past the Ben Sawyer Bridge. We had planned to weigh anchor at 9:30 am, but when other boats headed out before us, it made us do some recalculating. But we stayed firm. Interesting to note the methods each of us employed to handle the anxious waiting. I stayed busy with non-boat stuff, like trying to sketch or write. Dudley watched a tugboat/barge on AIS on our chartplotter and took notes where he passed through the narrow channel. AIS showed that the tug had a 10’ draft. Wow! And he made it, so hey, so should we.
And we did. Easy peasy.
What wasn’t so easy peasy was the docking at the Charleston City Marina. We had heard about the currents. What we hadn’t counted on was the strength of the wind that morning. And the direction. It was a fierce crosswind, at 18-20 knots, gusting 26-30, setting us away from the dock. And they had us docking just in front of Emelina, a mega power yacht that screamed money. Suffice to say we docked safely, thanks to a masterful Captain D, dockhand Robert, and two kind strangers who caught the lines that I threw. It took some additional maneuvering to get our boat to cozy up to the dock so we could step off safely. But phew, we were secure.
Robert offered to give me a ride to the dockmaster office to check in. Good thing. It was a half mile down the pier. No kidding. They did have us at the furthermost point of the marina. And we were in good company. I tried not to gawk at the mega yachts as Robert’s golf cart rolled by. Frankly, most power yachts don’t impress me. But those massive sailboats can be quite striking. I can only imagine how it feels to raise those huge sails, and likewise, how much wind is needed to move such a huge boat. I think Belle Bateau is quite big enough. Interesting to feel dwarfed by boats around us after weeks of being one of the larger boats in an anchorage or marina. It felt like we had just docked in Monte Carlo!
One sailing yacht even had custom printed flip flops for its working crew. Hmmm. I thought I had really done a cool thing ordering welcome mats and hats with Belle Bateau inscribed. Never thought of flip flops with Belle Bateau imprinted.
Once we caught our breath from the exhilaration of docking, we rode the marina’s courtesy van into town. We walked King Street, and Market Street, savoring the afternoon sun and sights in Charleston. Dudley even found a building he had made a model of when he owned his architectural model shop in Raleigh in the ‘80s.
We made it back in time to join the marina’s evening cocktail party, where we met other likeminded sailors, and chatted with a few power boaters. And yes, the small world thingie happened again when I met Beryl with a son at Elon U. Amazing.
Day 31 was a mixture of kicking back, and yet attending to some “wouldn’t it be good if we could” opportunities. That’s commonly what happens when we stay at a marina for more than one day. When we are on the move, we can barely attend to anything more than navigational planning and making meals. When we stay put, we have a chance to breathe, look around, and pull out the “to do” lists.
I attended to some personal pampering like a haircut and a mani/pedi. Not saying who did these but suffice to say we saved some money. Additionally, since I found a CVS nearby, I thought I’d begin the battle of getting my thyroid prescription filled for six months rather than the typical three. It took the pharmacist calling my insurance company, and verifying my doc’s note “will be out of country for six months” but finally we were successful. Phew. I didn’t want to fight that battle in the Bahamas three months from now (although the medication would have probably been much cheaper).
While I was gone, Dudley removed our new water pump and installed the back-up pump. Yep. Our new water pump was just 5 months old, and yet it had been performing poorly for months (water pumps are required to pump water from our water tanks to each of the faucets and toilets). It had been inconsistent too, which was even more frustrating. It would act just fine for a week or two, and then drive us batty for days on end. We are hoping to return it, though my calls to the manufacturer a few weeks ago turned up nothing. They are based in the UK and apparently their USA headquarters no longer exists. Glad we had a spare.
So although we have been in beautiful Charleston, the days have been a bit filled with practical matters. But that’s okay. It’s certainly been an interesting place to watch people and mega yachts on the mega dock.