“What do you think? Should we be on the hook tonight, or find a marina?”
“Let’s check the weather again. Hmmm. Winds look fairly light tonight, but tomorrow has rain and chillier temperatures. And then, there’s the current to deal with in Beaufort (Bew-furt).”
“So you think we should spend some of the cruising kitty and be in a marina for the next two nights, maybe three?”
“I think so. Check out this marina across the bridge from Beaufort. It has amazing reviews on ActiveCaptain. It even has a 2,000 square foot workshop, with power tools!”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Nope. The real deal!”
And so we are at Lady’s Island Marina. It’s everything the reviews claimed.
Steve and Steve meet us at the dock to help with the lines, welcoming us with warm southern hospitality. We continue to be amaze at how different marinas can be. This one has a very spacious boaters lounge, and we actually feel encouraged to make ourselves at home.
The laundry room is well-equipped, adjacent to a few private bathrooms. But the real distinctive feature is the workshop, with power tools! Wow! If we hadn’t already made our sign in the Gail and Ron’s garage, we could have made it here. Who knew?! It is certainly a tidbit we are filing away for another trip, either northbound or south.
We sign in at the marina office and Steve refuses to take the credit card just yet. “You may prolong your stay here. Many people do.” He is disappointed that we already have plans for Thanksgiving, because they have a tradition of a huge feast in the boater’s lounge. No wonder this place gets a five star rating, with 120 comments on ActiveCaptain.
He reminds us that they have a courtesy car, despite many conveniences being within a 5-minute walk. And if the car is booked, they are happy to give us a ride into Beaufort (only 1 mile away) and pick us up, on demand.
All of these amenities make me put aside my interior design critique for another day. While I may not be persuaded to make this my home as a permanent residence, which others here have done here, this marina certainly made it easy to justify staying one extra day.
Our first night here we dined at the Dockside Restaurant, literally a stone’s throw away, and enjoyed an amazing meal with outstanding service. The next morning, I asked for a ride from one of the Steve’s into town to attend worship services at The Baptist Church of Beaufort, founded in 1804 when Thomas Jefferson was our nation’s President. That’s right! This church is steeped in history.
Harvard-educated Richard Fuller, the Prince of Preachers, was pastor here from 1833 until 1847 when he relocated to Baltimore to lead “a struggling church,” Seventh Baptist on the corner of North Avenue and St. Paul Street. Seventh Baptist prospered and then birthed the Eutaw Place Baptist Church, a short distance away, and Fuller preached there until his death in 1874. Years later, the Eutaw Place Baptist Church was renamed Woodbrook Baptist, when the church relocated to Towson. And yes, that’s my present church. And I was a member of Seventh Baptist before that. So my visit to The Baptist Church of Beaufort was quite the stroll through history, spiced up by tales told throughout the years by Woodbrook’s Pastor Emeritus, John E. Roberts. Did you follow all of that?
I was welcomed warmly at The Baptist Church of Beaufort, and invited by pew-mate Beth to join her for the church luncheon after the worship service. I accepted, and had a delightful time with others at our table. Two of my new friends offered me a ride back to the marina, since they live a short distance away on Lady’s Island. Larry and Charlotte visited Belle Bateau, and met Dudley who had just completed another boat project.
Later, Dudley and I walked into Beaufort just before sunrise, and walked the town. Beautifully quaint, we will return to explore more tomorrow.
So we are snug and cozy, with shore power for heat, as the temperatures drop and friends up north post pictures of snow on FaceBook. Under our hull, we hear soothing water sounds as the current rushes eastward, and then westward. We rock gently as winds increase. Both the rocking and the water swishing lull me to sleep.
I love sleeping on a boat, whether on the hook or at a marina.