History Log: Season 2004
Amida travels from Toronto to Trinidad.
Our first years adventure.
Log 4: Beaufort to Charleston
November 25th, Beaufort NC

We’re still in Beaufort and are anchored not where we had initially intended, which was just off a protected area of ocean front.

Leaving Oriental, the NOAA weather forecast called for strong winds for last night. Secondly, the anchorage we had targeted was
some 7 miles away from the town, so we decided to drop the hook on the north side of Beaufort, a short dinghy ride away from
the “attractions”. Yesterday we unloaded it off the foredeck, attached the motor, and drove to town for the day.

At this time of year it is a sleepy place with most of the action being along a single street. Surprisingly, as Beaufort is a major
exit point for boats heading out into the ocean, there are no marine stores of note, nor is there a grocery store close by. The
Marine Museum, however, offers the use of a courtesy car. Not needing any provisions, we declined the offer. There are many
beautiful old houses, especially on the street one away from that with the stores. Some date from 1817, others 1847 and on. We
came across a delightful cemetery with ancient headstones under leafy trees with inscriptions now almost totally faded. The
weather was surprisingly warm, in the 70s, and sunny. A leisurely lunch at a restaurant on the waterfront was very nice and
during which we came up with a rather surprising discovery.

You know how we Canadians are generally dismissive of US beers because their alcoholic content is that much lower than ours.
Of course, Brits scorn NA beers in general, unless they come from a micro-brewery and you can always tell if they do, just by
looking at the price tag. Well, I had seen O’Doul’s beers on Shadowfax ( our friends from Little Current) so, when faced in a
grocery (where one buys beer in the US) with the beverage list containing the usual Buds and Millers, ordered the O’Doul’s,
thinking it must be a local brew. It duly arrived and seemed to taste just fine, until M noticed the small print on the bottle, which
outlined the calorific content as being 73 and alcoholic content as zero! I felt quite mortified that my palate had not noticed this
rather pertinent fact immediately the suds had hit the membranes in my mouth. Maybe I’m just not drinking enough beer these
days…

Not having a grocery or marine store in which to drop our money, we came upon a clothes store with a 40% sale, thus offering
an opportunity to save a bundle.

I walked out with a shirt which advertised its capacity to fade more after each washing, thus embracing Bob Willard’s (my IBM
management mentor) adage that if you can’t fix it, you should feature it. M searched high and low and ended up with only a
fetching straw hat. I would have bought one too (US$24 less 40% being a major bargain) except for her comment that it was too
Aussie in its design. I mean, why would a fellow born in Wales, of Polish heritage (though one parent was from Lithuania and the
other Germany), with sisters born in Palestine and England, bred in Lancashire, now a Canadian citizen forged in Winnipeg, and
of late living in the multi-ethnic Danforth Coxwell area, care if an Aussie look was added to this geographic mix? The decider was
the fact that I don’t ever wear hats, so this one would just take up space on Amida.

On the way back, we stopped by the marina outside of which we were anchored to see if there was sufficient draft for us to come
by to pick up diesel fuel later. At least this was the excuse as the real reason was to visit their washrooms. Finding washrooms
other than the one on Amida is a major preoccupation as we don’t want to use up our scarce holding tank capacity unless we
really, really need to. Of such simple things is made the cruising lifestyle!

I greatly oversimplify this lifestyle as today was a perfect example of the major decisions that have to be made. The sunny and
warm weather had come to an abrupt end and a cold front rolled in at just after midnight last night, bringing with it 20-25 knot
winds (40-50 kms/hr). This led to some discussion as to whether two anchors would need to be deployed and the decision was to
procrastinate until we popped our collective head, physically in the form of Marilyn’s, outside at midnight to see if we were
dragging. It turned out that we were OK with the big CQR, with 50 ft of chain, buried in the mud. That’s the good news side of the
equation, the bad is that when we bring it up, the mud comes with it, and it is evil looking and putrid. Our deck wash pump
pressure is marginal in its capacity to clean the mud off the chain as it comes up and some of the dirt flows down the deck and
into the anchor locker. Luckily, the anchor locker lid is kept closed, so whatever sea creatures may be multiplying within it are,
being out of sight, out of mind, certainly mine though not likely Marilyn’s! Even more luckily, our division of labour agreement,
keeps most cleaning chores in her hands in return for me getting battery acid an my mouth and having to blow out diesel and
holding tank air vents etc… I’ve just read this again and all of a sudden I’m thinking I’m getting hosed on this particular deal!

The major decision I mentioned at the start of the last paragraph, related to the plan for where we would head next and when
we would depart. You’ve maybe read the log about our grounding experiences and how we thought going “on the outside” would
be a welcome change. There are two options for a relatively short hop into the ocean. These are either to Southport, some 20
hours away or directly to Charleston, maybe doubling the time. The problem lay in the weather forecast, which had a small craft
warning in place, with six foot waves as well as NE winds of around 25 knots (50km/hr), for today, Tuesday, followed by a day of
calmer conditions, with high winds returning on Thursday. The dilemma was that we could save several days of slogging down
the ICW but the alternative was not a comfortable one. What to do?

Waiting for today’s weather to abate would mean not leaving the anchorage till the late afternoon, followed by either 20 or 40
hours outside, depending on the choice of destination. What if the winds did not diminish as early as forecast and we ended up
being on the outside, in bad conditions, with darkness approaching and making a return into Beaufort’s shelter tricky? What if the
high winds showed up earlier on Thursday, making the entrance into Charleston potentially hazardous? Lots of humming and
hahhing followed, as well as frequent listening to updates of the forecast to see if it was changing. In the end, we decided upon
the classic compromise, namely that we’d stay put till the morning and then head out to Southport, where we’d come back in to
take the ICW for the rest of the way to Charleston.

Having made the decision, we visibly relaxed and stress could be seen wafting out of the companionway. The afternoon was
spent reading and relaxing, though I did study Skipper Bob’s book to sketch out the ICW Southport to Charleston segment and
see what perils lay in that particular section. We will face shoaling where there are inlets from the ocean in several places, so
further groundings can be expected, but there are also some most beautiful parts of the ICW in this stretch. We’ll also miss
Camp Lejeune. This is the US Marine Corp’s training ground and the ICW is in the middle of their firing range… not a bad place to
miss! We’ll also give a wide berth to the area on the chart I noticed was labeled as having Unexploded Ordnance. It is just
outside of Camp Lejeune, leading me to wonder if the Marines tend to miss their targets, rather too frequently, when
practicing…It pays to study the charts!

I remember reading about Camp Lejeune in novels about Marines in WWII. This was their boot camp. You know, the one which
had the kick-ass Drill Sergeant in charge of training the platoon of sad-ass recruits, in which inevitably was a wise-ass from
Brooklyn, a lard-ass from Iowa, and a bad-ass from Chicago. Said Sergeant is brutal but gets the job done, so the platoon
ends-up kicking-ass when they finally go to fight. Why is NA English so pre-occupied with the word “ass”????

One of my objectives for these two years was to educate myself a little more than school, university, and IBM had managed (a
long way to go, some of you might say). So, I decided to alternate reading fiction with volumes of a heftier weight. So far, I
have finished a book about the Six Day War and am now plowing through Roy Jenkins’ biography of Churchill, all 900+ pages of
it! It is not easy reading by a long stretch as Jenkins uses many words containing more than two or three syllables. I usually try
to guess what they mean based on their context and my familiarity with Latin which was learned at school and as an altar boy.
Latin is a dead language for very, very good and deserving reasons, to which any of you who also had to take it at school, or
served on altar steps, can attest! Still, I have reached page 150, despite having fallen asleep with the book on my chest several
times. I think I am also, subconsciously, extending this stint of writing, so I can bridge the gap to supper without needing to pick
it up again. The less charitable among you will say I’m rambling, so it probably is time to stop for the day.

November 27th, Southport

OK readers, I need some help. What is “shag dancing”, which term I came across in a local tourist brochure? One meaning of
shag relates to a carpet, so it might be dancing on some kind of special rug. The other is far more intriguing, as the word “shag”
is a Brit colloquialism which, English being a living language unlike Latin, has now been usurped by the cute term of “bonk” (send
me an email if you don’t know what a bonk is). The imagination could run rife at this point! (My visits to England, to visit family,
give me the opportunity to catch up on the latest vernacular and the Brits are great at coming up with new words and phrases,
such as “naff” (can’t remember what this means) and my favourite, the very descriptive, “gob-stopped” (astounded).

Southport, where we currently sit, is a very pretty little town. In fact, I recall that around a decade ago, it was chosen as one of
the Top 10 places in which to live in the US, or perhaps to retire to. Today, being Thanksgiving Day, found it totally deserted. I
took a walk while Marilyn napped. Our marina is in the historic part of town, with many wonderful old houses, winding streets
which change direction just to avoid an old oak tree, and a bunch of antique stores in the “downtown”. There are several
restaurants and places where you can buy fresh shrimp, with the “store” on the street side of the building and the fishing boats
docked on the other side. We’ll stay here for two nights and do some more exploring tomorrow.

The trip from Beaufort was interesting. Both ports (Beaufort & Southport) have a marked channel leading in / out, to avoid the
surrounding shoals, at the end of which is the major buoy which the charts locate with a GPS waypoint. Buoy to buoy the
distance was not great, some 90 miles, so not wanting to arrive too early, we filled up with diesel and timed our departure to
catch the 1100 Beaufort bridge lifting. Once out of the Beauport channel, we set the main and off we sailed making around 4
knots which we didn’t want to exceed so that we wouldn’t arrive before dawn . By 1800, the wind had died and we turned on the
engine at low revs. It was great to be on the ocean… our first dolphins appeared but didn’t hang around for too long. At times,
we had a little phosphorescence in the bow wave, which is so cool to watch. The stars were something else… bright and so
numerous… and the moon showed just a sliver of itself. The silence is addictive, just the water gurgling past the hull and an
occasional boat creak. We arrived at the Southport buoy at 0600 with wind rising, though it wasn’t supposed to be doing this till
much later. The channel into Southport goes by the Frying Pan shoals to Bald Head Island then meanders to the town itself. I had
underestimated its total distance and it eventually took us some 5 hours just to complete the channel part of the trip! That time
would have got us a third of the way to Charleston, had we not been coming in to avoid weather. As it turned out, we got the
weather anyway for a couple of hours, coming in through the channel, where it gusted to 30 knots almost on the nose. The whole
trip took around 24 hours, but we didn’t feel as tired as we had coming across Lake Ontario to Oswego, perhaps having a
working autopilot had something to do with this. Reading in between your 15 min. horizon scans makes the time fly by and a 3
hour watch no big deal.

The enclosure on Amida is a godsend. It keeps us almost 100% dry, with just a few drips coming through the zips, acts as a
great windbreak, and retains heat. We normally put up a couple of panels to windward, as being totally enclosed just doesn’t
seem right, unless it is really wicked outside. It was a very worthwhile investment and has taken the high winds we have so far
experienced, without any trouble. We highly recommend having a full enclosure if your are going south as late as we have.

Coming close to Southport, we passed a couple of monster ships heading out, accompanied by Pilot boats. Marilyn hailed the
marina we had selected and, getting no response, she tried another. Again no response but some kind soul monitoring Channel
16 came through to tell us that one was closed and the other private. This was a little disconcerting as we really needed a marina
for a shower, but it being Thanksgiving Day, most enterprises were closed up. We decided to come into the marina anyway, tie
up where transients normally do, and check in at the office in the morning. This kind of thing is quite common also in the
evenings, when boats arrive after the marina offices have closed for the day. We’ve seen a few boats arrive at dusk then leave
before the office opens, thus getting a free night… not very Corinthian.

The tide here has the greatest range we have yet seen, around 4.5 feet. We will check out the tables tomorrow to make sure we
leave on a high tide so we have some insurance for the upcoming shoaled inlets. The dock, luckily, is of the floating type, so we
haven’t had to try to figure out how to deploy the dock lines so as not to leave Amida hanging in mid air when the tide recedes.

Dec 1, Marilyn writes….We have finally been able to get Radio Canada International (CBC)… Yes!

It’s 8:30 and the radio is playing: Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in G minor. (Karen & Greg …remember this by the organist, using
only his feet, that Dad loved so much! What great memories.)

We are now in Bucksport, two days away from Charleston. It’s been slow going from Southport. In fact, we tried to leave
Southport on Saturday only to get about a mile down the ICW (sound familiar) with the wind on the nose (again) and
uncomfortably strong, so we bailed into the Southport Village Marina (very nice) for yet another day. We took a walk up the road
to take a look at an anchorage we had unknowingly passed by, to find out that it would have be a great stop and we would have
saved the Marina fee. Live and learn. For those of you coming behind us...this is Pipeline Canal (Mile 311).

So we finally left Southport on Sunday, heading for several Inlets that looked ominous because of currents and shoaling! In fact,
we had been warned about the Lockwood Folly Inlet by several sources. Our friends on Shadowfax had gone aground here, at
low tide mind you. A few days ago, we had called John on Shadowfax and Bob on Liberty to see how they had faired through this
stretch, having had enough of touching bottom, so we were well prepared for what was coming. We only touched bottom once,
momentarily, and that was in the main channel, because we had strayed too far from the middle and felt quite proud of
ourselves!

Now, I am sure this hitting bottom it is getting tiresome for you so, suffice it to say, that if you do end up in the ICW, get used to
it! Whenever we meet other sailors at the marina docks, the conversation invariably turns to this topic. In a perverse way, it
made us feel better that every single boat has been aground, as that means we are not as incompetent as we had come to
believe (or perhaps that all sailors are incompetent navigators!).

We made it to Cricket Cove Marina in Little River and had a nice talk (local knowledge) with the Dock master about our next leg
of the trip. Well…we were headed for the “Rock Pile”, which is a section of the ICW blasted out of bedroack…great… just what we
need …no more sandy bottom …now we have rocks….just like home in Georgian Bay… Mind you this particular marina was an
excellent example of why Skipper Bob’s books are not always correct. We had chosen it because it supposedly charged $1.00/ft,
less 25% BoatUS discount, with no charge for electricity. It turned out that the discounted price was $1.25 and there was a $5
charge for the 30A service. But we should compain….at least we get heat this way!

So here we are... it’s now Monday night, we’re in Bucksport, and we survived the “Rock Pile”, but it was a nerve-wracking
experience. We had set out at about 10:00, our usual late departure, but in this case we had no choice as the tide had deposited
us on the bottom, in 5’6”, despite our seeking assurances from the dockmaster regarding sufficient depth. BTW, Skipper Bob
says the depth is 8ft at this marina. So we had to wait for the tide to come up a few inches before we could leave. It was still
pretty much low tide when we eventually set out and this actually turned out to be an advantage going through the “Rock Pile” as
you could actually find the centre of the channel more easily and you could see the rock outcroppings on each bank. In some
parts, the width, rock to rock, was around 40 – 45 ft and we had been told to stay in the middle. Fortunately, no one was coming
the other way, else THEY would have had to move! Now staying in the center of the channel is not as easy as you might think.
So to help Andy, I went forward armed with the binoculars and a set of pre-agreed upon hand signals and preceded to add some
navigational support. This worked very will and helped to reduce the stress level for us both.

The only glitch in the day was that we got to a swing bridge that had a construction crew working on it and had to wait an hour
before they were done. What is it about maintenance workers…I am sure they pick the worst possible times to do their work just
to make our lives miserable. Then, they have the nerve to smile and wave when you go by as if we hadn’t been sitting there for
an hour cursing them.

We were behind a Westsail 32 which we could not pass because of the narrow channel and this, combined with the hour long wait
at the bridge and the late start because of tide, meant we lost a lot of valuable time, and distance, today. We had hoped to
anchor tonight but opted for a Marina (again) as this part of the ICW is full of Cyprus trees and you can imagine what the bottom
must be like. In fact, Skipper Bob suggests a trip line on your anchor and when I read that…I thought…chance to loose our
anchor… not worth it. OK, OK, yes I’m the cautious one. The Marina is in Bucksport and we were the only transient boat that
night despite it being only $0.75/ft.

By the way, you should see the houses along the Mrytle Beach part of the ICW…unbelievable…from $2M+ monsters to Trailer
Homes …makes for an interesting expose on the wealth in America…see pictures. Some are extremely opulent but just don’t
belong where they are located, if you know what I mean.

We concluded that there are many owners with more money than taste. Now we, on the other hand are the opposite… shouldn’t
nature somehow redress this imbalance?

Speaking of cautious….I am to blame for why we are not now in Charleston. If Andy had has his way, we would have left
Beaufort late that day and the weather would have been perfect for us to get all the way from Beaufort to Charleston on the
outside, without the stop in Southport. However, if we had done this we would have missed Southport (too beautiful to miss) and
the Rock Pile (turned out, not bad). Actually, this part of the ICW is very beautiful as you will be able to see from the pictures
once I get them up. We are told that the next stretch is quite deep so we should have 2 days of more relaxed traveling.

All for now as it’s almost 11:00, and long past our bed time.

December 4th, Charleston… Andy writes,

Another milestone achieved, though this one was more of a psychological nature.

It is actually 0630 as I sit and write. It is difficult to reset your internal alarm clock because their buttons are hard to find and I
have ended up in a cycle of waking at around 0500 after falling asleep around 2100. Sometimes, I manage to roll over and fall
back into a good and deep slumber but mostly I just alternate dozing with thinking. Marilyn is more like an eternal teenager and
doesn’t take to early risings. This morning, we have the sound of rain to keep us company. In fact, it has been raining almost all
night long. I recall the weather forecast said there was a chance of rain… hard to be wrong if you are that vague about it.

We can’t complain about weather. The last few days have been magnificent with blue, cloudless skies though the nights have
been rather cold. Yesterday morning, there was frost on the dock, but our Canadian Tire ceramic heater does stalwart work
even though it is beginning to sound a little sickly. Leaving Bucksport a couple of days ago, we lucked out with all the variables
and covered a big, big stretch of over 50 miles. At first, the ICW had gentle sweeps, well marked, with a channel depth ranging
from 14 to over 30 ft.. Then the Cypress trees gave way to grasslands and more ocean inlets which we managed to get through
safely, though at one time the depth gauge went down to 5’6 momentarily. Strangely though, despite our draft of 5’7, we didn’t
touch ground… or at least neither of us felt we had. There aren’t many marinas in this stretch as the area seems to be
environmentally protected. Our target was a little creek by the town of McClellanville which had a small marina, to which we
arrived nice and early in the afternoon. This one deserved its $1.00/ft, with free 30A, price as it was pretty basic. The creek was
home to a fleet of shrimpers and the town itself was small, though it did have some rather beautiful houses. This is clapboard,
mostly all white, and porch, some more ornate than others, country. We looked for the stores documented by Skipper Bob but
found only the fish market, where we bought a tub of shrimp dip which turned out to be delicious. Still, it was good to stretch the
legs after a day of standing behind the wheel.

Next morning, yesterday, we literally leapt into our clothes and, not bothering even to take a shower, left in a hurry… the reason
being we realized that the ebbing tide had the potential of stranding us in the creek and this would have really left us “Up @#$%
creek…”! We scraped through, though we touched, or rather caressed, the bottom (I like that phrase!) in one spot, and got into
the main ICW channel. It was around 0700 and we still had a couple of feet of the tide to drop, and this meant for some tense
moments as we hunted the navigable part of the channel which we managed successfully, except for one place where 56HP got
us back on track again. In that particular spot, the ICW passed an ocean inlet. The depth gauge showed a very healthy depth of
some 20 ft until it suddenly dropped to 4ft. Going into hard reverse didn’t seem to help and the problem appeared to be getting
worse as the 15-20 knot wind was pushing us towards the shallower side of the channel. Turning into the wind, towards the
deeper part of the channel & applying a hefty amount of throttle did the trick, but only after visions of another TowBoatUS visit
had flashed rather too vividly through my mind. The wind kept building, though luckily coming at us from behind where we were
well protected by the enclosure… and for the first time on the trip, I felt cold, despite having several layers of clothing, so we
resorted to gloves and touques. OK, you can quit your snickers right here… after all, we are heading away from this kind of
climate!

(Andy forgot to mention that just before Charleston bay, there is a swing bridge that is supposed to open on demand ..channel 9.
Estrela the Westsail that was ahead of us must have called so we just waited …and waited ..and waited …and called…and called
..nothing ..and of course it is blowing 20 knots and it is not easy to “float” in the channel. Estrela turned around and so did we
…still calling on 9, on 16 and on 13 (the channel for barges) nothing !…later Doug told us he called the coastguard and we are
sure they phoned the bridge operator…since it was 12:00 we are sure he was having an afternoon nap!) Those bridges will drive
you crazy!

A bright spot was that, in several places where the ocean inlets met with the ICW, we came across more dolphins. In one
instance, a couple of them kept us company for quite a distance, playing, and riding our stern wave. Magical creatures…

We arrived in Charleston with over 30 knots blowing, but the marina here is quite protected. Along the way we had met up again
with the Westsail 32, Estrela, and chatted to them while refueling. Hardy folks they are, a couple with two girls aged 8 and 4,
planning a three year circumnavigation. They anchor most of the time and don’t have a hot water system, nor a heater!

Just in case anyone is interested in budgetary matters, I just closed the November books. I am trying to keep a spreadsheet as
a record of what is being spent.

It’s difficult, not being an accountant, to decide which costs to include as being of the “monthly” type, eg the rather expensive
propshaft repair in Annapolis. In the end I decided to have a category of “Major Repairs” which are not included in the Monthly
totals. Despite the frequent use of marinas, the November number came in at US$70/day, bang on our rough budget target of
approx US$2000 per month. Excluded are the aforementioned Major Repairs and Insurance.

November was much better than October, which had been rather expensive at $3000, but that included the mast unstepping &
restepping, plus a little more eating out than we are now doing. Marina and diesel costs for the two months total $1700, which
will mostly disappear once we go over to the Bahamas.

Yesterday, late afternoon, we took a walk in the old part of Charleston, as the marina is right by that part of town. It is a truly
remarkable place and well worth a visit. The old houses, dozens and dozens of them, are amazing. One really interesting aspect
of the design of many is that they have the traditional porch (or should I write verandah now I’m in the South?) but it is located
along the side of the house rather than the front, something we had never come across before. This meant the street frontage
was a little plain, but the benefit to the occupants was that the porch faced their garden and afforded more privacy. Speaking of
privacy, very few windows appeared to have drapes, so walking by in the dark gave us a good chance to inspect the internal
décor and conclude that there is some serious money in this town. The main drag has a lot of expensive stores, a little like Bloor
St West (at Avenue) and a block or two specializing in antiques.

Hopefully the rain will ease so we can do some exploring, but we also have boat chores to complete (general cleaning for M,
engine oil & filter change etc for me).

We plan to be in Charleston for three or four days and the next port of call will be Savannah.

Dec 6th Charleston

We’ve spent a great couple of days here. Yesterday we rented a car and drove around searching for a mall, a West Marine, and
a decent grocery store. Eventually we found all three. The mall included a movie complex where we found “Master & Comander”,
which was quite good, despite a rather simple plot. The Circuit City, which I had to visit, posed more of a challenge and I was
only just able to refrain from purchasing another toy… an LCD TV, which are much cheaper here than in Canada. The rental car
came from Enterprise Rentals, who pick you up to get it. The guy in the office was very talkative and when he discovered we
were from Toronto, told us he had played for the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the CFL as a running back. We found a reasonable
grocery and stocked up for the next couple of weeks. Back at the marina, we picked up the FedEx’ed Red Cross parcels which
Karen and Christine had made up for us. In one parcel were two pieces of Polish sausage which is not available here, as well as
a Christmas fruit cake baked by Christine. Yum yum!!! ..and our first Christmas Card.

All helping to get us in the Christmas sprit.

Today we went back into the old part of Charleston. It really is incredible. Some of the houses are just out of this world.
Mansions in every respect of the word. Fortunes were made her through the growing of, of all things, rice. Of course, having a
bunch of slaves to do the hard part of the work really helped with labour costs. We paid $10 to take a tour of one of the houses
and discovered that the owner had at his disposal a mere 320 slaves… no wonder he became rich! Funny that most family
fortunes are made either illegally, eg bootlegging alcohol during the Prohibition, or through the exploitation of labour. Having the
means, nor desire, to do either, I guess we’ll never be filthy rich, especially as we don’t purchase lottery tickets!

Along the way today, we came across more bakeries than you could shake a stick at, which was a pity as we’d already bought
bread yesterday at the grocery. Bread appears to be a feast or famine kind of situation. Many groceries have only the stuff that
is made of cotton wool and, in many towns, finding a proper bakery is next to impossible (Annapolis had only one, for example).

We did, however, find a few interesting stores. In the Market, there was a stall, run by a French woman, selling tablecloths from
Provence. She appeared to be doing quite well in this enterprise as it turns out she and her hubby have a “place” in Cannes!
Another store sold Stetson hats and I succumbed and bought myself a straw / panama hat which I will force myself to wear at
least one or two times before it gets blown off my head and disappears into the sea. On the wall inside this store were several
autographs, including one from Tommy Hilfiger. I suggested to the owner that I would be quite willing to add my own signature,
next to Tommy’s, but she didn’t seem to be entirely enthusiastic about this. The best, however, was an establishment called “Wet
Willie”. Now, doesn’t that conjour up a rather vivid image? It was a bar, of course. We also found a book store and stocked up on
a further six Elizabeth George books, which should keep us going for a couple of months. The price came to $50… imagine, they
will take some 15 days of pretty much fulltime reading while we could have spent the same on a rather basic meal in a
restaurant, lasting at most a couple of hours.

So, we’re back at the boat, supper being over. The BBQ’d salmon was delicious with accompanying rice and asparagus. Marilyn
has just gone to bed, having just finished the “bodice ripper” that I had handed down to her after reading it myself. We both,
naturally, were reading it as a form of education… just like the Churchill. For those of you unfamiliar with the genre, a bodice
ripper is a romantic novel, targeted at a female readership, and follows a formula. The heroine is single, still searching for Mr
Perfect. When he appears, however, she must first absolutely detest him, despite his well-muscled body and glinting eyes. The
she finds herself being attracted to him, while still hating him and, of course, eventually she succumbs to passion which is
described in the most coy language… her heat… his manhood…loins… etc. I think you get the general picture! The plot, such as it
is, is preposterous and naïve… and people buy these books! We acquired ours through the recommendation of the used book
store lady, who obviously misunderstood what kind of books we enjoyed! Still we had a good laugh reading it.

Tomorrow is the last day here and time for boat chores to be done. The marina has a wireless system so we will be able to load
up this latest part of the log onto the website from the comfort of our cabin. The weather forecast for the next few days appears
to be a positive one and I think we’ll be able to get to Savannah, via the outside, on Tuesday.