I forgot to mention that we saw our first gator swimming past EAGLE ONE on the ICW this week, in what was otherwise a rather boring stretch (except for the dolphins along the way!) Then on our way into Isle of Hope Marina we saw our first “Human No Wake Sign” – a guy on a dock waving a large flag to tell us to slow down (even though there were no official “no wake” signs)! He was looking through binoculars at our boats and talking to someone on the phone but we haven’t been arrested yet!
Monday 4/8 – we woke to swarms of No-see-ums (called “flying teeth” by my friend Shirley), so sprayed ourselves with DEET, and took an UBER into historic Savannah with Dan & Jodi from “Done Diggin”. We spent a wonderful day as tourists staring with the hop on hop off trolley for the history and to see most of the 22 park squares in the city – it is truly a beautiful place. When the colony was established in 1733 there were 4 prohibitions….No alcohol, no slave owners, no Catholics and no attorneys! We walked through Forsyth Park, toured the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, sometimes called “Sistene of the South”(built in 1853, with beautiful stained glass windows, a massive pipe organ, and wooden stations of the cross carved in Bavaria). Then we had lunch at Leopold’s Ice Cream (famous homemade ice cream – per our tram driver, # 5 in the WORLD!!!!). After lunch we walked the riverfront for a while, by the statue of the waving girl (Florence Martus, a Savannahian, who from 1887 to 1931 greeted all ships entering Savannah by waving a cloth from the lighthouse, with the legend that she was waiting for her long lost lover to return from the sea). We had peach sangria (it is Georgia, after all), Kris sang “Moon River” next to the statue of Johnny Mercer (and we passed the actual Moon River on our way in!) Enjoy the famous Andy Williams version of Moon River!!
Dinner was at the Olde Pink House restaurant which had just reopened that day after a fire. There was a line around the block but we were there when they opened at 5 pm and went straight to the cellar bar and got a table. The food was fabulous!
At Forsyth fountain in the park
Cathedral of St John the Baptist
The altar of St John’s
Carved wooden Stations of the Cross
Drinks along the river
with the Waving Girl monument
Georgia Peach Sangria to go, of course
Johnny Mercer, who wrote Moon RIver
The Olde Pink House restaurant
Meanwhile while we were away, a local diver cleaned the bottom of our boat. The past few nights we heard a strange tapping noise and decided it might be from fish or shrimp eating the algae on the bottom of the boat – last cleaning was 6 weeks ago in Sarasota.
Spent an hour on Tuesday morning looking at various weather apps and radar pictures and decided not to risk heading into “thunderstorms (may be severe)”, even though it was a beautiful sunrise from the boat.
So one more day in Savannah…..the four of us took the loaner car to Bonaventure cemetery for a self guided driving/ walking tour (with a phone app). The cemetery is lovely and peaceful with all of the live oak trees. A few photos are included below. The sculpture of the little girl is Gracie who died of pneumonia in 1889 at age 6. The Victorian symbolism in her sculpture shows a broken tree stump to indicate a life cut short, ivy representing eternal life and flower buds for innocence. Johnny Mercer, the hometown favorite entertainer and his family are buried here. We had hoped to find the famous Bird Girl statue from the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” but after 50 years in the cemetery it was moved to a local museum.
Statue of Gracie
In the afternoon Rick did oil changing and other boat maintenance while Kris did some inside cleaning and reading. The thunderstorms never materialized. Oh well, as Jodi says, “better to be at the dock wishing you were on the water, than to be on the water wishing you were at the dock”!
Wednesday, 4/10 was a beautiful 5 hour travel day to Beaufort, SC (Port Royal Landing Marina). This town is pronounced like “BEAU-ti-ful” not to be confused with Beaufort, NC pronounced “BO-fort”! It is listed as one of the “best small towns” and “best places to retire” in the country! We passed Parris Island with it’s water tower that proclaims “We Make Marines”; there is also a Naval Hospital and a Marine Corps Air Station here. Tied up, did laundry, enjoyed a long hot shower, and borrowed the courtesy car for a run into town for a great BBQ dinner at “Q on Bay” (don’t worry – Rick had surf and turf – Shrimp and Ribs!)
Thursday was tourist day via the loaner car, with Jodi & Dan. The first stop we knew we had to make was to visit the only kazoo factory in the U.S.! The kazoo was invented in the 1840s and introduced at the Georgia State Fair in 1852, called the “Down South Submarine”. In the 1970s Paul McCartney played a kazoo riff toward the end of “You’re Sixteen”. Rockers Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Queen all played songs that included the kazoo! The factory produces 1 million kazoos a year and ships them all over the world! We toured the factory, leaned about the history of kazoos, and how they are made and then each made our own kazoo to take home!
Playing our kazoos!
Map of where they send kazoos around the world
Learning about kazoo making
Then we drove to Port Royal and walked a loop through the wetland swamp where we saw hundreds of birds, turtles and 2 gators swimming by! From there we drove to downtown Beaufort, through the historic area called “The Point” with beautiful antebellum homes. We walked along the waterfront and ended our day with a fabulous seafood dinner at Dockside restaurant.
So many white cranes
YUP – 2 big gators swimming by!
On Friday, 4/12, we headed out early (7:30 am) as it was over 70 miles, so a 7-8 hour day on the water. Heavy rains JUST as we untied from the dock at Beaufort, and again JUST as we came into the harbor in Charleston! Luckily both were brief and had stopped by the time we got to the dock. And we did see rainbows in the morning! The rest of the day was uneventful, traveling through the “low country” – marshes and mudflats, though we did get a personal air show by one F35 circling over our boats for about 30 minutes.
We landed at the huge Charleston City Marina, and in less than an hour our Navy friends, Joe & Kim O’Donnell, joined us – having driven 2 hours from Camden, SC. Kim & Joe met and dated in Pensacola about the same time as we did, so it had been MANY years since the 4 of us had been together. We went out for dinner at Blossoms in the historic district, and they spent the night in our Eagle One guest room! Saturday am Kris & Kim went for a long walk about town while the guys continued to catch up on people they knew in common!
Kris & Kim
Joe & Kim, Rick & Kris
All together on EAGLE ONE
Saturday at noon, Kris’ friend Deb Marrington picked her up to go to Poogan’s Smokehouse for a Southern BBQ lunch. Deb was a Navy Nurse on Labor & Delivery with Kris on Whidbey Island back in the early 80s and we had not seen each other in over 20 years! Great to catch up as she is also a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and founded a medical mission in Haiti. We joined our buddy boat, Jodi & Dan for a carriage ride on Sat afternoon, then a walk along the waterfront and dinner at a fabulous small Italian place called Fulton Five.
Lunch with Deb
Showing her our “home”
Carriage ride with Jodi & Dan
On Sunday AM we again met up with Dan & Jodi for a walking food tour (Savor the Flavors). Our guide was fabulous as we tasted Southern biscuits, pralines, shrimp, hush puppies and Cajun rice, and pork BBQ with corn pudding. Afterwards we walked 4-5 miles along the battery and back to the boat and watched the sailboats coming in from their races (they liked the high winds today). Saturday night our neighbors from Virginia, Steve & Beth Adams, arrived in Charleston for a 5 day mini-vacation. They picked us up and we all enjoyed dinner at Fleet Landing Restaurant.
What happens when you don’t watch the tides
Beautiful pineapple fountain
Gullah woman weaving sweetgrass baskets
Food tour biscuits
Shrimp and hush puppies
Dan & Jodi on the food tour
Old Circular Congregational church
Rainbow Row homes
Dinner with Beth & Steve Adams
If it sounds like all we did in Charleston was EAT, you might be right! Despite the long walks, our calories in definitely exceeded the calories out! We had planned to leave Charleston on Monday am but tides and winds were not in our favor (this is becoming a theme), so we are here for one more day. So we took advantage of being parked right next to the pump out boats, note their names in the photos below! Then met our former buddy boat, Good Karma (Kermit & Katherine) for breakfast – YUP, more food!
The Grateful Head
New plan is to head out tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, 4/16) on a rising tide……hopefully will get through the shallows before McClellansville, dock for the night and make it to Myrtle Beach on Wednesday. We have now traveled over 5000 miles and are about 600 miles from home!