Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stuck in Colder Weather

Actually, we're stuck on the boat, at the dock, and the weather is much colder than we ever imagined.

Before I natter on about my cold feet and ever growing cabin fever,  let's go back to October, and listen in on a conversation between me and the Cap'n:

The Admiral: "I think we should stay here in Charleston for the winter. There's lots to do, and the restaurants are great. How cold do you think it gets?"

The Captain: "It  is nice here, but it won't be as warm as Florida."

The Admiral:" I know but really, how cold could it get?  And it will be a good jumping off point for The Loop.".

The Captain "That's true. You might not be able to wear your flip flops all the time."

The Admiral: "I know, but I have asked around and everyone says it doesn't really get that cold, not like up north.  There are palm trees here -- how cold could it get?"

Fast forward to January 28th:

Okay, that cold. Icicle cold. Ice and snow on the dock cold. The City of Charleston closed for a day cold. Bridges in and out of the city closed because of icy surfaces cold. Record low high temperature in Charleston cold. Colder than I had signed up for cold.

As I write we have not been off the boat in 48 hours -- minus the brief and treacherous walk up the dock taken by the Cap'n and Hamilton yesterday afternoon  Soon after returning to the safety of  Freedom Ham willingly gave up his very high standard of  never "pottying" on board. Desperate times require desperate measures.

The marina was eerily quiet yesterday. A typical day has the marina staff riding by on their golf carts with some regularity, service technicians and crew hopping on and off occupied and unoccupied boats, local residents and office workers out for a stroll, and a steady trickle of boats pulling up for fuel or overnight dockage. Yesterday we saw a few smokers on the dock, an adventuresome ( or crazy) guy motor by on his small power boat, and the occasional car pass by on the road that hugs the harbor. We didn't even see any birds until late in the day.

We spent the day doing chores, looking out the windows, watching local tv reports of storm closings, and power outages, snapping photos, doing jumping jacks to keep warm ( or at least I did) and indulging in an American Pickers marathon. Even Hamilton, the dog who never met a weather system he didn't like, decided it was best just to snuggle up on the settee and nap.

From my galley widow I can see that life on shore is a bit closer to normal today: cars are driving at normal speeds on the road and near by bridge. There is still  little activity on the dock, but marina staff member rode out with today's paper. Warming temperatures and a light rain have washed away much of the ice and a family walk is planned for later this afternoon.

Maybe tomorrow will be better........

Here are a few photos of sights we never thought we would see, and quite honestly, hope never to see again:

Snow and ice on the bow

The Cap'n crawling across the icy cockpit to pull the potty rug closer to the door

You expect me to potty on that?  No way!

Ham hanging out in the snow

Snowy dock, looking south

Another view of the snow covered dock

The dock looking north. That's ice on the pilings

Saturday, January 25, 2014


He had a good run -- 14 1/2 years, 4 boats, dedicated crew member, always at my side.

We brought him home on a late summer day in 1999. Within 24 hours we bundled him in his laundry basket bed and headed to "the boat." He took to it like, well,  a water dog to water. Definitely a homebody, and never a fan of the great outdoors,  no one was more excited when the car pulled into the marina parking lot. Nothing was better than a sniff of salt air.

He had slowed down of late -- deaf, hobbled by bad hips, a growth in his mouth making eating difficult, but still, always at my side. His quality of life was poor and he told us so.

We said goodbye as the new year began.  He was:

Miles James

Bodyguard and Boyfriend          Companion and Confidante
Lover of the Boat Life 
Enemy of the Vacuum Cleaner

May 25, 1999 - January 7, 2014

We will miss him