LAT: N 32° 46.6'
LON: W 79° 57.1'
50s - 70s, usually sunny
|Sunday, March 14, 2004
A Springy Step For Slowly
Arggg me maties, there be barnacles growin' on yer bottom.
Two months have flown by here in Charleston. We wonder if anyone will look at the site anymore since we've been such neglectful reporters. But we've been quite busy! As we expected, much of our energy has been directed towards finding work, and more importantly, work that we enjoy. This has been difficult for a few reasons. One might logically ask us, "Well, what do you want to do?" Have we mentioned how hard it is to pick a passion? One minute we ask ourselves "why limit our aspirations?" and the next we are determined to think of one job we could succeed in and dive in to.
Tim has the gift of non-stop brainstorming. One could also say he has a chronic disorder of rampant-mind-wandering. He is an inventor extraordinaire. However, it is hard to stay on one path and get to a destination when you keep veering off to discover new things. As for Hannah, she welcomes the possibility of a career that would completely engage and fascinate her, though she hasn't been able to put her finger on what that perfect job might be.
We have been learning much from our time here in Charleston. The two weeks of hopelessly applying at places that weren't hiring, and wondering how we would ever make enough to support our wings addiction, ended up paying off. Tim has been working at the College of Charleston doing research for a professor in the computer science department, as well as building websites for old and new clients and creating solar powered robots as well as some LED lighting designs. He has also just built a visualization that shows the past 24 hours of weather in Charleston. Ah hobbies! One day we both hope to be able to afford being professional hobbiests.
Hannah was quite fortunate in finding an apprenticeship with Robert Chesnut, a landscape architect who is well known for his work all around Charleston and elsewhere. To complete her landscaping education, she goes out in the field with a landscaping crew on fridays and gets some hands-on action planting, digging holes, moving dirt around and generally getting buff. She is also making necklaces she hopes to sell at a local gallery and has started volunteering at the aquarium.
We are also enjoying Charleston for its size. Living at the marina downtown is amazing. We are a walk or bike ride away from anywhere downtown. Though we don't get over the bridges to the neighboring towns as often as we would like to, we have yet to exhaust our options within reach and doubt we will soon. We also wake up to our very own nature channel shows featuring dolphins, otters and all sorts of birds. Walking down the charming streets we are starting to recognize people and are becoming regulars at several places we frequent for their cheap eats.
We would also like to report the southern hospitality is not a myth. We often walk into stores downtown and within minutes are chatting it up with the store owner about how long they've been there and what we're up to. For us, Charleston is turning into one of those small old fashioned towns where everyone knows each other and one can make friends or contacts somewhat easily. We have buddies here at City Marina as well as ones we've met through work or by random association. People are upbeat and they love living here, and we can now understand why.
Weather is one of those things that you just get used to. And it is really easy to get used to 70 degrees. We miss the snow but do not miss the endless winters of the north. How can one resist the smells and colors of springtime? We have even been working on the boat!! When it really started warming up we were reminded of all the work we did last summer and were eager to get back to it, there being much to do. We cleaned out the tool shed of a v-berth and have turned it into guest quarters! The tools are mostly just hidden now, but the sanders and paint brushes found their way out a few weeks ago.
We have sanded and put a primer coat under the gunwales. We patched a bit of rotten wood that was found, which really reminded us of last summer. We have also sanded the fiberglass on the aft cabin top which we hope to be painting soon. We also plan on getting to the decks in the near future. So we should be updating the site more often to brag about all the maintenance we've done.
We have already had several guests aboard since we landed in Charleston. One was Hannah's friend from college, Melissa, a mid-westerner. It was wonderful to be able to show her around. And it gave us an excuse to do even more touristy things than we usually do. We visited Middleton Plantation which was beautiful with plenty of flora and fauna to keep one occupied. We also enjoyed a visit from the famous Randall Bramblett (who is now one of Bonnie Raitt's current favorites) and his lovely wife Lenore. They introduced us to some local characters who we have had a lot of fun hanging out with too.
Charleston has a reputation for being a conservative old school city, which is true, but it is far from the whole story. Come visit and walk up King street north of Calhoun and you will see some new funky (and excellent) restaurants, a comix store, a high grade art store that rivals any we've ever seen, two lighting design stores, and various other modern and hip places. This place is on the up and up as far as we are concerned and we are happy to be here. Also, did we mention spring has sprung here already?
Animal of the day:
One of our favorite characters of the marina is the Black Crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax. We see them often on our way back to the boat at night. They perch along the edges of the docks, and on boat's docklines to hunt. They seem to return to the same spots every night. We pass about 6 on our way to the boat. Our favorite aspect of these guys is how they look like little grumpy hunchbacks. They sound pretty grumpy too as they squawk out a terrible call as they fly over at night. The acids in the stomach of a night heron are very strong and can even digest bones. We want to try and court one to hunt from our boat.
After continuing south to the Bahamas for the winter, Perry and Bethany were returning north to Maine for the schooner season. While driving up with Bethany's folks, we were delighted that they were able to stop by Charleston. To celebrate the occasion, we went for our first time to Sticky Fingers in downtown Charleston. Somewhat of an institution in Charleston, we were naturally excited to wrap our mouths around some of their wings. For dinner, we got 50 wings and some racks of dry rubbed ribs. Wow. This meatfest exceeded our expectations. The wings were plump and smokey and the meat fell right off the bone. These wings come in only one flavor, and then you have a choice of 6 different bar-b-que sauces to dip in. We also asked for blue cheese, but it is not standard. You realize why when you start sampling the bbq sauces. We took home a bunch of these sauces in little take home containers and we are still enjoying them now. The ribs came out after the huge pile of wings. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, so we ended up taking home a doggy bag that could feed Cerberus. It was a wonderful treat. That night we slept 6 on the boat, a new record for Slowly. Bethany's folk's slept in the newly cleaned v-berth, and the Tevake crew crashed on cushions on the salon floor. We were also excited to see their new ride, A Cool White Van, which they already have great plans for converting to a live-aboard vessel. The white van gave us dreams of a cross country road trip. We'll be checking out BC motor's website when it's time to get one of our own.
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