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90s, hot and humid, evening thunderstorms
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MIA Slowlies Found Stuck To Their AC
Slow merchandise is the people's gear. It looks good on everyone, and everyone looks good in it. It's a fashion statement, an inside joke and a conversation piece. Be cool. Like us. No pressure.
60 Second Shorts
Another reason digital cameras are awesome is because you can take videos with them. We have upgraded our web server (did you notice that we are slowtimes.com now?!) and we now have space to serve up these big files. These still range from 11 to 30 megs though, so you will want a fast connection to download them. Here are some from our trip south that we plan on entering in the Slowdance film festival. Click here to see them
A Working Life Makes For Fast Times in Chucktown
So here we are in slip J1 at the Charleston City Marina. Marina life so far has proved itself good, though there are some turbulent days when we think otherwise. We have chosen a spot that is outside the protective wall and open to the elements. We get the sunset, the open water and the wildlife that comes with it; however, we also get the transients and the wakes. We knew the wakes weren't from boats blowing by the marina or else our shouts would have fallen on ears and not just wind. The other evening we discovered where some of the bigger ones were coming from. We were sitting on the bow looking out towards the inlet of the ICW, on the other side of the mooring field from where we are. A sport fishing boat flew by and we started timing to see if the wake could actually travel that far. After three minutes we started ignoring our theory and were talking about other things. Four minutes later we realized we were right. We got a large wake that lasted three minutes all from that one boat a long way off. It is an odd thing to feel so vulnerable. The whims of a stranger can cause an earthquake. But with that vulnerability to the weather and strangers comes the rewards. As many times as we have seriously debated going inside the wall, time tells that we have chosen to remain exposed.
While here, we try to savor the flavor of Charleston. Especially right now in the extreme summer heat, part of the Charleston experience is the weather. It is, like anywhere, a constant source of smalltalk. When the small talk ends and the real talk begins, discussions of weather turns to hurricanes. Tim has concocted his worst case scenario, which includes Slowly smashing on the concrete wall in the marina and sinking. Perhaps it is part of growing older, but we are eager to sort out whatever kind of insurance we need to rest easily if the worst should happen.
While the heat and humidity are oppressive, this climate offers amazing wildlife. Anything and everything grows in this climate. The "Lowcountry," as this area is known, is like a giant petri dish sitting on the ocean's edge. Case in point is the lawn growing on Slowly's boot stripe. We've also had a series of wildlife encounters here in the marina. We have so far saved a pigeon, a grackle, and a great blue heron from drowning. There are also plenty of birds around that aren't struggling for their lives have such as pelicans and our recent favorite: the green heron.
It's strange how we can be underway every day for 50 days, and then sit still this long. We have yet to take Slowly out since arriving, though we have exercized the engines slightly, as part of a post-cruise oil change. Swept up in the requirement of jobs, assignments, and projects, we find little time to take her out. Also, if we did decide to go, it would probably take a whole weekend to get her ready to leave the slip, just in time to get back to work on Monday morning. But we're not complaining in the slightest. We are really just unloading our guilty minds as poor Slowly and her engines would love to be out cruising.
Looking towards the future, we are both excited about what is to come. In caring for Slowly, it has become clear that everything is a boat project. If we aren't laying hands on her, we are making money to pay for improvements. In this light, we are embarking on a large boat project by heading out to Bozeman, Montana starting in January. Out West, Tim has a solid high tech job set up and Hannah will continue to pursue Landscape Architecture. While we are going to miss living aboard for a while, we are both looking forward to the extreme luxury of a stable floor beneath our feet and flushing toilets. We are also looking forward to the postures offered by a couch, though we have really enjoyed living without a television and will continue to forgo it.
While in Montana, the question remains, What about Slowly? Since she is a wooden boat, we want to avoid hauling her out as this will dry her considerably. It would be great to find a protected inland marina in fresh water, but this remains as a big decision. This will be the first time we will own her without living aboard, which changes the nature of her cost considerably. She has always remained affordable because she could earn her way as a home. Luckily, rents in Bozeman are quite reasonable, so our total costs won't climb much. Our contract here in Charleston doesn't run out until April, so we will be able to decide then. Considering our good friends and contacts in this marina, it may be worth the cost of keeping her here under the eyes of many.
The long term plan right now is to return to Slowly after Montana, work on her, and then cruise to the Bahamas. We can't pass up those tropical waters when we've come this far. After we've had our fair share of spear fishing and soaking in the sun, we have a vision of heading back north, but this time up the Hudson River. We are enticed by the prospects of protected fresh water, places like DIA Beacon, and the promise of a rebounding Troy, NY.
Our transitions also bring change to the Slowtimes. Did you notice how long it took us to add new content? It just goes to show how much more difficult it is to have multiple jobs, homework and projects all going on at once. We are determined to continue our Slow Times in our adventures on land as well as water. Look forward to more in-depth pages about Charleston and the area, and an in depth special edition from our cross-country drive to Bozeman. Also, we anticipate an exciting fall with the presidential election. There is more to discuss on the similarities and differences of Boston and Charleston!
Slowly sure does need to be worked on, yes siree. It is something we wake up thinking about. Unfortunately, other things we think about every day are our jobs, and how it's too darn hot down here. I mean really. Talk about needing some daily siesta time, or perhaps a month's vacation in August. This is one of those times when we're not moving slowly on purpose. We're hoping that the sun will at least take care of the sanding we should be doing on the brightwork. And though the sun does keep the decks nice and dry, we have entered the season of evening thunderstorms. Our leaky decks need work, and the v-berth now has a modern and functional waterfall every time it rains.
We did get started on the decks a while ago. We chose to take care of the leaks over the bed first. The old caulking was cut out, and the cracks epoxied and filled with the viscous and shiny new caulk. For about a month, we had a dry bed. We should have finished the job (big surprise). The hour of daily rain still allows the drips to find their way to any papers, electronics and unknowing feet. We try to focus on other things, like the fleeting moments of cool air and calm seas after a rain storm. In the fall, Tim is going to secure some time between jobs and work exclusively on the boat, to finish re-caulking and re-bunging the decks. After that we will sand a bit off the whole deck so it will be nice and smooth and unstained. These old GB woodies are excellent, we have the luxury of a little sanding with 3/4" teak decks. We are excited for that day to come.
On the cover of the July 14th Post and Courier newspaper there was an article about the funding cut the federal government had made to the preservation of the ICW. It focuses on the Dismal Swamp, which we are very happy and lucky to have been able to motor through. The funding for the historic and beautiful swamp route has been drastically and shamefully cut to zilch by our government. And this same situation is already effecting the entire Atlantic ICW. It is both a recreational and commercial passageway for many who depend on it to avoid the more dangerous and fast paced ocean route. The ICW provides much to the economy on it's shores, but without enough support many towns and businesses won't be able to stay kickin'. It is a very thorough article and everyone interested in cruising or the boating culture in general should register and read it here at the Charleston Post and Courier