We left Charleston on Thursday to continue our journey south, working our way to Beaufort. As we were leaving Charleston we circled under the bottom of Charleston and got a good view of the lovely historic homes on the waterfront. Yes, these homes look as good from the water as they do when walking around Charleston. Love the whole palm tree thing.
I didn’t quite know where to put this photo of a local canine that we ran into the other day so here goes. As random as it may be, how about this for a great looking dog? What’s even more interesting is that the breed is fairly large, about the size of a Golden Retriever. The owner said that she is a Briard, a Russian breed but this link says French. Well, the French would say that they were there first.
The cropped ears make her look, to me, like a breed that George Lukas would have conjured up for Star Wars. I suggested to the owner that to me she looks more like an Ewok than a dog. The owner didn’t seem particularly amused. See the resemblance?After leaving Charleston we continued to head south and decided to anchor up a creek in a marsh for the night. The view was spectacular and we were treated to a brilliant sunset. Did I say that I like sunsets? Indeed, and made all the better when accompanied by a proper beverage. In the other direction there was a new bridge. The contrast between the soft, flowing marsh grass and angular bridge was striking. Brenda and I arrived with Pandora to our current spot near Beaufort SC yesterday and are anchored in one of the most tranquil spots we have seen to date. We anchored here, as opposed to downtown Beaufort because there is a SSCA cruising station, the home of Rick and Carol, long time cruisers, who were highly recommended by other SSCA friends as a particularly nice place to stop.
The view that greeted us this morning was so tranquil in the soft morning mist. You could almost imagine a hippo surfacing to look around. Our hosts, Rick and Carol lived aboard and traveled to the Bahamas for something like 10 years. In their travels, Rick and Carol were looking for a place to live when the time came for them to “swallow the anchor”. Just like us, they anchored where we are now and found out that there was a piece of property on a point that was for sale and the rest is, as they say, history.
They open their home to visitors from SSCA whenever they arrive and even have dock space for some. When Pandora arrived we were instructed where to anchor and last night they hosted a cocktail party for the 15 to 20 cruisers that were visiting. What a great time we had making new friends and even seeing a few who we had met along the way.
Rick and Carol have done a wonderful job of crafting the design, siting and details of their home and it is an inspiration for me and Brenda. What an attention to detail, from the kitchen cabinet details, built from Rick to the huge copper mobile hanging from the tall ceiling in the living room complete with a flock of our favorite, the pelican.
Windows dominate the front of the house. This is the living room and the bedrooms are behind. It’s a bigger house than meets the eye.Rick is a retired Navy skipper and you can certainly see an attention to detail in the house with a nautical flare. That and a penchant for keeping everything ship-shape. Even his dock, which is nearly 600′ long is carefully painted and in excellent shape. Rick told me that he had the house framed up and covered and then spent three years finishing the inside himself. His work is really impressive. The floors are cherry and trim is carefully varnished and looks for all the world like mahogany. The kitchen cabinets were built from scratch by Rick and there are wonderful cherry accents on the counters and cabinets. The moment I walked into the home I realized that Rick had done the work himself as nobody pays for that level of detail.
Perhaps the most elegant room in this amazing home is a diminutive bedroom up in the loft that Rick designed and built to look like a ship’s cabin. The room has bunk beds just like you would see on a ship. Notice the wainscoting on the walls. The room doubles as a place to keep artifacts from his time as skipper of ships in the Navy including commissioning pennant from his commands.The details are impressive, including ships knees and curved deck beams overhead. There are even port holes, complete with blast covers. You can almost imagine the movement of the ship if you sat here to write a letter.
This box with cutouts is actually the AC and heat vent crafted to look like it belongs. Nice work, really nice work. He even went to the trouble to install a speaking tube that was once used on a ship to speak from the bridge to the engine room. Alas, this one does not go to the kitchen as one would hope. Perhaps commands from a disembodied tube “please bring me my slippers” wouldn’t sit well with Carol.Among the many details in their home, Rick was once given a porthole by a friend. The gift was contingent on Rick promising to use it in the finishing of their home. After much thought, Rick decided to install it in the one room in the house without a water view, the bathroom. So, he had the mirror over the sink specially cut and now there is a water view, all 10″ of it that you can see as you brush your teeth.How’s this for a view of the water from their back yard? At night the live oaks are lit with flood lights.
Their side yard has an equally brilliant view. This is a wonderful setting to share with friends and share they do. Rick and Carol have hosted some 500 cruisers over the last 10 years and even keep an old pickup truck on hand to lend to those who need to make runs to the market. He told me that they call it the “magic truck” as it is used all the time and yet never needs gas. Visiting cruisers always put in a gallon or two to replace what they have used, enough so that the tank always has enough gas for the next visitor.
Even though we have only known Rick and Carol for only a few hours, we feel like we’ve been friends for years. I guess that’s the best way I can describe this trip, making new friends that we have already known for years. This whole trip is turning out to indeed be “our little slice of heaven, one bite at a time” and we aren’t even in the Bahamas yet.
I should note that Rick visited us aboard this morning to give us a very thoughtful tutorial as to what makes a successful cruising couple. Words of wisdom and great advice for us and me in particular. Perhaps I will share some of his advice here soon.