Kristen here - It's 8:00 AM after starting my anchor watch at 6:30. I have found that these night watches are much more pleasant when they're planned. So to alleviate my grumpiness I figured I would update you all on the rest of yesterday.
After school in the morning we met up with John from the boat Marilyn, and Karen from the boat Evolution. Karen helped John bring his boat from Beaufort, NC to Charleston. Karen was then going to rent a car, drive back to Beaufort and bring Evolution and the rest of her family to Charleston. We used our internet to figure out where to rent a car, and then we all headed for the mall. The car rental was there, and we needed to get a few things so we all went together. The fabric store was nearby down the road as well. We sent Karen and John off in their rental car, and headed for....THE MALL!!!!
As we were walking around, someone stops and asks if we're boaters. Now you have to picture us. I'm carrying a backpack and an inflatable life jacket, Chris is wearing a heavy raincoat, Casey is carrying a rolling cart and his inflatable as well, and for some reason Kaitlin looks normal. We look a bit odd in the mall. As we turn around, Chris immediately recognizes the woman he met earlier from the boat anchored behind us, along with her 9 year old son. She was talking on the phone with her mother in Israel. She was very worried about her because of the fighting going on there.
We chatted with her for a while, about the chances of meeting like this, her husband who was from France, her twin boys, and their whole story. They are heading south as well. They have been trying to go to the Bahamas for many years, but personal and medical problems kept getting in the way. She was very nice and straightforward. She mentioned that they still had their car and offered us a ride. We graciously accepted, and exchanged names and phone numbers. We both still had shopping to do, so we agreed to meet in 1/2 hour. We rushed to finish our shopping, and then got a ride to Hancock fabrics.
Once again our new friend offered to pick us up from Hancock after she finished her shopping at Costco. Knowing we might be buying more than the bus would let us carry on, we accepted her offer. Thank goodness we did, because as I mentioned below, we had a TON!!
After we met her at the mall, we sat and ate lunch and pondered the size of the world. Here we just bumped into someone anchored right behind us who is from half way around the world. It made me wonder just how many people you see walking around have some sort of fascinating story to tell. Probably more than you think!
After finishing lunch, we had to get ice cream while the gettin' was good. Things were pretty slow at the ice cream place, so we chatted with the attendant for a bit. Chris asked him where he was from, because he had a bit of a NY accent. He said he was from Westchester, and was glad to not be there anymore. I explained that Chris was from around there as well, and asked him why he didn't like it there. He said the people were much nicer in Charleston, and he and his wife were much happier. The funny thing was that his wife was from Cobleskill, NY which is right near where I grew up. We talked for quite a while once again about the small world syndrome.
Oh, and I can't leave you hanging about the dinghy either. A couple of days ago, when Marilyn arrived we tossed the dinghy into the water to visit a nearby island, and welcome Marilyn to Charleston. John and Karen weren't up yet, so Casey, Kaitlin and I headed for the island first. I was hoping to find some nice fresh oysters to steam up. Well, we found the oysters. We pulled up to shore and proceeded to drag the boat further onto shore to tie it up. As I was pulling I hear the dreaded *pftftftftftfsssssssssssss*. I look over to the side of the boat and see an outcropping of oysters sticking into our dinghy. It immediately starts to go limp. My heart sank.
I called Chris on the radio and he went to the marina office to see if anyone could help us. It was at this point in time that we realized the island was nothing but a bug infested swamp. I looked at the dinghy and noticed that only the front sections had deflated. The back end was just fine. I think we would still float. Chris didn't sound too encouraging on the radio, and we were getting eaten alive. The current was pretty strong, but the dinghy looked mostly seaworthy. I told the kids to get in, and radioed Chris that were were going to make a run for it while we still had some air left. The kids were quite nervous, and my side of the rear was getting soft as we pushed off.
I took it at a moderate pace. Not so fast that we swamped the boat, but not so slow that we would get carried away in the current or deflate before we reached our boat. We made it safely to the boat, hoisted the engine off, and hoisted the dinghy onto the deck. The gash, thankfully, was only 1 1/2 inches long.
We got out the repair kit that came with the dinghy. The directions were in Italian, and poorly translated English. They said something like apply one layer, and then apply with another hand. We were pretty sure they meant apply another layer, but you don't want to mess with two part epoxy, and your brand new dinghy. We decided to call Martin, our Dutch friend who also speaks Italian. He confirmed the bad translation. No luck there.
I decided to try using another dinghy repair kit we had on board, but on getting that one set to go we discovered the epoxy had the consistency of greasy snot. It was a brown ball of goo that wouldn't stick to anything. Back to kit #1. I took my best guess at the directions and sanded, mixed, pasted and glued. The patch has to cure for three days, which I believe ends this afternoon. Everyone say big prayers that I mixed the epoxy correctly and our dinghy will hold air!!!!
That has been all of the major excitement lately. It's now 8:46, time for me to call the yard that is installing our life raft tomorrow. I'm going to give them our anchors away sob story, and plea that they let us stay at their dock a day early. We had a great anchor spot here, but when we got snagged, another boat got pulled as well, right into our anchor spot. Last night a new sailboat dropped hook too, so its getting crowded here. Thanks for helping me pass the time, and wish me luck!