A few places along our travels are known for the free stuff. For example, Dolphin Marina in Maine provides homemade muffins, except for the night we stopped by, but that was nearly two years ago so we’re almost over it, but not quite. Brunswick Landing serves free beer in the lounge. Thunderbolt—our last stop in Georgia—delivers Krispy Kreme doughnuts right to the boat.
Yes, we understand that Krispy Kreme doughnuts aren’t exactly health food. And yes, in fifty-eight years not once has Doug needed to dress as a jolly Santa Clause with a round little belly that shakes when he laughs like bowl full of jelly. This could be the year though and it never hurts to be prepared, so we ate some.*
In a post from Fort Lauderdale during our Loop, we commented on a super yacht with jet engines. We didn’t mention what the captain called the “shadow boat”—which basically was a second huge boat that just carries the toys and stuff—docked nearby. Turns out the technical name for a shadow boat is a Fast Yacht Support Vessel. We found another one at Thunderbolt.
Pursuit is a 165-foot floating garage, owned by—and supporting a bigger boat which also is owned by—someone a service guy described as “a rich Arab with too much money.” We figured as long as the guy has paid off his student loans and is current on his credit cards, we won’t judge his spending. The crappy weather on Tuesday prevented them from landing the helicopter on the deck, however, which meant that we couldn’t watch the helicopter land, which in turn we found far more offensive than ostentatiousness.
Wednesday was a good travel day, so we took off well before any helicopter sightings. First up, some bridges.
We’ve probably been under or through a thousand bridges, all without issue. Yet somehow every time we see a confusing jumble like this one we panic just a little, because what if we realize too late that there’s not an opening and we get caught in a side current and another boat crowds us and we smash into a concrete support pillar and sink to the bottom and then the bridge and the cars collapse onto us? If all that happens, who will care for the little dog that we haven’t yet adopted from the shelter where Dana volunteers? Fortunately we made it through—and we don’t equate fear with cowardice no matter what others might think—so we’re good for now.
Another thing we periodically see along the way is industry. As in big factories like this one.
Wait, that’s not a factory. That’s a damn boat. Melampus is an LNG tanker bigger than three end-to-end football fields, loading up some 45-million gallons of natural gas to take to Egypt. Turns out we were passing Elba Island, which is home to a huge liquefaction and export operation. We also observed that a road from the island crosses a small bridge and leads directly into Savannah, which frankly makes it a pretty poor place to exile a defeated emperor.
Our plan had been to stay on Hilton Head Island for a couple of days, but because of weather we used up those couple of days one each in Thunderbolt and Beaufort. Of course, as we passed by we still got to enjoy a zillion jet-skiers, big boats throwing glass-breaking wakes, and parasailors cutting across our bow.
Here’s Parris Island again, where the water tower confirms the purpose of the place.
Two years ago, Full Metal Jacket was the theme of our post about Parris Island. Then we followed up with littered references to some other great movies filmed around here. Forrest Gump. The Big Chill. The Great Santini. This time around, however, we’ll honor the request of Colonel Nathan Jessup, who’d rather we just said “thank you” and went on our way.**
After docking safely in Beaufort (thanks to Dana’s strong tide-timing game), we hustled straightaway to the pizza place we remembered fondly. What we didn’t remember was the police presence.
Some “former employee” was stalking the place while we waited patiently just like the sign at the front desk asked us to do because ironically they’re having a hard time finding help. Ultimately we got our pizza and the cops interviewed the staff and then left, but if the angry dude returns with a gun, then yeah, we nearly got killed.
Beaufort is high on our list of favorite towns. Beaufort has all the stuff we like. A nice marina close to stuff. A vibrant yet quaint yet clean downtown. Lots of places to walk. Delicious food. Last night’s delicacy was a combination of two southern staples, pimento cheese and grits. That alone makes visiting Beaufort worthwhile.
But we can’t stay. Out this morning, under the Forrest Gump fake Mississippi bridge, and on our way to Charleston.
Although by definition any word that ends in “poo” is supposed to be funny, historically there’s nothing humorous about the Ashepoo Cutoff. In part that’s because, historically speaking, Misty Pearl and The Lower Place get stuck at the mouth and have to wait for the water to rise and/or a barge to plow a channel to follow. Turns out, however, that it’s no problem if you enter at high tide rather than low tide.
This is one of the rare occasions on which we post while underway.
We’re anticipating an action-packed weekend in Charleston, beginning when we dock in a couple of hours. No time for blogging, what with all that action.
We might even go to Costco.
*It does give us a pause, though, when we’re reminded of the affectionate line the great Roger Alan Wade penned about his girlfriend: “I’ve been to two tent revivals and a chicken fight and I ain’t never seen nuthin’ like when my little wildebeest tears into a dozen jelly-filled Krispy Kremes.”
**RIP Private First Class Willie Santiago, “whose death, while tragic, probably saved lives.”