Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beaufort, (pronounced B-you-fert) South Carolina

We left our anchorage in Ashley Creek in Charleston and motored up the Wappoo Creek, and waited about half an hour against a raging current for the Wappoo Creek Bridge to open.  After the bridge, we continued on when, once again, the overheating alarm sounded.  We circled around behind a little island and dropped anchor, let the engine cool down, and checked it again.  This time I looked a little farther into the problem and discovered that the header contained no coolant - in spite of the fact that the overflow tank was overflowing.

Too much talk - it's time for a picture:

This is a big tugboat.  He probably doesn't have a problem with his coolant.  But we do, and after hours of careful research (I talked to Miracle Mike) I found out that I have a defective pressure cap. That's like a radiator cap on a car. Only different. Sort of.

We saw all of these tugs and barges at Wadmalaw River on our trip from Charleston to our anchorage in Rock Creek.  It's too far to travel all at once from Charleston to Beaufort, S.C.  But the engine didn't overheat, thanks to the Captain's wise decision to talk to Miracle Mike.  So why am I telling you all these sad tales?  I don't want you to think that cruising is all relaxing and rum drinks and sunsets and beautiful scenery and the occasional mermaid.  And wonderful people and exploring new towns and making friends.  So you won't be jealous I tell you these horror stories.  I may even throw in a picture of the devil himself - our engine.  I hate engines.

You may recall, if you're a dedicated and faithful follower of our blog that there was a picture taken on the Cape Fear River of a shrimp boat.  And I mentioned that I was surprised that there were so few birds near it.  This may make up for it.

We anchored in Rock Creek about 30 miles from Charleston and at just about sunset a Playboy came by.  And the birds were there by the hundreds all looking for a foldout.  I mean handout.

The fishermen were throwing off their dregs and the birds just ate it up.
I wish they could have stuck around to eat some of the No-see-ums.

When we got to Beaufort, S.C. (and you'd better pronounce it right or they will correct you; Bow-fort is in Nawth Carolina; B-you-fert is in Sahth Carolina) we met our friends Debbie and Gordon who have just moved here from Hartge's in Galesville.  They have lived on their boat for many years.  They've just purchased a nice home in Beaufort, S.C.  They picked us up and showed us their home on Lady's Island and then treated us to a tour of Port Royal and Beaufort. 

We walked around and photographed a few scenes in Port Royal.  Apparently there is a rupture in the space/time continuum as everything we saw was from the 40's and 50's. 

For those of you under 50 years old, this is a gas pump.

With careful reading, you can figure out what this is.

Though I have no idea what this is.  My guess would be a wooden box with a belt and pulley and a couple of latches to hold the top to the bottom.  But that's just a guess.

We saw a tree that I thought looked like a pirate with an eye patch.  I tried to teach it to say Arrrgh.  But it wasn't terribly communicative.

This was a Best Western motel.  I didn't see the sign until it was too late and I had already taken the picture.  Sorry.

Beaufort, S.C. has more antebellum homes (built between 1776 and the Civil War) per capita than any town in the U.S.  They are beautiful - and well kept.  So much so that many were used as sets on movies you have seen (yes, even you!).  Like Prince of Tides, Forrest Gump, The Big Chill and many many more that I can't think of but I read about just yesterday when we were out taking pictures.  I think this one was in the scene in Prince of Tides with Nick Nolte's character as a child when a mean guy beat on him.  In Charleston, if you remember from our blog, all the houses with mean people in them had big iron fences around them to keep the mean people in.  In Beaufort, they just let them run around loose.  See how educational this blog is?

The Live Oak trees are covered in Spanish moss which sways in the breezes.  I know a poem about breezes, maybe I'll tell you after the next picture.

Here's to the breezes
that blow through the treeses
up little girl's kneeses.
Little boy seeses
does as he pleases,
gets social diseases.

It's not a very good poem - unless you like that sort of poem.  In which case, I know one about a guy from Nantucket.  But I can't tell you here or I'll get an R rating. You probably already know it.

Here's another antebellum home.  I am resisting the urge to say uncle bellum - oh crap, I said it.

This is part of the view that the people have who live in those houses you just saw.  The heron was very friendly and he and I had a nice long talk about the weather, but then the conversation drifted into politics and he just kind of clammed up.

I like the foliage but after you've seen a picture there's not much left to say unless you know the scientific names of these things, and if you've followed this blog, you've probably figured out that I just make that stuff up.

The tree branch on this live oak was sagging way down, so Suzi, in much more than just a magnanimous gesture, took it upon herself to help it back up.  It was quite grateful as we could tell when it chose not to topple over onto us.  Most trees are nice like that, but we remain wary - and try to be nice to them when we can.  But I've often wondered, if a tree falls in a forest and there's no one there to hear it, do the other trees make fun of it?

Here's another house.  Unlike the houses in Charleston, these houses have front yards.  And gentlemen don't get arrested when they walk by without shielding their eyes. That's a very large ($5.00) difference.

How about another poem:

I think that I shall never hear
a poem as lovely as a beer;
the brew that Joe's Bar has on tap
with golden base and snowy cap.
The foamy stuff I drink all day
until my mem'ry melts away.
Poems are made by fools, I fear.
But only Schlitz can make a beer.

(Mad Magazine 1957)
(sure sign of a wasted childhood that these are the only poems I ever memorized.)

Miracle Mike is afraid of bees.  Don't look at this picture, Mike.

This was pretty so I took the photo.  There is nothing more to say - so how about another poem?

A sailor never shaves his beard
He seldom bathes as well.
If he has a girl in every port
They have no sense of smell.

(I wrote that one myself I'm ashamed to say. Please don't repeat it.)

Suzi thought she could hide from me behind this tree.  She's not real good at it, is she?
She's good at other things though.

 Do you want a description or just another stupid poem?

You probably shouldn't write stupid poems under photos of cemetaries.  But Suzi was just reading a book by Fannie Flagg which quoted an epitaph which I think would be appropriate:
"Here lies Norma Warren
Dead, but still confused."

Okay, another poem it is, but remember, you asked for it. But you will be granted a short reprieve while I decide which one.  So while I'm deciding, you can look at the next few photos.

They have these in Charleston, too.  But here there isn't as much traffic to snarl up so it isn't as much fun.

I am pro antebellum.  I heard that groan!

This was in a movie, too.  I know I've seen it before.  I don't think it was Star Wars.

I'll bet you're just jumping ahead of these photos, eager to get into that poem.  I'd better pick a good one.

Notice the "eyebrow" window on the roof.  The sign out front said this home was famous for that.
Hmmm, the famous Cyclops House.

There's Suzi, sitting contentedly on a bench in the shade, next to a cannon, overlooking the river across which is our boat sitting contentedly at anchor with the refrigerator about to crap out.  We are both blissfully unaware.

This is Suzi's view from the bench in the previous photo.  This is an opening bridge.  We boater's pull up to it and request an opening and it opens to let us through, while traffic backs up a mile on both sides.  And that is the subject of the poem you've been waiting for.

The Power
by Elliot MacDonald

Sailing on my Sailboat, I sometimes feel so small.
The ocean's awfully wide and deep, its waves are scary tall.
On each clear night I stare with awe at a universe of stars
Ten billion stars and planets, only one of them is ours.

But sometimes I feel the power when traveling on my boat
When I look to left and right, and I can really gloat.
I've radioed the lift bridge, it's lifting up asunder
Cars have backed up for a mile as I'm slowly passing under.

The irritated glares I get, to me just don't compute.
They return my friendly waving with a digital salute.
They shake their fists and yell at me while I sip from my bottle.
Their jealousy is evident - I ease back on the throttle.

(Note:  Elliot is my pen name. So it's really I who wrote this.  I have a whole book of them if you're interested:  Creaky Docklines)

We saw this sign while walking around Beaufort, S.C.  We photographed it for our daughters - who will understand the significance.

There was a brick wall and a palm tree and a neat street light.  And here is approximately what it looked like.

Blue flowers - don't you love redundancy?

And finally - another mermaid.  People are horrible with mermaids.  They removed her face, put a top on her - real mermaids never wear tops - covered her with some kind of stiffening agent, stuck a stick up her middle and planted her in their yard.  There needs to be some kind of an organization to protect innocent mermaids.  PETA doesn't seem to care.  I'm going to start an organization as soon as I can come up with a clever name.

Anyway - that's all for Beaufort, S.C.  I know I promised a picture of the devil - but he's in a new guise now - he's now in our refrigerator compressor.  So you'll just have to wait.

My promises are like the promises of politicians - they're in real good condition, almost new, because we hardly keep them for long.

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