Lucy

Dear Reader, please indulge us this little tribute to our dog Lucy, who left us in Deltaville, Virginia before we departed for the Bahamas.  We will return to our regularly scheduled blogging in the next post.

Holly's lucy photo

She chose us; we didn’t really choose her.   On vacation Mary has a habit of saving a bit of dinner for strays that inevitably haunt the pretty places. In Belize, she saved some fish for the many local cats we saw. But after dinner, they were gone. All we saw were three mangy dogs apparently living under an old upturned boat. All three came out to take the scraps, but only one continued on with us. Lucy followed at a safe distance and as we sat on the porch of our rented house she crept up and took a scratch from Mary.  Once she felt safe with us, she curled up in Mary’s lap and slept the sleep of the dead. It was clear she had not been able to let down her guard like this and just sleep in a long time. Her trust was touching and right then I knew she was ours.

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Early days in Belize

We got her back to NYC and she had every disease in the book, including heartworm and Lyme disease.   I often say that what we spent to fix her up would have allowed us to buy 10 purebreds, but there really was no question we would do whatever was needed.  She recovered and thrived.  It seems mutts are more resilient that way, and there was no muttier mutt than Lucy. She was an island dog descended from a long line of indistinguishable canines.  In Belize they call them potlickers, and lick a pot she could. Even though she spent only one year surviving on her own and had 14 other well-fed years with us, she lived for her next meal. It was her reason for being. She had an internal clock that knew her 4 pm dinner was coming down to the minute. That clock corrected for daylight savings time within a day.   You couldn’t deny her treats. She was so earnest about it, like begging was her job and she was dedicated to it. She was indifferent to playing fetch, acted bored at a dog run, and wasn’t much of a guard dog, but when it came to finagling food from a human, she was an expert.  Kids were easy targets as they always dropped food and found it a funny game to feed her.  Now, Mary will confess that she was the main cause of this begging, but I know she just couldn’t resist those big sad brown eyes pleading for a treat.  IMAG0001

And Lucy would eat anything. We didn’t bother noting the things she liked. She liked just about everything. It was far easier to note what she wouldn’t eat – bananas and citrus were about it. She had odd tastes too. Cut open a red pepper in the kitchen and she would smell it from wherever she was and come around.

Bark Bar

Lucy enjoying a drink at the Bark Bar.

She actually got excited about it. She’d eat a green pepper too but for some reason they weren’t nearly as good as a red pepper. In her later years she learned about fresh coconut water. To her it was like the elixir of youth. Even though a senior dog, a bowl of coconut water would have her jumping about and playing like a puppy .DSCN3144

She was an adaptable dog. It didn’t matter what we did or where we went, as long as she was with us. From her humble beginnings on the island, she ended up a well-travelled pooch. She lived in NYC and spent weekends on Long Island. She accompanied us on vacations all over the place. When we moved to San Francisco she rode out there with us in the car and watched the scenery go by.  She romped in the snow and tiptoed in the surf, climbed mountain trails and navigated city streets. She loved going for hikes. Not much for bushwacking, she would always find a trail and had to be in the lead. Sometimes at a fork she would look back asking which way to go and sometimes she just chose one and marched on as if it were completely obvious. If the humans didn’t follow her, she’d have to run back and find out what went wrong.

For a dog that grew up on an island, she was surprisingly afraid of water at first. She wouldn’t go near the surf. When we first tried to take her on the boat, she noticed the water between the boards of the dock and froze in fear. She even avoided puddles on city streets. It took a long time to coax her to swim. Eventually, she would do it in water without waves and into which she could wade. She was no crazy lab belly flopping and chasing balls. But for all that, she was a great boat dog.

She never got seasick and when we were moving she would just find a comfortable spot to lie until we got where we were going. When we started sailing long distances, one of our greatest triumphs was when she learned to do her business on a mat we made for the purpose.   Once she figured it out, she took to it like it was what every dog did naturally.   We’d hear her trotting up there on her own before breakfast each day.

She got old though, like all dogs do. She had arthritis in her back legs and walked with a stiff-legged gait that caused her head to bob. Her teeth decayed and some fell out but that didn’t diminish her one true love- eating. She could barely hear and lost the sight in one eye. But through it all, she never complained. I know dogs can’t complain, but what I mean is that she maintained her cheerful personality each day. As long as she had her humans with her and got her two square meals, she could endure anything. To me that is a lesson we can all learn from. Don’t dwell on the bad stuff; enjoy the time you have with the ones you love.IMG_8622Eventually, cancer got her and her body gave out and we had to give her up. But we will never let her go. We still get up in the morning and look for her in her bed, and it’s a little heartbreaking to realize she is not with us anymore.

We hope you’ll enjoy this video celebrating Lucy’s many 2 and 4 legged friends, her travels and our wonderful life with her.

 

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Chessie, we hardly knew ya

The leaves were starting to fall and a tinge of cold was in the air and we knew summer was over and fall was coming.  We wanted to get south to warmer climates and soon. However, the stomach flu (will spare you the photos) and a series of lows marching out of the southeast were pinning us into Jersey City.  So once we were moderately better and got a decent weather window we made a mad dash out of NY harbor, down the Jersey coast, up the Delaware Bay, through the C&D Canal and into the Chesapeake Bay.

C&D Canal

C&D Canal

Whew, it was long trip but nice to be ensconced in the picturesque calm of this big bay and all its tributaries, creeks, byways and hi ways.  But just as we were about to start exploring, NOAA threw us a curveball by predicting that Hurricane Joaquin would run straight up the Chesapeake Bay and bring a 5 – 10’ tidal surge with it.

Rats, now instead of touring around, we were on the desperate search for a hurricane hole and a way to secure our home so Mother Nature would not take off with it.  We went into lovely Swan Creek near Rock Hall, Md (Swan Creek looks a bit like Hallocks Bay in Orient, only a little smaller, so we felt right at home).

The calm before the storm. Beautiful Swan Creek.

The calm before the storm. Beautiful Swan Creek.

We were the only boat that chose to remain on the hook in this bay but were comforted when John Clarke of Gratitude Marina rode by in his skiff and told us that if we tucked way up in the back bay, we would probably be OK if the storm hit.  He is a former cruiser and said that if the storm pushed Neko ashore, he would come and pull us off.  It was comforting to know that someone nearby knew we were out there.  We immediately went to work removing sails, setting our storm anchor and generally battening down the hatches.

Pete prepping 2nd anchor, yes was that cold.

Pete prepping 2nd anchor.  Yes it was that cold.

Of course, though, merely by doing all this back-breaking work, we assured ourselves that the hurricane would not come.   If we had not prepared, it surely would have hit us in the nose.

Yes I know not from NOAA but you get the idea of how many possible paths the storm could have taken.

Yes I know not from NOAA but you get the idea of how many possible paths the storm could have taken.

But it was still worth it because a big Nor’easter having nothing to do with Joaquin decided to come visit us anyway.  We had 3 days of big, cold winds and huddled inside and watched movies and thanked providence that we had installed air conditioning/heat when we were in Florida.

But finally the skies cleared and the waters receded and the dove came back with a green twig.  One of our Chesapeake Bay goals was to get to Annapolis for the annual sailboat show.  This is a big draw for sailors with just about every parts vendor and many boat manufacturers present.  We wanted to look at Outremer and Gunboat catamarans and check out any new and interesting products.  Annapolis is a cute little town that hosts the Naval Academy on its beautiful campus.

 The Academy is an interesting site to tour with a fantastic naval museum.  Don’t fail to go to “The Yard” to watch the midshipmen march off to lunch.  Every weekday they gather for noon formation complete with a brass band and march in formation into Preble Hall for lunch.  Such a grand procession merely to go to lunch, but tradition abounds in this place and it was quite a spectacle, not to mention it WAS taco Tuesday.

What a production, just for lunch ;-)

What a production, just for lunch 😉

Time was ticking so we made a quick trip over to the Eastern Shore to see the charming town of Oxford and then it was off to Chesapeake Boat Works in Deltaville, Va., where we had a few little jobs done and prepped the boat to be away from the US for an extended period of time again.

 Deltaville was the temporary base for our friends on R&R Kedger. So it was great to catch up with Rob and Rose.  Just when they thought they had gotten away from us, we pull them back in 😉

Relaxing with Rob and Rose

Relaxing with Rob and Rose

Deltaville is a tiny little town but full of marinas, boat support and the perfect place to prep for our big jump South.

Mike and Holly saying goodbye to "Izzy" who safely brought them across country.   Izzy as in "is he gonna make it"?

Mike and Holly saying goodbye to “Izzy” who safely brought them across country. Izzy as in “is he gonna make it”?

We finished our jobs,  and hooked up with Mike and Holly from S/V Wanasquewin.  They left their boat in Curacao to visit home and road trip across the country in a beater car they named “Izzy”.  It safely delivered them to us and we were glad they could join us on the trip to the Bahamas.  However, our Deltaville stay ended in a sad note for us and it was good to get underway again.

We ❤ NY

Just like Grandpa & Grandma Malloy and Grandpa Perica many years before, Lady Liberty greeted us as we sailed into New York Harbor.

Lady Liberty welcoming Neko.

Lady Liberty welcoming Neko.

Granted we were probably a lot more comfortable than they were and we knew what to expect when we arrived, but it was still exhilarating and made us excited to be back home. We were traveling with our pals on Pegasus, which made for great photo opportunities as we sailed down the East River.

 I ❤ NY

I ❤ NY

What immediately grabbed our attention was the almost unrecognizable skyline. Since 9/11 we’ve had to get used to the jarring absence of the twin towers but with The Freedom Tower and numerous new skyscraper shifting the city’s silhouette, it all seemed sadly unfamiliar.

Lucy back on the streets of NYC

Lucy back on the streets of NYC

This was perhaps the most dangerous trip to date for Pete, not for navigational reasons but because he knows how much I love NYC and once there, I may not have wanted to leave. We were thrilled to see old friends and family, ride subways, mix it up with the throngs of tourists, eat at some of our favorite haunts and just be a part of the machine that is the big apple.  Although we had a fabulous time I agreed to keep on our adventure and head back south to embark on season three of this crazy life at sea.

Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower

Thankfully the good old Empire State and Chrysler Buildings still stood proudly representing the old guard and we knew we were in the right place.

To see photos of City Island in the Bronx click here.

Lawbsta Pots and Chowdah

Dare we say “we summered in Nantucket, darling”.   Haha, well sort of.

Mary's new pal

Mary’s new pal

We spent the last few months cruising around New England and remembering why we love East Coast sailing so much – lacking the dramatic natural beauty of sailing on the west coast of North America, it makes up for it with innumerable places to explore, charming scenery and, importantly, safe ways to go ashore and leave your dinghy.  If you are a long time reader you may remember how we went ashore in most places on the west coast – put down the wheels on the dinghy, wait for a break in the waves, run it into the beach and hop out and pull it up as fast as you can.  Walking around dry after that was a fantasy.

Always room for one more at the dinghy dock

Always room for one more at the dinghy dock

So, bays with docks where you just tie up and step off seem like the utmost in civility to us. Oh, it’s the little things, isn’t it?

No BikesWe were hoping to get all the way to Maine but we ran out of time and will save it for another visit.   I believe Mother Nature took pity on us after our hellishly hot, wet summer in Panama last year and gave us phenomenally mild sunny days and cool evenings with very little rain for the entire time we spent up north.

Lucy taking a dip in the waters of Block Island

Lucy taking a dip in the waters of Block Island

Sophie giving Pete a surfing lesson . Block Island

Sophie giving Pete a surfing lesson . Block Island

And he is up

And he is up

Summer months are busy in this neck of the woods, especially weekends. Its nice to see the prevalence of sailing over motor boating in these waters, even if catamarans still seem like a UFO to locals (unidentified floating object).

Hyannis race

Hyannis race

They are traditional sailors.

Beautiful sailboat

Beautiful sailboat

Harbors tend to get crowded with weekend and holiday cruisers. However, very few of them anchor, preferring slips or moorings.   We felt our cruising time had trained us well and we happily saved the money and dropped the hook in some familiar harbors like Nantucket, several stops on Long Island and Block Island.

Gay Head Light House Martha's Vineyard

Gay Head Light House
Martha’s Vineyard

We also finally made it to other places we had long wanted to visit, such as Martha’s Vineyard, Cuttyhunk and parts of The Cape.

Perfect way to enjoy sunset with oysters shucked and delivered right to our boat.

Perfect way to enjoy sunset with oysters shucked and delivered right to our boat in Cuttyhunk, MA

We dodged lobster pots and ate clam chowder, met up with old friends and truly had a summer to remember.  Click on each place above highlighted in red for more photos or videos.

Visit from our NYC pals. Gus, Dave, Eileen and Sophie.

Visit from our NYC pals. Gus, Dave, Eileen and Sophie.

Hardworking Lobstermen

Hardworking Lobstermen

Martha's Vineyard fun

Martha’s Vineyard fun

Beautiful Nantucket sunset

Beautiful Nantucket sunset

Getting Re-Oriented

Orient, NY was our home away from home when we lived in New York City.  It was the perfect balance to hectic city life with lots of space, great sailing and peace and quiet.

Bug Light welcomes you to Orient Harbor

Bug Light welcomes you to Orient Harbor

Sitting on the eastern-most end of Long Island (get it, so far east it is the Orient) sits our historic village of less than 800 people.

Orient Historical Society

Orient Historical Society

Latham's Farm Stand

Holly's chicken

Our neighbor’s free range chicken

Come on, how much more small town can we get?

For those not familiar with the area, Long Island is in fact aptly named and at the end splits off into two directions.  The South fork is where you’ll find gorgeous ocean beaches, gorgeous homes and gorgeous people, aka the Hamptons. And on the North fork you’ll find waterfront vineyards, working farms and gorgeous people.

The gorgeous people of Orient ;-)

The gorgeous people of Orient – Holly and Phil and John and Martha

Halyard swing

Halyard swing

We were a bit nervous to return, worrying that perhaps our memories were rose colored and that reality would reveal something less.  But we were over the moon to find the hamlet had not changed and the small changes that have happened were for the better.   We were welcomed by our friends Phil and Holly and Martha and John, and kids.

Love seeing friendly faces welcoming us back.

Love seeing friendly faces.

We anchored in front of the yacht club, which allowed for easy dinghy docking and shoreside access.

Neko in Orient

Neko in Orient

OYC

OYC

OYC Jr. ragatta

OYC junior regatta

The yacht club’s junior racing program is really the envy of the area.  When we were there, Orienters took all the top spots in an Opti regatta with 6 or so different clubs joining.  The training goes on 6 days a week.

“Too much tiller, Margot” is what this poor young girl heard all during her lesson.

We were thrilled to learn about the oyster biz from our pals at Oysterponds Shellfish Co.

Reg Tuthill

Reg Tuthill

Frank checking the fruits of his labor.

Frank checking the fruits of his labor. “It takes Oysterpond oysters about 18 to 20 months of growth before 75-80% are ready for market. The creek warms up faster, cools down slower and is filled with lots of food for the oysters brought in with the strong flow of water.”*

Orient has a deep history in oysters, in fact Orient was once know as Oysterponds and oystermen thrived harvesting them from 1874 until the brown tide killed them off in the 1980s.  “The algae wasn’t poisonous to the oysters but out competed all the other algae and left the water filled with 99% brown tide which the oysters didn’t like to feed upon. It still shows up in some areas but not at the levels of the 1980″s.”*              *From local historican John Holzapfel

The Tuthill family has the privilege of owning the water rights to the estuary where Oysterponds Shellfish Co. harvest their critically acclaimed oysters.  Their family was one of the original settlers in Orient as deeded by the King of England in 1640s

But aquaculture is alive again and our buddies Phil and John are really helping the old guard ramp up operations.   I think we helped them plant close to a half million baby oysters.

Cruz in the estuary

Cruz in the estuary

Oyster unloading

Step 1 – Unloading half a million oyster seeds

Step 2 spread out baby oysters

Step 2 spread out baby oysters. These seeds are about the size of your thumb nail.

Step 3 count out baby oysters and load in growing bags

Step 3 count out baby oysters( they are about 5 months old) and load in growing bags

Step 4 carry oyster bags to

Step 4 carry mesh oyster grow bags to “plant” in the bay.

Step 5 Planting oyster bags

Step 5 Planting oyster bags where they will grow doubling in size every 10-15 days. “It takes Oysterpond oysters about 18 to 20 months of growth before 75-80% are ready for market. The creek warms up faster, cools down slower and is filled with lots of food for the oysters brought in with the strong flow of water.”*

Roberto shucked some mature ones right on the spot, and they are delicious.  If you see Oysterponds oysters anywhere, get them!  They are hearty and briny and perfect.

shucks

Down the hatch.

Down the hatch.

Lucy watching every move

Wild dingoes in the area

Speaking of local foods, it was nice to sample some of the local fares again.  Farm stand produce, clams that Phil dug up with his hands, mussels that we pulled out of Hallocks Bay.

Birds in Hallock's Bay

Geese in Hallock’s Bay

Mary musseling musselsFarm to table has always been a way of eating here, not just the latest trend and it continues to flourish.  The nearby town of Greenport has some exceptional restaurants, The Frisky Oyster is as good as ever, even if its prices are higher than ever.   Newcomer Brix & Rye has an incredible bourbon selection and delicious food.  And Little Creeks’ fun shuck-your-own oysters has taken over White’s bait and tackle shop right at Mitchell Park Harbor.  Linton’s store, now that he sold it it goes by its real name of the Country Store, has been taken over by a young couple selling very good sandwiches and prepared foods.  Orient country store signThe little store in East Marion has been transformed into a gourmet food store called Fork and Anchor.  Greenport has a brewery making craft beers.  And of course, all those vineyards are going strong.

Holly and Mary spending the afternoon wine tasting.

Holly and Mary spending the afternoon wine tasting.

Vineyard

Vineyard

Mary, Pete and Phil

Fun night with Phil and Holly in Greenport

I know these names don’t mean anything to most of you, but these places deserve a plug, check them out if you are ever out this way.   People complain about the strict conservation and preservation rules out in Orient, but we hope they hold strong and keep up the fight because in our travels we’ve seen how overdevelopment ruins a place.  And Orient is a rare pearl worth treasuring. Long Island Sound

Cape Crusaders

Whew, what a ride. We wanted to make up for time lost in Fort Lauderdale and get to our old northern stomping grounds. So we screamed up the coast from South Florida to Orient NY in 3 weeks.   Along the way we dealt with some of the gnarliest capes that the US east coast has to offer.   Although we were really moving, we enjoyed our time in Charleston. However, it ended all too soon and we were then on a 200 mile jaunt up to Cape Lookout. Lookout is a special place with a big circular bay nearly bereft of development.

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Cape Lookout lighthouse

Pete kiting Cape Lookout

Pete kiting Cape Lookout

Pete kiting Cape Lookout cu

It’s a great place for kitesurfing (only wish we could have stayed longer).  We also were able to swim in the water again (a little creepy because of all the shark attacks in the area) and we and R&R Kedger trekked out to spy on the wild horses living on Shackleford Banks. Cape Lookout is a wild and beautiful place, and we hope to return someday.

Our first sighting of the wild horses off in the distance.

Our first sighting of the wild horses off in the distance.

horse #5

orange wildflowers

orange wildflowers

Mary spotting the horses

Mary spotting the horses.

they don't seem to mind if you don't get too close

They don’t seem to mind if you don’t get too close.

Pete and Lucy scout for horses

Pete and Lucy scout for horses

wild ponies sauntering across the dunes

wild ponies sauntering across the dunes

But we had a schedule to keep so we shot over to nearby Beaufort for one night to fuel up and hit the road the next morning.   From what little we saw of Beaufort, we liked it. It’s a cute little old town making a living like so many places off the tourist dollar. It has a lot going for it with its preserved houses and beautiful nature just out the door.

Beaufort, that's bow-fort

Beaufort, that’s bow-fort

They know how to grow a delicious shrimp in the Carolinas.

They know how to grow a delicious shrimp in the Carolinas.

We had a decent weather window and would not have a good one again for a while. So we were presented with the choice of staying in Beaufort/Lookout for about a week to wait for the next window or moving out. With NY calling, we headed out into some of the worst seas we have ever been in. Lucky for us it was just the ocean swell built up from a week of 20 knot winds meeting the outgoing tide from Beaufort. It made for steep 10 footers which had Neko pointing at the sky and next at the deep. But once we got about 5 miles out the waves smoothed out a bit and we were able to turn to take them on the quarter. Life got better.

This leg would have us round notorious Cape Hatteras, the graveyard of ships. This is a treacherous cape that sees low pressure systems spinning off the coast as if being hurled out by the weather gods. They meet up with the Gulf Stream, which passes very close to Cape Hatteras, and often combine to create treacherous seas and nasty squalls. It’s not a place to trifle with.   Lucky for us we had a good weather window and saw only brief periods of high winds and the lightning fireworks show stayed mainly inshore. And are we glad it did – at the point of the cape there were continuous lightning strikes onshore that were so visible and lasted so long it seemed like a colossal Frankenstein experiment.

Hatteras lightening show

Hatteras lightning show

Breathing a sigh of relief as we left Hatteras behind, we set our sights on our next cape – Cape May in good old Joisey (leaving aside Cape Henry and Cape Charles, which we just passed in the night).  Pulling into Cape May after 3 days at sea was such a relief.

Cape May New Jersey

Cape May New Jersey

Fishing Boats Cape May

Fishing Boats Cape May

It was interesting to hear the accents on the VHF change from the slow southern drawl of South Carolina to the tighter drawl of North Carolina and Virginia to the oddly specific accent of those hailing from the Philly-Delaware-South Jersey axis. It is a sound I am very familiar with and knew we were back in home waters.

However, it was just a quick stop. We headed out the next day for the 200 mile trip around Montauk Point (well, they could have called it a cape) and on into Orient Harbor for our long awaited arrival back in Orient.

Happy to see the  familiar Montauk lighthouse signaling us home.

Happy to see the familiar Montauk lighthouse signaling us home.

Catching blue fish left and right.

Catching blue fish left and right.

Oh how sweet to again drop anchor in these familiar waters. The last time we did so was on Quint years ago but nothing ever changes in this place and it looks exactly the same. We don’t have a home any more, but this place feels as much like one as anywhere.

Orient's Bug Light

Orient’s Bug Light

OYC sailing lessons

OYC sailing lessons

Anchored in front of our little Yacht Club

We anchored in front of our little yacht club

Our old Island Packet

Our old Island Packet “Quint” moored in Orient Harbor in 2007.

Southern Hospitality

Dateline Charleston, SC: First order of business is to clarify that even though we are back in the US and closer to our old stomping grounds, we are not done with this adventure yet. One of our original goals had been to sail back to the NY area to meet up with family and friends, and we are very excited to be doing that. But it is not the end of this journey. I think when that time comes we will just feel it and it is not here yet. So, we are taking this opportunity to visit favorite places and, perhaps more exciting, to visit parts of the US one or both of us have never seen. We may be domestic, but many places are still foreign to us.

Lovely homes line the Charleston Battery

Lovely homes line the Charleston Battery.

Another benefit is that family and friends are closer at hand for quick visits. They aren’t burdened with trying to cram their week’s vacation into our wildly unpredictable schedule. Pete’s brother Matt was first to arrive for a 4th of July/Brothers Malloy visit during our stop in Charleston, SC.

Brothers Malloy lineup

The Brothers Malloy.

Returning crewmember Chris was able to bring his whole family, giving us the chance to meet our new niece Sophia.

Pete convinced Emma they could run through the fountain without getting wet.

Pete convinced Emma they could run through the fountain without getting wet.

and....

and….

Emma learning not to trust Uncle Pete

Emma learning not to trust Uncle Pete.

We even caught back up again with fellow cruisers Rob and Rose, who we’ve sailed off and on with since Pacific Mexico.

We love seeing our boat buddies Rob and Rose  arrive to share in the fun.

Now the party can start.

We arrived in Charleston to a harbor buzzing with Coast Guard and police boats.   We later learned it was security for President Obama who was giving the eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of 5 church members shot to death at the Emanuel A.M.E. church.

cross in wet lands

It was truly inspirational to see the families and the city of Charleston rising above and forgiving, persevering and seeking light from such a dark and repulsive act.

These uplifting banners were found throughout town.

These uplifting banners were found throughout town.

AME church note

AME church flowers

Hundreds of flowers line the front of the church.

AME hydrant

Charleston is dripping with charm and history and bacon fat (the food is delicious but geez have they met a dish they haven’t merged with a pig part).   Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t let that stop us and we ate and ate and ate. Hell, who doesn’t love a homemade biscuit or eating catfish for breakfast?

You know how I know I’m getting older, no not that it is harder to lose weight from all those biscuits or recover from a hangover, it is I’m going on a walking tour or taking a corny carriage ride and, gasp, enjoying it.

Carriage ride

All aboard the middle age express.

yes of course I worried about the horse.

Yes, of course I worried about the horse.

Where once I scoffed at guides leading me around with a group of other camera toting gawkers, I now find them a perfect way to get the lay of the land and god forbid learn a thing or two. Afterwards we can tackle the city on our own, seeing it at our pace and once again being too cool for guide books. Humidity be damned, we walked and walked (remember we ate a lot of biscuits) soaking in the gorgeous architecture, landscapes and everything else the low country had to offer.

Southern hospitality wasn’t just for us, Charleston is one of the dog friendliest towns we’ve been to and Lucy was welcomed almost everywhere we went.

Some of the best houses were down these alley streets

Some of the best houses were down these alley streets.

Lucy riding into town.

Lucy riding into town via the marina’s courtesy shuttle…now that is first class.

Caught red handed (or mouthed) Pete and Lucy sampling hot sauces

Caught red handed (or mouthed) Pete and Lucy sampling hot sauces.

Lucy found a new house for us.

Lucy found a new house for us.

But it’s not only about horses and dogs, we had another raccoon incident.  This little guy somehow found his way onto the our dock, and was caught by Lucy actually trying to climb up our water hose to get on the boat.  Since the dock is long and far from the shore, he was certainly not where he belonged.

Wanna be crew

Wanna be crew.

The marina called the critter catcher who scooped him up and we were sad because we know where wayward raccoons go (and not to a big farm out in the country).  But we later saw some commotion on the dock and heard that the little guy opened his cage and got out.  But not to be deterred, the critter catcher caught him again.  However, this guy was determined and once again opened his cage and escaped.  This time he scampered into the marsh and the catcher said he would not go after him a third time.  So here’s to a determined little guy.  May he live long and prosper.

He sure is cute

He sure is cute.

Note to cruisers: The Charleston City Marina was full of some of the most helpful folks we’ve met. They welcomed us and Lucy with open arms and dog biscuits. They provide a free shuttle service into town yet it is walkable if desired. If you are in the anchorage it is a quick dinghy ride to the marina’s dinghy dock.   If you do go into the marina and they assign you to the Megadock be sure to request the inside. When those summer storms roll in the boats tied to the outside were getting tossed around like corks.

Here comes the rain again

Here comes the rain again.