We generally plan our seasonal commute in sections: 3-5 travel days, anchoring out at night, then a layover day at a marina or dock to stretch our legs and explore a town, get some fresh produce, whatever, then another 3-5 travel days, then a longer break. We'll catch up on boat projects and rest a bit. We'll usually rent a car and try to really get a little deeper understanding of not just the city we've stopped in, but the surrounding region as well -- something we can't do when confined to the square mile or two that we can explore around a marina on foot.
This year we targeted Savannah, Georgia for our long break. We had spent just enough time there last spring on our northward run to want more. And even better, the new dockmaster at Lady's Island marina where we stayed last spring and were planning on staying again, had lived in Savannah for several years and could tell us about some great spots to visit. We had a couple of museums in mind, a few boat projects, revisiting a couple of favorite restaurants, and generally just chillin'.
Ha! Our days went from full, to fuller as the rental car expanded our range of things to do and people we could connect with. Most of the planned boat projects got rescheduled for "later."
We spent a lovely afternoon with longtime friend Dani, her husband J. and their two daughters. The girls were so curious about our odd life afloat that it took about 1/2 hour just to walk the boardwalk to our boat, because they kept stopping to look down at the fish and birds. We couldn't have planned it of course, but were lucky enough to even catch a glimpse of dolphins cavorting in the creek. After (attempting) to satisfy the girls' zillions of questions about how boats work, and tides, and marine life, we drove into town for dinner ... and found the main street blocked off because we had landed right in the middle of the pre-Halloween street festival!
We drove back to Charleston to share a long lunch and lots of stories with friends Melissa and Anne, experienced boaters but new cruisers on a new boat. We stayed on for a lowcountry cooking class ... and then practiced our newly-acquired knife skills by making the pot of soup that today's blustery weather inspired (potato, in this case). We shared beers and dinners when we crossed paths again with fellow southbound cruisers Paul and Deb (Lat43) and Bruce and Tammy (Things We Did Today). And possibly most fun of all, our beloved El Galeon Andalucia was visiting Savannah and we were able to spend 3 afternoons aboard as interpretive guides (same job we did in St Augustine), explaining the ship and shipboard life in the 17th century to visitors. When the stream of visitors slowed down, we also had time to catch up with our friends in the Spanish crew.
|The corner of the boardwalk at high tide ...|
|... and the same spot at low tide.|
|An eight-foot tidal range makes a big difference!|
|El Galeon blue-lit for a special nighttime fundraising event.|
|Pirates galore that night!|
|I explain to visitors that the galleons were the cargo ships of the day. |
So, here's a juxtapostion: 21st century cargo ship,
viewed from the deck of a 17th-century one!
|Cooking class: Chef Victoria Frank checking if the apple cider glaze was reduced to the right consistency.|
|And don't be afraid to taste and add salt!|
|Plating up the finished foods.|
|My partner in "Team Pot Pie." I had never worked with puff pastry before.|
|Best part of the class -- eating our creations!|
|With Chef Victoria and assistant Blair.|