January 29, 2012
It is with distinctly mixed emotions that we bid farewell to Jarrett Bay, where Shear Madness has been and the community of Sea Gate where her crewed have lived for the past four months. One of the best things about the cruising life is the unexpected wonderful things that can come from what at first seem to be disasters or plain bad luck. Yes, there’s been a lot of tough, grind it out work in facilitating our repairs. There have been many frustrations along the way. And I will write more about those later, I promise. But now we are feeling good. We are back on the water with all the repaired systems running just fine. We have calm seas and little wind. These conditions are about as good as it gets. We are headed south and will stop in at either Charleston, SC or St. Helena, just a little further south for a night or two before heading on to Savannah.
But as happy as we are to be back on our journey, it was hard the past couple days saying goodbye to all the great new friends we made in Beaufort. Sea Gate, the community where we rented our house, is a fabulous place, full of people who will share their internet connection, invite you to their parties, lend you their books, invite you to dinner, loan you their cars, and become lifelong friends in a very short time. Sea Gate even has a neighborhood dog, Jenny, who serves as the unofficial mayor. Jenny does live in a house, but she is most often out on patrol, welcoming guests and keeping up with everyone in the community. She was one of the first ones we met when we went out for our first walk in the neighborhood. The spirit of Sea Gate was evident when Jenny was hit by a car and disappeared into the woods. It was late afternoon and soon the word was out – everyone needed to help find Jenny! Bradley and I took to our bikes and the search was on.
The amazing thing was how many people were out there looking – on foot, on bike, in golf carts, in cars, even in the cab of a semi. We were all scouring the streets and trails, stopping to visit with one another and share a real sense of community. Unfortunately we did not find Jenny, even when the search continued the next day. But lo and behold, late that evening, she showed up, battered and bruised, but alive and with no serious injuries. She’s going to be just fine and within minutes the word was spreading and we were ecstatic to get the call that she was OK. We had a chance to attend several dinner parties as well as the community Holiday and New Year’s Eve parties. During our last week, we had dinner invitations almost every night. It’s hard to put into words how special our Sea Gate experience was.
We also made many friends among those who did work on Shear Madness while she was at Jarrett Bay. Our electrician Steve and his family adopted John and Leanne for Christmas while Bradley and I headed to Virginia and Florida. And Steve’s family also hosted us all for a good bye oyster roast at their home the night before our departure. If you’ve never been to a good ole southern oyster roast, you don’t know what you’re missing! A fire, some cinder blocks, a piece of tin, a wet blanket, some sawhorses and plywood for a table, some vinegar, hot sauce and cornbread, followed by Smores at the campfire – all I can say is YUM!
Once the boat repairs were nearly complete and we were back in the water, we invited all our new friends on board for a Happy Hour. This marked our official transition from “work mode” back to “Cruise mode”. Now we are heading south – we’ll do an overnight passage to St. Helena or Charleston, then on to Savannah, and then to Florida. The entire Shear Madness crew would like to thank all our new friends in NC and all our old friends from all over the world for your support and friendship over these past months.
This is being published while underway with limited bandwidth, so photos will be minimal! More will be posted later……as I publish this we are now about an hour away from Charleston Harbor and will anchor there for the night. Another post about our passage to follow shortly!
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