Savannah

Savannah

November 23
 In my previous blog, I talked about things that are changing as we head South.  I talked about language, trees and birds.  I forgot two other things that have changed:  cuisine and guns.
It's surprising to me how I had forgot to talk about cuisine, as food is one of my passion.  Cuisine has changed to, I wouldn't say more flavorful but, different flavors:  from oragano/sage/dill/basil to chili/cayenne/chipotle/cumin/paprika; from pork/breakfast/italian sausages to andouille/smoked sausages;  from pasta to rice and beans and grits.  Also, the quantity of food is so much more.  I guess locals get used to it.  But for me, it's way too much food.  Still, we love it all!
As for guns, not that we've seen any so far but there are "no concealed weapons" signs in many public buildings we enter (restaurants, shopping malls).  Hum!  It makes me a bit uncomfortable.  I think I'd walked away from any situation where hot tempers arise.  Just in case ....
<span;>Before we arrived in Savannah, we sailed overnight on the ocean from Charleston.  I don't really know the reason for the obvious discrepancy between what we thought the weather/waves forecast would be and what actually we got;  but it was not fun at all, actually pretty tiring and frustrating.  The winds were supposed to move from starboard close haul (30-40 degrees right side of boat, slower speed) to aft (back) by 2:00am.  It never moved from close haul;  yet waves were coming from portside (left side of boat) and bow (front).  Also, waves were supposed to be less than a meter high;  we got 2 meter high from the side and the front.  Remember, in one of my blogs, I mentioned some trips feel like a metronome, a bronco ride or a hot knife through butter?  Well this one felt like a bronco ride, for 6 hours.  In a bronco ride, I can't cook or make coffee in the morning.  Not good.   Then, by the time we tried to go inland (noon by now), the winds and waves were against us so we had to tack all the way in.  We wasted a good 3 hours.  Not fun!  No more night sailing on the ocean for a while now.  I need a break!
The break was 3 nights at the Thunderbold Marina in this Savannah suburb.  It was only 10 kms bike rid to downtown Savannah.  I liked the city but honestly I found Charleston more quaint and fun.  Savannah does have a few original buildings and much history of course;  but it also had a lot of newer hotels and infrastructures that tampered down the cozy, homey feeling of Charleston.
We used the Uber transportation service for the first time today.  This is so convenient and interesting.  You have the convenience of phone apps:  easy to set up and pay and realtime location and predicted time of arrival of your Uber car.  And you meet new drivers:  different personalities and life experiences.  Also, compared to taxi where you pay by the minute and kilometers, Uber is prepaid;  so you don't care what roads the driver takes; you already paid for your ride.  Very colourful experience!  It's like B&B's and Airbnb's where each location is new people and new stories.  Can't wait for the next one!
Frank is in heaven.  He's got new electronics to figure out their settings and installation:  IridiumGO, a new wall-mounted smart tv, etc.  He loves that kind of stuff.  If you need to set up, repair and troubleshoot some electronics, ask Frank.  You'll make him happy.
At the end of my last blog, I mentioned our new purchase of an IridiumGO.  While we're in the US, you can contact us through our cell phone:  text, call, email.  When we leave the States, this cellular communication will not always be available.  Hence, IridiumGO.  For many offshore sailors/boaters who have families and friends who care to know where you are and what's going on, it's a must.  At this time, I can't give you a lot of details until Frank figures it all out and explains it to me.  What I can tell you is that with IridiumGO those who care can track us down, text and call us with the satellite network of IridiumGO instead of the usual cellular network.  For us, IridiumGO can also give us ontime weather forecast through PredictWind.  Bottom line, IridiumGO ensure constant communication with family members.
Oh before I forget, 2 more things to mention.  In my New York City blog, I mentioned that I walked by a known actor but I couldn't remember his name.  I saw him a few days ago in the series called "Young Sheldon", a prequel to the Big Bang Theory.  The actor's name is Richard Kind.
The other thing is about marina wifi's.  They either have very little bandwidth or don't work at all.  So don't think you can rely on them.
Our journey South continues tomorrow morning through the ICW for a few days, until our next stop for provisioning and laundry.  Talk to you later!  xxxx

Charleston

Charleston

November 19
There's was no point writing a blog before we got to Charleston and experience all the fun and history it offers.  Before I get into it though, I want to mention some of the little changes that I noticed recently.
First, there's the language.  As we enter the Southern states, we depict the Southern dialect.  A lot of "yall" for "you all" even though we're just the 2 of us.  There's also a distinct drawl as they speak.  We're beginning to need to pay more attention to ensure understanding.
Second, there are different birds and their songs.  We're now seeing a lot of long neck, long leg birds like the pelican, the egret, the heron and the ibis.  The bird songs I hear remind me of early mornings on resorts in Dominican Republic.
Third, there are the trees.  Besides the magnolia, I'm not very familiar with trees.  Many trees along the ICW have their roots exposed, not as much as what you'd find in the everglades though.  Many trees have that distinctive moss called Spanish moss.  Many of them look so strong and old.  Looking at them, I wonder what kind of lives people led when these trees were saplings:  slavery?  Civil War?  Floods and hurricanes?
Even though we had some warm weather back in Norfolk, it got cold again in the following days, weeks.  To the point that here in Chaleston, we stayed in a marina for 2 nights just to have electricity and plug the heater.  With nights of 4-8 degrees celcius, we needed it.  We're back to wool socks and tuque;  hopefully, not for much longer.
Charleston has this beautiful Southern architectural style you often see in ads for New Orleans:  old mansions and churches, old streets, many restaurants.  Charleston boasts about Rainbow Row (row houses of multiple colours), the Battery (walled boardwalk by the water), the French Quarter (beautiful alleys, delicious food, narrow cobble streets, horse carriage tours, old houses) and a darker side, the slave market.
We visited the Old Slave Mart Museum.  It is housed in one of the slave market hall.  There are two eras of American slavery:  Trans-Atlantic (banned by Congress in 1808 but frequent smuggling thereafter) and domestic (mostly after 1808, from Virginia/Maryland to Deep South Alabama, Georgia, etc., triggered by crop/labour changes in both regions).  Slaves came from Africa and the Caribbean islands.  Charleston was one of the biggest slave market.  We learned that the trader - the market owner - would heal, clean, clothe and feed slaves before a sale to ensure the biggest profit.  Price was set by age, build, colour and skills. We knew that the Northern states were the first to abolish slavery.  After the Civil War, slavery was abolished in United States in 1865. It was difficult to visit the museum and now to write all these facts without emotion.
Charleston - Charles Town first, for King Charles II - was founded in 1670.  Settlement was difficult and slow due to epidemics such as malaria, yellow fever and smallpox, tropical storms and hurricanes.  In the 1700's, it started to prosper thanks to slavery and export to Europe (pine timber, tobacco and textile).  The Civil War, which started at Fort Sumter in Charleston, devastated the city and its economy.  During the years following the abolishment of slavery and the war (1865), as a major part of the population was of dark colour in Charleston (57% in city, 73% in county), much violence between blacks and whites occurred.  In 2018, Charleston City Council apologized for its role in slavery.
We walked the French Quarter all day.  For dinner, I tried grits for the first time, with shrimps.  Grits is a typical Southern staple made of ground corn.  It is used as a sidedish instead of potatoes or rice.  I think it's the type of food that is ordinary by itself, that needs other ingredients to elevate it.  The one I had last night was mixed with jalapeno cheese - yummy.  I'll try it more often to decide whether or not I want to add it to our diet.  We finished the evening in a piano lounge with red wine and chocolate cake.  Perfect!  One thing that greatly surprised us is that we couldnˋt find a typical French patisserie in the whole quarter.  Oh well!
We're leaving Charleston tonight for an overnight sail to Savannah.  We should be there by noon tomorrow and will spend a few days.  Frank ordered an IridiumGo to be picked up at the marina.  I'll tell you all about it in my next blog in Savannah.

New York, New York

New York, New York

October 26
          (I'm sorry for not posting a blog for many days.  We had some difficulty with our website.  It is now resolved. 

Boston

Boston

October 13
          One of the advantages of Frank's marina choice is the proximity to the airport.  Frank met me at the bagage claim with our buggy upon my arrival on the 10th. 

Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Peggy's Cove

Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Peggy's Cove

September 19

Due to unfavorable winds these days, we decided to visit Lunenburg, Mahone Bay and Peggy's Cove by car.  I haven't driven a car since July in Quebec City.