November 12, 2018 – With a 6.5-foot draught (Jim Costello says it’s more and we tend to agree) and 45-foot overhead clearance, Emmanou is never fully comfortable in the Intercoastal Waterway with its shifting shoals, bridges, locks and tugboat traffic. Only when opening up on a long offshore run does she really show her potential,steadily running off 7-9 nautical miles each hour, her stabilizers keeping rolling motion to a minimum, her radars on the look-out for potential intruders into the collision alarm zone (still a mystery to us how the US Navy do not get this right), and in 20 months of ownership, she has logged nearly a thousand main engine hours and well over 7,000 nautical miles. The Emmanou crew is now well part of the Eastern US seaboard community, recognized wherever she goes, making friends along the way.
At Wrightsville Beach we caught up with Charlie and Lynn Scott, who we first met in the line for Lobsters at Beal’s Lobster Pier in Mount Desert Island, Maine, for a nice dinner at their waterside home. On the way to dinner, the outboard prop on our tender decided to drop into the sea — another indication of Thach still having much to learn about boating as he had just “installed” a new prop to replace the one we had chewed up in Maine. Luckily, we were rescued by a passer-by who had come for a closer look at Emmanou on his center console, and Thach promptly (and hopefully permanently) installed the spare refurbished prop. Also, a French couple who have been parallel tracking us since Maine in their Aluminium sailboat (after crossing over from France to Brazil) decided to anchor up less than 100 feet behind us – with strong winds in the forecast – just to make us sleep better. Someone once remarkedthat the French are outstanding sailors, but shitty at anchoring – something to keep in mind for when Emmanou gets to the Med.
On the way back out, at the recommendation of Jim Andreassi, we stop at Bald Head Island, a nice barrier island turned vacation home of the well-heeled (or at least well-monied) North Carolinians with a touch of Disney.
Next stop, after a 16-hour offshore run, Charleston, where we ignored the array of fine local cuisine (sampled on a previous Bourdain-inspired eatfest – see Dec 7-8, 2017 blog) for a Korean take out joint, where Thach satisfied his craving for Asian comfort food with a bowl of Bibimbap.
Finally, a day-run to Hilton Head, Skull Creek marina, just down the road from Todd and Theresa Smith – old ski friends from VT – to check out their life among the retirees playing golf and tennis crowd. Not a bad life although you have to stand closer to folks there and speak a little louder.
After a typical Smith family Thanksgiving dinner, with an overabundance of traditional fare (including 12 different pies – Thach got his banana cream pie request), we decide to stay longer in Hilton Head, and wait for dock space to open up in Florida (many docks having been disabled by the increasing number of storms – all due to fake climate change).
Another first: Thach was there to witness a 160 yard hole-in-one by Todd on the 14th hole at Bear Creek — just behind their house.
Karin headed back to San Antonio to look after her dad’s recovery from a much overdue pacemaker implant, then we head back to New Haven to our (still not sold) home for Xmas with the kids and cousins (except for Emma who is in Japan as a ski instructor).