Ravanel Bridge in Charleston SC

Life without challenges, leisure always, no problems to solve, no hardships to endure   sounds like my definition of hell. As it works out, there are  problems to be solved – periodically making life more interesting if not challenging.  The us

ual and I’d not have it any other way.

Last year in August a thunderstorm streamed right overhead while we were at Isle Hope Marina (great place!) near Savannah. That’s when I thought,  I should have listened to my mother’s rules:  In a thunder storm, get out of the water and stay away from and don’t sit under tall objects. She is a wise woman, yet her son, didn’t listen and he was in a boat on the water, under a very tall mast during a thunderstorm.

The marina power went out after a very loud , very close strike.  Basically, if you count the number of seconds between the lightening and  thunder, then divide by five, you get the distance to the  lightening bolt in miles.   There was zero time from bolt to thunder and we naively thought something was hit…nearby. When power returned,  a few things on our boat did not work anymore, so we thought (again, naively) the lightening got to us through the powerlines. How little did we know.  And, a hurricane was coming. 

Earlier in the year we had made arrangement with a nearby yard to store the boat on land while we flew home to Portland for a few months.  The yard was about five miles from Isle of Hope Marina and the basics still worked:  we were floating and the engine worked. We could get to the yard so that we and the rest of Savannah worked to ready for  hurricane Irma.

We put the boat on the hard, flew home to Portland and forgot about the lightening strike.

That was Aug 2017.

This year, 2018, we had a professional surveyor (a person that diagnoses problems in boats) aboard to assess the damage. Neil (Blue Water Surveys)  found the instruments (antennaes, wind anemometer) on top of the mast  had been blown away – disintegrated. The lightening had hit us directly and wrecked a bunch of stuff that we hadn’t checked before leaving last year.

So, instead of a leisurely trip up the ICW this year, we are trying to recover from the  extensive electrical damage.  Today we are at a marina in Charleston, SC, about to drive to Washington DC for my niece’s wedding and looking/investigating for a reputable repair facility to estimate the repair work.

But for the lightening, we might have passed the very pleasant city of Charleston, SC.   It’s a great place to hang, even if the time can also be called waiting.  It has all the ingredients of a city that I like: good food, good coffee shops, college town, young and vibrant, good walking and/or biking and nearby stuff to see and do.  It is here that we need to decide what to do about fixing the boat. There are lots of options – fix it here in Charleston, go to Annapolis (boating capital of the east coast) or someplace between.

Charleston Harbor Marina


Right now , the plan (it’s the plan until it isn’t) is —  we will have work done on the boat in Beaufort, NC (pronounced BOW-fort) and fit in a couple of road trips before heading back to Portland.


Angel Oak on John’s Island near Charleston. This tree started growing about the time of Columbus.


In the meantime, life is to be enjoyed as well as endured; we have our writing to write and pictures to take and process.

Ron made me hold this pose

Charleston SC






The next chapter to this saga has yet to be written. Find a yard, get the repair work completed and whatever comes next. This year we were going to take a two or three months travel up the ICW to Annapolis and head back to Portland. Now the future is not certain, the boat and us will not get to Annapolis and plans will change. But as I said at the beginning: life without challenges would be boring. 

I think of an unknown future as something to be curios about and appreciate. And like the Alister Reid poem:

” Curiosity
will not cause us to die–
only lack of it will.
Never to want to see
the other side of the hill
or that improbable country
where living is an idyll
(although a probable hell)
would kill us all.
Only the curious
have, if they live, a tale
worth telling at all”.