Beaufort is about halfway to Bradenton, Florida, land of Dave Lucas and his band of merry boat builders. So this trip offered a good opportunity to make a quick raid on “Sure It’s Wood” Forest to abscond with the new boat project (about which more presently). But doing it in a day meant leaving before daylight and returning long after dark, with only a brief visit in between.
The vast salt marshes of the Low Country gave a name to the city of Savannah. Seemingly endless expanses of salt grass stretch from horizon to horizon, dotted with distant hummocks – small islets of pine, live oak and palmetto. These spartina marshes range all along the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to Florida, but there are more here than anywhere else – covering 600 square miles in South Carolina alone.
I came across a neat gift-ish arty idea today. Bathymetric charts of well known bodies of water, laser cut and laminated out of wood. They’re stacked up like inverted topo maps, showing the contours of the bottom.
It’s a new company, only a month old, but they already have a nice selection. They’re a husband and wife team called “Below the Boat” out in Bellingham, Washington, and the maps themselves are made by another couple up in Michigan.
Pretty cool, especially for those of us who both like working in wood and being on the water.
The day following the storm is eerily calm. Relentless wind of the day before left patterns scoured in the sand, but otherwise no other sign. The sea was flat and calm all the way to the horizon, gently lapping at the beach, quite unlike an ocean. The sky absolutely clear.
The girls headed back north in a storm. It would dump rain, then sleet, then snow all along their route, eventually diverting Emily to stay with a friend in Harrisonburg. A day later she would follow it up through New England to Maine, through several feet of freshly plowed snow.
Here at the beach the wind blew hard all day. It tore the tops off a tormented sea. It drove sand in snaking tatters down the beach, piling it up in drifts, a gritty counterpart of the snow drifts up north.
We’re heading south for Beaufort, SC, to visit family in what’s becoming our typical chaotic fashion. Multiple cars, overlapping schedules, etc.. The girls left at 4am from another city. Christmas Eve, we’ll be driving most of the night hauling this empty trailer while Santa makes his rounds. Less than 48 hours later, after a bit of musical vehicles, a different mix of us will return. I’ll stay longer, but plan to make a mad dash to Tampa and back before heading for home. Zaniness.
If it all works out, I’ll return with another boat project in tow. Just what we need! That will make a total of five craft in one form or another that can carry sail.