Getting to Know Our New ‘Hood

April 5, 2016

IMG_6724We learn something new every day down here, and moving the boat to our new marina was no different. It shouldn’t have surprised us how clean and full of life the water is around here. But after a few months in Georgia, we had such a huge colony of wildlife flourishing on the bottom of the boat that we had to abort our first attempt to move the boat to Isle of Hope, a distance of about 8 miles. The fastest we could go (at full throttle) was about 2.5 knots., and that was going with the current. When we got back to Delegal, our dock master Billy started telling us all about how the strong currents here pump so much oxygen into the water that all the boats there hire a diver to scrub the bottom of their boat. Apparently, people here have this done about once a month to stay ahead of all the growth. To say that this wasn’t exactly a problem in Jersey City is a serious understatement. We only took the boat out of the water in Jersey City twice and we had some growth, but nothing compared to this, and that was also over the course of three years. Our new friends Jennifer and Mark tell us there’s a special bottom paint with copper in it that really helps with the growth here. Might have to look into that for next time we haul out. Thankfully, after the diver was finished with us, we had absolutely no problems the next time around and made it to our new home without a hitch.

So how is it in Isle of Hope? It’s picturesque and dreamy and covered in azaleas in gorgeous pinks and purples and whites, and very nature-y. I really thought we knew nature from living aboard in Jersey City, where my neighbor and I once shared a moment as we watched a cormorant swallowing a whole live eel. Very National Geographic. I realize now that I was naive. Yes, we had a swan for a neighbor back in J.C.., but now we have the black drum fish. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this not so little guy—some of them weigh in at 80 pounds—they can make quite a racket around this time of year. It’s black drum fish mating season here and the males make an incessant deep rumbling sound not unlike a drum, alerting any potential females within a 50-mile radius of our slip to their presence. It all seems very romantic until you’re trying to sleep or work or do just about anything, because you can’t escape the eerie Chinese water torture that is emanating from under the boat. Who knew Jersey City could be quieter than sleepy little Isle of Hope? Thanks again to Women Who Sail, the best Facebook group ever, for helping me suss out the root of this onerous little problem. I had to laugh when Rich’s mom Lydia told us that she’d read my frantic Facebook posts while she was on a trip to New Orleans and just couldn’t resist ordering black drum fish for dinner when she saw it on the menu. Way to take one in the gut for the team, Lydia.

Crazy fish noises aside, Isle of Hope is incredibly pretty and we are loving it. Walking around our new ‘hood I’m amazed by the sheer number of adorable homes, from tiny little cottages to massive manors, all dripping in Spanish moss and Southern Gothic goodness. In fact, it’s so picture perfect around here that they’re shooting some scenes for the Baywatch movie at our marina this week. I just hope they’re not trying to pass off Isle of Hope as California. If they did that, they’d have to edit out all of the cool stuff that makes this place so unique. Last time I checked, there wasn’t any Spanish moss in Malibu. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Meanwhile, I can’t believe it’s already April. We’ve had a couple of visitors, interestingly both named Kate or a variation thereof. Kate was here from Columbus, Ohio, in February and Katie blew through town from New York on a road trip in March. We’re hoping to see our friends Katy (of course!) and Dierk from Seattle in June.

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Kate dipping her toes in the Atlantic at Tybee. Brrrr!

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Me and Katie. We had so much fun we forgot to snap a pic until the last minute when it was pitch black out. Please excuse the dark photo!

We’re slowly crawling out from under the craziness that is starting new jobs in a new town and are getting back to work on the boat. Lydia and Don are still putting up with us as houseguests, but it’s time to step up the progress on our project list and get back on the boat full time. My current cushion project has been a complete nightmare (picture a single zipper sewn on in every conceivable way but the right one and you’ll begin to get the idea). But I’m happy to report that Rich is making progress on the dinghy project. The moment of truth when he finally cut it into two parts, so it can be “nested” for storage has arrived. Can’t wait to launch it in the lagoon behind Lydia’s house. Here’s hoping it floats, and the alligators aren’t too hungry!

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