Around Hilton Head ’07-’08

This page is for posting about the time spent at Hilton Head Island, SC.  MOONSTRUCK arrived here on Nov. 1, 2007, and it looks like the stay could last as long as a year.  As most of you, we have much going on in our lives that will take some time away from cruising as our business has some projects starting, and we are building ourselves a new town home in one of them.  It will be located in the Riverfront area of Chattanooga.  Here is a link to the project website with a map.      Anyone coming up the Tennessee River please give us a shout.  We would love to show you our town.

Lou and I plan to meet Norm and Kathy Blinn at Shelter Cove as they cruise down from Virginia Beach to St. Augustine.  Our plans are to meet them on the 8th and 9th (this coming weekend) then spend a couple of days catching up on boat chores.  It will be our first visit back to MOONSTRUCK since leaving her there in early November.

January 4, 2008

WOW!  Another year!

Lou and I made it down to MOONSTRUCK just in time to meet Norm and Kathy Blinn on EBBTIDE II about noon on Saturday, December 8th at Shelter Cove.  With them being settled in we did lunch at Parrot’s Cove then did a little touring of Hilton Head Island.  We went down to Harbor Town (where the famous candy-striped light house and 18th hole of the Heritage Classic Golf Tournament are).  Then down to South Beach where the famous Salty Dog Cafe is.  Dinner was at Capt. Woody’s at Palmetto Bay.  I love their He Crab Soup  We made a short provisioning stop at the Fresh Market.

Hilton Head South Beach Harbor

Don and Lou at Harbor Town

Norm mentioned that he had been reading some of Pat Conroy’s books (Prince of Tides and The Water is Wide) about the area islands.  Bingo!  I said that Sunday we would take a trip on MOONSTRUCK to Daufuskie Island, rent a golf cart and take a tour of the island.

Norm, Kathy, and Teresa the Melrose Dock Master

Kathy & Norm with golf cart and driver for the day

We did, and saw the two room school house, Mary Fields Plantation School, where Pat Conroy taught.  We also saw Melrose Plantation Resort, the historic First Union African Baptist Church as well as the other “historic” districts of the island.

Melrose Inn

Melrose Inn Gazebo

First Union African Baptist Church sign

First Union African Baptist Church

Mary Fields School sign

Mary Fields School

Norm in Pat Conroy's class room

Daufuskie Island History Museum

Of course, no trip to Dafauskie Island is complete without stopping at Marsh Side Mama’s.  It was closed and Ned, the beer drinking pig, was not to be seen.  Ned was a favorite of my 10 year old grandson, Harrison.  After returning home Harrison told me that Ned had died, and that they had to get a tow truck to lift him up to remove him.

Marshside Mama's

Norm & Don at Marshside Mama's

Norm and Kathy made a delicious picnic lunch for us. Norm will make a cook out of Lou yet.  After that we toured for most of the afternoon before returning to Shelter Cove.  We then freshened up  and went out for a nice Italian dinner  at Antonio’s Restaurant in  the Village at Wexford.  

Norm and Kathy left Monday morning to complete the first leg of their cruise to St. Augustine.  We were sorry to see them leave, but hope to catch up with them by car somewhere on their Florida cruise.

After they left we did the permanent repair on the head that was temporarily repaired at Hampton Virginia.  There was a recall by Groco, the manufacturer, of the fresh water supply pump.  It was taken off and returned to the factory.  Ed Webber has replaced it, and says that it is working fine.  Everything is all back together.  Doesn’t yachting sound like fun?

Since then with the holidays, family, and business obligations we have had no time to return to MOONSTRUCK.  She is left under the capable, watchful eye of Capt. Jim Warren.  We hope to return about January 25th. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 

We have returned to MOONSTRUCK all be it about one month late.  Family and business obligations have kept us away.

We did have a great weekend with Lou’s and my grand kids at Lou’s mountain cabin.  Hannah and Aliya (Lou’s grand children) along with Griffin and Harrison (my grand children) had a great time.  We did too.

One of the main reasons for this trip was to attend the graduation exercises at Parris Island Marine Depot for Jan and Bill Evans’ grandson, Will.  Will had five hours base liberty on Thursday the 21st.  He was kind enough to share it with us, and gave us a great tour around the base.

On Friday was the graduation ceremony.  It was inclement weather so the event was held indoors.  It was still most impressive.  The transformation from civilian to Marine in only 90 days is nothing short of phenomenal.  The training is a total immersion into the life of a Marine.  The Drill Instructors act as their trainers, mentors, and mothers & fathers during this three months.  It is very intense.

Marine Will with parents and both sets of grand parents

This is the new Marine, Will, with Bob, Gerry, Jan, Rick, Patti, and Bill.  His dad, Rick, is a retired Navy four striper (captain).

Will with Lou and Don

From all indications, Will is going to make a great Marine.

Other than that we have just been catching up on chores, relaxing, going to Savannah and enjoying ourselves.  We will move the boat down to Palmetto Bay on Thursday evening to have the engines and generator serviced for their annual check up.  Because of a problem with 2 of the 24 zinc plugs, MOONSTRUCK is still at Palmetto Bay awaiting the shipment of a new end plate for the port engine exhaust manifold.  Oh well, it is just probably about a half boat unit.

SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2008

Norm and Kathy Blinn arrived on Signal Mountain from Virginia Beach, VA about noon.  This will be a week of land cruising and site seeing around East Tennessee and the North Georgia Mountains.

Saturday afternoon was seeing the sites around Signal Mountain.  We went to Signal Point and saw where the Mighty Tennessee River goes through the river gorge known as the Grand Canyon of the Tennessee.  Later we had dinner at the Pastaria.  About sundown we went over to the brow road that runs along top of the escarpment over looking the valley and city.  With the city lights, it is an awesome site even to me (and I have been looking at it for over 40 years).

Tennessee River from Signal Point

Sunday Norm and Kathy attended the local Catholic Church on the mountain.  We then did a tour of some of the sites of Chattanooga.  This included our Walnut Hill Town Home project.  Lunch at the River Street Deli and finishing the day at Rembrandt’s Coffee House in the Bluff View Arts District.

Chattanooga River Front Area

With Norm being an official member of the Tennessee Squires, it was only natural to take Monday to run over to Lynchburg, TN to tour the Jack Daniels Distillery.  We took the scenic route through the river gorge and up Cumberland Mountain.  A quick tour around the University of the South at Sewanee, and we were down the mountain to Lynchburg again staying on the scenic roads.

Lunch was a unique experience at Mary Bobo’s

Boarding House in Lynchburg.  This you have to try at least once.  Then it was on to the Distillery for one of their folksy tours.  We saw it all from burning the maple into charcoal, to the spring where they get the pure limestone water, to the fermenting vats, to the charcoal filtering vats, to the final product for the charred oak barrels, then it was on to one of the many storage warehouses for aging.  All the while a very informative guide was explaining the process.  The grounds are beautiful, and they do the whole thing so well—–and it is free too!

Kathy and Norm at Mrs Bobos

Jack Daniels Distillery Marker

Norm and Don at Jack Daniels Distillery

our folksy, informative guide

Jack still holds a certain attraction for the girls

Tuesday Norm and Kathy insisted (really) to help clean up Little Moonstruck our 25′ Blackfin that has been sorely neglected.  Getting it cleaned was a miraculous transformation.  It did not look like the same boat.  There is more maintenance to be done, but running that boat is one of my favorite things to do.

Little Moonstruck all cleaned up.  Thanks Norm, Kathy, and Lou.

Wednesday morning we were off to Lou’s cabin near Suches in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia.  We again took the scenic route up US64 along the Ocoee River.  First stop was at Ocoee Dam #1 to get the lay of the way the river is managed.  Then it was on to the site of the 1996 Olympic Kayaking Venue.  After that we went into the Blue Ridge Mountains to Suches.  I love that drive.

Norm,Lou,and Don at Ocoee no 1

Lou and Don at Lou's mountain cabin

Norm,Lou,Don on deck at Lou's cabin

We kicked back on the deck and grilled steaks.  After a liesurely breakfast, the Blinns left for home on Thursday morning.  We thoroughly enjoyed their visit, and hope that they will return.

SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2008

Picked up Griffin and Harrison, my grandsons, with their gear and bikes for a week on the boat in Hilton Head.  We then headed down to pick up Lou.  It was then to pick up Hannah and Aliya, Lou’s granddaughters.  With 6 of us, all the gear, and four bikes in the rack the old Suburban was loaded pretty good.

Hannah and Griffin on the way down

After another five hours we arrived at the boat.  We let the kids ride bikes over to the beach the next day.  Lou and I went to stock up on groceries, then met them at the beach to do some kite flying and relaxing by the pool at the Marriot.

There is live entertainment in the evening around the harbor at at least three venues.  The kids were free to move around by foot or on bike, and they took great advantage of that.

The next day we put the dinghy in the water.  Griffin, who has now completed the US Power Squadrons boating safety course, took command of the dinghy.  Boy, did he give it a good workout.  The kids were back and forth between the dinghy and the bikes.  Later in the evening it was card games.  Those kids were none stop for a week.

Hannah and Griffin in the dinghy

Aliya and Griffin in the dinghy

Wednesday we took MOONSTRUCK to Daufuskie Island for the day.  Of course the four bikes were loaded aboard.  Lou and I rented a golf cart, and then took up a place in the shade by the pool at the Beach Club.  We turned the kids loose to explore the beach and the marshes.  They found crabs and a bunch of other stuff.  The four of them then took off in the golf cart to explore the island.  After about 3 hours, we thought it was time to put a leash on them.  We went back to the marina to pick up MOONSTRUCK for the return trip to Shelter Cove.  A great day!

Harrison, Griffin, Aliya, and Hannah on the way to Daufuskie Island

Aliya at Daufuskie Island

Thursday Aliya went to visit with a friend whose family was vacationing at Lands End.  Harrison watched cartoons.  Griffin and Hannah took the dinghy and spent most of the day exploring around the marshes on Broad Creek.  Aliya met us for dinner  at the Salty Dog Cafe at South Beach.  There is a webcam on the deck, and the kids phoned family and friends to see them live on the webb site.

Grandkids at South Beach

Aliya in her new Salty Dog Cafe tee shirt

Friday it was time for the kids to tell us what they wanted to do before leaving.  They played miniature golf and did more bike and dinghy riding.  That evening at the Shannon Tanner Kids Show at the pavillion, Alyia was picked to sing “Welcome to the 60s”.  With her big voice she brought the house down. People  were clapping in time and applauding.  Shannon remarked that “that girl can really sing”.  She can too.

Shannon Tanner and his Kids Show



It was time to start putting away and packing up for our trip back the next morning.  What a week!  The kids were an absolute delight.  Lou and I would take nothing for it.  On the way home they were planning their next trip together.  Lou and I have to rest up from this trip.

Cleaning and packing away the dinghy

The Grandkids


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