It feels a little weird to write something on this website after so long… it is like asking to somebody that you haven’t seen for a while “what’s up?”! Where do you start?
The last article posted on this website dated from several months now. At that time, we had just arrived in Georgetown, in South Carolina, and we were falling under the charm of this place (of course, for Stephane, it was not the first time here). At the end of this post, we said that we might not leave this place…well « karma, karma! » 8 months later, we are still in South Carolina! But let’s start from the beginning…
Last spring, our goal was to go to Gaspésie with the boat. But the wind was never on our side when we were offshore, so we decided to let the boat at Georgetown for the summer. With the advice of our friend Danny, we let the boat at the marina of Litchfield Plantation, close to Georgetown. With Danny around, we felt safe enough to let Merlou there for few months.
So we spent the summer in Gaspésie, at Carleton-sur-mer. For those who follow Stephane from few years now, you already know that he has a son, George-Emry, who live in Gaspésie, and this is the main reason for this destination during the summer. Emry is almost 5 years now. He is a smart, curious and creative boy, just like his father.
Also, thanks to Serge and his wife Guylaine to have welcome us so warmly on our arrival in Gaspésie. During our stay, we had the chance to do a ride with Serge and his brother on their boat, a Contessa 26. For Stéphane, it reminded him lot of memories of his old boat, Joshua, to which he is so attached to. For me, I was very surprised that he lived for so long in a such a small space (it is impossible to stand up inside!) and this, with other persons too. « Chapeau! »
We rent a small student apartment for three months. Although that the living space of the apartment is bigger than the one in the boat, the cohabitation of two adults (with both a bad temper!) in a small 1½ apartment is not easy! I got a job at the artisan bakery shop of the village, La Mie Véritable. By the way, if you go in this area, you must stop at the bakery shop : choose your favorite pastry, take a good coffee and enjoy the view from the balcony upstairs. On his side, Stephane keep working on his coding contracts on Internet.
At the end of the summer, we stayed for a while in Montreal, to see friends and family (that I missed so). This time, thanks to my parents to have hosted us so kindly, for the lift for the return from Gaspésie, and also for the one to Burlington… and for so many things else! We went back on the road for South Carolina, in fall, the day after the Hurricane Matthew, precisely. On our way, we made a stop at our friend Dan, in New Jersey. Thanks Dan and Nancy for your hospitality, the delicious meal and lunch for the road. I am still looking forward for this paddle board date, Dan!
The hurricane having done some damages on his way, we had difficulty to reach South Carolina. From North Carolina, the road were close due to flooding. Whole cities without electricity, gas station were out of fuel, groceries and hotels closed, abandoned cars on the road… it was a no man’s land.
It’s reminded me the famous ice storm in Québec a while ago, in January 1998. I was very young at that time. I remember the cold house, without heating, the orange sky no matter the time of the day or night, the sound of the ice outside and the beautiful tree’s branches converted of ice. My family and I had the chance to be hosted at a uncle’s house, be warmed near the fireplace and we didn’t miss anything. But I know that not everybody has the same chance as us. Some people were cold, hungry and lonely. This make us realise how lucky we are to have what we have in life.
So, the day after the hurricane, I was watching these people in line, waiting for fuel or food, and I felt a little strange: I would prefer to wait few days before coming here… feeling guilty of taking the few resources they were able to have for themselves. And yep, I was scare too.
For Stephane, it was an adventure! After finding a good Samaritan, who sold us some fuel for the car, he indicated us the only road left to reach the south. This road was flooded too with water, with current, and electric poles. Note that we rent a little car for the trip: a Volkswagen Beetle (red, please!), which survived everything! Finally, we reached Merlou in the middle of the night, safe and sound. And hopefully, the boat was top shape too!
So, we are still at the exact same spot with the boat, the marina of the Litchfield Plantation, at Pawleys Island. It is a wonderful place, peaceful and we made some friends since.
A small routine settle, even you live on a sailing boat: Stephane is still working on his coding contracts on internet. On my side, I try my best to work on internet too (but I was a social worker before, it is not exactly my field). In our free time, we focus on the work to do on the boat, in order to put it in condition for a possible crossing… Stephane will be the best person to explain the work to do on the boat, but, as he is very busy, I’ll do my best…grosso modo, we want to install a roller furling (at my request!), the mast head needs to be repaint, we have to finish to pimp the dinghy (varnish) and the boomkin needs to be replace. Voilà! There is always something to do on a boat… or on a house!
So, what about you? “What’s up?!”