Sip and Shop in Georgetown, SC

We arrive in Georgetown in the evening of the 16th. Michael rode with Lil Sudden with Tonia’s nephews while Annette enjoyed some peace and quiet on Saga. Shortly after our arrival, the men found themselves at a restaurant, So Co, for drinks and food while us women learned that it was a Sip and Stroll night. Their goal was to be considered “local” by the end of our stay.

Every third Thursday of the month, 26 shops and art galleries provide wine and snacks while you shop along the Historic Front Street of Georgetown. Unfortunately we only had one hour to take advantage of this extravaganza.

The charming little shops offered all sorts of delicious wine and snacks from lemon bars to pecan pie bars. We started at the Harbor Shop, which is how we learned about the Sip and Shop. We then slowly made our way forward. I found the cutest napkins at Rice Birds, fuzzy socks and puzzle at Whimsy Roost.

The next thing we knew, the clock bell was chiming 7:00, which signaled the end of the event; however, we weren’t ready to be done. With our hopes high, we quickly walked down the street, trying each door and hoping they were still open.

As we rounded the 900 block, we noticed the Art Harbor Gallery door was still unlocked. Opening the door, we politely asked if they were still open despite it being just past 7:00 and were greeted by Deborah Smith and Alan Sherlock, two artists, who said they were happy to remain open for us. As we sipped wine, we admired the work of various artists and Tonia walked away purchasing a collection of beautiful cards.

March 17, 2023

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day!

I sported a lovely green tutu and colorful headband to get into the spirit. Can’t pinch me!

The day started with a trip to the playground for the kids to burn energy followed by an appointment at the Purr and Pour (a cat café) and finished with a tour of the Maritime Museum.

I also visited The Harbor Shop where they custom embroider items. KK Nicholson was wonderful and helped me design a new hat that says Saga on the front and Just A Bit Loopy on the back.

The Cat Cafe:

There’s a Purr and Pour Cat Cafe in town that fosters cats in hopes that they will be adopted. By appointment, you can spend time with cats while enjoying a beverage. The kids heard about this and seemed interested.

But, before I tell you more about this café, I want to tell you about high tea.

During COVID, we homeschooled. For lunches, I’d make tea, serve little sandwiches with fruit and veggies, and we’d do poetry or reading. The kids loved it and they will occasionally ask for me to set one up. Well, here I am in Georgetown and discover the Hopsewee Plantation (owned by one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence) has a reasonably priced High Tea. I thought for sure the kids would love it. I also noticed they had a Bellini flight sampler that sounded right up my alley.

I excitedly tell the kids about this and asked if they wanted to participate. Annette looks at me and says “I’d rather see cats.”

So here we are with the cats.

I’m not big into cats as they make my eyes itch and I can’t stop sneezing. Armed with an extra dose of allergy medicine, I decide to get into it. Sitting with the cats, I try to pet one, but it promptly saunters away. I try playing with one, but it’s having more fun with the kids. I admit defeat and decide to take a seat while sipping my wine.

The Maritime Museum was impressive…and it was free! They had a scavenger hunt that Annette took very seriously. We couldn’t leave until she found the answers to all questions (there were two sides to the page).

March 18, 2023

It’s a wet one! The wind picked up and rain fell for most of the day. Lil Sudden’s family visitors also left in the morning so we slowly returned back to normal. We concluded our stay in Georgetown with lunch at the Big Tuna and a final stroll around the town.

A New (for us) Anchoring Maneuver in McClennanville, SC

March 15, 2023

Leaving Charleston, our objective was to head to Georgetown, SC. When planning the Great Loop, I was interested in stopping in McClellanville, but was outvoted due to the lack of places to anchor. Sad face emoji, crying emoji. Oh well, life goes on. Right? WRONG!

The morning of our departure, Captain Matt of Lil Sudden expresses concern that they are low on fuel (happens to all of us, but more often to them as they have 300 gallon tanks vs. 600 gallons of Coda and Saga). Matt says that he found cheap fuel for $4.90/gallon, to which Captain Steve of Coda happily said “I’m in. It’s almost a $1 cheaper than the last time I filled up here.”

So, we’re happily cruising along but it is taking us more than usual due to strong currents and Coda needing to slow down in some areas due to draft, and people start voicing their concern that Georgetown may be too far and that we may not make it. What are we going to do??

To the rescue comes First Mate/ School Teacher/Entertainment Coordinator/General Badass Mayli to inform the fleet that McClennanville is on the way and it has a marina (not sure about anchorages). Captain Boris quickly calls the marina to ask for Dockage but the marina was full.

The next thing I know, we are stopping in McClennanville, not for the marina, but for the cheap fuel. In the ultimate act of “hold my beer” Captain Boris negotiated a discount rate for bulk fuel… $3.75/gallon. All three boats quickly topped off and we performed a new anchoring maneuver in the rivers. Big shoutout to Donny at Leland Oil Company in McClellanville, SC.


Almost everyday we learn something new, the lessons are generally good ones. Today was a new anchoring method and how not to do it. Or better, how to do it wrong and then get it right by sheer luck.

Coda dropped one anchor and we dropped another which happened to put both boats about 90 feet apart and side by side. Captain Boris and Steve have a brilliant and Sudden idea to make a Lil boat sandwich with Lil Sudden coming in between and then pulling the two boats to it like a zipper. Great idea right? Let’s just say that our execution was a bit off. Somehow in this process Lil Sudden is diagonal in between us (like the letter N) with the current pushing their bow into Coda. Captain Steve is sitting on his boat using his feet to keep Lil Sudden off his boat while Captain Boris is trying to pull Lil Sudden over by a bow line. If someone could have taken a picture of the whole thing (but I have a partial video).

Using lots of muscles, lines, fenders, and more importantly brains, we were able to get Lil Sudden properly placed by releasing the stern line and using two bow lines on each side to situate the boats just right. now all bows are pointing in the right direction.

For those who saw the problem immediately… hindsight is always 20/20.

As a reward for a job well done, we threw some lines out to try and catch fish. We caught lots of redfish (which is NOT red) and Annette caught a couple of baby stingrays.

Dinghy Queen (McClennanville, SC)

March 16, 2023

In the morning, I’m looking for things to do in town and stumble upon a restaurant (TW Graham and Co) that just posted they have fresh softshell crab. Guess what I’m eating for lunch?

Only problem is, we need two dinghies. For safety sake, Captain Boris and Matt are staying with the fleet while everyone else goes to town, which means I have to drive the dinghy. Sad emoji. Crying emoji.

I haven’t mentioned it before, but I’m a bit wary of driving the boat and dinghy by myself. My primary concerns are if something happens or I get lost. Before you think that these fears are irrational…Have you met me? I get lost going around the block. This is my superhero skill: if you ever want to get lost, take me along and I will make it happen!

Well, if I want crab, I have to get over my fear and make this happen. I pile all the kids into the dinghy and we head to the dock. Anxious and nervous, we make it there in one piece. Looking back, I don’t think that it was that bad, but don’t tell anyone.

Some interesting things about McClennanville: it’s a small shrimping town with VERY CHEAP FUEL, a small street of shops, old churches, and a 1,000 year-old oak tree. There’s even little plaques around town with planets spaced to scale of the solar system.

Michael Tree-Climber Hodak races for the tree to see how high he can get while I’m threatening him to not go any higher as we don’t have time for an ER visit. I swear, that boy loves climbing trees more than he likes eating cereal, and he LOVES cereal.

We stop for lunch and I get my crab. In all my excitement, I forgot to take a photo of my food. You’ll just have to image two delicious fried soft shell crabs and a very happy me.

It’s finally time to head back. The kids returned earlier with Steve so it’s just Barb, Tonia, and myself. I’m feeling a bit more confident in my dinghy driving abilities and we head back to the boat.

The boat comes into view and the kids are having fun kayaking around. I slow the dinghy down and move towards them so Tonia can take a few photos.

I’m getting closer to our boats and see the men shouting and waiving at us. They must be cheering for me. Yea me! I’m making it back in one piece and feeling good. I can drive a dinghy!

But I guess that’s not what they were shouting about. I’m getting too close to land and it’s shallow. Boris is already known for his sandbar landing skills and I don’t need to follow i his footsteps. I quickly veer to the right and safely get the dinghy back.

Next time I should stay in between the red and green stick thingies (yes, I know they are channel markers).

Friends, Food, and History in Charleston, SC

March 10, 2023

We’ve arrived in Charleston and anchored near the Harborage at Ashley Marina. Our first objective: to figure out dinner. Across the way was a lovely building called California Dream that offered a variety of tasty food, but more importantly, a dinghy dock.

I love crab. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was spoiled with delicious, fresh Dungeness Crab that we’d catch. I heard Blue Crab was the equivalent on the East Coast, so I’ve been searching for crab at the local fish shops, restaurants, and even bought a small ring trap to try catching them myself. But all I’ve found is Snow Crab. Fortunately, California Dream offered fried crab claws. I had to order two servings just to get my crab craving under control.

March 11-12, 2023

We have company. So far it’s been Lil Sudden with people coming to visit. This time it’s our turn.

When I was a teenager, I was part of the Civil Air Patrol. Through that organization, I made many friends including Troy. Troy and his family moved to North Carolina a couple of years ago and we were excited that they are driving down to spend the weekend with us. We spent some time catching up, celebrating Sangria Saturday, and explored the historic town of Charleston.

March 13, 2023

It’s a very cold day. There’s a cold front hitting the East Coast and the temperature is in the mid 30’s to 40’s.

But I’m from the Pacific Northwest and won’t let this weather deter me from exploring.

Today’s adventure took us to where it all started: the first shot of the Civil War. Coda and our family took a ferry from Patriot’s Point to Fort Sumter where we had an hour to tour the grounds. The park ranger did an excellent explanation of the historical significance of the fort and what it meant then and what it means now. I was impressed that Michael even listened intently.

After returning from the fort to Patriot’s Point, we toured the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown and Destroyer USS Laffey.

The USS Yorktown was like a maze: we kept climbing lower and lower into the bowels of the ship, wandering the narrow halls, and peering into the old living quarters. The constant smell of machinery filled my nose while the subtle clang of feet on metal rang in my ears. After a couple of hours wandering the lower decks, we headed to the flight deck to view the jets and the upper tower. It’s amazing people lived on these for years. I’m amazed I didn’t get lost.

The USS Laffey was also interesting. The ship was damaged in WWII by Kamikazes, but survived. Inside, there was a History Channel episode on the attack on Laffey. It was surreal sitting there and watching the damage, amazed that she survived.

That evening, Lil Sudden had family coming into town to visit for a few days, bringing two boys to play with my kids. It’s going to be a busy week.

March 14, 2023

It’s another cold day measuring at 36 degrees. The ground is even frozen!! Again, not going to let this cold stop us.

Our family took an Uber to the McLeod Plantation for a tour. Our guide was Gullah Geechee and brought a great deal of insight and education into the tour, even providing an example of the language.

We walked the grounds of the plantation and saw the different uses through history. The small slave shacks have been used as a church, school, and even homes until the 1990’s. The plantation house has also served as a Confederate headquarter during the Civil War.

After returning from the tour, we meet up with Lil Sudden’s guests at a trampoline house so the kids could burn some energy.

The day was concluded at the historic downtown. While the kids played near Pineapple Fountain, a few of us ran to Pearlz for an Oyster Shooter that a friend recommended. So Good!

Disaster Strikes at Monkey Island

March 9, 2023

As mentioned in my previous post, there’s an island near Beaufort, SC called Morgan Island, but is better known as Monkey Island.

4,000 rhesus monkeys infected with Herpes B inhabit this small space. Even though we aren’t able to set foot on the island, we wanted to cruise by in hopes to catch a glimpse of a monkey.

Coda went ahead to the next destination (he didn’t want to get bit by a monkey and turn into a zombie) while Lil Sudden and Saga took a small detour to try and spot some monkeys. I was pretty confident we wouldn’t become zombies.

Boris manned the helm while I searched the coastline with binoculars; however, the lush vegetation made it difficult to spot anything. Just as I was about to give up, I noticed a mamma and her baby high up on a tree branch close to the beach. Boris radioed over to Lil Sudden so they could see it too.

There we sat, letting the current slowly carry us while we watched the monkey in the tree. When we were finally ready to continue on our trip, Lil Sudden calls over: their dinghy tow line got sucked under and is now tangled around their propeller and shaft.

Both boats quickly drop anchor and Boris gathers his dive gear to swim over, hoping to untangle the line and be on our way. Unfortunately, Lil Sudden informs us that there may be damage as there is water inside.

Boris dives down, discovers that not only is the dinghy line caught, but there is also a line from a former crab trap wrapped around. The current is picking up and he is unable to untangle the lines.

Current continues to pick up and Boris is unable to swim back. I lower the dinghy and head out to tow him back. He grabs onto the side, but is too heavy and I am unable to return to the boat. I continue to veer left with the current while the boat is on our right. He tries to switch sides, but are unsuccessful. Finally, he removes the gear and throw it into the dinghy and I finally manage to get us back to Saga.

It is decided that Lil Sudden will operate on one engine (with Saga following) to a local marina and see if a mechanic can assess the damages. While at the marina, Boris does one final dive and has success! He is unravels the tangled lines from the shaft, but Lil Sudden still has needed repairs, but I’ll let Lil Sudden continue their story on their blog.

While we waited for a decision on what to do, the Hodaks had a paper airplane flying contest.

We are able to finally leave, but not able to catch up to Coda and decide to anchor for the night. We will catch up tomorrow and hopefully reach Charleston.

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates in Beaufort, SC

March 7, 2023

Beaufort is a small historic town known for its mansions and history; it is also known as the filming location of Forrest Gump.

We anchored and found a small public day use dock. As soon as the boat was secured to the dock, both kids spotted a playground and abandoned ship. Adjacent to the playground is a boardwalk lined with swinging benches. Their fun was cut short as we were hungry and needed to find lunch.

Blackstone’s Café is where we settled on for food. Upon entering, our eyes were met with a plethora of school pennants and flags. This started a scavenger hunt of searching for the University of WA pennant. Unfortunately I only found WSU, but then Tonia came by and announced that she found the University of WA pennant upstairs. Sure enough, there she was in all her glory! The food was also tasty and the service was wonderful. I am enjoying the south.

After lunch, we began our exploration of town with our next mission in finding the Chocolate Tree. The Chocolate Tree is where the chocolates Forrest gave to Jenny were purchased. We bought a few ourselves to enjoy.

With chocolaty-goodness in our hands (and stomachs), we continued our stroll, passing by the Arsenal, which was built in 1798 to house the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery (fifth oldest military unit in the US) who fought along with the Continental Army during the American Revolution. After the Civil War, the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery disbanded and later became the National Guard.

That evening, we enjoyed dinner and watched Forrest Gump in honor of visiting the filming locations between Savannah and Beaufort. We were even anchored near the bridge he ran across.

March 8, 2023

A Gold Looper told me about a Kazoo Factory in Beaufort that also let you make your own kazoo. A tour was most definitely in order. It explained the history of the Kazoo, the different types, and the way they were made. In the end, we all made our very own kazoo and even played some music together.

Our next major stop is Charleston. It’s 9 hour boat trip, so we are breaking it up into segments: driving a few hours today and finishing off the trip tomorrow. We picked the perfect anchorage for the night: Morgan Island, also known as Monkey Island.

In 1979, 1,400 rhesus monkeys were relocated from Puerto Rico to South Carolina where its population has flourished to 4,000. You cannot step foot onto the island, but the monkeys can be seen from the shoreline. Tomorrow we will see if we can spot any monkeys.

Hello South Carolina

March 4, 2023

Matt broke out the drone and took some nice photos of the three boats anchored together. We left Savannah and all three vessels anchored in Hilton Head, SC. This is the first time on the loop anchoring together; however, this isn’t our first rodeo as we’ve all anchored together in the Puget Sound.

I was in charge of driving the rental car from Savannah to Hilton Head (we had a rental to make sight seeing easier while Vera was visiting). While out and about, I took the opportunity to provision and stopped in at Costco. It wasn’t easy though; I wanted to buy so many items, but my freezer and fridge is too small. Those mini wontons and potstickers looked so tasty, but I have nowhere to put them.

Something else I discovered is that in South Carolina, they don’t sell liquor at Costco. I also forgot to previously mention that in Georgia, you can’t go wine tasting on Sunday (but as we are now in SC, it isn’t really an issue anymore). Thankfully, I found a liquor store so I could buy some rum to go with my pina colada mix.

March 5, 2023

Hilton Head is home to resorts, golf courses, and nature preserves. We ventured to two preserves and walked the beach town.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

The preserve is in a gated community that charged a $9 fee to visit, but it was worth it.

This is a protected nature area with walking paths and archaeological sites. While walking, we saw an abundance of wildlife including an alligator and turtles. The trails take you through old rice fields and salt marches.

My favorite site was the shell ring. The shell ring is over 4,000 years old (same age as the pyramids) and was constructed from the Archaic Indians. The ring is a low wall encircling the area made of shells and bones collected from the salt marches. The Ancient Indians built this ring over a period of 300 years and was most likely a ceremonial area and community plaza. The ring is now covered with dirt and leaves, but the shape and shells can still be seen.

Coastal Discovery Museum

The Museum is more than just a museum. It includes an informative building surrounded by a preserve of salt marshes and walking trails. Here, we learned about South Carolina Lowcountry and the Gullah culture.

After all the hiking and exploring, we had to enjoy some ice cream.

I’m the evening, we had friends come out to visit. I prepared a charcuterie and we enjoyed some of Steve’s manhattans and sparkling wine.

Today we just hung around and enjoyed each others company. It is also Vera’s last day. She had to leave in the afternoon with the rental car to catch her flight back to Seattle. It was nice having her visit.

My Dear Savannah

March 3, 2023

So much to do, so little time to do it in.

Today we toured Savannah on a Hop On Hop Off tour with Old Town Trolly (same company we used for the tour of St. Augustine). Even though I’ve explored the city over the last few days, there is still more I haven’t seen.

Our first stop took us to the Prohibition Museum; which is the only prohibition museum in the US. We participated in the self-guided tour and ended in a speakeasy. The speakeasy served beverages that you would have found during the prohibition era.

Another stop along the route was the Juliette Gordon Low (founder of Girl Scouts) house and birthplace

We then stopped at the Owen-Thomas House. The house has one of the oldest and best preserved urban slave quarters in the American South and is the first house to have indoor plumbing (even before the White House). Interesting fact is the ceiling in the slave quarters were painted haint blue, which is said to ward off evil spirits as it represented water and spirits can’t traverse water.

Our final tour stop was the Pirate’s House.

At home, I have a NordicTrack treadmill with iFit. iFit has numerous walking and running series that takes you on tours. I participated on a haunted tour series that took me through various locations in Savannah, GA, including the Pirate’s House, so I had to go there and have lunch!

The Pirate’s Hosue was first opened in 1753 and is the oldest house in Savannah. For years, it operated as an inn for seafarers and became a meeting point for pirates and sailors. Occasionally, a patron would fall asleep. The pirates would then pass him through a secret door that led to the basement and that patron would eventually find himself shanghaied at sea on a boat.

While dining, I found the secret door not far from our table as well as the stairwell that goes into the basement (see photo below with chair in front of the secret door). The restaurant itself had tasty food, great service, and even fun pirate hats for the kids.

After all that touring, we were tired. Our friends Norma and Jeff had a hotel close by with a roof top bar and pool. We hung out there into the evening letting the kids swim.

We are Bananas

March 2, 2023

We had one and only one objective when traveling to Savannah: to see the Savannah Bananas. The rest of Savannah was just bonus. Reservations were made last September and we even adjusted our boating itinerary to make this happen.

I had never heard of the Bananas until Boris mentioned them. They are an exhibition baseball team founded in 2016. The team has sold out every game since the first season in every city on the Banana Ball World Tour. We were very fortunate to get tickets.

The day finally arrived. We had Coda, Lil Sudden, Jeff and Norma, and even Boris’ mother in attendance.

It was very entertaining watching the game. From silly dances to random challenges, we were constantly entertained. The kids were also having fun getting signatures on their baseballs. After the game ended, everyone met on the Party Deck to live music and more performances by the team players. They continued posing for photos and signed memorabilia.

We had so much fun. I highly recommend seeing this team play if you get the chance.

Hostess City of the South

March 1, 2023

Georgia continues to charm me. People are so friendly, the food is delicious, and there’s so much to see. We arrived in Savannah, GA the night before and spent some time exploring. As mentioned in the previous post, we met up with Coda and our trio is now complete. Additionally, our friends Jeff and Norma came out to visit and Lil Sudden has family visiting (she leaves tomorrow, but Boris’ mother will be flying in). It’s a full house!

Did you know:

  • Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia (founded in 1733)
  • Savannah is the first planned city (laid on a grid system with wide streets)
  • Savannah is the 13th Colony (Georgia colony named after King George II)
  • Lawyers, Drinking, and Slaves were outlawed
  • You can have open containers throughout the Historic District (this was a pleasant surprise)
  • The Girl Scouts were founded in Savannah
  • The Spanish Moss hanging from the trees isn’t really a moss (it’s related to the pineapple)
  • Owen-Thomas House was the first to have indoor plumbing in the US
  • Savannah was a Christmas gift to President Lincoln
  • Oldest House in Savannah is the Pirates’ House (1753 opened as an Inn)
  • Savannah is one of the most haunted cities
  • Forest Gump was filmed in Savannah
  • First African Baptist Church was organized in Savannah
  • Georgia’s First Bank was in Savannah (see pink house picture below)
  • The Forsyth Fountain was ordered from a catalog (see fountain picture below)

The historic area is about 1 mile by 1 mile set in a grid. We spent the day walking around, taking in the sights.

JW Marriott Savannah Pant Riverside District Hotel

The hotel resides in an abandoned 1912 city power plant on the western end of the Savannah riverfront with the smokestack towers adorning the skyline. Inside the hotel is a museum of ancient artifacts, fossils, and sculptures. There’s even a chrome dinosaur!

Colonial Park Cemetery

Established in 1750, the cemetery closed to burials in 1853 and became a park in 1896. Walking paths wind through the grounds that house over 10,000 graves. Headstones and vaults are strewn about the grass while a brick wall in the back houses headstones that were moved or misplaced.

Notable residents in the cemetery include:

  • Button Gwinnett: one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Gwinnett met his end after a dual with Lachlan McIntosh over a dispute on who was right regarding an invasion into Florida.
  • Major General Nathaneal Greene: served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and is known for his successful command in the Southern theater of the conflict.
  • Mass grave: Yellow Fever ravaged Savannah with one of the worst years being 1820. The mass grave holds almost 700
  • The Duelist’s Grave: army Lieutenant James Wilde was shot and killed during a duel with Captain Roswell Johnson (also an officer in the 9th Regiment, U.S. Infantry). The reason for the duel is unknown.
  • John, Joseph, and James Habersham: three patriotic brothers
  • Lachlan McIntosh: successful planter near Darien, GA prior to the American Revolution. Famous for his duel with Button Gwinnett and served at Valley Forge.
  • James McIntosh: great nephew of Lachlan McIntosh and served during War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War.
  • Archibald Bullock: One of the patriots who issued the call in 1774 for the first province-wide meeting of friends of Liberty in Georgia. First President (Governor) of Georgia. Theodore Roosevelt was his great-great-grandson.

During the Civil War, the Union Army camped in the cemetery and had a mischievous sense of humor. They altered the dates on the headstones. As a result, one man lived to the ripe old age of 421, another to 544, and another man’s son was born 1,000 years before his father.

Forsyth Park and Fountain

30-acre park that is most notable for its fountain that was ordered from a catalog and installed in 1858. We strolled through the park and saw local artisans working and selling their goods.

Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist

The Savannah skyline is adorned with the lovely cathedral. The congregation of St. John the Baptist formed in the late eighteenth century when French emigres found refuge in Savannah. The Cathedral was dedicated in 1876, however, a fire destroyed much of the structure in 1898. It was rebuilt and opened again in 1900 and had another major restoration in 2000.