Sunday, January 29, 2012

Internet Friends

We all have friends.  We have childhood friends, work friends, dog park friends, and neighborhood friends.  A product of Al Gore's internets are internet friends. 

I mentioned Jim and Sharon in our last blog, folks from upstate New York wintering over here at Osprey Marina.  They're not internet friends.  We met them the old fashioned way, backing into a dock with only one engine.   Yesterday, though, was a day of internet friends. 

Do you remember the early days of the internet?  Don't become too friendly with anyone!  He could be a serial killer!  There are plenty of weirdos out there!  That's all true, of course, but I haven't had the misfortune of encountering one yet.  Everyone I've had the pleasure of meeting has been great.

I met Al through a sailing message board.  Yes, I was a sailor for 40 years before buying Drift Away.  Anyway, I let Al know that we were in his stomping grounds of Myrtle Beach.  He called and invited Pam and I to go on a road trip to Charleston SC to hook up with mutual internet friends Rod and Patti.  You bet!  They picked us up Saturday morning.  Although we had never met in person, it wouldn't be hard to recognize each other.  Osprey Marina is a sleepy little place.  We'd be the people standing in the parking lot, and they'd be the people in the car.

So off we went for a two hour car ride, chatting all along the way, talking about mutual internet friends and the latest hot topics on the message boards, things of interest along the way, and things I've posted on our blog.   The dolphins came up, of course, and how awesome they are.

Arriving in Charleston, we met up with Rod and Patti, the "Catalina Kids".  We've met Rod and Patti several times over the years and followed their cruise from California to American Samoa, but we'd not seen their new-to-them boat, a gorgeous Mason 43.  They're on their way south, eventually through the Panama Canal and then back to their home base in California, but stopped in Charleston to make a few repairs.

This is the  crew.

Pam is on the left, with Rod, Patti, Al, and Yolanda next.  See?  They don't look so evil.  Of course, I'm not in the pic.  I'm holding the camera.

Historic Charleston is a nice little town, with many very old buildings.  The new buildings have been designed to blend in with the old.  As a fan of historic architecture, and as someone who has served on a historic review board, this is something I really admire and appreciate.

Since we'll be in Charleston ourselves soon, I'm just going to post a few photos to give you a flavor of what Charleston is like, and what a beautiful day it was.

We love Spanish Moss.

And gardens.

We had a great lunch in a downtown restaurant, made even better because someone picked up the tab (thanks Al!), and then dropped Rod and Patti off at their boat.  Al and Yolanda drove us back to Osprey Marina.  We persuaded them to join us on the boat to enjoy the warm South Carolina evening.  I had them wait on the dock while I got Ruby and Chevy off the boat to do their business.  The dogs are wild when we first get to the boat after leaving them alone for a few hours, and this was no different. They were both barking and whining with excitement, tails and butts wagging furiously.  Once their paws hit the docks, they went shooting up it at full speed, barking and hopping about as pit bulls do, stopping to bark and sniff hello to Al and Yolanda before dashing up to the lawn.

Al and Yolanda got onto the boat while I picked up dog poop.  Back on the boat, the dogs were all over us and Al and Yolanda, wagging their tails and licking everyone.  Eventually, they calmed down, but it took awhile.  Does anyone know where I can buy a tranquilizer gun, the kind that shoots those darts with the feathers on the back?

We sat on the aft deck, enjoying the warm South Carolina evening and chirping tree frogs.  After Al and Yolanda left, Pam and I moved inside.   It was getting a bit chilly so we closed the doors.   And then we saw them.  Mosquitoes.  Hundreds of them.   I've been told that mosquitoes are the South Carolina state bird.   Pam sprayed Off at them.  They laughed.   Pam then smooshed them with a fly swatter.   They didn't think that was so funny.

We're staying here until Monday or Tuesday.  We'll do a few boat chores if we can get up the motivation, but we'll pretty much just relax and enjoy the day.  I've heard there's a zoo of some kind down the road.  Maybe we'll go check that out.  Maybe not.

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