Wednesday 4 December, Charleston SC day 4:
The huge USS Yorktown, an Essex Class aircraft carrier from 1943, dominates anyone’s entry by boat into Charleston, and for me it’s a must see before leaving. Can’t work out why, but Oana is not too interested in old naval hardware, preferring to stay in the warm with her book. Best I go alone I think 🙂 So after 8 weeks together, we part company for a few hours. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous having to carry all the life-essentials myself, like keys, phone, money, eyeglasses. I’ll surely misplace most of them and may never be seen again! The day is beautiful. So calm. Hard to think it’s blowing 20+kits out to sea. A dinghy ride then a Uber ride and I’m there in front of this huge grey beast. And to think, the US navy ordered no less than 26 of these carriers between 1942 and war’s end.
As you walk into the carrier you arrive into the hanger, full of WWII aircraft, all of which I’m quite passionate about. They even have a B24, the type that flew on the daring Doolittle raid to bomb Japan just months after Pearl Harbour. Then there is the Apollo-8 capsule which Yorktown had plucked from the ocean in 1968. While the flight deck is also interesting, I found the engine room most fascinating. 4 massive steam turbines, driving 15” shafts to the propellers. It makes Cloudy’s engine room seem rather sparse! The whole craft was well presented in true US style of deep pride in their armed forces and veterans. Next to Yorktown is a destroyer (USS Laffey) and a submarine (USS Clamagore) of the same vintage. Compared to the volume of Yorktown, the Clamagore was incredibly cramped. Just how do submariners live like that?
At 2pm, Uber and the Highfield efficiently return me to Cloudy where Oana is still snug on the settee, book in hand. She can read a book a day and this one is going no slower. What will happen to her when she runs out of books I wonder? Time to dig a trench and put on a hard hat! I guess.
In the afternoon we set off to town, shopping bags in hand. We are out of fresh fruit and veg. Can’t get enough of walking these wonderful streets of Charleston, where pretty much each and every building is historic. In town we enjoy a simple but very yummy lunch at Panera Breads then get to Harris Teeter supermarket. Food shopping is not our favorite past time so we get it done as fast as possible. Likely, in a few weeks, we’ll be longing for supermarkets like this, but right now they have become boring! It’s a good day for Uber business. Our 3rd ride today takes us back to the City Marina, shopping bags and all. Just 4 bags and $200! And again we comment that the USA is not a cheap place to live if you don’t have a US level salary.
It’s dark as we arrive back on board. We scuttle in, put the heaters on and settle in for the evening.
Somewhere during the day, I have an epiphany. I suddenly realize that yesterday I actually wired in the cockpit light dimmer back to front. Derrr! That’s why it didn’t work. This evening, wired in correctly, the LED strip under the boom dims perfectly! I wonder how many other “Cloudy issues” are actually caused by yours truly?
Whilst messing with electrics, I spend a bit of time looking at the new Empirbus configuration, before I upload it tomorrow. It all looks ok but in doing so I realize a lot of the documentation is not correct or up to date, following the Almerimar refit 2 1/2 years ago. Another job for the list – to get it all updated to reflect today’s DC set up.
Two treats this evening. We run the generator to have hot water for a nice shower later and secondly Oana brews up some hot wine. After being by that log fire in the Back Street Bar in Beaufort, where we commented they should be selling hot-wine, we’ve been thinking about it ever since. So tonight is the night!
Mellowed by the wonderful wine and its smell that fills the saloon, we take an early night. Tomorrow we move on south towards St. Augustine. Not much wind forecast but at least it’s not 20kts on the nose like the last few days.