Storms and strong winds have stalled our progress, but luckily we have always found friendly locals eager to help us out during our enforced stopovers. When we reach Little River we hope to return to the sea route.
After Jacksonville we docked in the rather shabby Marina of McClellanville, with its crooked piers and worn out ladders. Among the many locals who greeted us was a young, slender blue-eyed woman called Gwendoline, who could speak German as well as English. She and her amiable future husband Bill belonged to a close-knit group of friends: artists, musicians, peace-activists. That evening they invited us their house. It turned out to be one of the most cheerful evenings of our trip < a jam session with folk music and protest-songs. Inevitably we felt compelled to fetch our violins from the boat. They were not quite used to our classical duets and shouted and cheered afterwards.
The next day a powerful storm came with heavy rains and strong winds; the long lichen beards on the mighty old oaks waved in the storm. Gwendoline and Bill offered us their home and computer for our duties, when they left the house to go to a woodcarving workshop accompanied by their dog Hampton.
Their marriage date: 28th of July in Vancouver Island (save it!).
The next morning a freshly washed clear sky invited us to depart, but the storm-gods stopped us again at noon with a North wind of over 40 knots.
Entering the next marina was hard and risky, due to the threat of running aground. We learned later that just when we entered the harbor it was the lowest tide in the last 30 years. This marina "Belle Isle", about 4 miles South of Georgetown, was brand new and "equipped" with new friends:
Forced to stop over here, why not visit the City of Georgetown? We hitchhiked and were picked up soon by a young man who said repeatedly "Gee -gee" (ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: perhaps an abbreviation of Jesus) as he heard our travel story. A loud and gloomy steel plant was puffing out smoke at the entrance of this otherwise cozy and rather old town. Beat, who of course had to run into the City library, read up on the history of the town in the artificially cooled history room (never forget your sweater when you go indoors). The city was occupied by the Spaniards in 1521. The son of Columbus, Don Diego, was the Governor there. They deported 150 Indian slaves to Santo Domingo. In 1629 the British overtook "Carolana", named after King Charles I. The famous philosopher John Locke was the author of Carolina's laws in 1669. In the beginning of the 18th century there was a big war against a mighty pirate fleet.
At a red traffic light next to a railway track, we asked a car driver for a ride back to Belle Isle. With a big smile he inquired about our accent and then told us of his spiritual experiences in the centre of Seelisberg near Lucerne in Switzerland. After the ride we exchanged our addresses...by the way he was the first American we met who was heading towards a railway station in order to catch a train!
The following morning we had gorgeous weather, but because of strong winds again we couldn№t yet change to the much faster sea route. Perhaps it will be possible in Little River at the border between South and North Carolina.