Liveaboards are a bit like bears. When the cold, the fog, and the rain of January and February finally subside we all come out of hibernation and get busy getting busy. March is the month of boat projects and dock projects. Suddenly the sun comes out, the heater gets stowed, the boots get moved out of the way, the sweaters and blankets get space bagged and the projects begin.
For Pelican it’s been repairs to a swollen door, new window treatments in the galley and salon, a week of teak, purging of some wall rot, chasing down some leaks, installation of a storage shelf in the galley, installation of a new refrigerator and relocation of the old onto the fly bridge, I could go on and on. The best part (so far) is that none of the chores have been too costly or too daunting.
I’m recalling walks along Destin Harbor lots of winter mornings. Always a few of the old charter fishing vessels were getting their entire housing chopped off for complete replacement. I’m not talking that kind of drama for Pelican this March. She just needs some TLC before the season kicks off. Things we couldn’t do with bulky winter trappings in the way. Time to open up and lighten up.
In addition to life on the dock the face of the island is changing. Spring breakers are flowing in by the day, families ride past on bikes and bikini clad college girls dot the beach seeking the sun, their male entourages close behind. Some things in this world never change. My sister and I laugh about how it seems like yesterday that we were those girls, tucked into the dunes avoiding the wind, fostering goose bumps, seeking after the sun. By God! we had to go back north with some color!
March is a month when cold-weary northerners flock south like birds to escape from the white stuff and brutal winds. Our clan has had a steady stream of that this month. There’s been no time to get homesick for our kids and grands with sibs and cousins, uncles and aunts coming in to town.
My brother Mike and his wife Polly bought a great place last year that sports The best patio on the island. It overlooks the harbor and the iconic striped lighthouse. It’s a great spot to just sit and watch the people go by. Mac and I brought Mardi Gras to South Carolina on Shrove Tuesday with a gumbo party. They don’t quite get it…we threw beads to the passers by and they brought them back up to the patio to return them!!
A couple of trips to Savannah found us with our Georgia crew enjoying Saint Patrick’s Day with family and hanging around our kids new outdoor fireplace.
Often the question comes up on the various forums of the cruising world; Is Hilton Head an ok place to winter over? Many boaters think cruisers need to go farther south to avoid the cold. The crew of the Pelican gives HHI a resounding endorsement as a winter haven. Even though we have not been off the dock this month we have had plenty of days to walk, fish, bike, read, try new restaurants, work on projects and dink around Broad Creek. The winds are unpredictable but the sunshine is abundant. When April rolls around we will be ready to toss the lines and seek new adventures.
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See you on the water!