Tuesday was a boat work day. Just before 9 a.m., Banff, from Luther Marine, came by to help me with a few projects. First of all, we tackled the generator. You will likely remember my recent issues with that. He thinks the problem may be a leak in my Racor filter, so I’ve ordered a replacement. We’ll replace it and see if that does it. Next, we tackled the water maker. As you may recall, I’ve been able to make water, but I’ve had to do it manually and bypass the diversion valve, which I felt was defective. Banff verified that the valve was bad and we’ve replaced it with the one I had purchased. Hopefully, that takes care of it. I don’t know yet, because I don’t want to make water in this dirty, polluted water of Charleston Harbor (Give me my Bahamian water!). We’ll find out when we are offshore or some other place where the water is cleaner. We also talked about my wifi-booster/extender and the installation of it. He’ll be coming back to do that.
After Banff left, I tackled converting one of our starboard side heads to an electric head. I pulled out the old, manual head and measured for the new, electric one. I drilled the mounting holes and screwed it into place. I hooked up the water inflow hose. I need to buy a section of waste outflow hose in order to complete the job. Banff is also going to help me with the electrical wiring when he returns. I also touched base with the North Sail guys. They are repairing our mainsail and will be working on our “Quick Cover” to replace our existing cover for protecting the mainsail when not in use. In the afternoon, I also did a little bit more paperwork for my upcoming work assignments.
It hasn’t been too bad being side-tied to the outside extension dock, but I requested from the dock master a move to an inner slip. This place is pretty busy and he has been trying to hook me up with one. Well, today a slip on the C-dock became open. About 2:45 in the afternoon, we fired up the engines and motored the 75 yards or so to the C-dock slip. It’s much better here. There is not nearly as much wake or activity. We are much closer to the facilities as well. It was quite a hike all the way out to the extension dock.
It wasn’t until 6 p.m. that we stepped off the boat. It was a stay-aboard kind of day up until then. And, then, we only walked up the Fish House, the nicest restaurant at the resort. The view from the dining room was gorgeous, looking out onto the bridge, the navy vessels, and the harbour. We both had some fish and chips before returning to Beatitude for the evening.
We were awakened by brilliant flashes of light and loud explosions of thunder around 3 a.m. We hadn’t been in a good thunderstorm for a while. Well, this one was a good one! We couldn’t get back to sleep for some time. Of all things, as we were trying to doze off again, we heard some machine or engine start up and run continuously. I couldn’t tell if it was on our boat or next to us. We jumped up to trace it down and discovered that the electric winch on the stern of our boat (that we use mainly to raise and lower Dalí) had decided to run on high speed on its own. That was a little freaky! It normally operates on two speeds, but our high speed switch/button has been out of commission for a while. I think that the rain somehow caused it to start on its on. Weird! (I have now ordered a replacement switch).
Most of the day on Wednesday was also rainy with intermittent thunder and lightning. It was sort of nice to be sitting snuggly inside Beatitude, enjoying our rainy day. In between raindrops, we measured for two new reefing lines for our mainsail. One snapped during our return from the Bahamas, and the other is badly chafed. The sun did eventually drive away the clouds in the afternoon, just in time for Cindy and I to catch the 4 o’clock trolley into town.
From the drop off point on N. Market Street, we walked 1 1/3 miles for dinner. Tonight’s dinner destination was Hominy Grill, a well-known and respected restaurant in Charleston. We decided to do our own version of a “TV Dinner.” Hominy Grill was featured on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, when Alton Brown chose the Chocolate Pudding as the best chocolate creation he’s ever eaten. The “Big Nasty,” a fried chicken breast between two biscuit halves smothered in sausage gravy, was featured on Amazing Eats and Man vs. Food. We started with boiled peanuts (which Cindy liked!), followed by an appetizer of Shrimp and Okra Beignets (pretty good), followed by the “Big Nasty” (disappointing), and then the Chocolate Pudding (heavenly! More like a chocolate mousse). The atmosphere was very “down-home southern.”
After dinner we walked about half-way back to where we were dropped off, stopping at the Sottile Theater at the College of Charleston. I have been calling daily attempting to get tickets to the sold-out Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, which is part of the Spoleto Festival. I kept coming up empty, so our best chance was to show up half an hour before showtime to see if tickets had become available. An answer to prayer, five tickets had been returned, including two adjacent aisle seats in the center orchestra, row four! We snatched those up and settled in for 3 1/2 hours of Bachian Bliss. The St. Matthew Passion retells the story of the passion of Christ based on the gospel of Matthew. There was a double choir and double orchestra which played off each other, adding drama to the already dramatic story. New York’s Westminster Choir with added members from the local Taylor Festival Choir were joined by musicians from the New York Baroque and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. The Evangelist (narrator) was a tenor, Rufus Müller, who possessed such a pure tone, and sang with such emotion. He also sang his entire lengthy part from memory. The entire program was wonderful. The St. Matthew Passion is an inspired work which the choir sang beautifully. I especially liked the way Bach interspersed a number of moving chorales (hymn-like pieces) throughout the piece. One particularly memorable section was during the story of the apostles being seated around the table with Jesus at the last supper. The choir rapidly inquired back-and-forth among each other, “Is it I?” Then, the entire chorus erupted in a glorious chorale, answering, “It is I!” Yes, we have all betrayed Christ and are guilty!
By the time we exited the theater, we had missed the last trolley run, so we hailed a taxi for the trip back across the Cooper River to our marina. Our taxi driver sounded exactly like Mo Rocca, the host to “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” (among other things) on the Cooking Channel. It was another great day aboard Beatitude.