Friday, May 25, 2012

Alberta Crewed's Final Blessing

Karen, Jeff, Ed, Maite, Me, and Craig
I first met Karen Kennedy Woodman in 2008 at the Miami sailboat show.  She and her husband Jeff were PDQ sailboat owners (Hull #1 from the Canadian boatyard) and their new Antares Yachts company was in its infancy.  Craig and I once owned a small retail store and although it was not on the scale of Antares Yachts, it has given me a new found respect for those who venture into their own businesses.  We committed to Hull#1 with the new Antares company and four years later, we docked at Charleston where Karen could finally see an Argentine built boat.  When she first saw Alberta Crewed, Karen literally hugged the boat.  She knows these vessels well and poured through every part of the hulls to see how ours was faring.  I was honoured by and delighted with her response and I now feel Alberta Crewed has received her final blessing.  Thank you, Karen.

Karen and Jeff and their terrific children have been gracious hosts and we have really enjoyed spending time with them and seeing the area as they took on tour guide roles.  Friends Maite and Ed joined us for a weekend on the boat and thanks to the Woodmans, we all toured Middleton Plantation on foot and by horseback.

We waited out tropical storm Alberto which headed away from shore and left us with quiet days at the Charleston dock.  We toured the Aquarium, downtown historical buildings, and returned for a second visit to the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier.  It is now a national historical monument and gave an in-depth account of life on board during WWII through to the Vietnam war.  

Painting of George Washington in Charleston City Hall, infamous for the horse's position
Deck of USS Yorktown

Prior to our trip up the ICW, my knowledge of US history was limited.  I am not in any way an expert now but our brief times in communities along the coast gave us a glimpse into the impact of ongoing conflicts throughout US history and how the landscape has been shaped by them.  Veterans wear their caps proudly and are revered for their service.  A WWII veteran we met on Yorktown shared some of his experiences on battleships with us and I was humbled by how he carries his memories with deep emotion.  I would like to learn more and hope we can explore these areas further in the fall.

We are on our last leg to Wilmington, NC where we will leave the boat and pack up for our Canadian home.  Time passes too quickly and I can't believe we are again at this end of the season ritual.   

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