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Adelante is a Spanish word that means to “go forth” or “forward” and can be used as an interjection to mean “come in” or “go ahead.”  The Adelante is my friend Dan’s sailboat, and Dan has been gracious enough to invite me sailing on several occasions.  The Adelante has provided many long afternoons of laughter and happy times out on the water.

The Adelante, Race Week 2008

An intact Adelante being transferred from land to sea in 2012.

I love this photo of Meghan!

I think this is my favorite Adelante photo, complete with Meghan looking good on the mast.

High times on the high seas, Memorial Day, 2013.

 _______________

The Happiest Hour

“Have you already left your house? Slight change in plans, I’m going to come pick you up, be outside in five minutes.” Five minutes later, I was sitting on the curb on the corner of my street.  It was Friday afternoon, and I had escaped work early to join in a happy hour sail for Edie’s birthday.  Dan had the Adelante all ready to go at the city marina on Lockwood, and we were going to leave Edie’s car at the Yacht Club on East Bay.  The plan was to sail around the harbor, and dock at the Yacht Club.  It was a perfect day, with a perfect breeze.

Friday, August 8, 2013, the Adelante is ready to set sail.

Friday, August 9, 2013, the Adelante is ready to set sail.

When Dan picked me up, I suggested that we stop at the Harris Teeeter and pick up some champagne for Edie’s birthday.  He assured me that he already had two bottles in the cooler on the Adelante.  Dan is smart like that.  Edie and her brother, Brooks, were waiting on us in the parking lot of the yacht club.  I was wearing my favorite patagonia dress, and Edie said she was glad I decided to go with “sailboat cocktail” attire.  In no time, we were at the city marina, setting sail with a cold beer and a perfect breeze. I’m very much a sailing novice, but it is something I would like to learn to do.  There are a list of things I feel like you should know how to do, most of which I do not know how to do.  Drive a stick shift, sail a sailboat, clean a fish, apply a tourniquet, start a fire without matches, land a plane.  You know, life skills.  I do know how to call 911. 

When it comes to sailing, I have this fear of over correcting and knocking the sailboat over, which Dan has repeatedly assured me is not going to happen.  He says the worst that would happen is that I could knock some people into the water.  I related a story of my mother requesting that I use a life vest at all times, and Dan assured me that we had plenty of life vests in the cabin, but that he did not anticipate anyone needing one. The cooler had a couple cans of Gosling’s Dark and Stormy, and I remarked that Dan was the first person to introduce me to the Dark and Stormy.  Brooks assured me that Dan introduced the entire city of Charleston to the Dark and Stormy, and that Dan single handedly convinced all the bars that not having ginger beer available was unacceptable, and that we all have Dan to thank for the availability of this summertime staple. The conditions were perfectly breezy but the water calm, and I ended up at the helm, steering.  Everyone tried to talk me through how to head into the wind, or fall off, and a lot of other terms I still haven’t grasped, but I’m working on it.  I tried to “feel” the wind and to watch the little arrow at the top of the mast, and I tried in vain to catch the giant cargo ships in the harbor.  I was instructed on the optimum amount of boat tilt, and tried to get my sea legs.  

The trick to being at the helm, is figuring out a way to not get distracted.  It went something like this – I would get comfortable in my abilities, and start feeling confident –

Edie:  “Did you see that?  Over there?”

Me:  “Where?”

Dan:  “Charlsie!  Look Alive! What are you doing?!  Head up!  Fall off!  Agghhh!”

Me:  “Gah!  I got it!  I think, wait, I’m doing it wrong, hang on, I just spilled my beer everywhere.  Are we going to hit that boat in front of us?”

Regardless, I did well enough where no one took away my steering privilege, and when we got out past Fort Sumter and turned around, I got to yell, “Prepare to come about!  Coming about!”

Fort Sumter from the Adelante.

Fort Sumter from the Adelante.

And we turned around with no problems!  Sailing back into the harbor was easier, and Dan handled the docking of the Adelante.  It was all in all a very successful sail.  After the sail, we walked across East Bay to Edie’s friends Bo and Anne’s  house, and participated in some porch sitting, and then some kitchen congregating.  Edie left with her car to go to the mexican restaurant for Birthday Dinner, and Bo was nice enough to take Dan, Brooks, and me to the city marina to get Dan’s car. When we got to Dan’s car, we realized the keys to the car were on the boat, so we had to go by Dan’s house and get his spare set.  This was no big deal at the time.  Once we had Dan’s car, we met Edie and company at the mexican restaurant for a delicious meal.  We all went home happy and full of good food and good times.

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“If You Haven’t Run Aground, You Haven’t Been Around.” – Old sailing maxim 

Saturday afternoon, Brooks and Edie were at the beach out on Sullivans, around station 28 1/2.  Dan appeared seemingly out of nowhere, from the tidal pool.

Edie:  “Dan!  What are you doing?  Where did you come from?  Who are you with?”

Dan:  “See that commotion off shore?  The fire and rescue boat?  I was out there, and now I’m here.  Can I use your cell phone to call the coast guard?”

Turns out, the Adelante set sail on Saturday with Dan and three other friends for a fateful final voyage.  Through a series of unfortunate events, more than half a mile of the coast of Sullivans, the Adelante hit a sandbar, and the rudder broke off, and in the process of escaping the sandbar, an unknown structural imperfection was exploiting in the 35 year old boat, resulting in a crack in the keel, and a short time later the Adelante went down. Dan says that there is a persuasive technical argument to be made that the Adelante did not, strictly speaking, sink.

She just fell over.

She just fell over.

And took on some water.

And took on some water.

All crew members were left on the sandbar, in four feet of water. It was too far to swim, but a kiteboarder was able to drag all four crew members to the beach.  The news picked up the story.  I’ve been singing the Gilligan’s Island song for days.  A three hour tour, a three hour tour. http://www.wistv.com/story/23117498/stranded-boaters-saved-by-kiteboarder-off-sullivans-island?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9191035.  

The important thing to remember is that no one was seriously injured (one crew member required stitches for a leg injury), but it was a sad day. Remember Friday night when we went to get Dan’s spare set of keys from his house?  Um, yeah, so that meant that on Saturday, both sets of Dan’s key were on the Adelante.  And the Adelante was upside down, drifting into Breach Inlet.

The tourists in this photo are classic.

That’s not Dan in the foreground, in case you were wondering. Those are classic, unidentified tourists.

Shockingly enough, the dry bag washed up on the beach, along with several other personal possessions that went down with the boat, and the keys were recovered along with a couple of cell phones.  The water bottle I left in the cooler of the boat on Friday did not survive the wreckage.   Sunday, Dan and George were left with the grime task of watching the recovery of what was left of the Adelante.

Sunday recovery of the Adelante.

Sunday recovery of the Adelante.  George was there for emotional support.

Presumably a bad time to ask about the sunglasses and water bottle I left on board Friday afternoon.

The former home of the 1200 lb keel.

The former home of the 1200 lb keel.

The Friday after her last sail, the many friends of the Adelante gathered at Salty Mike’s for a farewell happy hour in memory of all the great times, and to thank Dan for sharing her with us. We all raised a Dark and Stormy in tribute, and felt lucky to have spent time on such a beautiful old boat!

Salty Mike's D & S

Salty Mike’s D & S

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There is a striped mosquito in my house.  I have mosquito bites all over me from walking Briscoe.  This morning, I received three bites in about five minutes from these giant striped mosquitoes.  I caught the tail end of a news report recently talking about a new invasive breed of mosquitoes, and after spending time observing the one in my house and realizing that it did not look like a normal mosquito, I googled striped mosquito.  Yep.  Here are some upsetting headlines –

Asian tiger mosquitoes have blood lust for humans.

Get ready for invading Asian tiger mosquitoes

Asian tiger mosquitoes expected to swarm USA.

Georgia mosquito population set to explode.

Asian tiger mosquito poised to invade.

It is almost more than I can do to even read these articles.  Apparently these blood suckers were happily imported to Texas in tire shipments, because tires are notorious for having standing water.  THANKS, TEXAS!  This where I become a giant proponent of chemical warfare in the war against mosquitoes (and roaches and grasshoppers for that matter).  Let’s fumigate stuff before we unload it next time.  The mosquito is repeatedly described as having a “blood lust” for humans, but it will also bite your cat, dog, or whatever sort of strange creature you love and let live in your house.

This article gives some fact and fiction of mosquitoes.  My favorite is – Mosquitoes are more attracted to women than men: FACT (this is why I always carry Off! and often times an Afterbite pen with me.  And because I’m Polly Prepared according to Sister Natalie.  My personal favorites are either the wipes or this little travel buddy.  I like to keep the wipes in little formal clutches like for weddings, and the little travel buddy in my regular pocketbook. Afterbite is also helpful for a beach bag, great for a jelly fish sting.  And Cutter is excellent and pretty much a necessity before a backyard party. I don’t think it encourages lightening bugs though, fyi. )

These mosquitoes are considered especially fearsome due to their fantastic disease spreading abilities.  The Asian Tiger transmits more than 20 diseases, including West Nile fever, dengue fever, yellow fever and two types of encephalitis. It also can transmit chikungunya virus, an infliction that is rarely fatal, but causes debilitating symptoms, including severe joint pain, fever, achiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash and fatigue. People usually recover in a few weeks, but the virus is not very pleasant.

Right, so I read people’s medical records all day and I’m a straight up hypochondriac.  In the highly probably event that I contract one of these debilitating diseases, and waste away in front of my giant television watching bad TNT dramas, this blog might suffer, and for that I apologize.  Please send gifts of gatorade, baked goods, and dvds.

I get itchy just thinking about it.

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 A couple of weeks ago, I got an invitation to the soft opening of the Charleston Harbor Fish House.  My sweet friends Anita and Shannon work for the Charleston Harbor Resort, and we have been anticipating the opening of this restaurant with delight.  As luck would have it, my mom was in town, and was available to be my date for the soft opening.  

We took the water taxi from the Aquarium, which is a treat in and of itself.  If you visit Charleston, or even if you live here, you should take the water taxi.  It is an excellent way to see the harbor and the city from a different angle.  

The new restaurant is open and spacious with lots of windows and clean lines.  There were so many things on the menu that we wanted, but we settled on the hog snapper and the beef tenderloin.  We also had hush puppies for a starter and a side of collard greens for fun.  Everything was fantastic, the service, the presentation, the food, the view, and the company.  After dinner, we went upstairs to the rooftop bar to watch the sunset.  

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If you get the chance, head on over to the Charleston Harbor Fish Camp.  Go like them on Facebook.  Call me when you go, and I’ll meet you there.  Happy Summertime!

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Last night I slept in the front room of Betsy and Andrew’s apartment in the east village. There was a cacophony of thunder and strobe lightening outside, and I made the mistake of reading about the storm chasers who died on Friday by a particularly unpredictable tornado whilst I was brushing my teeth.

Needless to say, I dreamed of severe weather, and awoke in a panic at 5 am, convinced that the quaking ground and roaring din was the tornado I had been anxiously awaiting in my dreams. Imagine my shock when I realized it was just a street cleaning truck and it wasn’t even raining outside.

By the time I made it out on the street to catch a cab to the airport, it was raining again, and catching a cab involved some drama. But there was no traffic to the airport despite the rain, and I encountered no lines to check my bag and make it through security. I was real proud of myself, to arrive, coffee in hand, with plenty of time to spare.

Then my flight was delayed. And delayed. And delayed. Apparently the weather in NYC was so bad that the plane couldn’t leave DC. I missed my connection before I even boarded my first flight.

This series of events has resulted in my sitting at a brewery at IAD at 3:30 on the Monday afternoon. When I sat down, I ordered a beer. The server didn’t speak excellent English, and it took me a second to realize what she was asking me. She was asking if I also wanted a shot of liquor with my beer. I can’t tell if this is a reflection on me personally, or on the average Dulles traveller, but either way I told her the beer was all I needed at the moment.

New York was a blast, I got to see my friends with the following professional monikers: CBS, ESPN, the bartender/drummer, the publisher, the lawyer, the pregnant lawyer, the music CPA, the movie director, the special agent, the bartender with the rose tattoo, and my high school JV cheerleading coach. The space law professor and the animator were regrettable out of town, along with the blond lawyer and his fantastic fabric wife, and the blond cousin and his redheaded wife who is now also cousin. But that just means I will have to come back soon!

Thursday I was suppose to meet my favorite teacher of all time at the metropolitan museum of art where she and her husband were leading a group of kids (including their 4! Kids). My phone died, and I was sitting on the steps outside waiting until the appointed time to go inside. Mardi came up from behind and grabbed me and said – I would know the back of your head and jawline anywhere! You look exactly the same as you did when you were 14! Which I took as an extreme compliment. It was amazing to reconnect and meet her kids and wander the streets of New York for a little while!

Friday afternoon I met the movie director in Williamsburg. We had lunch, and then prowled around looking for a dive bar the director had heard was interesting. We had all but given up when we stumbled upon it.

It was the perfect Athens bar, conveniently relocated to Williamsburg for our beer tasting pleasure. Since it was happy hour, we enjoyed $2 cans of tecate and bud light. You decide which one I enjoyed. The bar wasn’t deserted, but it wasn’t crowded. It was a nice little motley crew of hipsters (townies?) enjoying a Friday afternoon sip.

The director and I were deep in conversations involving relationships and life and timing and other discussions on QUALITY and limiting the IS and other such deep discussions of life and learning, when a long haired fellow across the bar points at me and says “Hey! Are you a lawyer?”, and I turn around (with the knowledge that no one is behind me) and look to my right and left before saying, “Me?”, “yeah, are you a lawyer?” (I am technically a lawyer, but I’m not literally practicing law, so I forget this fact sometimes), and so I hesitatingly wake up from the discussion I was in and say, “um, yeah, I guess so!” And he replys, “This guy went to law school with you!” To which I say awkwardly and reflexively without looking at who he is pointing to – “Hi! I’m Charlsie!” To which the person next to him replies, “I know.”

Turns out it was an old Athens friend that I never expected to run into at the very Athens bar in Williamsburg. I like to believe that Athens is a universally recognized lifestyle that is transferable around the world. Or at least up and down the east coast.

Friday night we went to the Yankees game, and stopped by a bar called Stan’s before entering the stadium. All I could think as we navigated the crowd was, dang, I’ve never seen so many Yankees in my life. Lots of Yankees. To be clear, I love Yankees. Just a little overwhelming at first. Noteworthy at least. The night was full of corn dogs, hot dogs, popcorn, I threw out some braves trash talk for good measure, and capped off with some good ole Sinatra and a horrifically hot subway trip home.

Fingers crossed my plane takes off in an hour. XO

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For the most part, I believe America to be the greatest place in the world. We definitely have our own problems, and there definitely parts of America that hold no interest for me as place of permanent dwelling, but as a whole, America is pretty great. More specifically, the South East is pretty awesome. I love the weather, the food, the people, the flowers, and the way we talk around here. But today, I wish I lived somewhere else. I wish I lived in India today. Or, tonight, although I guess it is already night in India by now. I would really like to see the lunar eclipse tonight. I should have planned my vacations better. Apparently there is a chance I’ll get to see full lunar eclipse in America in April 2014, fingers crossed.

Have I told you how Briscoe hates skateboarders? It might be one of the funnier things I’ve seen in a while. I think it is the noise that scares her. The dog needs a haircut like whoa. She’s going to get her hair did tomorrow, and I expect to have a little lamb by tomorrow night instead of the bear that is currently sleeping in my kitchen.  For some reason she has developed this ridiculous habit of spilling her food all over the floor.  It is like she picks up her bowl with her teeth and dumps it out, although I’m not sure that is actually possible.  But once the food it on the ground, she won’t eat it.  For a while, when I would come home to her spilled food, I would pick all the pieces up and put them back in the bowl.  Then I realized, wait, she’s a dog, if she wants to spill her food on the floor, she should eat the food off the flood.  So, I stopped cleaning it up, other than to turn the bowl back upright.  Sure enough, after leaving the food on the ground until late into the night, the dog finally decided she would eat it off the floor.  So, she’s started cleaning up the mess herself, but she’s still spilling the food. 

Something about summertime makes me want to lose myself in a story, preferably a long drawn out saga. Happily, HBO has provided that for me with The Game of Thrones, and even more happily, I am able to read the novels instead of waiting to see what happens in HBO time (which is painfully slow in my opinion). I enjoy the story, the show (and the novels for that matter) are quite gruesome and violent. I find reading about violent and gruesome things is easier than watching them play out on my unnecessarily large television. But I’m totally engrossed in the novels, each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view, and the author has mastered the ability to speak in each character’s voice in a way that is seemless but also adds a depth to the writing and storyline that is not immediately apparent. I would not recommend the books or the television series to everyone, there is a base element to it that not all will find endearing, crass talk of sexual encounters and horrible things happen to almost all of the characters. But even the villainous characters have redeeming qualities (well, some of them do) and the heros have flaws, and there is nothing I love more than a good story with round characters.

I spent the last two weeks of May in Washington, D.C., training for work. Let me tell you, two weeks is a LONG TIME to be in a hotel. I learned a lot, got to spend time with some old friends (sadly, the Bizzy was out of town the entire time I was there), and enjoyed some fabulous food and beautiful sights, but I was very happy to come home to my apartment and my dog. I did meet some super cool new friends though. My mom and my aunt Jan came to visit me in Charleston this past weekend, and boy did we have a good time. I wish I could tell you we did lots of productive things, but really more than anything, we simply enjoyed Charleston and each other. We wandered, we enjoyed drinks on the rooftop under the shade with a breeze, we ate phenomenal food, (as a side note, a merinague will always add to a dessert), we peered through hedges, gates and walls into the fabulous gardens and side yards of people we didn’t know but wish we did, we sweated, we watched little children play in fountains, and Kate and Jan rearranged the furniture in my apartment. We did not shop at all, other than a short trip to the grocery, and we spent most of our time outside. It was great.

Oh! So I want y’all to check out my cousin Heather’s blog – she has MS, and has an amazingly honest and refreshing perspective, including my favorite – Wheelchair Etiquette.

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Alternatively, Happy Charleston Bike Week! 

Since I drive by a Harley Davidson Dealership on my way to work, I got to see a parade this morning.  Hooray!  Who doesn’t love a bunch of motorcycles blocking a busy intersection on Friday morning at 8:55 am?  They were even selling italian ice. 

It is getting pretty warm around here, which I have to say makes me extremely happy.  The warm weather has everyone all itchy and scratchy to get out to the beach for a good buzz and burn.  Unfortunately, what with all this warmth and humidity comes thunderstorms and clouds.  Then there is the undying dilemma, stay in Friday night so you can get up super early Saturday and hit the beach before the storm?  Go out Friday night and take your chances with the gods of thunder and lightning?  Decisions, decisions. 

Since having my appendectomy, I’ve become an even worse hypochondriac, except now, when I have random sharp stomach pains, I can’t automatically assume they are my appendix.  Life is hard.  But I have been working out more, and have been feeling good, despite my occasional imagained illnesses. 

I’m ready to admit it, I have a problem.  I’m a hoarder.  I hoard candy.  Part of this is that I find it necessary to have candy around at all times, but I don’t actually eat that much candy.  This is compounded by society’s need to only sell certain candy at certain times of year, which leads me to buy said limited time candy in large quantities, just in case.  Add the fact that everyone gives me candy as presents, and you have the perfect storm.  I can’t express to you the guilt I feel when I let a mini kit kat go stale in my desk.  It is a travesty. 

I will be at training for the next two weeks, so if you need me, do not look for me at my office.  Keep your fingers crossed for sunshine and beer tomorrow, because I need a good sunburn before I leave the low country.  Briscoe says hey.

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Last January, I struggled with the pronunciation of 2010.  Twenty-Ten?  Two-Thousand-Ten?  Eventually, I was told that the correct pronunciation was Twenty Ten.  Okay. 

This year, I’m again confused.  Twenty Eleven?  Two Thousand and Eleven?  Most of the radio commercials here in Charleston have decided to go with Tweny-Leven, which I’m fairly certain is not the proper pronunciation, but it sure does roll off the tongue real nice.

It is no longer dark when I leave work, which makes me insanely happy.  Sometimes I worry at my emotional stability by how happy certain things make me.  Like the sun setting a minute later every day.  I got so excited about the sun staying up longer, that I figured I needed to know more about when this whole daily light saving thing was going to happen. 

I found this sweet little website, and I learned a few things I’d like to share.     First, and most importantly, mark your calendars for March 13, 2011, because that is when summer officially begins as far as I’m concerned.  Then, I want you all to know that it is Daylight Saving Time, and not Daylight SavingS Time.  Saving is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle).  It modifies time and tells us more about it’s nature, namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight.  The site goes on to say that the term Daylight Shifting Time or Daylight Time Shifting would be more accurate, but neither is politically desirable.  (I find this interesting.  What makes it undesirable?  People don’t want the government shifting around their daylight?  Hmm.)  The US of A begins daylight saving time two weeks before Europe in the spring, and ends it a week later in the fall, giving us A-mare-ic-uns three more weeks of extra daylight shifting.  The website has a lot of other interesting facts, none of which I find interesting enough to discuss right now, other than to say that the idea behind DST is attributed to Ole Benjamin Franklin. 

I went to New York last weekend for an engagement party for Libby and Bryan.  The party was Mad Men themed, and I have to say I believe it was a complete success.  I succeeded in teasing my hair up about half a foot on my head.  I hadn’t been to New York in TWO YEARS.  It was a quick trip, and the weather was BRRR, but it was really fun.  There was tons of snow.  And wine.  Haha. 

The weather tomorrow is suppose to be sunny, high 63, and the weather on Sunday is suppose to be Sunny, high 67.  I’m so happy it is friday, and I’m so happy about the impending sunshine and the fact that it is only going to get warmer from here on out.  I anxiously await the day where my feet and shoulders are bare, the humidity causes my sunglasses to fog up when I go outside, and the inside of my car is consistently over 110 degrees.  I’m dreaming of beer with condensation, leather seats that burn the back of your thighs, and the smell of sunscreen.  Happy Sigh.

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