Our Charleston Saga

Leg 4 of our Great Loop cruise has not started auspiciously. When we arrived at Philadelphia airport to catch what we thought was an 8:55 a.m. flight to Charleston, we found that Patrick had misread p.m. for a.m. when making the reservation. We arrived 12 hours early.  US Airways came through, however, and gave us the remaining two seats on the 9:35 a.m. flight. In Charleston. our decision to rent a car to give us more flexibility in shopping and sightseeing before getting on the boat paid dividends when we found that, despite having had the Cosmic C for five months and having told us that the new bottom paint and other work was completed, the Charleston Boatworks had, in fact, neglected to finish the job and needed another day to do so. So we drove downtown, checked into the beautiful Battery Carriage House B&B, toured the lovely Edmonston-Alston house, took a carriage ride around the city, and enjoyed a superb dinner at the Alston Street Restaurant before retiring.

With the boat finally ready and provisioned by noon on Tuesday, we headed down the Cooper River to look at Fort Sumpter and then turned back into the Intracoastal Waterway to continue our cruise northward. A half-hour later the “Check Engine” light lit up and the warning horn blared. Drat. Before long we were at anchor waiting for TowboatUS to tow us into the nearby Isle of Palms Marina. By nightfall, although we enjoyed a decent meal and good Bluegrass Music (Carroll Brown and his Band) at the marina’s Morgan Creek Grill, we still hadn’t found anybody to work on the Cosmic C’s engine.

After several false leads,we finally contacted the Charleston Boat Center, which handles Honda engines and was happy to send over a mechanic. The mechanic determined that the engine thermostat was faulty, informed us that they could get one by the next morning, and left promising to have us on our way by Thursday noon. 

So here we sit for another night at the Isle of Palms Marina trying to keep cool in the sultry heat and humidity and hoping our Leg 4 start-up troubles are really over. Perhaps another bluegrass band will lift our spirits.

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