Thursday, August 01, 2013

Portman Marina

Portman Marina on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina.

This is just one of their numerous docks. Most are covered for shady storage of your boat, but here on the sailboat dock, there is no cover. It was the first time I had visited here since the mid 90's when I went out on a friend's houseboat while visiting America. I spent 1987-2009 living on yachts at sea or in the Caribbean.

Somewhere in the mid 90's I visited America after surgery on Tortola.  I didn't want to recuperate on my sailboat during hurricane season and the mountain of stitches made it hard for me to climb up on my boat from a dinghy.

In a strange turn of events,  I ended up renting a little old mountain cabin at Caesars Head, South Carolina. I was only a few hundred feet from the famed Caesars Head State Park where you can see Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina from the views.

I was living, working, playing on boats 24/7 yet when I came to visit America to escape boat life for a few weeks, everyone wanted to drag me out on their boat. It was funny yet maddening. The more invitations I turned down, the madder folks seemed to get.

My friend Bill M. was in his late 70's at the time, so I went out on his houseboat rather than explain I wanted a break from boats and boating. I am glad I did because shortly after I went back home to the Caribbean, he suddenly passed away.

He was a remarkable man, had lived his entire life single, never marrying. He had an identical twin brother who did marry. Usually identical twins think alike, but not in this case.

My friend had a beautiful piano I admired. He began lessons at age 65 because he was bored with retirement. He also took up the violin. He played both extremely well.

He was laughing about his piano teacher. On his first lesson he arrived early. Her current student was 5 years old. He had to wait while their lesson finished. Next it was his turn. Before his lesson was over, another student arrived, a 6 year old.

The teacher was a tad startled because she had misunderstood him on the phone that he was 65 and desiring piano lessons. She had heard the student was "6 or 5".  So she was not expecting a newly retired 65 year old executive to show up for lessons. But within a few short years, she had him playing quite beautifully.

I never thought nearly two decades later I would be spending my summers around the lake in a motorhome, not on it in a boat.

In the early to mid 80's I used to race and sail boats all over this lake.

I loved my boating days, both in America and elsewhere but for some strange reason, I am not really interested in boating anymore. I went offshore numerous times, not seeing land for weeks. I was hired crew on yachts for over a decade of traversing the Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific. I also came home to my own boat, as it was my only home for many years.

I've been through hurricanes, storms, fires, accidents and rescues on boats. Maybe I am just plum tired.

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5 comments:

  1. Nice story. Life sure does take some funny turns.

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  2. I am so very glad you are back on line.I have been very worried about you and Harley.The last post I was able to read you weren't feeling well.Again glad to see you back.
    Sherry

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  3. I echo Sherry's comments. I returned from two weeks away and wasn't able to find you. I was horrified!!!
    I do so enjoy your blog and the chuckles I get. Take it easy.

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  4. Glad you're back. I was worried!

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  5. Good,back able to view the blog on IE.

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