Saturday, November 16, 2013

Uncommon Variety

November 8-11
Oriental, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC

We had a really wonderful time with Keith’s parents and they seemed to enjoy their snapshot of life on a boat on the ICW. Even though it was definitely chillier than they expected. Now that they are gone, we miss Mom’s help in keeping us on course and Dad’s photo documentation of our time together.

 Mom commented that it’s impossible to describe what the trip is like to people back home because every part of it is different. So here are pictures of just a few of the many things we did during their visit:

Floating through cypress swamps—nothing like what we call a swamp in Minnesota, but places of uncommon beauty where imposing trees with gnarled roots rise out of the water, thriving in the salty-fresh tides.

Dad's favorite photo from the entire trip
Passing by the fringes of restricted military bases with evidence of explosions and firepower.

Walking through historic waterfront towns where stately homes and churches lining the streets were built while our country was still a colony.

Visiting a maritime museum in  Beaufort, NC, that houses booty and remains from Blackbeard’s ship, the QAR (Queen Anne’s Revenge).

Drifting past waterfront golf-course developments with multimillion-dollar homes…then ramshackle cabins and docks.
This picture combines two of Keith's passions: golf and sailing (well, a sailboat wake)
Waiting—again—for low bridges that swing open on a schedule, on the half hour or on the hour. If you’re late, you’ll wait.
This bridge-tender requested $20 per picture—"just throw it up on the bridge as you pass by."

Oohing and aahing over pods of dolphins—is it possible to not feel joy when you see a dolphin dance?…

squadrons of pelicans who perfectly time seemingly awkward dives to gracefully scoop up darting fish...

plus gulps of cormorants sunbathing with outstretched wings…
and convocations of eagles perched regally in the tallest trees watching for dinner far below.

Yes, those are the terms for groups of those creatures. (Given the name of our boat, we should have known “squadron” a long time ago but just learned that bit of trivia.) Isn’t it great that God created such fantastic variety to delight us everywhere we look? With just a word, He could have created an average, utilitarian world. Instead He said, “Let there be beauty and humor and wonder and altogether-loveliness to reflect Me.” And there was.

As part of a regular squadron of transient cruisers, our journey continues through rivers, creeks, canals, and open sounds to the next places of uncommon beauty.


  1. Really like the term "gulps of cormorants"!
    Sue R.

  2. I love your writing and really enjoyed seeing the photo of Clarice and Lauren. They were so happy to have this cruise with you. Wishing you Godspeed.