I think my kids will forever tell stories of boat life that start out “so there was this one time in June when it started raining and never stopped.”
Just to recap, we moved onto our boat full time on May 15th. We began traveling north on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) on June 1st. And on June 7th it started raining.
People have asked me a lot of questions about how I keep two active kids busy on a boat. And the simple answer used to be, “I don’t.” Most days we’re off the boat doing things.
But then the rain…
We had to get creative pretty quickly. And I thanked God we’d prioritized space on the boat for our raincoats.
Our first encounter with the rain was pretty fun. We’d docked our boat at Georgetown Landing Marina and walked about a mile to town. We had an amazing lunch (SoCo Grille) and on our way back to the boat it started pouring. Needless to say, we didn’t have raincoats and we were all soaked by the time we got back to the boat.
We changed into dry clothes, made some hot chocolate and laughed at our misadventure.
Little did we know when it started raining that day that it would never stop (or at least not for a while!)
The next day we moved our boat to Osprey Marina (a pretty well known marina on the ICW located behind Myrtle Beach, SC.) The whole area was completely flooded.
At one point we noticed a lot of sail boats traveling south on the ICW (we were heading north.) It took a while to figure out what was happening, but apparently the area was so flooded that the sailboats weren’t able to make it under a very tall fixed bridge.
Osprey Marina has an incredible reputation. However, I’m not sure how many liveaboard moms have left reviews. Essentially we spent a week living in a flooded swamp in the middle of nowhere.
We rented a car with high hopes of spending some time at the beach. But alas, it never stopped raining. So we went to Target instead.
For the first time since we left our house in Charlotte and moved on the boat, I got a little homesick. Target smelled more like home that the swamp I was currently living in.
The endless rain made everything about living on a boat more difficult.
While I was busy throwing myself a pity party, the rest of the family was thriving. Brent loved his new office view. The kids enjoyed the fact that our marina had ice cream. And goats. And someone told Miller that the fish bite more frequently in the rain. So he seized the day(s).
At the end of the week it was time to turn in the rental car (having never visited the beach) head north.
Driving the boat in the rain isn’t fun. In fact, a lot of recreational boaters don’t go out in the rain. But I couldn’t get out of the swamp fast enough and our windows to move the boat aren’t huge (we mostly move on the weekends when Brent isn’t working.)
The highlight of our weekend came when we were close to Wilmington, NC. We were in a stressful boating situation. The weather was stormy- a little bit of rain and a lot of wind. We had to wait on a bridge to open.
(Side note: Our boat is about 16 feet tall- depending on how much diesel and water we have on board. We also have 2 antennas that extend our height to 21 feet, but they can be folded down if necessary. Some bridges open upon request. We radio them and they open right up. Other bridges only open on the hour or half hour.)
This particular bridge opened on the half hour. But the tricky part is that it was in a narrow channel with marina docks on either side. We were sandwiched in between two other boats waiting on the bridge opening.
In non boating terms, we essentially had to tread water to stay in place so we didn’t hit any of the boats around us.
It’s not easy. Especially with a current and wind!
Anyway, as we were waiting I realized that something felt very familiar. It took a few minutes to figure it out, but Brent and I realized we’d eaten a dinner overlooking the very spot where we were sitting!
About 5 years earlier on an anniversary weekend getaway, we’d eaten dinner at The Bridge Tender Restaurant. It overlooks the bridge and marina. We’d chosen that spot for the food, but also so we could dream about one day owning a boat! Crazy, huh?
The following week was pretty much the same song, second verse.
We watched entirely too many movies. Ate way too much junk food. Resorted to turning the jacuzzi tub into a swimming pool on more than one occasion. Read books. Played games. And when restlessness got the best of us, we got out our raincoats and walked the docks in the pouring rain.
Fortunately, I do know the end of the story now and it did eventually stop raining. Thank goodness!
Thanks for following our adventure…even through the not-so-fun times!
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