North Carolina Oysters

R’s and P’s

Growing up I remember we could only eat oysters from September through April, months with the letter “R”.  Now, thanks to overnight international shipping, you can probably get oysters year round. If you like fresh seafood, the most delicious local oysters, and an amazing prime rib, when you visit Southport, NC, Mr. P’s is a must!

Fresh, fresh, fresh!
the BEST Oyster stop

Southport, North Carolina

This charming little town, winter population ~2,500, was the filming location for the 2013 romance, Safe Haven.  Thanks to Amazon streaming, we watched the family friendly chick flick, recognizing most of the background locations.  The film was a little sappy for Rick’s taste, but at least it ended with a delightful twist.

Swing Bridges

Some swing bridges open only upon request. Figure Eight was supposed to open on the hour, every hour, from 7 am until 7 pm.  BUT it didn’t really work like that; we arrived 10 minutes before the hour and then waited, impatiently, until 15 minutes after the hour.  Hailing on channels 16, 13, 10 and 9 yielded no response. Thankfully there was a phone number listed in Active Captain.  Rick thinks the Bridge Dude was still sleeping

Figure Eight Island Bridge

Play Date for Maddie

In Wrightsville Beach Maddie invited fellow boat dog, Sammy, to come aboard. Sammy let his boat mates, Dr. Will and Halcyon, hang out as well.  By the way, Mo, Craig is still growing out his beard … inspired by Dr. Will and beloved idol, Dave Letterman.

Dr.Will or DavidL
Dr. Will, or is it Dave Letterman?
Puppy Play Date

Water Scenery

At the pace of 7 knots, you can enjoy the random views along the way.

Next stop:  Craig is running the boat today while Rick tries to repair the freezer (protecting the ice cream). Possibly near Swansboro, NC.

Celebrating Milestones

Exhale was docked in Myrtle Beach (March 30 to April 10) while we celebrated several special milestones.

Happy Birthday Exhale

Irises and more

Exhale is actually a slow boat from China.  Coming through the Panama Canal, she arrived on a container ship via New Orleans just two years ago.  Since then we have spent 593 hours on the water and traveled 4143 nautical miles.  We are looking forward to many, many more.

Experienced Crew – Celebrating Good Friends

Thanks Craig, for joining us in Myrtle Beach, NC!  Craig arrived on April 2, and will be on board until April 15. It’s fantastic having an experienced crew member on board.

Crew Craig A
Craig Adford. Licensed Pilot (really). Experienced Crew.

Cleveland – Celebrating Tyler

Craig and Rick drove 679 miles in roughly 11 hours to surprise Tyler on his 2nd birthday.  The journey to Cleveland included a little snow, which seems to be a constant during the first week of April.

Snow 2016
April 2016
April 2017
April 2018

Thanks Uncle Scott, Aunt Cindy, Rita, and Dan for helping us surprise Jamie, David and Tyler.

Our Grandson’s Birthday

On April 8, 2018 Tyler Jaxson Hendry turned two!

Jamie, Tyler, Grandpa Rick and Gramma Mary
I’m Two! April 8, 2018
Well Helloooo!
Tyler reads to Grandpa

Mickey Mouse was in the House as Tyler celebrated his birthday with family and friends.

Los Angeles – Celebrating Alisha

Shortly before Craig arrived, I (MS) took a one-week side trip to LA (April 1 to April 7) to support Alisha during her surgery.

Alisha and Liz

Alisha is the bravest, strongest woman I have ever encountered.  When she was in her late teens she broke two vertebrae in her neck during a national snowboarding competition.  It was a brutal crash.  Although badly injured she bravely got up and walked down the mountain. Her approach to cancer has been very similar.  She is a tower of strength, and she never gives up.

Since October, Alisha has endured seven nauseating rounds of chemo and two infusions.  No surprise, she continues to work, non stop.  In fact, in between the doses of chemo poisoning she successfully wrapped the second season of American Vandal, filmed in Portland.

Diagnosed triple positive in stage 3b; as of today, she is cancer free.  Bravo, Mija, you are a champion. And in the words of one of her nurses at City of Hope, “she truly rocks that bald look.” Looking forward to the release of  “one woman, one boob”.  Te amo! 

Alisha J. Silverstein

Special thanks to Liz (congrats, too), Dannie, Elke V, and Alisha’s sweet housemate J, for your love and support.  More thanks to Josie for the brisk walks and warm companionship.

Alisha’s adorable frenchy, Josie, outside the coffee shop

Extra thanks to Mo for the screaming fast wifi connection at her office, for taking a mini break from tax season for a delicious meal, and for the early morning ride to LAX.  The flight to Cleveland was timed perfectly to join Rick and Mo’s hubby, Craig.

Meanwhile, back on the boat, there might have been some libations happening.

Next stop:  Somewhere in North Carolina, Craig gets to pick the next marina, possibly Surf City, NC.




Shallow Water – Myrtle Beach

Shallow or skinny water can be a really bad day for a boater.  A shallow pool is just sad.

Shallow Water

Sorry Craig, we won’t be going swimming, yet.

Blue skies, nothing but blue skies.

After nearly a month of chilly weather, Easter morning was sunny and bright!

Myrtle Beach Yacht Club hosted Easter Brunch – the hot food was more than yummy, especially the homemade gravy, oh my.

MBYC Easter Brunch

Tiki BargeThis fun little tiki bar reminded us of Matt and Michele.  The outdoor shower was a hoot.

MBYC was definitely pet friendly.

Sun Ripened Tomatoes

The cherry tomatoes are getting ripe!

Boat tomatoes getting ripe

Osprey, South Carolina

Life is Good when Rick can shop at Costco.

Earlier in the week we enjoyed two nights at Osprey Marina.  Rick got his much needed “fix” at Costco, reminding us, again, that we are not really roughing it on this journey.

Reunited with our Looper friends from Kimberly Dawn, Scott Easton cooked up some deeee-licious ribs.  Maddie was not too sure what to make of the resident goats.

Are You Barking at Me
You barking at me?
Osprey Marina
Osprey Marina
Mac and Cheese
Ribs by Scott Easton

Love for Family and Special Friends

Happy Easter, Good Pesach, and general spring tidings.

Anders aka Harry Potter

Warm wishes for Harry Potter’s buddy, Anders, and his beloved family.

Sending all of our love, hugs and kisses to Alisha.

Coming up:  a visit from Craig Adford.  Exhale will be docked at the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club in Little River, SC for the first part of April.  If you happen to be in the area, stop by and say hi to the guys!


McClellanville, SC – the ultimate small town experience.


With a population of ~500 residents, in McClellanville either you work for, or you are related to, a McClellan.

Meet Leland McClellan

Leland McClellan
Leland McClellan. Notice the AGLCA shirt!

Born and raised in McClellanville, Leland, a fellow Looper, was docked immediately behind Exhale.  After he helped tie up the lines he offered to show us around his home town.  The McClellan family roots date back to 1740, when Andrew McClellan, Leland’s great grandfather, ran a freight boat. On Leland’s maternal side, the Lofton family presence in South Carolina dates back to the early 1600s. A natural story teller, we knew we were in the company of a local legend. It was the most amazing small town experience ever.

St. James Santee Parish Church

Our tour guide said, “while it’s still daylight, do you want to see the Old Brick Church?” We ventured along the Old Georgetown Road, also known as the Kings Highway. Located in a remote portion of Francis Marion National Forest, we noticed there were no street lights, no electric or telephone poles, and no buildings as far as the eye could see. Traveling on a historic designated road, the carefully preserved “dirt” road was once used by George Washington.

Arriving at the old church, we knew we were getting special treatment when our host let us in the back door. We marveled at the historic structure, built in 1768.  Established by the French Protestant Huguenots, all it’s original glory remained intact.

Jeremy Creek

The well maintained docks at Jeremy Creek are owned by Leland Oil Company.


Shrimp Boats & Forrest Gump

When Hurricane Hugo hit McClellanville it devastated the shrimping fleet.  A resourceful film crew later used the wreckage in the filming of Forrest Gump! Jeremy Creek is still home to an active shrimp boat operation.

Shrimp Boat for Sanda
This one is for Sandra and Danielle

Soft-Shelled Crab

Let’s just say this was possibly the most delicious soft-shelled crab dinner we have ever experienced.  And yes, that’s a whole crab!  Thanks, Leland, for taking us to a local treasure, the Bent Rod.

Soft Shelled Crab
Soft Shelled Crab at The Bent Rod

Tiki Queen

Exquisitely cared for, the beloved Tiki Queen was tied up behind us at the Leland Oil Co. dock.  We look forward to connecting with fellow loopers, Leland and Karen McClellan, along the way.

Tiki Queen
Looper Tiki Queen

Next Stop:   Waccawache Marina, SC


Charleston History Lesson

Any fifth grader can probably tell you the Civil War (1861-1865) began in South Carolina, as we wandered around Charleston I realized I seem to recall bupkis about US History.


Fort Sumter

The construction of Fort Sumter began in 1829 in response to the War of 1812.


The hexagon shaped fort was strategically placed at the harbor entrance to defend the deep water port from British troops – and pirates.


When South Carolina seceded in 1860 there were four Federal installations around Charleston Harbor.  On April 12, 1861, under the command of Major Robert Anderson, Fort Sumter was guarded by only 85 Federal soldiers. After 34 hours of canon fire by the confederate militia –  who had seized Forts Johnson, Moultrie, and Cummings Point – only five Federal soldiers suffered injuries; no one on either side was killed.

The Fort, burned and severely damaged, was surrendered to the Confederate troops, marking the beginning of a long and bloody war.

Secession Map


Who was Hannibal Hamlin?

Once again it felt like there was a missing segment in my aging memory bank.  Staring at a vintage campaign poster for Abraham Lincoln (my (Mary’s) dad was something like a 6th cousin to Mary Todd Lincoln), I was totally perplexed. Next to Abe was some guy named Hannibal  – questioning the validity of the poster, of course I  “googled” him.

According to Wikipedia, Lincoln’s running mate was a Maine Democrat who changed his party affiliation when he joined the ticket with Abe, the very first Republican president. We learned (seriously for the first time) that the 15th VP, Hannibal Hamlin(1809-1891), successfully pressured Abe to pursue emancipation.  In 1864, Tennessee War Democrat Andrew Johnson (the name we all remember) was chosen to run on the Union Ticket with Abe.  Hamlin returned to his home state to serve as Senator of Maine, and was later chosen as Minister to Spain; in total he spent over 50 years as a public servant.

US Customs House

US Customs House
US Customs House, Charleston, SC

Inclement weather meant a tour of local museums – The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, preserved by the Daughters of the American Revolution, kept us mesmerized for hours – from the architecture to the entertaining docents, it was well worth the senior priced admission. The oldest building in Charleston was constructed above the original Battery.

US Customs House Dungeon
US Customs House Dungeon
US Customs House Provost
US Customs House Provost – unique architecture

A dramatic statement of wealth, the Exchange was once home to the Constitutional Convention as SC became the eighth state to ratify the US Constitution in 1788. Ground level floors were used for trading and a post office while the basement was deemed a “Provost”, or dungeon, for pirates and war criminals. Most impressive, the majestic upper floor includes a grand ballroom used by President George Washington; perfectly preserved, it is now a popular wedding space.

Charming Charleston

The historic charm of Charleston was found in the cobblestone streets and well-preserved churches, dating back to the early 1800’s.

St. John
St. John’s Cathedral
St. Phillips
St. Phillips

Protection from a Storm

When the weather gets windy, you look for protection – when you are docked near the USS Yorktown, it feels pretty safe.

USS Yorktown

Next Stop:  McClellanville, SC – or somewhere nearby-ish

Rock me Mama, the Wind and the Rain

Eye of the Storm

As record storms slammed the east coast again, Exhale was surrounded by heavy wind, rain, and hail storms. Refuge was found in the historic port of Beaufort, South Carolina for three stormy days.

Beaufort, South Carolina

Dodging the rain, we toured the local community, finding several historic gems.

Historic Beaufort


Violets For Laura Jo

Fellow Loopers

In Beaufort, our dock mates were the delightful Easton family – Kim, Scott, Chris, Ryan and their Director of Guest Relations, Charlie.  Kimberly Dawn began her journey in Tennessee, they have been on the water since last summer. Similar in speed, together we plan to anchor out, once the storm clears.

Kimberly Dawn

The Few, The Proud, The Marines 

“I learned more about American History in the past two hours than I did in high school”, said Capt. Rick.  Without a doubt, the Parris Island Marine Corp museum has more military artifacts than any museum we have ever seen.  Take your time; it’s an educational, emotional journey.

Iwo Jima
Built From The Ruins
Southern Republic

Notice the viperous snake wound around the Southern Republic tree.  Proud of our deep California roots, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York connections.

What type of plane was that?

We marveled as the military planes flew by – we think this one was the Harrier, since it hovered overhead, as if it was suspended in motion. We saw multiple aircrafts in the span of 15 minutes – touch and go – high and low!

Is it a Harrier jump jet? Fly by


Southern Hospitality

Happy to be back on the water, we enjoyed the hospitality of South Carolina.

No Wake Please

Location, location, location.  These lucky birds secured an exclusive waterfront property.

Happy Dolphin!
Yep, the dolphin is faster!

Not all Boat Dogs are friendly – Stranger Danger

As most of you know, Maddie is a highly social dog. She loves to meet new people and she is quick to sniff new dogs, of all sizes. Bigger dogs, like Maddie’s best friend Chopper, are often the most friendly. Unfortunately, smaller dogs, especially Miniature Schnauzers are royal jerks. It turns out dogs that are actually at eye level can do a lot of damage in less than 5 seconds. After a malicious encounter I guarantee you Maddie will not be so quick to say hello. A hard nip on her ear and her neck may have scared us more than her!  A readily available first aid kit came in handy, and she seems to be okay.  Lesson learned, you are right, Mo; Stranger, Danger.

Looking for my body guard
Where was Chopper when I needed him?
For Josie and Alisha

After a rough storm and a mean dog, Maddie might be looking for a good bourbon.

Next stop – Steamboat, anchoring out with Kimberly Dawn.


Georgia on my mind

Off the beaten path on St. Patrick’s Day

Over 500,000 people were expected in Savannah for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade; since crowds are not “our thing”, we detoured up the East Channel Medway River. The water was skinny (shallow), as discovered by this go-fast boat.

Walking on Water?
Walking on Water?

Although it looks like that guy is walking on water, sadly, his boat is stuck in the sand.

Sunbury Crab Company – St. Patrick’s Day

Sunbury Crab Company
541 Brigantine Dunmore Rd, Midway, GA


We were headed to a local treasure in Midway, GA, Sunbury Crab Company Restaurant and Marina. MOTA and AGLCA members we recommend you detour off the ICW like we did – it’s well worth the journey.  Tell the owners, Elaine and Barney Maley, that Exhale sent you.  Call ahead, (912) 884-8640, you won’t regret it.

Yuengling, of course

We know, the cheddar cheese fries are not at all healthy, but they were more than decadent with an ice cold Yuengling, followed by the perfect portions of mahi mahi, grilled shrimp and a tender rib eye. The next morning we left at high tide, to reduce the chance of sand surfing.

Isle of Hope

Southern hospitality at this delightful marina includes a loaner car – thanks, Kimberly!

Isle of Hope, Georgia


Historic Savannah

Almost8 strongly encouraged us to explore the majestic waterfront – so glad we did!

Riverfront Plaza
Chippewa Square
Chippewa Square
Carriage Rides
Carriage Rides
John Wesley, founder of Methodism
Freemason’s Hall
British Pub – yes, Hazel, the phone booth works!
Chocolate Butter? Thanks Paula Deen
Butter Y'All
This one is for FixItAnders
Maddie was not interested.

The streets of Savannah were absolutely entertaining – unique little boutiques, live music, and delightful places to eat.  Okay, I couldn’t stop laughing when we discovered the Dancing Dogs Yoga studio; and then we found the Paula Deen store. Hey! My butter churned to chocolate – Butter, butter, and more butter, Y’all.

Canons and Steeples

Washinton Guns – Chatham Artillery
Independent Presbyterian Church


Recommended by the dock master, we parked near Madison Square, then headed north to the water front. Along the way we marveled at the architecture, and paused to admire the well preserved Washington Guns, which welcomed distinguished visitors to Savannah including Jefferson Davis, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, William Taft and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Thanks again Almost8 – the historic sites in Savannah were breathtaking!

Next Stop:  Hilton Head, South Carolina.