The MTOA Eclipse Escapade meeting in Georgetown, SC
This past weekend, Brenda and I went to the MTOA sponsored Eclipse Escapade in Georgetown South Carolina. It was a FANTASTIC weekend. There were 14 member boats at the Georgetown Landing Marina, and over 100 MTOA members attended.
Friday evening, while we were preparing, we ran into some boaters at Wacca Wache (our home marina) that we had met earlier in the year at another MTOA event. We went out to dinner with Diane and Robert of “Morningstarr”, they were headed to the meet as well. It was great to reconnect with them.
We took the boat down on Saturday and docked around 1:00. Georgetown is just over an hour by boat from home so it was a short trip. Brenda helped cast off, then drove the car down so we could provide transportation for folks that traveled further, and I took the boat down solo. Brenda met me at the dock, and with help from a couple of other members (Thanks to Robert, Bob, and Buff) who were already there, we were tied up fairly quickly. Georgetown Landing Marina is on the Pee Dee River, and the current was very strong. Many boats struggled to get in fighting the current.
Robert and Diane were struggling as the heat index was 105, and the air conditioning pump on their boat failed. They found someone who could fix it but the parts would not arrive until Tuesday. They spent a hot night on Saturday.
Saturday evening was a social hour with “Docktails” and a “potluck” appetizer selection. It’s amazing how well people eat on boats with small kitchens!
Sunday was an event day, we started with a group “Brunch” at the marina restaurant. We did a quick supply run, with the car, and then took a tour at the “Rice Museum” in downtown Georgetown. It was quite an amazing tour. They have the remains of the oldest commercial boat built in the US in the museum (see photos below) built in the early 1700s. It sunk in 1730, and was found and preserved in 1974.
When we returned, Robert and Diane were optimistic that they might have a solution to their A/C problem as one of the other boaters had a spare “pond pump” that was about the correct size. We tried to install it, but the plastic connector broke off even before we got it in. The pump however got everyone’s Inner MacGyver going, and we were able to devise a solution where we hooked the A/C system up to the dock freshwater supply, and voila! Air Conditioning! So as long as they stayed at the dock, they could sleep in comfort! (Side note: They were able to get a replacement pump installed on Tuesday, and all was cool on their trip home Wednesday!
Monday was eclipse day. We started the day with a presentation about the Eclipse from an “Eclipse Chaser” that drove up from Florida for the event. We had lunch on the boat with Diane, Robert, and two other members. Then hung around on the dock waiting for the critical moment, and what a moment it was!
The media SO overused the word “Totality” that I’ll only use it this once, but we were fortunate that the clouds which had been covering and uncovering the sun during the hours leading up to the total eclipse, parted at the critical moment, and we had a perfect, unobstructed view!
I won’t try explaining how amazing a sight it was. Suffice to say, that as the moon covered the sun, and we had total darkness, you could hear a cheer reverberate across the water from all the people watching it, then it became almost totally silent as everyone was just awestruck by the sight. It was the shortest minute and 40 seconds that I’ve experienced. The fabulous beauty of Mother Nature.
After the eclipse, the “Docktails” resumed, and we had a BBQ dinner sponsored by Curtis Stokes yacht sales. Tom got recruited to help with the cooking, and everyone brought an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. Brenda broke in the stove with some Blondies for dessert, and we prepared a tomato and green pepper salad as well. There was eating and entertainment (live guitar players) into the evening.
On Tuesday morning, we started to pack up and cast off for home around 11:00. Again Tom brought the boat home solo, while Brenda drove up in the car. We met at the marina and Brenda helped me tie-up.
It was a great weekend! Thanks to Deana and all of the other MTOA members for making this, our first away event, so special and memorable. We are looking forward to many more meetings with all the new boating friends we’ve made.
(click on images to enlarge)
Tom & Brenda