Only five days into the trip yet Webb's place on Hilton Head is too inviting of a place to not stop and visit. His condo on Skull Creek quite literally looks out over the ICW. And though Webb has told me he is not sure how to be a "host," he has proven himself in the past to be an excellent host.
There is of course work to do on SPARTINA. After just a few days on the water there is gear to dry out, duffels that need repacking, batteries to charge and water bottles to be topped off.
I ask Webb if he has time for a bike ride, and of course he does. I put in a request to see an alligator so he takes us along a path that leads to a pond that has two alligators.
This time only the smaller, at five or six feet (I didn't get close enough to measure), is on shore basking in the sun. The other bigger alligator that Webb calls Big Al is not to be seen. Kind of makes me wonder where he might be. I tend to prefer alligators that I can see.
A high-light is motoring SPARTINA around the dock so that she shares a finger pier with Webb's circumnavigator Moore 24 GANNET. We have talked up rafting up over the years and some photographs might be nice too. This is our chance and it is pleasing to see the two boats near each other.
Dinner on the second night at Webb's is Thai food delivered to the condo. Excellent! And Webb makes drinks he calls a "Webb" which involves Vodka, white cranberry juice, elderberry flower liqueur and a cranberry (Webb points out that it is a raspberry, not a cranberry. I make mistakes like that when drinking vodka.). Also excellent. After dinner we have some Laphroaig and talk about boats and sailing, San Diego and St. Michaels, friends that we have in common, and thoughts and plans for the future.
Webb keeps busy with his workouts, writing, reading and listening to classical music. I am free to catch up on my log, check in with my girls and enjoy the wonderful setting on the shore of Skull Creek. In the condo I stop to look at framed photographs of CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE, the Drascombe Lugger that Webb sailed most of the way around the world. I think back to the 1980s, living in Texas and driving to a bookstore in a mall to order a copy of Webb's OPEN BOAT, ACROSS THE PACIFIC. (This is decades before Amazon and overnight deliveries.). I remember seeing those same photographs when I picked up the book at the mall a couple of weeks later. And I think about how strange it is that decades later Webb is a good friend.
Dinner the last night at Webb's is pizza and Webb makes martinis that we sip on the porch as we wait for the delivery. It is good to see Webb, a very enjoyable visit. It is time to get back on the water.