GranMiri: Beaufort, North Carolina is an eight-hour drive from our home in Toccoa, Georgia. Because certain people get all stiff and creaky from sitting for more than an hour, we decided to camp at a little place in the country outside Columbia SC overnight. It turned out to be a good choice, all pine trees and sand and friendly folks (and dogs–Daisy liked it too!) I decided to dialogue with Audrey about the rest of our trip, so we could get a more dimensional picture of our visit. What do you remember best, Audrey?

Audrey: Well, we were pretty excited that you were going to stay aboard with us, because this was the first time we would have overnight company on the Lark–there was a lot of arranging and re-arranging and planning. That was fun!

Lo and Daisy on the couch

GranMiri: And we felt like royalty on the Lark! We had the captain’s cabin with its own head and lockers, and you made breakfast and supper for us on Saturday and Sunday. We arrived Friday in mid-afternoon, and after settling in and catching up on the latest, we all walked from the marina several blocks, through the Courthouse Green, to the “Beaufort Grocery”…

Audrey: Which is not a grocery, but a restaurant!

GranMiri: And what a dandy! I would call it a Greek restaurant, although they had quite a varied menu, from Greek to Italian to Southern comfort food to California creative ; )

Audrey: I had spaghetti, and you and Dad split a gyro…

GranMiri: Right, and for desert–flaming cheese!  Saganaki, served with panache – absolutely delicious!

Audrey: So then we ran home–after drizzling on and off all day, it finally started to really rain, just as we reached the marina!

GranMiri: Indeed it did ; ) It rained on and off all weekend, but the sun came through for us at just the right times for our adventures–that was a blessing!

Lo and Papa walking Daisy Lorelei and Papa walking on Daisy in the rain.

Audrey: So Saturday morning, we went to the Farmer’s Market at the Courthouse…

GranMiri: Yes! and it was a sunny, breezy morning, just enough breeze to start drying up the puddles, which was good, because the Farmer’s Market was set up on the Courthouse Green! And first thing when we got there, you and Lo made “marble paintings” at the Kids Activities Tent ; )

Audrey: Yeah, you put some paper on the bottom of a pizza box, then put marbles on top of the paper, then you put different color paints over the marbles, and tilt the box around until the marbles roll paint onto the paper. You can sort of control the design by which way you tilt the box.

GranMiri: What else do you remember, Audrey?

Audrey: I bought lavender oil and soap–and peaches! I bought six–I picked them out at one of the produce tents, and she weighed them and I put them in my shoulder bag.

GM: You guys must have been to a lot of farmer’s markets in your travels–how does this compare?

AC: It was definitely one of the best, maybe not the biggest. We’ve seen lots of smaller ones. We just went to a little one in Massachusetts a week or so ago.

GM: I bet you could write a whole blog post just on Farmer’s Markets! I will interview you about it after we finish this post ; )

AC: OK, that sounds like fun.

GranMiri: I remember sitting at a picnic table under this enormous live oak tree and you shared bites from your peach. Then you and Lo found a climbing tree ; ) How many tents do you think there were? AC: Around 20, I think.

GM: At least that many! What were the different kinds of tents? I remember farm tents with fresh produce…one of them had bouquets of field flowers, the kind that grow wild in a meadow. I bought one for our dining table in the salon ; )

AC: There was an herb tent, with live herbs growing in egg cartons, there were at least 2 meat tents, there was a dairy tent, and 2 or 3 produce tents…Mom bought wasabi, spring greens, and nasturtium, at the herb tent. They trim the leaves off, then they put them in a little box for you.

GranMiri: I remember you guys shared some ice cream, and I smelled hot dogs roasting, so there were at least a couple of food tents.

ALC: They also had craft tents with baskets and drift wood statues and souvenirs.

GM: So we had lunch on the boardwalk Saturday, right?

AC: And you showed us that the purslane in the planters along the boardwalk had edible leaves. We  pinched off the little budding tips and they were delicious!

GM: You showed us your big old climbing tree in the plaza near the middle of the boardwalk. After lunch, I think we went back to the Lark, because it was raining again.

up a tree group shot Group photo in front of the girl’s favorite tree.

AC: But it cleared up in time to go to the Maritime Museum on Front Street later that afternoon!

GM: Fortunately! I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that! We started at the boatbuilding loft–I looked it up–it is part of the Maritime Museum, and it’s called the Watercraft Center. It’s several storeys tall, and we went up the stairs to a catwalk above the working area to watch people building and repairing wooden boats.

Lo and Papa and shipbuilding museum Lorelei and Papa at the shipbuilding museum.

AC: Then we went across the street to the museum building, which had a lot of displays and a maritime library.

GM They gave us Seek and Find lists, which was a really good way of getting an introduction to all the displays. Quite a few of them were themed around Black Beard the pirate, and his ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge.

AC: One of the most memorable ones had my favorite, Louie the Rat!

GM: I think I missed that one–was it a live rat??

AC: No, it was a statue–he was part of the display about the food stores on a pirate ship.

GM: I remember spending quite a bit of time in the Ship Captain’s Library…your mom posted some pictures of us enjoying the books and the space. It was furnished just like an old-fashioned library…

AC: Yeah, I remember the stair that looked like something out of “Beauty and the Beast”.

GM: And you were sitting on a stair, sampling books about birds and wildlife while the grown-ups checked out the comfort quotient of the nice old armchairs and overstuffed sofa ; ) It reminded me of a scene out of one of those movies set at Cambridge or Oxford.

Lo and GM dancing at museum Lorelei and GranMiri at dancing at the museum in the library.

AC: Yeah, it was very cool. I made a poster about out Maritime Museum visit for a boatschool project the following week: an illustrated drawing of a cross-section of a pirate ship with all the parts named.

GM: I saw that on the Lark blog–great colors!

AC: Then we made Chicken Piccata for supper, remember?

GM: A truly memorable Chicken Piccata! It was delicious–I ate more than I intended to, it was soo good! Then we sat around the salon talking while you guys played with Daisy. and finally off to bed.

Then Sunday morning you and I went to St. Paul’s Episcopal church, just a few blocks from the marina. Another beautiful breezy day, although it looked like it could rain any minute. I remember we carried umbrellas…I think we only had to use them for a few minutes just before getting to church…

AC: Yeah, we stayed pretty dry.

GM: St. Paul’s was built in 1857, a beautiful old church, full of years and stories. You joined in the hymns and prayers just like you had been going to that church since you were a baby! It was a delight ; )

AC: Yes, I enjoyed it. I told Papa later what a good experience it was, and that I wished he had been able to come.

GM: So, when we returned from church, we all walked downtown and had lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants on the boardwalk, then walked over to wait for our ferry to Shackleford Island.

ALC: That’s when you met those Scottish people with their whippet, wasn’t it?

MHC: Right, so we exchanged whippet stories with them for a while. They agreed that Daisy must be at least half whippet.

ALC: Then we took the ferry Shackleford Banks. When we started towards the sand dunes…

Ferry to Shackleford on our way to Shackleford Island

MHC: We had to cross those big tidal ponds! You guys had your crocs on, but Papa and I had to carry our Merrels and socks across ; )

ALC: Then we hiked across the dunes to the ocean side. We saw lots of wild horses, Mom got some good pictures…

Shackleford Horses

MHC: The ocean side was wild and almost deserted. I picked up a lot of those delicate “fingernail” clam shells as we hiked north, then Papa and I had a rest on an

Shackleford Beach

oceanside dune while you guys  walked further up the beach to see the lighthouse. When you got back, it was time to hike back over the dunes to meet the ferry.

hiking the dunes

Horses on the dunes

ALC: We got back to the land side in plenty of time to play in the shallows along the beach with Daisy.

Girls on the dunes

GranMiri and Lo on the beach Waiting for the return ferry on the beach.

MHC: Your mom got some good shots of you and Lo romping in the Sound with her ; ) I remember you asking me if Daisy liked the water. I had to tell you I had no idea, because we hadn’t tried Daisy in the water yet! But it was nice and warm and shallow, so I told you to go ahead and try it. It was fun watching you playing in the water with her!

Walking Daisy on Shackleford

ALC: Then we took the ferry back and had Taco Night on the Lark ; )

MHC: A cherished Champness Family tradition, with your mom’s signature addition, freshly sliced Jalapeno peppers!

ALC: But nobody eats them except Daddy…

MHC Then you guys decided to walk to town for ice cream. I stayed behind with Daisy, who kept trying to get my attention, but I think I was reading something interesting on my phone. Turned out, she needed to go to the dog-walk area in the worst way, and ending up going–in the worst way–half in the cockpit and half out on the deck!

ALC: Poor Daisy!

MHC: Yeah, she was feeling pretty poorly that evening, but when you all got back, your mom made her some white rice with chicken broth. She made short work of that, and with only a few minor accidents on the dock, and one overnight on the puppy pads, she was all better in the morning.

ALC: Some of the people who live aboard have dogs, so everybody was really understanding.

MHC: Monday morning, we were all set to go downtown and take the Beaufort History Tour, and it was pouring rain from 9 until almost 10. We were supposed to be there and ready to get on the red double-decker bus (a real one, imported from England!) by 10:15, so we thought we were going to miss it, but the rain let up and the clouds vanished just before 10, so we got going in a hurry and made it downtown just in time. Turned out, there was some technical hold-up, so we had plenty of time to scope out the little Historical Society gift shop before we climbed up to the open-air top level of the bus for our tour…

ALC: Now I remember we were talking to the lady at the counter about trying on some of the dresses in the historical collection they had on display there, and she invited me to wear one in a living history celebration they were planning for later in June. We were on our way to Cape Cod, so we couldn’t stay that long, but it was a cool invitation.

MHC: It definitely was ; )

ALC: When the driver finally arrived, we all got on the bus. They said Daisy could come, so Lo and I took turns holding her on our laps in the front seat up on the top deck during the tour.

group in front of the double decker bus

MHC: So once the sun came out, it was another bright sunny breezy morning. Beaufort was established in 1709 as a seaport. During the 1700, the water actually came right up to the historic structures along Front Street!.

ALC: Yeah, so they could actually tie up their boats at the boarding house or the ship’s supply store! That would have been so cool!

MHC: They also told us that most of the oldest houses, from the 1700’s, were built by shipwrights, who never used nails or screws in their work, because anything metal would rust at sea. In building their houses, they used all wooden pegs and complicated joints, just the way they built ships–and these houses, some that were more than two hundred years old, were still standing.

ALC: They told us some spooky stories about the Old Burying Ground, too.

Double Decker bus tour

MHC: The Beaufort NC Historic Site and the NC Maritime Museum at Beaufort both have amazing websites, too–so I have been able to go back to historic Beaufort and ‘visit’ online.