Saturday morning we went to check out the south beach on Tybee Island. There is a big pier there and it was a little cold but there were still 20-30 people fishing. One person caught a 40" red drum while we were there. We also saw many jelly fish in the water when looking down from the pier. Back on the beach we lounged on a hanging bench for a little bit. Aaron decided to walk back to the campground along the beach. Anna read a book for a while and then when she started the car to drive back to the campground the check engine light went off. Anna picked up Aaron who had made it halfway back and went to a mechanic who diagnosed it as a misfire on cylinder 4. We had noticed a slightly rough idle so that explained it. The mechanic figured we could wait and see if it would trigger the light again.
Sunday we moved the camper back to Charleston, and the engine light came on again. The James Island County Park is very nice, with amazing bathrooms. There is a holiday light show going on in the park with all sorts of illuminated displays along the road and people pay to drive through and look at them. The campground is full many nights while this is going on. Even the campground guests seem to be in the holiday spirit, as many of them have Christmas lights up and a bunch of inflatable decorations. The park has a huge dog park that we spent about 90 minutes at. It was very busy and there was tons of dogs! There was a dog named Kirby that looked very similar to Louise so naturally we talked to his owners for a while. Their Sunday tradition is mimosas at the dog park--two bottles worth of champagne apparently!
On Monday we took the car to a Mazda service center. They checked it out and told us the ignition coil was broken and the spark plugs were at the end of their life. The failed ignition coil had resulted in a buildup of gas residue in the throttle body. They fixed all of those issues while we cruised around in a new MX-6 loaner car. Anna loved the head-up display and Aaron was excited about the automatically adjusting cruise control. While we waited we walked around a nearby mall while it poured cats and dogs outside. Both of us got haircuts from a lady who's daughter is an anchor for a news station in Bismarck. Don't worry, Aaron's hair is still long, it just has a little more style now!
On Tuesday we did the boat survey. We met Randy (seller's broker) on the boat at 9:30AM and motored 30 minutes up-river to the Cooper River Boatyard. Their pier for the travel lift had collapsed so they used a huge crane to lift the boat out of the water and place it into the travel lift. This process took three times as long as it normally would because the employees were hung over, stoned, and unorganized. Once the boat was out of the water we could see that the bottom was as unmaintained as the top. It was covered in barnacles, oysters, and other growth. There were even crabs crawling around on the propeller. Nick (the surveyor) and Randy were unimpressed. We were informed that the bottom will need to be scraped and repainted. After Nick tapped on the hull to verify it's basic integrity they put the boat back into the water and motored back to the marina. During that trip, both of the sails were raised and the autopilot (broken) and instruments (some broken) were tested. After we docked, Randy left and we followed Nick around as he surveyed the deck and interior. We will have the full written report of the survey by Saturday and will proceed as needed.
Today Aaron went to get coffee and a newspaper and came back with a vase full of beautiful flowers. Then he went over to the lake in the park where he had seen people setting up their remote control sailboats. After watching for a few minutes, one guy walked over and asked Aaron if he would like to try. Aaron sailed the boat around for a few minutes and then gave the controller back as they were starting a race. After the race Aaron sailed some more including 5 races, each about 5 minutes long. Most of the time he placed in the middle of about 10 boats except for one humbling race which he didn't even finish before the next started. Then Anna, Aaron, and Louise went to the dog park and played for about an hour. Louise was terrorized by two Boston terriers but there were some other good dogs for her to play with. She was so exhausted that she actually stopped running and just stood next to us as the other dogs played. After that we went back to the camper and made mac and cheese with brats for lunch. Then went to a place that sells a few brands of dinghies and learned a lot about them. We stopped at a dessert place after that and they happened to be filming an episode of season 6 of Southern Charm there (TV show on Bravo about the socialites of Charleston…I guess). We signed some waivers so that if we are in the background of an episode they won't have to blur our faces. It was dark by the time we got home so we drove around the full park loop to see the holiday light display.
Tomorrow we will do laundry and get groceries. Friday we will check out of the campground on James Island and check into the Mount Pleasant KOA which we stayed at a couple weeks ago--same site even! Louise will go to the vet Friday evening to get boosters for the shots she received three weeks ago. We are trying to set up a time view a used dinghy in Mount Pleasant on Saturday. We are planning to visit James Island County Park again on Sunday to check out the next RC sailing event which will have larger boats, and to check out the dog park again as there will be many more dogs that day.