Thursday, June 10, 2010
“The drinking will stop when the economy improves.” The words on a t-shirt worn by a customer at the Isle of Hope Marina south of Savannah. Today traveled from Beaufort, SC to Isle of Palms near Charleston - hard to keep track of all these "Isles.” Rivers, inlets and canals make the way with marshes, many birds and occasional dolphin. Very peaceful country and somewhat remote in places.
After leaving Beaufort this morning got to see Navy/Marine Corps jets from the nearby air stations making approaches - very low and loud and I had a ring-side seat. Yesterday passed by Hilton Head Island - would like to fly over some of the country I'm traveling through as the nautical charts don't show a lot of the inland areas. But a road trip will suffice. Many of the bays, sounds and rivers, when you come upon them from a narrow channel through the marshes, are very big water with at least one of the horizons only the sky. Winds have been low to moderate so waves are not too big - one to two feet as a rule I estimate. This afternoon spent an hour on the Atlantic beach here by the motel. First chance I've had since the intercoastal parallels the ocean sometime only by one barrier island and other times several miles away.
Tomorrow I have a 150-mile day ahead of me to Southport, NC and the cab will pick me up at 0600. As we head into summer, more and more of the hotels are booked for the weekend. I often spend several hours each afternoon/evening calling marinas and motels close by the marinas so that I can be assured of lodging at the end of the next day. This is peace of mind necessary to enjoy that day's trip.
The cabbies often are a great source of local history so I make use of it when going between marinas and hotels. Interesting how one marina, hotel or any business can have the concept of customer service figured out and the next one does not. Can't blame the employees but sure can blame the manager. A subject for another time but I see on a daily basis the businesses that will thrive and those that will not. The chain hotels have the best and most consistent training of staff. Too bad some of the other managers can't attend those training sessions as they don't really know what team leadership requires of them. Enough of that soapbox but it will return.
So long and Happy Father's Day - Ranch House will honor both my parents.
Photos: Top - Isle of Hope Marina; Paris Island Marine Recruit Depot; smaller Hilton Head dock; Charleston Harbor.