Boat Work and Holiday Cheer in Brunswick, Georgia: December 22 2021


The Okefenokee Swamp is in the rearview mirror and we are on our way back to Barefeet (12/11).  Enroute we stopped in Folkston, GA, for breakfast at the Brickhouse Restaurant which was decked out for the holidays from floor to ceiling and every wall and window in between.  Folkston is the eastern entrance to the Swamp (prairie-esque marsh grass with walking trails) whereas Fargo is the western entrance (cypress trees with water activity).  Our heads are still spinning after our trip into the Swamp.  And for all that Rhonda at the Visitor’s Center said, “It’s busy, busy, busy…” we thought it was solitary delight.  The Land of Trembling Earth is a total repeat. 


One more day with the car had us scampering to get a few last things checked off our list like Covid boosters (leaving us fragile) and the further afield La Salsa Mexican restaurant (delicious with huge beers, please note that Chris has a medium beer).  Laundry, log updates and mailing Christmas packages followed…yes, the Brunswick postal clerk knows me on sight and inquired if I was almost done?!  Yes, almost.  But there was still time to relax with egg nog on the top deck with the backdrop of m/v Daisy’s holiday tree – ho, ho, ho (12/13).


It’s back to boat projects.  A bit of pilot house stripping and varnishing then it was onto the window screens…a new arena (12/15).  Barefeet has good ventilation but side windows do not have screens which keeps them closed in buggy locales.  We would like to grab as much ventilation as possible on hot days which means that these windows would be open in still air.  How can screens be added?  It is a head scratcher with oodles of options up and down the price range and up and down the intrusive construction scale.  Chris has settled on a magnetized self-fit option and purchased one for a test run: magnet affixed to the boat, screen, plastic frame that magnetizes the whole sandwich to the back magnet.  It looks great and seems like a good match; although, Chris wants to do better at the curved corners.  We will live with it for a bit and see how it settles in.  And the spring like 70 degree temperatures are much appreciated for the test.


Holidays always have a regional flair for decorations and we enjoy discovering them when we travel.  Here in Brunswick (and most of the coastal southeast) oysters are in abundance.  Clever people turn the discarded shells into ornaments, wine bottle doodads and cabinet door hangings.  I have purchased one from a Holiday Bazaar in the hopes of copying it with the bag of oyster shells I have collected…I just knew there would be a project in them somewhere.  Barefeet continued with a bit more TLC with replaced stabilizer zincs and changed dinghy engine oil (12/16).  Using the crane to lift the dinghy made for a much easier orientation of attack but the swarms of gnats…not so much.


I am sure you have picked up on our current ying and yang activities of holidays, boat projects and back to holidays.  With varnish work continuing in the background it's time for another holiday activity.  The cruiser ladies Christmas lunch and Bloody Mary Bar with $10 gift exchange (12/17).  It was fun!  Bring your own lunch, accessory for a Bloody Mary and a gift for exchange.  We chit chatted and laughed for three hours.  A wonderful group of spunky gals who have lived in many different places and done many different things; another circumnavigator, an archeologist, a boater I have been meeting since 2013 in various locations, a woman whose Dutch husband literally built their boat...and on and on.   Then it was time to dash back to Barefeet where I quickly assembled deviled eggs (recipe below) for Happy Hour where we learned more good info...this time about Wilmington, NC, a likely stop when we head back north.  Our night-time stroll back to the boat was a quiet close to the day.


Yum - we are loving the homemade flour tortillas for quesadilla breakfasts.  Who knew we would get so lucky with two well stocked Latin markets just blocks away?!  The spring-like day unfolded nicely with errands via marina bikes, dinner at Tipsy McSway’s (where we bumped into Joe and Annie – nice serendipity), a pre-game brew from downtown’s Silver Bluff Brewery and the Pats game in the cruiser’s lounge.  It was just us viewing and a real treat to walk home to our nearby slip after the not so sweet loss (12/19).  Thanks Brunswick Landing.  As expected the Spring-like conditions changed overnight with the temperature plummeting and thick fog rolling in.  Well, a perfect day for interior projects: Chris sanded in the pilot house and I cleaned Barefeet from ceiling to floor and EVERYTHING in between.  Just a girl, her vinegar water and a vacuum.  Whoa - Barefeet sparkles!


The holidays are right around the corner and we need to commit to a celebration plan.  Fueled with a pancake breakfast we headed out to find some sort of meat to roast on Christmas Eve.  Let’s see what we find.  And the winner is – leg of lamb!  It was frozen solid but will thaw nicely in the fridge.  Being frozen made it easier to cut down to size for our small boat oven…with a woodshop band saw…by the butcher at Adam’s Latin Meat Market.  At 4lbs it will still be quite a feast!  That errand went quickly so Chris dove into cleaning the main engine’s after cooler with Purple Power cleaner (12/20).  It was a messy, sloppy job with Erin as gopher and loads of gunk washing away.  Barefeet is positively purring!  A pizza dinner aboard capped off the day.    


Rain was added to our 50F temps which meant it was time for holiday baking (12/21).  This time - my first attempt at Italian Anise Cookies.  No - not my natural flavor profile but they turned out very festive on a rainy, grey day.  The flavor was with my Dad in mind because he likes black licorice and the handwritten recipe is from Marie, a Bingo lady from Boston.  Boater Jan joined the baking backdrop as he and Chris discussed stabilizer issues with the rain pelting outside. 


Reduced humidity means it’s time to varnish (12/22).  It is lookin’ really good but once applied it just needs to sit and dry.  So, a bit more holiday ying to the boat work yang with a cruiser car pool to Jekyll Island for more holiday fun.  We had lunch at the Wharf with giant windows overlooking the golden marsh bordered by tropical palm trees.  This view never gets old.  Then it was off to the steps away Goodyear Cottage.  It is home to the Jekyll Island Arts Association housed inside a 1906 home in the historic district that has been turned into a gift shop/gallery/museum featuring various items produced in a myriad of media by Association artists.  A fellow cruiser weaves in one of the upstairs work spaces and gave us a peek into the areas FILLED with looms.  Wow – the beautiful art is created from real passion and physical strength.  The loom in the photo with the green yarn will become towels for a wedding present to a son and to-be-daughter-in-law.  Leisurely strolls around the Jekyll Island Club's grounds and we were ready for the bagpiper at 4.30pm with the light gently fading from the sky in shades of pink and apricot.  We will continue enjoying Holiday cheer here in Brunswick.  Have a very Merry Christmas!  Ho, ho, ho!

Curried Deviled Eggs (Boston Globe Magazine)
12 eggs
red onion, finely diced
6 Tablespoons mayonnaise
Salt black pepper
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon curry powder
Pinch cayenne
Garnish: paprika and/or finely chopped scallions 

       Place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water.  Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat for 15 minutes.  Transfer eggs from hot water to cold ice bath until cool (can be placed in fridge until ready to continue).  Peel and slice in half length-wise.

       Separate yolks from whites.  Place whites on a plate and set aside in fridge.  Place yolks into a bowl with onion, mayo, lemon juice, curry powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Mix until smooth and well combined.

       Spoon filling into whites, mounding slightly.  Sprinkle with garnish, as desired.  Place in fridge to set.