NOVEMBER: Wrightsville Beach, NC to Daytona, Fl
Started the month of November sitting at anchor in Wrightsville Beach, NC for 11 days. The anchorage filled up November 2 and 3 in anticipation of the passing of Hurricane Noel. Noel passed off shore at a safe distance. Had Gale Force winds (around 35 knots with gusts into the mid 40's) for about 36 to 40 hours. For the majority of boats (25 to 30), the anchors held through the blow. However, a few boats (3 that I know of) had to re-anchor in horrible winds which is not easy. I woke up around 2 AM the first night, taking note of the boats around us and then rechecked around 4 AM to make sure everyone was present and accounted for. One of the sailboats anchored fairly close to us was "missing". In the morning, I located the "missing sailboat" with the use of my binoculars--there it was further south in the anchorage close to our friends on TILT.
The wind continued to blow for a couple days after the passing of Noel but by now 20 knot winds seemed like a moderate breeze. It was time to get off the boat and go to shore to stretch the legs. Walked a mile or so to the grocery store with Pat and Mac (WIND BORNE), and Kris and Craig (TILT). Picked up a few grocery items for Carl to eat while I went to Indianapolis for a week. On Saturday, Mary and Gary (PACKET INN) brought their truck to Wrightsville Beach from Carolina Beach for running errands. Pat, Kris and Mary went to the grocery store for major shopping while I did my laundry (two stinky weeks worth). The guys then used the truck for a run to the liquor store, Radio Shack, etc. That night, Kris and Craig had all of us (PACKET INN, WIND-BORNE and DISCOVERY) over for lasagna and a night of cruising tales!
Monday, November 4, Gary picked Carl and I up in his truck for a ride to the airport in Wilmington. I was flying to Indianapolis to help my sister, Cheryl, who was having eye surgery. Cheryl had a corneal transplant. She needed someone to stay with her after surgery so I volunteered. My duties included application of eye drops, carrying and lifting things and getting meals. I read a little from my book and watched movies on TV. Cheryl was feeling pretty good by Friday so we planned a dinner outside the hotel---it was a great time. Taking care of Cheryl was easy work and it was nice to spend time with her. The good news is the graft was holding well and her eyesight has improved significantly. She was so excited to actually see snowflakes when it snowed when she returned to North Dakota.
Returned to Wrightsville Beach from Indianapolis on Saturday. Sat by a lady on the plane who is also a cruiser. Her homeport is Fort Lauderdale--so spending time in the Bahamas is an easy trip for her and her husband. We talked "cruising" all the way to the airport in Wilmington where I caught a taxi. Carl met me at the dinghy dock with an invitation to go out for lunch. After a late lunch we returned to DISCOVERY where I unpacked and started to get the boat ready to leave the next day. Carl survived my absence---he had dinner with Dick Peebles (HANANIAH) and Dick's brother one night and then spent some time with Kathy and Mike (SAPPHIRE from Crystal, MI).
Expected the anchor to be difficult to pull. After all, DISCOVERY was at anchor for 11 days and the anchor dug down deep enough to hold us in 40-plus knots of wind. Much to our surprise the anchor came up easily and it came up clean. It was very cold in the morning when we left Wrightsville Beach. Both of us had 3 layers of clothes on. Passed safely through the skinny water areas around Carolina Beach Inlet. Cruised through the Snow Cut and down the Cape Fear River with a favorable current. We know that the Cape Fear River can be uncomfortable to darn right treacherous especially when the wind opposes current. Current on the Cape Fear River can run as high as 6 knots. We have transited this river three times and had a comfortable ride all three times (wind never against current). Stopped at Southport to fuel up and then continued on our way. Passed through Lockwoods Folly--an area where one needs to pay close attention to the depth (skinny water). So how did Lockwood's Folly get its name? Well, Mr. Lockwood built a wooden ship with intentions of launching it through the inlet. However, the keel was too deep to launch so Mr. Lookwood had to abandon his new boat in the too shallow inlet! Pretty big mistake I'd say. Passed the North Carolina/South Carolina border stopping at Calabash Creek or the night. The anchorage in Calabash was full--about 16 boats. This anchorage typically has 0-3 boats at any one time!
The next morning was cold and foggy as we set off for Georgetown, SC. I wished we would have had time to take the dinghy further up the creek to the town of Calabash to buy fresh shrimp. Oh well, we can get shrimp in Georgetown! Delayed on the north side of the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Bridge because of a huge northbound tug and barge. Passed through the "Rock Pile"---a four mile stretch where the edges of the channel are lined with rocky outcroppings. It is suggested that you call on your VHF radio to make sure no large barges are coming from the opposite direction before starting into the Rock Pile. After the Rock Pile, you enter the land of the golf courses---Myrtle Beach. What a contrast! From rock lined channel to lush greens.
Below is a picture of the Myrtle Beach Golf Tram. Golfers go overhead as the Cruisers head south in the winter.
The following picture is the barge heading south at the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Bridge. DISCOVERY was hugging the starboard shore.
Decided to continue further down the ICW rather than stopping in Georgetown (darn--missed another chance to get fresh shrimp). Entered the Estherville Minim Creek Canal at low tide---boy, the water gets skinny here at low tide. Looked at the anchorage at Minim Creek deciding it was too crowded. Continued down to the South Santee River using the range markers to find the deeper water. Anchored in the South Santee Riveer where DISCOVERY was the only vessel at anchor. It was so peaceful. The sky was clear so the stars and moon were shining bright for a beautiful night at anchor.
Cold once again in the morning when we pulled anchor. For about 2 miles we chased a flock of Cormorants. This flock of birds would sit in front of DISCOVERY and then pick up when we were too close to fly another 50 feet. For awhile, I wondered if we would chase these stupid birds all the way to Charleston. Eventually, the birds started to land slightly to starboard and after about 8 times, the Cormorants were far enough to starboard that they no longer took off when we caught up to them!
The following two pictures were taken south of our anchorage on the South Santee River. The first picture is of the cormorants we chased for a couple miles. The second picture is of a derelict trawler sitting on shore-abandoned.
Passed by the town of McClellanville--home to a large shrimping fleet. Didn't stop but saw two Shrimpers headed out Five Fathom Creek. Just south of McClellanville is the Francis Marion National Forest. General Francis Marion was also known as "The Swamp Fox". Mel Gibson's character in the "PATRIOT" was loosely based on Francis Marion. General Francis Marion lurked in the swamps to ambush the British with his small army. Marion also raided British supply depots and rescued American prisoners of war. The British never captured Marion or for that matter they couldn't even find his hideout.
Arrived in Charleston, SC by 1:00 PM. Anchored across from the Charleston Town Docks. As soon as the anchor was down, Carl dropped the dinghy into the water and headed to the Coast Guard Building to complete the last steps for renewing his Commercial Captain's license. Carl started working on the renewal back in Oriental where he had a physical, then a drug test in New Bern and finger printing in Charleston. He also provided sailing documentation at Charleston. Our friends, Jon and Jill on SIRIUS, were anchored in the same area. We made plans do some land touring the next day.
The following picture is of the bridge in Charleston. I think this bridge is so so cool!
First tourist stop was the Fort Sumter Museum. Fort Sumter was built after the War of 1812. It was unfinished when Major Robert Anderson moved his 85-man garrison into it the day after Christmas 1860. In April, President Lincoln notified the Governor of South Carolina (South Carolina had already proclaimed secession) that the US Government would resupply the fort. Brig General GT Beauregard was told by the Confederate Secretary of War that if resupply was attempted ,Beauregard was to demand the fort's evacuation or if necessary to proceed to reduce it! The opening shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12--the Confederates started the barrage and the Union returned fire. Eventually, the fort's wooden barracks caught fire forcing the Union to surrender. Beauregard had been one of Anderson's artillery students at West Point! With Fort Sumter in Confederate hands, Charleston became an irritation loophole in the Federal naval blockade. Fort Sumter was held by the Confederates until Gen William T Sherman advanced his troops north from Savannah causing the Confederates to evacuate the fort on February 17, 1865.
Below is a picture of Carl in the Fort Sumter Museum
Second tourist stop was lunch at SNOB (Slightly North of Broad). What a fantastic restaurant. Jill and I had the house specialty which is shrimp and grits. The recipe is at the bottom of this activity log--try it, you will love it. The guys ordered the burrito which was a non-solicited recommendation by a passerby when we were studying the menu outside the restaurant! Jon, Jill, Carl and I splurged by having dessert!
The next stop for the tourist was the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon. The Old Exchange or Custom House was constructed 1768 to 1771 to accommodate the heavy export-import trade and as a place to conduct both public and private business. The site chosen for the new Exchange at the foot of Broad Street --at that time the center of the waterfront, where streams of inland and maritime traffic long had converged. The first floor was originally an open air arcade. The second floor has the Great Hall where many of Chrleston's most elegant engagements took place. Here in the Great Hall, South Carolina elected delegates to the First Continental Congress and in 1791 an elaborate ball was held in honor of President George Washington. Located in the lower level (cellar) is the Provost Dungeon where Stede Bonnet and crew was imprisoned. Major (Stede) Bonnet was a rarity in the pirate community, a "gentleman." He came from a good family, was well educated, had served honorably in the recent war [Queen Anne’s War], retired from the Army with the rank of major and settled down on his estate on the Caribbean island of Barbados. Why would Bonnet resort to becoming a pirate? Some say it was because his wife was a shrew and nagged him--which seems as good a reason as any.! Ha Ha Ha Knowing little of nautical matters, Major Bonnet bumbled about the high seas in amateur fashion until he was taken under the command of Blackbeard, with whom he remained for a number of months. Eventually, in the summer of 1718, Bonnet went off on his own again. But he did not last long. That autumn he was captured with 30 of his men in the Cape Fear River after a battle with two sloops dispatched by the Governor of South Carolina. He was taken to Charleston where while awaiting trial, the cunning Bonnet engineered an escape by dressing up in women’s clothing. Bonnet tried to reach Christopher Moody, another notorious pirate, off Charles Town’s bar. Bonnet was recaptured, tried and executed in November 1718. Bonnet made an impassioned plea for his life to the Governor and impressed "the People of the Province, particularly the Women, " with his "piteous Behavior under Sentence." However, this time the planter-turned-pirate was tried and sentenced to "be hanged by the neck till you are dead." The public hanging took place on December 10, 1718, at White Point, the sandbar at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Clutching a bouquet of wilted flowers, manacled and "scarce sensible when he came to the place of execution," Stede Bonnet met his Maker.
Pirates, Pirates, Pirates! Everyone town along the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina have their claim to some famous pirate. The first picture is the creed or Articles of the Brethren of the Coast. I apologize for the reflection on the pictures but I have included the picture especially for my friends Al. Laurie, Brian and Pam back in Michigan! The second picture is Major Bonnet and his crew down in the Provost Dungeon. 1779)
From Charleston we continued our journey down the ICW because a strong cold front was approaching with gale force winds. We ran into the cold front around noon on the 15th--a huge squall line moving toward us from the south. It rained and blew when we passed through the front. Of course, when does a cold front pass? Usually in the middle of the night or at one of the most shallow spots in the ICW. Yes, the cold front passed as I was steering DISCOVERY through Green 113 through Red 116 at White Point on the Dawho River! When it was time to find an anchorage, the wind was still blowing 25 to 30 knots so I was looking for something with protection. Noticed an anchorage about 1.5 miles off the ICW--Mosquito Creek. Headed to Mosquito Creek but could not find a spot in the creek with enough room to swing at anchor. One side of the creek was over 20 feet deep, the middle was 10 feet and to the opposite side of the creek was less than 5 feet. When anchored the rudder was stuck in the mud. Went to B&B Seafood's floating dock to finally buy some shrimp and to see if we could stay there overnight. Carl came back to the boat with 1-1/2 pounds of fresh shrimp and permission to stay. It blew hard all night but it was quiet on DISCOVERY because we were down below the banks of Mosquito Creek! One noise, however, did keep us awake--a crackling sound which we have heard before but this time louder and longer. My guidebook says this cracking noise is the sound of snapping shrimp. The shrimp's claws are snapping shut at 62 mph which changes the water pressure and forms tiny cavitation (low pressure) bubbles that pop producing the cracking sound! Wow.
Below is B&B Seafood in Mosquito Creek. Shrimp, oysters and $1.50 for a bottle of beer!
Next morning, we were off to transit the MOST shallow spot on the ICW in South Carolina (the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut). Passed through on a rising tide without any problems--what a relief to have that cut behind us. On to Beaufort, South Carolina. There are two Beauforts on the ICW---one in North Carolina; the other in South Carolina. Both towns are named after the Duke of Beaufort---but the towns are pronounced very differently. North Carolina is home to Bo-fort while South Carolina is home to Bew-fort. It is hard to keep these pronunciations straight when you have visited both places. Friends, Kris and Craig on TILT were at the dock to catch a line when we pulled in for fuel at the Downtown Marina of Beaufort. After fueling, we pulled into the anchorage to drop our anchor.
Went walking around Beaufort with Kris and Craig. Beaufort is the second oldest city in South Carolina. It was not subjected to the physical destruction of the Civil War so the town has beautiful architecture from the 1700's. Of interest to most tourists is the Fripp House also called Tidalholm where "The Big Chill" and "The Great Santani" were filmed. Oh yeah, "Forrest Gump" was also filmed in Beaufort (the shrimp dock scenes). Our friends, Pat and Dick on HANANIAH arrived on Saturday joining Kris, Craig, Carl and I for lunch at Blackstone a local restaurant run by former cruisers! I had Blackstone's shrimp and grits which were tasty but not even close to the wonderful shrimp and grits from SNOB.
Left Beaufort on Sunday afternoon around 2:00 for a 120 mile run on the outside (Atlantic). Traveled with Rick and Penny on VIKING ROSE. Carl purchased some new technology at the Annapolis Boat Show that came in real handy--AIS. All ships above 300 gross tons are required to have AIS when in US waters. The ship transmits a signal that contains critical information such as the name of ship, the heading, speed, and other information pertinent to navigation of the ship. Until this passage, we had only played with the system but this time AIS was an important tool. We picked up a signal from the tanker Cap Sunion which was 16 miles away--the signal said we would collide with Cap Sunion at a point 5.9 miles ahead of us. Carl called the Cap Sunion on the VHF radio telling him we were on a collision course. The Cap Sunion told us we should be able to pass behind him without having to alter our course. However, he started to slow down because he was picking up a pilot from Savannah--he must not have included this factor in his projected calculation. The Captain of the Pilot Ship, GEORGIA, called us after listening to our exchange with Cap Sunion---English was a second language for the Captain of Cap Sunion. The Pilot Captain suggested that we make a 90 degree turn and run east until Cap Sunion was past us. Without AIS, we would not have known we were on a collision course. Picked up other ships on AIS overnight but none of them were close enough to concern us. Arrived at the St. Mary's inlet around 7 AM meeting two submarine escorts that were headed out the channel--without a submarine (nuts). Arrived at St. Mary's around 10:30 AM where we would stay for the Cruiser's Thanksgiving.
Below is a picture of one of the submarine escorts that were headed out the St. Mary's inlet as we were coming in. Talked to another boat that actually met a nuclear submarine coming out this channel. Told me that these escort boats run on each side of the channel. Just outside the channel is the Coast Guard and any vessel underway has to move outside the Coast Guard boats.
The Monday night that we arrived in St. Mary's was a beautiful evening. The Cruisers held a cocktail party at the City Park--spur of the moment idea!!. Each boat brought an appetizer and their own drinks. It would have been a perfect evening except for the horrible No See Ums. Tuesday and Wednesday night was Happy Hour at Seagles Saloon---bring an appetizer to share but purchase drinks at the bar from Cindy. How to describe Cindy??? The following is an ad from the St. Mary's tourist magazine: Come on into Seagle's Saloon for great cocktails, some tender lovin' trash talk and a good southern sassin' from bartender Cindy Deen. Discover why tour books say "don't leave St. Mary without a visit to Miss Cindy". Cindy drives a bright red corvette which has a designated parking spot right in front of the saloon. She is quite the character--I think the ad is quite accurate. When I was at the bar getting a drink she made a comment to someone who in turn asked "Are you making fun of me? Cindy's response was "You will know when I am making fun of you". Don't know why but Cindy was nice to me calling me "Sweetheart".
The following six pictures were taken during the Happy Hour at Seagles Saloon. The first picture defines Cindy's work space and the second picture is of Cindy. Picture number three is my Happy Captain at Happy Hour. Picture number four is one of the appetizer spreads. Picture five and six were taken during the Cruiser Jam. Boy, can we have fun!
Local Cruisers with vehicles offered rides to visiting Cruisers. I caught a ride to Wal-Mart with Sharon on PEA SOUP, Judy on RECESS and Bev on SCANDIA. Before shopping we grabbed lunch at Subway. I did some fairly major shopping for can goods that will travel with us to the Bahamas. Another day, I caught the laundry van so I could take care of our dirty clothes. One of the local Cruisers was making runs to West Marine in Brunswick and any stop in between (Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc.) The town of St. Mary's has a great second hand book store "Read Them Again" that provided free internet for us and encouraged us to write a message on their wall with a permanent marker. Yes, we wrote on the wall!
The following picture is of Judy (RECESS), Sharon (PEA SOUP) and Bev (SCANDIA) at Subway where we grabbed a quick lunch before shapping for two hours at Wal-Mart.
I should explain the St. Mary's Cruiser's Thanksgiving celebration. For about 5 years, the town of St. Mary's has shared Turkey Day with visiting Cruisers. The townspeople provide oysters, turkey and ham while the Cruisers bring side dishes and desserts. Cruisers and townspeople gather at the Riverview Hotel for dinner. The lobby is set up with a table for the "meat", two tables for side dishes, a table for cold dishes and about 3 areas for desserts. BEFORE Thanksgiving Dinner, there is an oyster roast on the patio. Oysters are scrubbed and then tossed into a heated tub with a wet burlap bag thrown on top for roasting the oysters--I'd call it steaming oysters but the townspeople called it roasting. A table was set up with knives for shucking the oysters. Carl enjoyed this part of the celebration--I preferred to watch! I have heard that the first year, there were 60 cruisers. This year, there were 96 boats at anchor and 11 at the marina. I was told by one of the organizers that there were 300 people (Cruisers at anchor, Cruisers at the marina, townspeople and Cruisers who drove up to join in the celebration). It was quite a day. The food was great and there was seating for everyone.
The next three pictures were taken during the Oyster Roast on Thanksgiving Day. The first two pictures show how the oysters are prepared and the third picture is Carl at the table shucking and eating. (1786, 1797 and 1805)
The next five pictures were taken before the Thanksgiving Buffet line opened. In the first picture, Pat (WIND-BORNE) is opening her bottle of wine at the table we sat at. The second picture is two townspeople carving ham and turkey. The third picture is one of the two tables dedicated to "hot" side dishes. Picture number 4 of one of three dessert tables. The fifth picture is Kathy and Mike on SAPPHIRE who somehow managed to get the best table at the Riverview.
It is not easy to anchor at St. Mary's in the St. Mary's River. The current roars through this area so it is a challenge to hold on to the boat when you approach the boat by the dinghy during maximum current. The boats all dance twice a day and the dancing is more frantic when the wind is blowing. The dancing starts when the tide switches from ebb to flow or flow to ebb especially when the water is slack. This is the time that the boats go in circles. The wind was light Monday through Wednesday so there were not any problems in the anchorage. However, on Thanksgiving Day, the anchorage was full and the wind started to gust. Before dinner, at least one boat started dragging anchor. After dinner, there were 2-3 boats that were dragging anchor not to mention all the dancing boats that were touching one another during a rotation. A boat near us was very close--they reanchored which made us happy and made for a peaceful sleep.
We wanted to skip the ICW from St. Mary's to Cape Canaveral---but the weather forecast indicated we would need to stay in St. Mary's until the Wednesday or Thursday following Thanksgiving. We did not want to stay there that long so we headed down the ICW on Saturday the 24th. Winds were gusting from the northeast at 30 knots as we crossed the Cumberland Sound to Fernandina Beach, Florida. Waited on the north side of the Twin Bridges about 4 miles south of Fernandina because the high tide decreased the vertical clearance to less than 60 feet (the height board was under water). Had to wait for almost 2 hours for the tide to drop giving us at least 63 feet to slip under the bridge. What a way to start the day. Traveled with Rick and Linda on SOJOURNER to Three Island Anchorage. This anchorage sounded good in the guide but was a bust. There were 6 derelict boats at anchor--no space for us. SOJOURNER anchored just outside of the ICW channel while DISCOVERY anchored between SOJOURNER and the anchorage. It was a windy night so either Rick or Linda stayed up on anchor watch. We felt comfortable with our anchor so we just went to bed and fell asleep. In the morning, SOJOURNER could not get their anchor up--it was caught on something. Finally, SOJOURNER managed to get the anchor up but they were not free yet---their anchor picked up an old mooring anchor with chain, thick line and a mushroom anchor. Rick used a knife to cut the line and a hacksaw to cut the chain in order to break free. The irony--they stayed up to make sure SOJOURNER did not drag and in reality it would have never moved.
The following picture is of a bald eagle sitting on top of a tree along the ICW
Next stop is one of my favorite cities---St. Augustine. This is our third visit to St. Augustine. The town was decorated for Christmas with lots of red ribbons and millions of lights. Went to the San Sebastian Winery for a tour and wine tasting. Had lunch at Scarlet O'Hara's and walked through numerous shops. Visited the Flagler College once again taking a few pictures. It is difficult getting good pictures of the interior because the wood is so dark. Stopped by the Alacazar Hotel to take a few pictures. Susan and Mike on TABBY CAT invited us onshore for Happy Hour. Susan's Mother has a home not far from the anchorage! We did use two anchors at St. Augustine---something Carl hates to do. For the second time in that anchorage , a boat dragged down on us during the day. The second anchor gave us peace of mind--we were comfortable leaving the boat to tour St. Augustine and we were comfortable at night.
The following four pictures were taken in St. Augustine. The first picture was taken on one of the side streets near George Street. The next two pictures was taken at Flagler College. The "gold" fish picture was taken at the Alcazar Hotel and the bird picture was taken near the marina (1810, 1815, 1818,1819 and 1824)
From St. Augustine we traveled with Gary and Mary on PACKET INN to Daytona. Not much to report on this leg other than it was an easy run. Oh, we dropped anchor and different back on top of a sewer diffuser. Not as bad as you'd think--no odors but lots of turbulence in the water (not a good place, however, to make water)! Later the wind switched so we moved well south of the diffuser. Invited Gary and Mary over for cocktails. Right before the cocktail hou beganr, Mike and Kathy on SAPPHIRE arrived in the anchorage so they joined us.
Woke up to a wet, misty morning. PACKET INN left early headed to Titusville. We traveled with SAPPHIRE to an anchorage just south of New Smyrna Beach. Lots of dolphins in this anchorage. Had cocktails on SAPPHIRE. The wind was gusting all night but all was quiet in the anchorage. Skies cleared before midnight so the stars were shining.
And so ended the month of November. Happy to be in Florida where the weather is warmer. Haven't had 3 layers of clothes on since the middle of the month. In fact, we were in shorts the week after Thanksgiving.
December 2, 2007
Shrimp and Grits (serves 4)
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup old-fashioned
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 chorizo links (spicy pork sausage), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 oz country ham, cut into julienne strips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 medium sea scallops
12 medium shrimp, peeled, and deveined if desired
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4 cup sliced scallion
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch of Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup water
Bring water, salt, and 1 tablespoon butter to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Whisk in grits and cook at a bare simmer, covered, stirring frequently, until grits are tender and thick, about 1 hour. Stir in cream and remaining tablespoon butter and remove from heat. Make topping 15 minutes before grits are done:
Cook chorizo and ham in 1/2 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until ham is golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer chorizo and ham to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter to skillet and heat until foam subsides. Cook scallops until golden on both sides and just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer scallops to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add another 1/2 tablespoon butter to skillet and cook shrimp, turning, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in chorizo, ham, scallops, remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter, and remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits in skillet, until heated through, then season with salt and pepper.
Serve topping over grits.