Tag Archives: South Carolina

Charleston Harbor to Bohicket Creek via The Intracoastal Waterway

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The vessel – Bavaria 39, 6 foot draft, 56 foot mast

The captain – my husband

The crew – moi

Upon leaving the Charleston Harbor there are two bridges to deal with. The Ashley River Bridge and the Wadmalaw Island Bridge.

The Ashley River Bridge has clearance of 65 feet at high tide but upon approach it looks A LOT shorter. I just knew we were going to clip the mast and I thought I would have a heart attack. We didn’t. I didn’t.

What I learned – Trust the charts.

The Wadmalaw Island Bridge has a clearance of about 20 feet so you need the help of the “bridge-keeper”, she who opens the bridge on the hour or whenever you pick up the radio and ask nicely.

What I learned – On that part of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) there is ample room, and ample depth, thank the lord, to perform spectacular boat pirouettes in order to kill some time before the bridge traffic can be stopped and the bridge opened up.

After the bridge drama it’s possible to sit back and enjoy the scenery as you motor down to Bohicket Creek. It’s impossible to sail this stretch as the waterway is very curvy and very shallow.

ICW from the boatdead tree ICW

What I learned – Stay in the channel and keep your eye on the depth gauge no matter how many dolphins make an appearance.

To get into Bohicket Creek the vessel must be steered out of the ICW and into the Edisto River where the water opens up and you have a little bit of time to relax after white-knuckling the helm through the narrow and shallow channel. But soon it’s back to a steady hand on the helm as you maneuver into Bohicket Creek. The creek is just as pretty as a picture, complete with a tiny little shrimp fleet.

shrimp boats

What I learned – Approach to the marina is easy with plenty of deep water thus making docking doable without creating a public spectacle.

The Bohicket Marina is quiet and family-friendly. It has a great little restaurant and an okay little store stocked with essentials like beer and bait. The view of the sunset over the marsh is spectacular from an al fresco table at the restaurant. The guys on the dock are young and cute and wear matching blue t-shirts and can assist you with just about anything … except getting a receipt for overnight dockage … and locating the two courtesy bicycles … and paying attention when fueling your boat. But they’re friendly and funny, so it’s all good.

What I learned – I’ll go back to Bohicket.

sunset Bohicket

 

 

 

The Sign Says It All

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friends don't let friends eat imported shrimp

McClellanville is a tiny coastal village in South Carolina. Shrimp boats slide in and out of the small marina and some of their catch ends up for sale at the small marina. There’s nothing better than local shrimp. Shrimp and grits is one of my specialties. But today I’ll barely boil the shrimp and maybe serve them up with a little homemade cocktail sauce.

Local, hours-ago-swimming-in-the-ocean, shrimp deserve to be cooked well, with the least amount of fuss.

shrimp $9.50 a pound

 

What’s Your Art?

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Brookgreen Gardens is 1900 acres of sensuality. As the first public sculpture garden in America, grand but understated grounds and botanical gardens are home to over 1400 works by 300+ sculptors. The combination of sculpture and botanical art is nothing less than romantic. Entrance through the Live Oak Allee garden takes the breath away and causes one’s voice to lower to a whisper as visitors walk in wonder under 300 year-old live oak trees that were planted in 1700 when Brookgreen was a thriving rice plantation. The reverence felt by experiencing the allee is just the beginning.

I found myself at Brookgreen, again, this weekend. But this time I was there for an art show. Dozens of juried craftsmen were on site and several were practicing their art ‘plein air’. I’m a frequent art show attendee but over the last several years I’ve found nothing new and go home disappointed and empty handed. You can only buy so much pottery and handmade jewelry and I’m pretty picky about the art I hang in my house.

But this time I was lucky. I found an artist local to the low country, a good ol’ boy, really, who has a gift and creates something I had never seen. When I saw the prices on his work I sacheted away but darn it, I was drawn to his booth time and time again like a moth to a porch light. He makes paddles, kayak-type paddles. His method reminded me so very vividly of the woodworking my father did – layering walnut, cedars, mahogony and basswood and then turning and finishing the chunks of wood into beautiful bowls. This artist used the very woods my daddy did. He layers and glues and shapes and carves and polishes until what emerges is the most beautiful strata of varying woods, color and design, all in the shape of an elegant … paddle. The handles alone were exquisite.

Many forces collided and were at work in my brain and my heart as I perused the paddles. My son works for a company that produces outdoor water recreation gear and the product he designs is … paddles. In a few weeks he celebrates a milestone birthday … his 30th. The woods used in the paddles remind me of my daddy … who very recently died.

Of course I walked out of there with a paddle. And I know it was the right thing. The paddle was a work of art. Anytime art makes you cry, you should take it home.

paddlespaddle blades

 

Beach Therapy

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beach

I’m a South Carolina native and one thing all South Carolinian’s love is the beach. Maybe it’s because one third of the states’ borders run smack out into the ocean. From just about anywhere in the state a person can be “at the beach” in under five hours – max. I just returned from a trip to the beach and in a matter of days will turn right back around and head back. A matter of business took me to the coast the first time and a matter of having some fun will take me back. I’m convinced that in an earlier life I was a sea turtle because it’s just downright necessary that I return to the beach on a regular basis.

The low country of South Carolina is indeed a magical place, even on approach. As the rural roads flatten and straighten out and the terrain gets gritty, a girl’s blood pressure drops and she suddenly realizes she breathing more deeply. Upon arrival, inhaling that musky, marshy aroma purely particular to the low country makes her feel like she’s had a muscle relaxer or two.

The time spent at the beach will be fun and restorative, but just getting there is like a tonic.

beach shadow

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