Saturday, September 24, 2011

Edisto Island  : and a lot of Southern Hospitality
25th –27th June 2011
Heading off from Savannah we were planning to sail straight to Beaufort in South Carolina, but as we sailor’s know, our plans are always written in the sand and then the waves come and wash them away.Beaufort, as it turned out, was a tad too close to Savannah and  looked a bit tricky to enter so we pushed on and by 1800 we had already sailed nearly 60 miles and decided to call it quits for the night. So a quick look at an alternative anchorage and we came up with a little backwater called Big Bay Creek on Edisto Island. The channel looked pretty skinny to get into but if we could squeeze over the shallows it would give us good protection from the winds that were forecast. As we approached, there was a lovely stretch of beach backed by a seemingly endless line of holiday homes up on stilts. As it turns out the houses are built on stilts as a way of protecting them from the damaging storm surge that accompanies Hurricanes as they blast up this part of the coastline during the months of June to December.
It was a hot afternoon in Edisto and a goodly number of locals were either rod fishing or lounging on deck chairs in the cool and inviting shallow waters just off  the beach.
Copy of IMG_5329      Copy of IMG_5327
Rounding the bend at the creek’s entrance a couple of dolphins swam by and gave us a dolphin wave by rolling onto their backs. We figured  this was our good omen, and that this would be a good place  to stop for the night. Nudging slowly forward the depths started to drop and then leveled out at a respectable 15ft. A few boats returning from their weekend fishing trips gave us a wave and one boat came up along side for a chat, curious as to where we were from. Judging by the type of craft in the creek, we were the biggest thing to come along since sliced bread and we were definitely going to be the afternoon attraction for a little while.

We motored around the bend in the creek past some very pretty marshland  and lovely homes to where one of the chaps had said to anchor and dropped the hook. We were firmly planted in mud and  took up a fair amount of real estate in the creek. No Rehearsal, who were with us, had decided to tie to a dock near the entrance but had a change of heart when they saw how snug we were. With two 52 ft cats up the creek, now we really were the “look at the bears” show.
Not long after both boats were settled we noticed a pretty blue launch come up to the back of Daryl and Annie’s boat. They stayed and chatted a while and then moved off to a dock with the same colored house on the other side of the creek. It quickly transpired that these nice people had invited us all over for a sundowner. Gathering up a bottle of wine and some nibbles, the four of us headed over to their dock. When we arrived we were greeted by not only the hosts, Becky and Jeffery, but by about twelve of their friends who were staying with them. And no we weren’t  just invited for drinks but for dinner as well! And what a dinner it was.These generous people had not only invited us into their home but had given us the opportunity to share with them  and their friends a full-on buffet complete with freshly caught fish and amongst everything else, an absolutely scrumptious tomato and potato pie, a southern specialty I found out later. The meal was topped of with a selection of desserts amongst which were  the best tasting peaches I have ever had. I found out later that Georgia it is called the “peach state” and with Edisto Island being not that far from the border now I know why the peaches were so good..
We played a little musical chairs (not literally) during dinner so that we got to speak to just about everyone. Remembering all their names was a challenge but soon we had them all. During the course of the evening we found out that as we came up the creek they’d goggled our boat flags to see where we were from, I’m guessing the dinner invite might have hinged on the flag factor.
2011_06_26 edisto island, jeffery & becy and house & carl the dog

As the evening rolled on we progressed downstairs to the garage where everyone took turns at  playing numerous games of shuffleboard, a kind of ice hockey without the ice. Instead it is played on a long smooth slab of cement  and it was a lot of fun.
Annie, the dog lover that she is was in her element, and was teetering on getting a good dose of RSI from throwing ball to Becky’s big black  loveable Labrador, Carl.The following afternoon our hosts came out to GWTW for a chat and goodbyes and we promised to drop in  and see them again on our way back south in a few months time.
Before arriving in Georgia and the Carolinas’ we’d heard and read about the southern hospitality  and friendliness of the people who live down here, and now that we’d experienced it first hand,  it truly is amazing, and something that will take us a long time to forget.  

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