Part of our plan to head south included meeting back up with Tom & Nancy who are currently living on their sailboat, Sunshine II, at Lady’s Island Marina in Beaufort, South Carolina. We first met Tom & Nancy about three years ago when they were at the Hingham Shipyard Marina (our home port) working on the boat that they traveled across the country to purchase and move onto. They are two incredible people, with a very interesting history, and had become one of our inspirations to get out here and do this cruising thing. We were really looking forward to seeing them again. You can follow Nancy & Tom’s adventures and environmental insights at their blog Tidal Life
The plan was for us to get to Lady’s Island, work on some projects at the DIY shop and then for both Sunshine II and Smtty to head to Jacksonville to be hauled out for bottom painting and hull waxing. As can be expected when you are staying at a marina for free, with good people and friends, and a great workshop, inevitably, we stayed longer then originally planned but we did get several projects accomplished:
- rebuilt the head pump
- rebuilt the water pump
- doors with screen and window inserts
- table with storage
- fixed stern anchor holder
- organized tools
- added ensign glass to our connector (thanks to Carol & Dave Brown for their old connector from sv Celebration)
- helped other cruisers get ready to go (various dinghy and outboard engine repairs)
I cannot say enough good things about Lady’s Island Marina. There is a large cruisers lounge, nice bathrooms, laundry with new machines, a huge workshop where you can work on your projects, and so much shared knowledge amongst the cruisers, courtesy car, courtesy bikes, canvas shop, grill, fire pit, and well maintained docks. The people here are the most friendly and helpful that we have met anywhere, especially the Dock Master Steve. They go out of their way to make sure everyone is taken care of here – including hosting a Thanksgiving complete with hams, turkeys, and oysters.
But our visit was not all work and no play!
First, we went searching for alligators at a park where Nancy had seen some before…we found none but did see plenty of turtles.
Next up, Tom & Nancy borrowed a friend’s car (a very nice Lexus!) and we took a day trip to St.Helena. This area was so different then anything we had seen so far. It was foggy when we arrived, creating a certain spookiness and beauty to the Palmetto trees that were being assaulted by the surrounding water. St. Helena Island is considered an inland Sea Island and does not have actual frontage on the Atlantic Ocean. The island is surrounded by expansive marshes and is the largest Sea Island in the Beaufort area and is the largest island between Edisto Island and Hilton Head Island along the South Carolina coast. Located in this area is Fort Fremont, a former military battery which helped guard the entrance to the Beaufort River. Also located here is the Penn Center, an education, historic preservation and social justice center for tens of thousands of descendants of formerly enslaved West Africans living in the Sea Islands, known as the Gullah Geechee people.
We topped off the day with a Grilled Donut – what is this you say – Deliciousness!!
We toured Beaufort and went to the Shrimp Fest, where we sampled all sorts of shrimp concoctions made by the local restaurants, including: shrimp sliders, coconut shrimp, shrimp & grits, and a Beaufort shrimp wrap. All were quite yummy. There were also local vendors here advertising their services; I particularly liked these guys:
Pictures from around downtown Beaufort, SC:
Nancy & Tom also took us on a road trip to Savannah, GA – Link to our blog post
Our trip to the Fillin’ Station, which is conveniently located next to the marina, was our most interesting trip while in Beaufort. No one in their right mind would go to this place to eat based on what it looks like from the outside; and it doesn’t get much better when you go inside – but you cannot beat the delicious food – especially for the price – on Fridays, for $12 you get a huge piece of steak, potato, and corn! This is such a popular establishment with locals that one group got together and built their own deck off the back, complete with two very large flat screen TVs!
We made quite a few new friends, including Dave & Lori on Ubuntu, who we hope to catch up with again in the Bahamas, as they are starting a charter there on their incredibly beautiful catamaran, which we had dinner aboard before they left the marina.is a very talented artist and he painted the mast and canvas on sailing vessel Ubuntu.
However, I began to get rather antsy (translate to cranky) and wanted to get moving south. The weather was getting colder and I really wanted to be in shorts for Christmas (in Florida), which was now only about two weeks away. So, after spending about three weeks in Beaufort, we started to head south once again, but this time we took Sunshine with us…sv Sunshine II that is.:) Nancy & Tom headed south with us for a few days before they would return north to spend Christmas with their family.