May 2010 - Shelter Cove Marina, Hilton Head Island - Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms, SC #22

Our first 2 weeks of May were spent in Shelter Cove Marina on Hilton Head Island. Shelter Cove Harbour was designed to resemble the sunny port side villages of the Mediterranean and even though it is located almost 2 hours off the Intracoastal Waterway, the detour and destination was well worth the time. We were overlooking the marsh-lined expanses of Broad Creek on one side and a promenade dotted with shops and restaurants, on the other. At the center of the marina area, benignly surveying the harbor, is a larger-than-life statue of King Neptune; this sculpture forms one of the world's biggest working sundials and our slip was in his shadow.

The weather was so spring-like and perfectly comfortable for a few days following our arrival...but then it warmed up summer-style, although not the stiffling high humidity heat for which coastal Carolinas are known!
We had the Perfect Slip in the marina which was parallel and adjacent to the board walk, shops and restaurants--the consummate "people watching" position! You can see in this photo, our proximity to activity. In the mornings and afternoons we'd park in our chairs on the fly bridge, prop up our feet, don sunglasses, open our books in attempts at reading but were so easily distracted by the never-ending stream of gawking tourists who'd pause their strolling to stop, stare, comment, or call out a greeting to us. Their remarks to each other were so easily heard. Supposed we looked deaf, dumb, and stupid to well as very studious and centered on our reading. That was fun, interesting, and made focusing on our books an arduous task!!!

What a great place to cycle, run, walk, swim, and just love our lives!!! The first 4 days we were there I put 72 miles on my bike. Bill was able to increase his running mileage and decrease his time just because of easy access to terra firma. Every single morning I hit the pool---a real pool with lines on the bottom (!!!!) for my swimming workout. No more smashing my face nor hanging my hinny on the wall at a turn---a sheer delight! What things I used to take for granted! On an extended bike ride one day, I'd taken my helmet off at a water rest stop. Of course it went back to its rightful place before finishing our ride and when we got home and I took it off, a poor little tree frog hopped out and off to safety far from where he began his bike trip. As disappointing as our aborted plans for the Bahamas were, we're compensating for those 2 months by destinations that weren't even on our itinerary. Of our 18 months of being full-time cruisers, I've gotta say that these 2 weeks are my favorite!!!

What a plethora of live music and entertainment and we took full advantage! We hope to make this an annual tradition but double our time to 4 weeks. We needed a rest after packing those 2 weeks with so much physical activity coupled with our evenings out.

Our next significant stop was 2 1/2 weeks in Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms, near Charleston. Lots of serendipities here!!! Chris and Nioka, lake boating buddies from our days of living on dirt in northwest South Carolina, trailered their boat to Charleston, where they launched, and boated over to see us. We spent a delightful evening together and even dawdled over our coffee and conversation the next morning.

The day we entered our slip at Wild Dunes, we met and chatted with FIVE couples who came over to make our acquaintance ... or whom we'd met on our last visit here. Within the first hour of our arrival, sweet friends, Martha and Jim, brought a vehicle for our use during our stay. We LOVE it here and this will definitely be our "home" on future visits to the Charleston area.

How wonderful (and not to be taken for granted) to be able to step off the boat and hit the running or cycling trail...and there are many here! And I have a pool with lines again! 2 in one month which is a 1st for me in all these months of being a full-time cruiser.
The evening after our arrival we went to the old Footlight Theatre, downtown Charleston, for an outstanding performance of A Class Act.

We drove to Seabrook Island for a visit with Dick, who so agreeably housed the TR6, had lunch, caught up with him from the past several months, repossessed the car, and retreated back to Wild Dunes.

Our time here passed far too quickly. It was so great to catch up with old friends, meet many new ones, and visit our old haunts. We were with friends doing something every single night we were there.  We went to Dunleavy's Pub on Sullivan's Island for music, meeting Norm, Jean, Lynn, and Reid there for a high decibel but enjoyable evening. I met Deborah a week and a half ago and feel as if I've known her forever. She, 2 couples, Bill and I went to our fave Mexican restaurant downtown Charleston for our 'fix' before heading north.

Memorial Day we went for a 5 hour Charleston Harbor Cruise, taking 10 friends from the "small group" in which we participate at our church. Perfect weather, outstanding company, and an unsurpassed day upon the water. Kathy brought a plentiful assortment of food for the day. Jim and Elsie brought a cooler of liquid refreshments. Bill performed stupendously as our captain. We were honored to thank 4 of the 12 of us-Jon, Joanna, Jim, and Norm, for serving our country and fighting for our freedom. We ended the day enjoying Jim and Elsie's pool, hor dourves, an arresting marsh view with the Ravenel Bridge as a backdrop, and then tucked the TR6 into Jim and Martha's garage for safe-keeping till our return.

May is done! How could it have come and gone so quickly. This is the end of a perfect day and a memorable month. Bill and I are so grateful to each of you who've served in some branch of our military--whether you stayed state-side or were on the front lines. We enjoy our freedom today because of you. Thank you so very much!

Bill and Laura
Kindred Spirit III
docked Wild Dunes
Isle of Palms, SC


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