#34 July 2011 St. Simons Island, GA - Shelter Cove Marina, Hilton Head Island - Isle of Palms, SC
We began the month of July in Shelter Cove Marina, Hilton Head Island, SC, and are loving being here. Never would we have expected to find ourselves in SC in July but after 102 degree days last July in Washington DC, we decided to take our chances. We can't deny that it was HOT but think we fared far better than much of the country.
|Sea Pines Oak|
In 1663, Captain William Hilton saw a headland near Port Royal Sound's entrance so he named it after himself---Hilton Head. The island has 12 miles of Atlantic Ocean beachfront as well as a rich history beginning thousands of years ago with seasonal occupation by native Americans. It continued with European exploration and cotton trade and was an important base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports during the Civil War. Hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head once the island fell to Union troops and this is still home to many of whom are descendants of freed slaves. They are known as the Gullah (or Geechee) who have managed to hold onto much of their cultural and ethnic identity.
An even earlier historical fact is that near the east entrance to Sea Pines Forest Preserve is an ancient Shell Ring that's 150 feet in diameter. It's believed to be over 4000 years old and is one of only 20 in existence. Archaeologists believe that it was a refuse heap that the Native Americans created and they lived in the center of it which was kept clear and used as a common area. The ring is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by law.
|Sculpture at Harbor Town|
This is a very eco-friendly island that minimizes the impact of development and governs the style of buildings and how they are situated among existing trees. Because of this, the area enjoys an unusual amount of tree cover relative to the amount of development.
Everywhere the landscaping is meticulously maintained. We never see any litter--not even a cigarette butt. The buildings surrounding this harbour have been here approximately 35 years and are expertly nurtured, showing no sign of their age.
The heat didn't keep us off our bikes. Those little 20" Michelin tires rolled many miles. We discovered a rustic little park with pine needle strewn paths leading to beautiful marshes with Port Royal Sound sparkling in the background.
The month passed far too quickly. There are bike and running trails that take you anywhere on this that you wish to go and we're right in the middle of the island making everything positively convenient.
|An example of the bike/running trails|
I have a "soap box" or two (don't look so surprised!!!) and one of them is bicycle safety. I wouldn't think of riding around the block without my helmet. We've both gone down in considerably benign situations and (of course) with no warning. Our helmets saved our skulls! I consider riders without helmets as organ donors. Bike rentals here are tremendous and rarely do I see any of these riders wearing a helmet. Parents will have a toddler or small child either in a little bike seat or on a tag-a-long and no one is wearing a helmet which smacks of total irresponsibility. Why would that not be considered child abuse? I just cringe to think of those tiny little heads hitting the asphalt. We've heard many of the parents admit to not having ridden a bike in years and that's so obvious by the way they're swaying like a willow in the wind.
After returning from the Bahamas when no boat maintenance was done, 3 months of neglect took its toll not only on our level of fitness but also on our boat. Bright work has been happening----
|Tuesday's fireworks as seen from our fly bridge|
|Shoulder to shoulder mob scene on Tuesday evenings in anticipation of the 9 PM fireworks|
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC