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The Great Loop

11/06/09
Last Full Day At HHI

Today we got up and had breakfast at Skillets. It was quite good but a little pricey. We then hopped on our bikes and road over to the beach.

We found it was high tide so there was no packed sand to ride on and it was also very windy, so we road around Shipyard a little and we saw an alligator sunning on a bank fairly near our townhouse. Jackie took some good pictures.

Later in the day we drove to Harbour Town to look at the boats and shops and also to go on a dinner cruise. Whle we were walking around the shops 5 manatees were spotted swimming around the marina and Jackie got some good shots of them.

The dinner cruise was very nice and we took some sunset shots and a shot of kayakers out in the Sound looking for dolphins. There were a number of dolphin sightings. The dinner was good and during dinner the Captain announced that at 7:21PM the Space Shuttle would be visible flying over so we went up to the top deck. Sure enough we could see it racing across the sky. It started as a bright white dot but then turned orange and then red just before it went out of sight.

It was a very nice way to spend our last full day.
11/05/09
Road Trip To Beaufort, SC

After catching up with some email and having breakfast we drove to explore the Beaufort, SC area and the surrounding area. We have been to Beaufort a number of times on boats and once by car, but never really explored the outlying areas.

We arrived and parked in the Municpal Marina lot, walked the dock and checked out the boats and then checked out the Ship Store. We then had lunch on the back deck of Pannini's. They have great Italian food and the view of the waterfront is very nice.

A couple of years ago, Beaufort spent several million dollars redoing its waterfront park area and did a wonderful job. There are pavillion, great landscaping, brick walkways, many swing seats, etc. It is a great place to walk or just grab a book and read by the water.

After checking out the shops and the waterfront area, we got in the car and crossed the bridge to over to Helena Island and explored all the way out to the ocean to Fripp Island. Dataw Island is a very nice marina and golf plantation.

There are many home of all sizes and shapes in these islands. There are also a lot of farms and several fishing boat areas. We went all the way to the ocean and stopped by Hunter Island State Park and walked the beach and looked at the Hunter Island Lighthouse. It was so clear from the beach at Hunter Island you could see all the way to Edisto Beach.

We then drove out to Fripp Island which is the farthest point you can drive. It is a private resort community so we couldn't go in but it looked very nice but also very, very isolated. It was interesting to see these areas but they are a little too remote for our taste.

Jackie took some pictures around Beaufort and Hunter Point State Park/Lighthouse. As you can see in the pictures, it was a beautiful day.
11/04/09
Road Trip To Savannah

This afternoon we took a road trip to Savannah to visit the historic area/riverfront.

It was not our first visit as we spent one Christmas in the historic area but since it was so close a drive we decided to visit.

It is a very interesting area steaped in history and the riverfront has many shops and restaurants and the large container ships seem with in reach when the travel the river. The port is the 3rd busiest on the East Coast and there are always, tugs, frieghters, tour boats, water taxes and private boats cruising by.

The tide swings on the river are very large 8-9' compared to about 4 feet in the NC area. These huge swings mean that the river flow very fast either in our out depending on the tide cycle. Since it is a river, it also has a lot of debris flowing which can damage the boats docking on the riverfront.

We had lunch at Tubby's Tank House overlooking the river on a very comfortable afternoon. Tubby's had a very good singer, named Butch, sing familiar songs while we enjoyed the views. There were also several other muscians on the riverfront landing area singing or playing for tips plus a sketch artist or 2 all working for tips.

The riverfront is probably 40+ feet below the main streets of the town and the walls, riverfront roads and even some of the old buildings are built from coblestones which originally served as ballast in the old sailing ship.

We took pictures of the riverfront and John Wesley Park.

Back at HHI we went to dinner at an Italian restaurant owned by a man from Ohio and the whole restaurant is decorated in Ohio State decor. It has really good food and we lucked out because it was half price spagetti night so we had great food at a great price. We also took pictures there.
11/03/09
Hilton Head Beach Long Bike Ride

Today we went to breakfast at Stacks and then felt after our large breakfast we better get some exercise. So we hopped on our bikes and took a 20 mile bike ride. The first part of the ride we road to the beautiful 12 Hilton Head Beach at Shipyard and then road 7 miles to the south end of the beach. From there we had good views of the north end of Daufuskie Island and Tybee Island. Also saw some dophins swimming in the Calibogue Inlet and a large shrimp boat.

We then road inland and had lunch at the Salty Dog shops, restaurant and marina and then road back to Shipyard via the very nice bike paths that go all over HHI.

It was a cool day but a great day for a bike ride.

Jackie took some pictures along the way that we share in this entry.
11/02/09
Boat Trip And Tour Of Daufuskie Island

Today we went on a small group tour of Daufuskie Island. The island is on the ICW just south of HIlton Head. We have driven our boats by it a number of times but never stopped to explore it. We thought it was an exlcusive private resort island but discovered it is much different than that with a very rich history including indians, British plantations, slaves and the Gullah Culture, agricultural history, the oyster history, etc
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You can only get to the island by boat and our tour included a boat trip to and from the island, with a brief dolphin tour, driving around the island on golf carts with our Capt/guide, Capt. Bill Kessler. Bill kept us entertained as he led us on this adventure and he shared a great deal of interesting information about Hilton Head, Daufuskie, low country history, agriculture, wars and slavery on the islands. It was a very interesting 4.5 hours.

I am not going into all the history of the island and the Gullah culture but if you are interested you can check it out at http://www.yale.edu/glc/gullah/index.htm.

It was a cold and overcast day and our boat was a relatively small open boat but we layered up and thoroughly enjoyed our day.

The island plantations are gone and most of the people are gone. The island is mostly dirt roads and very few services or amenitites. Their are still Gullah houses on the island and also oyster period houses that go back hundreds of years. There are 3 upscale golf plantations but 2 of them are just coming out of bankrupcy and we will see if they can be successful in the future.

Jackie took pictures of some of the houses, the old black baptist church, one of the first in US, and a couple quaint businesses. It was like stepping back into a different world.