Saturday, April 24, 2010

Through South Carolina


A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill can hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week;
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.
- Dixon Lanier Merritt

We saw many pelicans along the way. When flying from one place to another, they often use the WIG (Wing In Ground-effect) to glide just above the water without flapping their wings for a long time. Man has been trying to emulate this with WIG aircraft, but they have a nasty habit of crashing fairly often as they dip a wing into the water. Sometimes you can see the pelican's wing tip or chest hit the water, but it doesn't seem to be a problem.

When they are hunting, however, they go higher and look down for their prey. When they see a fish, they just simply plummet straight down, seemingly totally out of control.

Other birds dive gracefully into the water. A pelican crashes! One of our cruising guides says that they are protected from the impact by automatically inflating air sacks on their bodies. Unfortunately, nothing protects their eyes and older pelicans often starve to death because they cannot see to hunt anymore.

Onward to South Carolina

Beaufort, SC
So, from the Isle of Hope, we continued up the water way past beautiful Beaufort, SC ("bew-fort") to anchor in Factory Creek just north of Ladies Island Bridge.

Then it was off to Toms Point Creek, one of our favorite anchorages with all kinds of twists and turns so that you can always find protection from the waves and some protection from the wind. The creek goes on forever and I took a dinghy ride up it to see some rather nice houses.
We left early in the morning to a hazy sunlit day.

And went to another one of those many creeks that wind through the marshes in the "Low Country" of Georgia and South Carolina. Along the many miles of marshes which stretch in every direction almost as far as the eye can see are little islands and hummocks (AKA: hammocks) with a house and a dock.

An alligator swam across in front of us as we were getting ready to anchor in Minim Creek.

Our next stop was a planned 2-day stopover at Osprey Marina on the Waccamaw River. It is inexpensive and very friendly and we planned to use it as a base from which to spend a full day at Brookgreen Gardens which we had only had a couple of hours to see a few years before on the way south. [Little did we know that the rental cars were only available at the airport which entailed expensive cab rides and all kinds of airport surcharges. But that is another story that we will not bother with here.]

Brookstone Gardens

Brookstone Gardens was created on the grounds of an old rice plantation in Murrels Inlet, SC in 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. There are over 50 acres of formal gardens which contain over 1,200 American sculptures from the early 1800s to the present. Wherever you look, there are flowers and trees and sculptures. Following is just a tiny sample.
Diana in front of the Alee of Live Oak Trees and the gold-clad statue of Dionysus
Man with Newspaper

Water Lily
Pig (in the Children's Garden)
Flowers, flowers -- everywhere.

Dedication (set in a garden wall)



Boy (in Butterfly Garden)

See for further information on Brookgreen Gardens.

No comments: