May 1 – Tue
After a wonderful week in Hilton Head, we had an incredibly peaceful ride from Hilton Head to Beaufort SC. The waters were calm, the skies were blue & sunny, it was a wonderful day, UNTIL WE GOT TO THE MARINA AT BEAUFORT.
Shortly after arriving at Beaufort, gettin’ tied up, and meeting Harbormaster Mary, we began hooking up the power & water.
Oh Crap – where’s the Shore Power Splitter ?
You active blog readers may remember the Splitter !
It was the same splitter we had to buy new at $550, after we had an electrical issue way back at Grafton Harbor outside of St Louis in September of 2017.
After the normal 30 seconds of oh crap, panic, now what do we do – I called the Harbour Town Marina back in Hilton Head and told them that I had left the splitter connected to the shore power station.
Nancy at Harbour Town said that “they would check & call me back”.
After an eternity of 10 minutes, Nancy called back and said “the splitter was not in the shore power station”.
I said “Oh crap, please go talk to Steve & Norm” in the 2 boats that were on each side of us, to see if they have it”
After another eternity of 10 minutes, Harbour Town employee Leslie called back and said “We have your splitter, we initially checked the wrong shore power station”.
I told Leslie “great, hold it for me, Mary from Lady’s Island Marina has offered to give me a ride back to Hilton Head” ( 55 miles & 1 hour drive by land).
Leslie said “I think I can beat that deal, I live near Beaufort, I will bring it about 5pm tonight”
I love this boating community, especially in the south, they will do anything to help boaters in need !
We had hooked up the 30amp cables at 1pm as a short-term fix to get power to the fridge & 1 AC unit.
Leslie arrived early at about 4pm.
We hooked up the splitter & had 50amp power.
All was happy again in Gettin’ Looped Land !
After the hectic arrival in Beaufort, everything was now calm again.
The marina is very low key, and is just across the swing bridge from downtown Beaufort.
After gettin’ the power re-connected with the 50amp lines, we cleaned up and headed into downtown Beaufort for dinner.
Vicky & Diana in the Lady’s Island Ships Store, recommended The Breakwater Restaurant & Bar, so that is where we started our visit to Beaufort.
The Breakwater was a very modern looking / artsy place in an ole-time city. Today was Tuesday Tacos night. Vicky & Diana had told us that every week, the Breakwater chooses a different taco filler – sometimes Grouper, sometimes Mahi, tonight it was Chicken Tacos (2 of $9 or 3 for $12). They also had a beer that I had never seen – Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, made with organic materials. It tasted just like regular Mich-Ultra.
After dinner, we strolled the waterfront in Beaufort.
The waterfront is a nice park-setting area with lots of grass, a nice waterfront paver-brick boardwalk, and a LOT of swings and park benches. The swings, park benches, grassy areas, and trees are right on the waterfront. The bars & restaurants have waterfront views, but are set back from the water, behind the park-like areas.
After strolling the waterfront, we stopped at a place called Panini’s on the Waterfront, for dessert & beer. The outdoor setting was very nice with a great view of the park and waterfront & the indoor ambiance was sweet with a very highly wood-crafted bar.
After dinner, we returned back to the Lady’s Island Marina.
It is a very low-key sleepy marina, but in a refreshingly restful way after the recent stops in the more active marinas at Hilton Head & Savannah.
Lady’s Island is on a small river which is about a half-mile from the ICW.
This marina has something that no other marina we have been to has had – a complimentary work/project room complete with – grinders, band saws, bench vices, etc.
May 2 – Wed
On Wednesday morning , I washed the boat in preparation for some long needed fiberglass cleaning & waxing. It has been about a year now since the Gettin’ Looped has had some new wax.
After the morning boat wash, Jonell & I rode the bikes over the swing bridge into Beaufort for a 1pm carriage ride tour. The carriage tours are a great way to get to know the city upon arrival. We met our crew including horse “Silver”, driver Mark, and tour guide Nicole. Nicole said that Silver is 15 years old and is actually strong enough to pull 3 of the 12 person carts we were on.
During the ride Nicole gave us a bunch of history about Beaufort, and of course, showed us many of the most historic homes. We will cover the homes tomorrow when we can get better photos, but here is some quick history of Beaufort South Carolina, the area (including Hilton Head) also being known as “Lowcountry”
Beaufort History Lesson ; Nicole described Beaufort in 5 different time periods ;
> Colonial period: 1711–1783
Founded by the British in 1711 (21 years before Savannah in 1733), and named after Henry Somerset the 2nd Duke of Beaufort. By 1776, the city became well known for its shipbuilding enterprises & its rice and indigo trade.
The American Revolution split loyalties in the community, with several families supporting the British while others favored independence. After the American victory in 1781, the British began moving out of Beaufort in the summer of 1782. The treaty of Beaufort established the boundary between South Carolina and Georgia in 1787.
> Antebellum period: 1783–1861 (pre-Civil War)
Carolina Gold Rice (from Indonesia, considered the g’father of current American long grain rice) & Sea Island Cotton brought enormous wealth to Beaufort. Beaufort was one of the wealthiest cities in the United States prior to the Civil War. Lowcountry planters in the city and the surrounding islands were among the most ardent supporters of state secession from the Union. Prior to the Civil War, Beaufort was at its cultural, economic, and political peak.
> Civil War and Reconstruction: 1861–1893
The Civil War had a dramatic effect on Beaufort, an attack in November 1861 made it one of the first communities in the Deep South to be taken over by the Union. The Port Royal Experiment (a test program in which 10,000 former slaves successfully owned & worked on the land abandoned by owners who had fled during the war) proved that former slaves could be productive/contributing members of the society. Robert Smalls, a Beaufort native became a leading figure in post-war Beaufort & would later become one of South Carolina’s first elected African-Americans to the United States Congress. Due in part to the large African-American population and also Small’s leading role, Beaufort remained one of the last outposts of Republican Party power in the Solid South.
Some of Beaufort’s most prominent families returned to the area but never regained the enormous wealth that the original slave-based agriculture provided. Most of the original antebellum power brokers never returned to the area. The influence of cotton declined but phosphate mining increased. By 1890, Beaufort had regained some of its wealth and prosperity, but a series of coming events would bring Beaufort into a steady economic decline for over half-century.
> The Declining Years: 1893–1945
On August 27, 1893, a category 3 hurricane slammed into the “Lowcountry”, killing over 2,000 area residents and heavily damaging the city. A fire in 1907 continued to inflict economic and psychological harm to the city. The final blow to the area was the infamous boll weevil bug which, like Savannah, decimated most of the cotton crop, which had been the major commodity. By 1910, Beaufort had lost almost 40% of its population from ten years earlier. Beaufort became one of the poorest communities in the state through the 1940s. The growth of lettuce and tomato farming, in addition to shrimping, became the major drivers of the economy during this time.
> The Recovery Years : 1945 – present
Beaufort’s economic recovery in the late 1900s can be attributed to three major influences: military investment, resort development, and downtown revitalization. 1. Parris Island was selected as a permanent home for the U.S. Marine Corps.
2. New investment in the form of resort and lifestyle development on nearby Hilton Head & Fripp Islands also contributed to the economy of Beaufort in the 1960s.
3. Downtown Revitilization, including the completion of a downtown waterfront park spurred the redevelopment and reinvestment of adjacent Bay Street and downtown Beaufort, propelling land values and commanding the attention of real estate investors, national media, and Hollywood.
In recent years, renovations to the park, countless renovations to private homes and businesses, and several streetscape projects have continued to improve the overall quality of life in Beaufort.
Out of all the history, what interested me the most was the Hollywood movie connections. Nicole told us that over 15 movies have been shot in Beaufort. The movies with the highest percentage of filming in Beaufort include; The Great Santini, The Big Chill, G.I. Jane, The Prince of Tides, and maybe the most famous – Forrest Gump (70% of Forrest Gump was shot in Beaufort). More on this tomorrow after we take some photos.
Another story Nicole told us, was the story of Robert Smalls, mentioned above in the post civil war section. Robert Smalls was an African American who taught himself to read at age 17, and during the civil war gained his freedom in a very interesting way. Working on a ship as a slave, Smalls learned a great deal about sail-making and sailing the tides of Charleston harbor. Smalls’ navigational skills earned him a job as the pilot of the confederate boat – the SS Planter. He was known as an expert pilot, and had studied the maps and sea charts of South Carolina. On May 13, 1862 he freed himself, his family, and many slave crew members, by commandeering the SS Planter in Charleston harbor, and sailing it from the confederate-controlled waters in Charleston to the Union waters 7 miles north. His courage & excellent speaking abilities helped convince President Lincoln to accept African-American soldiers into the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy.
We will show the Robert Smalls’ birth home in the photos tomorrow.
After becoming Beaufort historians on Tuesday afternoon, we went to dinner Tuesday night at the locals hangout, recommended by Mary the harbormaster, a place called The Fillin’ Station (they spell like we do, no “g” in Gettin’ Looped).
The Fillin’ Station is known miles around for their Wednesday night $4 dinner special. The $4 special includes a Hot Dog, a Hamburger, Pork/Beans, & Potato Salad.
The $8 dollars of food was pretty good and very fillin’, especially when accompanied with the $36 of beer we drank. Ok, we had help with the beer. We met 2 couples at the place that was filled with mostly “regulars”.
Warren & Bonnie are Beaufort natives, and gave us a lot of advice on restaurants & places to go/see while in Beaufort, and also in the upcoming city of Charleston South Carolina. We were so busy talking we forgot to get the blog photo.
The second couple, Vin & Amy, have become near locals in Beaufort after a 3 month stay at Lady’s Island. They did not originally plan a 3 month stay, but liked the area so much and wanted to do some work on their sailboat, so they decided to extend their stay. They have a very interesting story. They are traveling boaters like Jonell & I, but are full time not one year. This is now their life. Amy is a nurse by background and does 40 hours/week of medical records work remotely while traveling. Vin has had an assortment of jobs, but currently devotes most of his time to an AWESOME video blog of their adventure called “Sailing Nervous”. Below is the header of their website.
‘Sailing Nervous’ is the story of two novice sailors – married for 30 years – searching for freedom and fun. The ‘Sailing Nervous’ video series will trace their progress as they attempt to make their dream a reality. From learning how to sail, to buying the best used sailboat, to fixing up the boat, and then finally beginning their journey, where they live on a boat and travel to exotic places! They invite you to come along each step of the way!
They have had over 2.5 million views, and have a sponsorship of over 125 patrons supporting their dream. Here is their website. = https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4x5ZeAGz8Z_k0TzQO6fYIQ
They are a very interesting couple. It was great to listen to their story.
May 3 – Thu
On Thursday, I started the day with a trip to the barber for a long overdue cut. Johnny Harvey, of Harvey’s barber shop fixed me up. Johnny is the owner/operator of what looked to be a large 4 chair shop. His dad was a barber and the shop has been family owned for over 80 years.
After the cut, Jonell & I took the bikes over the bridge into Beaufort and went on a bike tour of some of the homes that we had seen while on the horse carriage tour. There are over 30 homes of historic significance in the tour book, but we will show only a select few. Most of the houses will be from the Antebellum Period (pre-Civil War, 1812-1861), but we will also show some houses from the Victorian Period (Colonial period 1837-1901). For unknown reasons, the self-guided walking tour book only referenced the Antebellum period houses, and did not supply any background on the Victorian period houses.
First is The Thomas Hepworth House – Built in 1720 and reported as the oldest house in Beaufort.
Second is The George Mosse Stoney House – Built in 1838. No reported big story about this house, but it had a wonderful rear garden/backyard, right on the waterfront.
The Lewis Sam Reeves House – Built in 1852, most famous for being in the movie “Prince of Tides”.
The McKee-Smalls House – Built in 1834, the birth house of Robert Smalls – the ex-slave who became a boat pilot and took a confederate sailboat from the Charleston Harbor, north into Union waters, and turned the boat & a lot of battle information over to the Union forces.
The Edgar Fripp House – Built in 1853, and maybe the most famous house, having been featured in two major motion pictures ; The Big Chill & The Great Santini. The house was in a high state of re-work with contractors trucks & equipment all over the grounds. We ran in to a local man near the house who gave us a background story. The house was just purchased by a man in New York, who is renovating the house, and will have his marriage ceremony on the grounds and live with his new bride beginning in November of this year.
The Victorian Period Houses (1837–1901) – as I mentioned above, we don’t have any detail on these houses, but they are in fact older than the houses shown above. A couple of them have been featured on HGTV.
In addition to the houses, there are also some famous buildings in Beaufort. One of the most famous is The First African Baptist Church, built in 1865, and was featured in Forrest Gump. This is the church that Forrest sang with the Baptist choir. The church and choir are active today, with one of the choir members , Marleena Smalls of Beaufort, being a local celebrity.
As I mentioned earlier in the blog, over 70% of the movie Forrest Gump was filmed in Beaufort, here are some of the interesting facts ;
> The Bayou Le Batre Hospital, which Forrest endows and is renamed the Gump Medical Center, is actually the front exterior of the Beaufort Performing Arts Center, located at 801 Carteret Street
> The Gump boarding house run by Forrest’s mother was actually built from scratch on private property in Colleton County and was fully functional. However, since it was built hastily and not to code, it had to be torn down after the shooting.
> Bubba’s mother was played by Marleena Smalls of Beaufort. Marleena’s choir group “The Hallelujah Singers” was also featured in the movie.
> Forrest’s shrimp boat, which he called “Jenny,” once belonged to local Beaufort shrimper Jimmy Stanley. The boat is now on display at the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Disneyworld Orlando.
> When Forrest goes on his cross-country run, the Woods Memorial Bridge in downtown Beaufort appears in the scenes. In fact, during the shooting, the Bridge had a sign on it that read: “Welcome to Mississippi.”
Here is our photo of The Forrest Gump Bridge, it is the same bridge we take the bikes over to get from Lady’s Island Marina to downtown Beaufort.
After a full day of touring Beaufort on Bikes, we came back to the boat to rest up & clean up for dinner. We needed a pump-out of the holding tanks, and experienced something for the first time on The Loop – a Pump Out Boat !
Same process as usual, but the small boat services all boats that cannot be reached with the dock-side hoses. The pump-out boat has a 300 gallon tank.
We ended Thursday with a lovely dinner at Panaini’s restaurant where our dinner was accompanied with live Jazz/Blues music. We were also highly entertained by our waiter and transplanted New York native Mel.
May 4 – Fri
Friday was a little more of a “work day”.
The teak chairs that we have had on the aft deck were gettin’ a little abused/scratched/worn, especially at the arm rests, so it was time for a tune-up. I spent the morning sanding the chairs and the afternoon putting a coat of Man-O-War Marine Varnish on the chairs. The work room at the marina provided a great place to do the sanding. We applied the varnish on the aft deck. First coat went ok, we need to steel wool sand & do 2 more coats this weekend.
After the chairs, I did some banking, and we watched a little golf on TV, then went to dinner.
Dinner on Friday night was at a highly rated place right next door to the marina called The Dockside Restaurant.
I had the Crispy Scored Flounder recommended by Warren & Bonnie, who we had met at The Fillin’ Station on Tuesday. Nellie had shrimp/flounder combo, and we both enjoyed some amazing corn bread. The flounder was drizzled with both sweet & spicy Asian sauces, it was very good (9 of 10 rating).
After dinner we came back to the marina. The tide had rolled out leaving a waterbed ground covering that looked like the moon surface.
May 5 – Sat
Saturday I began the day with a bike ride to the hardware store to get some more steel wool & another varnish brush. After returning to the boat, I gave the chairs coats #2 of the Man-O-War Marine varnish.
We then cleaned up and headed by Uber over the bridge into downtown Beaufort. Saturday was a special day in Beaufort, with the big “Taste of Beaufort” festival. It was the usual “Taste of” type activities, with lots of food, beer, music., and knick-knack items for sale in tents.
There were 3 bands which started at 11am and finished at 5pm, we stayed and watched all 3. The 1st & 2nd bands were great, the 3rd was ho-hum. The weather was beautiful and it was a wonderful care-free way to spend the afternoon – people watching, boat watching, and listening to some good music.
We had lunch from one of the vendor tents representing the restaurant The Port Royal Road House. They featured a snack of Pulled Pork Slider, Mac/Cheeze, & Bourbon Baked Beans for $5.
We had dinner at a local pub called Luther’s, but I forgot to get any photos.
After the festival & dinner, we returned back to the SS Gettin’ Looped about 6pm. We were quite bushed. We watched the end of the Tigers/Royals baseball game & exchanged some texts with our family back home who were out celebrating Cinco-de-Mayo in metro Detroit (Kenny/Carla, Brenda/Joe, & Paula/Michael).
The night ended with a very nice phone call from our great friends the Schellers & Spraggs.
It was a wonderful day !
May 6 – Sun
Sunday was a very low-key day.
We slept in until 8:45am.
We did some blogging, some clothes washing, completed coat #3 of varnish on the chairs, went grocery shopping, watched some golf, and had hot dogs for dinner.
The highlight of the day was watching the marina dog barking at the Dolphins. Yes, back home in Royal Oak Michigan, we watch the dogs barking at the squirrels. On the Great Loop, we watch the dogs bark at the Dolphins = https://youtu.be/BQTq4o9ONsM
Also notice the other boaters watching the dog bark at the dolphins, it was hilarious.
> Edisto Island South Carolina for 1 night
> Charleston South Carolina for 4 nights