Sunday, November 22, 2015

Flowertown Players 2015 Season--A Nostalgic Peek Into The Past Year

Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, "Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind." This year of 2015 is rapidly flying by and soon will be out of sight. Looking back over this past year, it clearly can be stated 2015 has been a highly successful one for the James F. Dean Theatre and its committed group of local actors called the Flowertown Players, who unselfishly volunteered their time to spread their wings of talent over the community of Summerville and in the process of doing so, left behind a silhouette of excellence.

Through the year, I had the pleasure and privilege of attending and photographing the steady procession of entertaining musicals and theatrical plays--a privilege for which I am truly honored and appreciative. Aside from the memories imprinted on our minds, the numerous photographs compiled through the year are a huge part of the shadow left behind.

As a tribute to the staff of the James F. Dean Theatre and the Flowertown Players, I have picked from the hundreds of photographs taken some of my favorites, which was not an easy task because there are so many favorites worthy of another look. I hope you enjoy this nostalgic peek into the past at some of the finer and funnier moments of the 2015 season.

"You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" will be showing December 4th to the 19th to close out 2015--photos will follow. You can purchase tickets here.

If you are visiting Summerville or you plan on visiting and you love community theater, be sure to visit the James F. Dean Theatre on historic Hutchinson Square. The theater building has been around since the early thirties when it was simply known as "The Show." It is cloaked with history. The Flowertown Players were formed in 1976. Check the schedule and catch a production.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Bodega Bay--The Place Where The Birds Rule And The Gateway To The Sonoma Coast

"It's the end of the world," said the man sitting at the end of the bar with a capricious smile and a drink in his hand. The place was Tides Restaurant and Bar located in Bodega Bay, CA. It was a scene from the Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller "The Birds."

Bodega Harbor was the place where Melanie Daniels(Tippi Hedren) was unexplainably attacked by a lone seagull while heading towards a dock in an outboard motor boat where her love interest, Mitch Brenner(Rod Taylor), awaited her arrival. The Tides Restaurant and Bar was where Mitch took Melanie to care for her bleeding head. Later, at the same restaurant, a debate ensued between some of the patrons as to the strange behavior of the birds. "Not likely," said a bird lover and amateur ornithologist concerning the likelihood of a bird exhibiting violent tendencies towards humans.

Birds have been known to swoop down on cats and even people, if they consider them a threat to their nests. I have been a witness to such curious behavior. There have been times when I have observed a little bird menacing another bigger bird for some reason unknown to me, but to attack a human without provocation, that would be out of character in the world of birds. On one occasion, I was dive bombed by some seagulls while eating at Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, but the birds were more interested in the food I was holding than taking out some anonymous vendetta against me. The family owned parakeets when I was just a toddler. I don't particularly recall any malevolent behavior on their part. Although, when it sat on my shoulder, it would peck my ear. It was somewhat bossy at times. Always told me to take out the garbage. Should I have been concerned?

As the movie progressed, the attacks from our fine feathered friends became more frequent and vicious. If you dare to watch the movie at some point in time you may want to close your eyes when Mitch's mother visits a neighbor friend. It isn't a pretty sight. Then, there was the scene after the crows attacked the children as they left the schoolhouse. Mitch finds the school teacher(played by Suzanne Pleshette) laying on the ground outside her home. Let's just say the birds have a thing about eyes.

They seemed to defy the idea that birds of a feather flock together only. These were no mere random acts or isolated incidents. Their maneuvers gave the appearance of being coordinated with one prime objective--punish man. The movie doesn't come right out and say that. Hitchcock leaves that up to us to figure out. At the climax of the movie, when Mitch and his family along with Melanie are forced to leave their battered home, one of the birds takes a parting shot with a peck to Mitch's hand as if to say, "It isn't over. It's only the beginning."

This was the premise of Hitchcock's first horror/fantasy film that scared audiences back in the early sixties. Bodega Bay was the setting he chose. It is a real place 1 1/2 hours north of San Francisco at the southern end of the rugged and beautiful Sonoma Coast. Hitchcock chose it because of its foggy weather and mystical landscape, which at that time was subdued and open. It has been over sixty years since the movies release and the Visitor Center in Bodega Bay receives thousands of Hitchcock fans every year. When you mention the movie to the receptionist, she will give you a sheet of paper listing all the points of interest and locations.


Although the original Tides Restaurant and Bar was destroyed by a fire in February of 1968, you can visit the newer Tides, which was built in its place--a complex with a snack bar, gift shop, seafood store, an elegant restaurant with a spectacular view of the harbor, and an inn. The old pier where Melanie was first attacked is still there. The farm house and the dock across the bay where Mitch lived all burned down in the late 60's. The old Potter School is the only original building used in the movie that stands to this day, and you won't find it in Bodega Bay. It is located some six miles inland in the town of Bodega. The schoolhouse was an abandoned building when it was first discovered by Hitchcock and rebuilt for the movie. Years later, it became a bed and breakfast, but now is a private residence. You can take pictures of it, but no longer able to tour it. You could politely ask the present owner, but the response may not be polite one--I read that in a review. The school teacher's house next to the schoolhouse was only a facade built for the movie.

I was just a young man entering my teens in 1963 when "The Birds" made its debut. The movie has since been a favorite. Hitchcock's spellbinding masterpiece has had an effect on my psyche. Whenever I see birds massing together I wonder, "Could this be it." There is a passage from the book of Revelation in the Bible that speaks of the birds being called to a great evening meal of God where they will eat the flesh of men. I wonder if Alfred had this text in mind when he was first inspired to write the script and storyboards?

Surrounded by tall hills and tall trees, the drive into Bodega Bay from the south is picturesque and narrow with many twists and turns. Once you reach the misty, tranquil waters of the harbor and begin to navigate its shoreline, you will sense the lingering remnants of nostalgia left by the movie. It saturates the old surviving salty structures of yesteryear as well as the contemporary. Bodega Bay is also the gateway to the rugged and scenic Sonoma Coast all the way to Goat Rock near Jenner.

Sonoma Coast Lodging

Inn at the Tides in Bodega Bay

One last parting thought. The ending we have become accustomed to seeing in the movie was not part the original script. The ending that was supposed to be was scraped due to costs. Picture in your mind the great Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco covered with birds. "It's the end of the world."

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Haunting Ashley River Plantation Just A Buggy Ride From Magnolia Plantation

The narrative of the unpretentious plantation located on Ashley River Road just a buggy ride from Magnolia Plantation stokes ones imagination. In the midday sun, it is inspirational, at dimday, unearthly. When the sun has disappeared from the changing skyline and the cloak of night has smothered the colors of light, the once sprawling shadows cast by the estate's ancient oak and singular chimney in the light of day melt away into the blackening landscape.

Standing amidst the old ruins, you sense there is something more than what meets the eye, something beguiling. The pervasive darkness and penetrating river atmosphere nourish the unsettling side of ones spirit. The heavy measure of primitive folklore from the plantations haunting Antebellum past permeates every weatherworn rock, moss covered tree and jaded brick. The ominous voices of yesteryear whisper disquieting words in your ear and the hairs on the back of your neck begin to dance. At that moment, you will have experienced the privilege of living the wonder and mystery that is Runnymede Plantation.

Two avenues led to the haunting estate--one of live oaks and the other with skyline hedges of Southern Magnolias. The garden was extraordinary.

There was a walk in the garden called the Alphabet Walk because the name of each tree that bordered it began with a different letter of the alphabet. Along such magical paths, under the plantation's ancient trees along Ashley River Road, wandered Edgar Allen Poe when he lived in Charleston and one finds just such mystical woodlands in his haunting tales.

The name of the plantation was inspired by a thousand year old oak on the estate located at the center of a large meadow overlooking the Ashley River. The pastoral scene reminded the owners of a property in England with a similar setting--its name, Runnymede.

The plantation has been known by three different names during its over three hundred years of history. Its oldest name was "Greenville." Later, it was named after the wife of one of the owner's and called "Sarah Place." After a fire destroyed the original mansion, the Pringle's built a new mansion and named it Runnymede.

Later, Charles C. Pinckney purchased Runnymede from the Pringle's son, William Bull. In 1865, the mansion built by the Pringle's suffered the same fate as the original. It was destroyed by a fire; a fire set by Union troops--likely the same troops that burned Middleton Place.

Pinckney rebuilt the home a third time. It was rumored to be one of the only country style Victorian homes in the Lowcountry. In 1995, it was purchased by the Whitfield's. The grim specter of fire revisited Runnymede again in 2002 and destroyed the home built by Pinckney. All that's left of the mansion is a partial outline of the home's perimeter, the brick entry steps, remnants of the brick fireplaces,

and the towering, two story chimney from the kitchen house.

Runnymede Plantation has a storied history interwoven with the folklore and superstitions of plantation living as big as its onetime 1,457 acres. One story tells of an African/American burial ground located deep within Runnymede's thick centuries old forests and an age old custom of placing personal items owned by the deceased in life on their graves--a custom with African roots. Items like plates, saucers, and drinking glasses if it was a woman or tools if it was a man, but not excluding items like a favorite chair.

The removal of any of these types of personal items from the graves of a dead person would result in consequences too terrible to imagine implicating swift retribution from the offended spirit. A belief implicitly held by hundreds of people living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina--including those who lived on Runnymede Plantation.

The plantation has a thick, untouched canopy of century old trees, numerous ponds and creeks, an unobstructed view of the Ashley River, and a unique place in Charleston's ancient and colorful plantation history.

A hauntingly powerful Southern tale from Runnymede's past: One September afternoon, two brothers from Charleston visited Runnymede Plantation for an end-of-summer outing; they were leaving the next morning to attend school in another state. One of the chief amusements enjoyed when visiting the old plantation was exploring its river and marshland setting in search of Lowcountry wildlife, such as the prowling alligator and abundant water fowl.

The two brothers were on such an excursion, an excursion that took them deep into Runnymede's surrounding forest where they happened upon an old slave burial ground. On the mounds of earth above where the remains of the people were buried, personal items belonging to the deceased person had been carefully placed. There were items like plates, cup and saucers, drinking glasses and favorite tools. Other items included such things as a favorite chair, a bottle of medicine and a spoon no doubt used to administer the medicine.

The brothers knew of the custom and the beliefs associated with the burial ground, but considering the beliefs to be just foolish superstition, they decided to play what they thought to be a humorous prank and disregarded what many Lowcountry people implicitly believed--the removal of an item from a grave or tampering with it in any way would bring swift and deadly retribution from the offended spirit. They removed a drinking glass from one of the graves and took it back to their home in Charleston.

When the parents saw the object, they questioned the brothers about it. The two brothers confessed to the prank. The parents were disappointed at the actions of their sons and became very concerned. It was not that they believed in the customs and rituals, but their concern was the disrespect their sons showed toward the people on Runnymede and their beliefs--beliefs handed down to them from their ancestors.

The parents immediately contacted the plantation owners and they insisted the item be returned at once to the burial ground and placed in its original position. It was returned. Word of the prank had spread throughout the plantation population, but it was believed their actions to undue the prank to be too late. Vengeance was probably already at work.

The brothers left for school out-of-state the next day, but they did not make it to their destination without deadly consequences. When word reached Runnymede of their unfortunate consequences, it was of no surprise to the people who firmly believed in such things. It was not unexpected.

Runnymede Plantation is located between Middleton Place and Magnolia Plantation. Unlike its more popular counterparts, it is not open to the public. It is open to scheduled weddings, private events, and concerts. You can check out its Facebook Page.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Whodunit Agatha Christie Fans?--"The Mousetrap" Opens October 16th At The James F. Dean Theatre

Friday's weather on the Square in Summerville, after the warm sun retreats below the shops and tall oaks, is forecasted to be pleasantly comfortable with clear skies. But inside the James F. Dean Theatre, where its interior has been ingeniously and skillfully transformed into an English manor featuring a sitting room packed with Victorian furnishings, a tall stained glassed window, door’s with arched openings leading off to various rooms, and numerous hidden staircases, an implausible snow storm will be raging. Recently renovated and converted into a guest house, from October 16th to October 25th, Agatha Christie's Monkswell Manor will be open for accommodations and you are invited to spend the evening, if you dare.

You see, a notebook has been found linking it to a murder. The words "Three Blind Mice" are written on it under the Manor's address and a piece of paper containing the ominous message, "This is the first," accompanying it. Everyone present is subsequently either a suspect or a potential victim with the murderer anticipated to strike two more times. Be on your guard, when the phone goes dead, all hell breaks loose. The cast of characters is as follows:

Mollie Ralston, the wife of Giles Ralston, is the owner of Monkswell Manor. She inherited it from her aunt. An ordinarily attractive, level-headed young woman, her perfectly reasonable and achievable goal is the development of Monkswell Manor into a pleasant livelihood for herself and her husband. Her unfaltering sympathetic feelings towards a young, male guest draws some ire from her husband of one year. Mollie is a young woman with secrets.

Giles Ralston is Mollie's husband. The two married only three weeks after meeting. So, his past is a bit of a mystery. He's very jealous, loyal and protective towards his wife. During the course of the night, Mollie senses he is acting somewhat distant and is forced to address suspicions raised about a clandestine trip he made to London on the day of Mrs. Stanning’s death. He wears a coat, scarf, and hat similar to those seen on the killer, but it is not just these accoutrements, in the coat’s pocket, there is something incriminating.

Christopher Wren is a capricious, obviously neurotic young man; behavior that makes him an apparent suspect as the night progresses, which angers him at one point. The first guest to arrive at Monkswell Manor, he makes himself at home, which rubs Giles the wrong way from the get-go, especially the attention he is given by Mollie. He admits he is running away from something, but refuses to say what. Wren claims to have been named after the architect.

Mrs. Boyle is an old English fuddy-duddy. Forced by the weather to share a taxi from the train station, she and Major Metcalf arrive together. She surveys everything with displeasure and looks at her surroundings disapprovingly. From the moment of her arrival, she complains about everything from the furnishings to the service. Her agitating disposition is so infuriating to the guests, they would literally like to strangle her.

Major Metcalf is a typical retired British military officer. He doesn't say a whole lot. He is more of an observer. However, what you see is not exactly what you get.

Miss Katherine Casewell is the last of the booked guests to arrive at Monkswell Manor. She is very reserved in her demeanor and remains mysteriously indifferent to the other guests and takes exception to being interrogated about who she is, where she is from, and her reason for coming to Monkswell Manor.

Mr. Paravicini is an unexpected guest at Monkswell Manor with some unusual peculiarities. Claiming his car has overturned in a snowdrift, he asserts the snow has blocked the roads and that everyone in the house is now trapped. The other guests hypothesize over his strange accent and wonder about his true age; Mr. Paravicini appears to have artificially made himself look older with the use of make-up. He also likes to stir the pot.

Detective Sergeant Trotter is a late arriving guest at Monkswell Manor. Mollie answered a telephone call from Superintendent Hogben of the Berkshire Police telling her that he was dispatching Sergeant Trotter to the guest house, and that the Ralstons must listen carefully to what he has to tell them. The Ralstons wonder what they could have done to garner police attention. Arriving on skis, Detective Trotter proceeds to question everyone in an effort to establish a relationship between any of the guests and a murder already committed at another location.

The Mousetrap had broken records in London's West End and established playwright, Agatha Christie, in the public eye. It opened in 1952 and ran continuously for 60 years. The 25,000th performance took place on November 18, 2012. The performance accompanied the unveiling of the Agatha Christie memorial statue in Leicester Square--commemorating her great works and her contributions to the theater.

Director Chrissy Eliason has booked a competent cast who convincingly mirror the true nature of Agatha Christie's original characters. Heather Jane Hogan as Mrs. Boyle was picture perfect and so believably obnoxious, I wanted to get up out of my seat and strangle her myself.

Jordan Katie Stauffer as Miss Casewell was captivating to watch as she stoically moved about the stage from chair to chair, chair to window, and window to desk, on which a pivotal prop sat, a period piece radio.

Victoria Teal Hartshorn and Daniel Breuer had the right stuff as Mollie Ralston and Giles Ralston. I don't know if Victoria and Daniel have any English in their genes, but according to my humble observation, they were the bee's knees as the proper English couple.

If you have ever had the pleasure of hanging out with Ernie Eliason, Mr Paravicini is his counterpart--playful and gregarious. Humor is integral to a good Whodunit and William Boyd masterfully provided the lighthearted aspects to ease the tension as the over-enthusiastic, slightly off-kilter Christopher Wren.

The complicated role of Detective Sergeant Trotter was played by Jim Brantley, who juggled names and notes proficiently through a varied range of emotions. To round out the cast, Major Metcalf was played by Fred Hutter.

Well done costumes, typical of the time period, and very English.

As stated earlier, the play features an ingeniously and skillfully built set--trademarks of Chrissy Eliason and Company plays. Beautifully lit for optimum mood, precisely furnished and smartly functional. Each prop having a place and serving a purpose. Oozing with atmosphere and realism, the icy chill between the guests in the manor's sitting room is only surpassed by the chill outside the room's large window, partly covered with blowing snow, where Detective Sergeant Trotter made his first appearance.

If you are an Agatha Christie fan, you don't want to miss The Mousetrap. So, go ahead and make your reservation and then put on your sleuth hats, and maybe add a scarf. Outside the James F. Dean Theatre the temperatures may be pleasant, but inside there is a chill in the air and murder is afoot. Whodunit? That is for you to figure out, and when you do, keep it to yourself--Agatha Christie wants it that way.

You can purchase your tickets to join the fun at Flowertown Players Tickets.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Charleston Outdoor Adventures' Morris Island Lighthouse Eco Tour--Uplifting And Enlightening

Leaving Folly Road, the causeway traveling in was rugged and narrow. Exactly what you would expect of a 13 acre island located in the Folly Island estuaries. At the end of the road, standing above the island's tidal creek like an old brown pelican perched on a weatherworn dock, spreading its wings in the warm southern sun was the locally adored Bowens Island Restaurant. Recognized as an "American Classic," it is a hodgepodge of grayed timber, rusty corrugated steel, old doors for windows, graffiti covered tables and piles of bleached oyster shells. At that time of day, which was 10:45 am, the outdoor decks were silent and the tables unoccupied.

However, destiny did not bring me here to slurp on the restaurant's locally harvested and beloved oysters. Its old, saltwater tainted dock is also home to the Eco-Adventure guiding service, Charleston Outdoor Adventures. Shortly, I would be boarding one of the outfitters charter boats for a 2.5 hour trip through Folly's tidal estuaries to Morris Island on the Morris Island Lighthouse Eco Tour for $45 a person.

After boarding Samson 1, our captain and naturalist guide, Derek Evenhouse, proceeded with introductions and parting instructions--such as life jacket location, safety tips and boat equipment. He fired up the outboard motor and eased the boat away from the old dock into the ebbing waters of Folly Creek where we slowly motored past the ragged wooden remains of a crumbling derelict boat and a group of paddleboaders soaking in the creek's pristine surroundings.

Shortly into our trip, our guide spotted two white, black winged American wood storks circling high above the creek's marsh grass looking for an opportunistic place to land. Captain Derek briefed us on how they mate for life and described their down-curved bill as resembling petrified wood.

Further on, we encountered three brown pelicans and one double-crested cormorant sunning their feathers on a deserted dock across from Crosby Fish and Shrimp Market. Skittish of our presence, the cormorant clumsily took flight from the dock while the pelicans, accustom to human activity, remained unconcerned for us to observe. With their bills partly open, their pouches fluttered in the warm midday sun--an effective evaporate cooling mechanism.

Continuing further into the estuary and the retreating tidal waters, the once hidden pluff mud laced the air with its penetrating odor and for the next fifteen minutes, we contentedly watched numerous pods of bottlenose dolphins feed along the edges of the marsh grass, whipping their tails with a scooping action and on a rare occasion beaching themselves to catch the fish forced onto shore by their waves--a curious hunting technique called strand feeding and characteristic of South Carolina dolphins.

Thoroughly gratified by the exhibition, it was time to cruise to are destination, Morris Island, where we would spend about an hour exploring its tree-barren beach in the shadow of its now water engulfed red brick lighthouse--Morris Island Lighthouse. To learn more about Morris Island and the lighthouse go to Morris Island Lighthouse-Once A Beacon Of Light, Now A Symbol Of Survival.

On our return, Captain Derek took us to the end of Folly Island, talked about the island's Civil War history, learned why the barrier islands south of Sullivan's Island are eroding, drifted past a group of American oyster catchers scattered about on an exposed oyster bed, and watched a dolphin chase and catch a leaping mullet in midair. After 3 hours of cruising and exploration, we docked the boat completely uplifted and enlightened.

Captain Derek, a graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources and a Ben Affleck look-alike--in my opinion, was personable, accommodating, knowledgeable and entertaining. He encouraged questions and when asked, took the time to answer them informatively and thoroughly. I give him five stars and as the Strand Feeding Coordinator on Folly Creek, I strongly recommend you request his tours.

The Morris Island Eco Tour is a great way to get an up-close look at one of Charleston's historically famous landmarks--the Morris Island Lighthouse. You can walk the island's seashell laden beach where the famous Civil War Confederate stronghold once stood and immortalized in the movie "Glory," Fort Wagner. You experience the breathtaking scenery of Folly's saltwater estuaries, its abundant bird life and catch a glimpse of its resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. While viewing the dolphins, you may have the opportunity to see these extraordinary animals perform a hunting strategy known as strand feeding. Although, we did not try our luck with a cast net or check out the crab traps, we saw plenty of wildlife and dolphins on an extended tour of 3 hours instead of the usual 2.5 hours.

Charleston Outdoor Adventures is Located at:
1871 Bowens Island Rd.
Charleston, SC

To view all the pictures, go to Morris Island Lighthouse Eco Tour Pictures.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

SUPing Folly Creek--Full Of Natural Beauty, Fascinating Wonders, And Teaming With Life

As the warm, morning sun rises above the Atlantic surf and washes over the sandy beachfront on the Edge of America, the ever impinging light unendingly confirms an already well established verifiable fact. The boundless Folly Beach landscape is a stunningly beautiful tangled blue web of saltwater creeks, rivers, and estuary marshes. It is this dazzling network of rising and ebbing saltwater that decidedly makes it a water sportsman’s wonderland of swimming, boating, fishing, surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

From the southern tip at Folly Beach Park to Lighthouse Inlet, Folly Beach has seven miles of beachfront ideal for sunning and swimming. The Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier is one of Folly's more prominent landmarks. Stretching 1,045 feet into the Atlantic surf, it has some of the best saltwater fishing in the area. The Washout has gained prominence as one of the more popular surfing spots along the East Coast. With 6.4 square miles of water, there is plenty of shoreline for the boater and kayaker to explore. However, for this article, I will be focusing on what Folly Beach has to offer the renting SUPer.

Although, you can rent paddleboards and transport them to wherever you want, there are two main entry points for paddleboard renting on Folly Beach--Folly Creek and Folly River. The choices and locations are Coastal Expeditions on Folly Road next to Crosby Fish and Shrimp, Charleston Outdoor Adventures next to Bowens Island Restaurant or Charleston SUP Safaris on Center Street at Flipper Finders.

After surveying the options, I chose Coastal Expeditions on Folly Creek. In my judgment, Folly Creek was the better access point. There was far less boat traffic and it was closer to more secluded areas of the surrounding estuary. Admittedly, the ultimate deciding factor that tipped my selection in favor of Coastal Expeditions came from a conversation I had with a couple who just came back from a paddleboarding excursion on Folly Creek. They mentioned seeing a partially sunken boat and that little bit of information peaked my interest.

I paid the $28 for 2 hours rental fee at a small office located in a wooden planked building and made final preparations for the paddle. It was a hot, humid afternoon, so I purchased a cold bottle of water at Crosby Fish and Shrimp, put my cell phone in the requested dry bag for safe keeping when not taking pictures and made the short walk to the pier. On the way, I passed a fisherman busy sorting through his catch of blue crab. Two large shrimp boats bearing the scars of their many years of service were moored at docks close to the fishing pier/boat dock where the guide awaited my arrival. It was high tide. The skies were partly cloudy blue. A challenging breeze was present. With dry bag and flip flops secured, I boarded the long board and shoved off into the warm waters of Folly Creek. It was going to be a great paddle.

My planned course would take me towards Bowens Island and the eclectic Bowen's Island Restaurant--a longtime favorite oyster stop for locals and a Hollywood icon—it was featured in the movie "Dear John." I wanted to take pictures of the restaurant from the water. I paddled past a huge estate with a large swimming platform before entering the more secluded stretch of Folly Creek where marsh grass and tall trees lined the shoreline leading to the restaurant. The brisk breeze at my back pushed me along at a pretty decent clip as I navigated and surfed the cresting waters. A mile into my paddle, I arrived at my desired destination and took numerous pictures of the old restaurant. I sat on my board with my feet and legs dangling in the water and soaked in the calming ambience and soothing sounds of my surroundings.

On the way back, I encountered the partially sunken boat—a ghostly relic from Hurricane Hugo. I curiously observed five great white heron foraging the edges of the marsh grass until they tired of my presence and spent a considerable amount of time being entertained by a group of six dolphins with young at their sides swim around my paddleboard. One dolphin afforded me the rare treat of seeing it totally breach the surface of the water. Sadly, my cell phone was packed away in the dry bag at the time. Thunder rumbled in the distance and the skies began to darken. It was time to leave the beautifully enriching scene.

In comparison to other paddleboard locations throughout the Charleston Lowcountry, I would consider Folly Creek a favorite, followed closely by Morgan Creek on the Isle of Palms. The Folly Beach estuary is a stunningly beautiful tangled blue web of saltwater creeks, rivers, and marshes full of natural beauty, fascinating wonders, and teaming with life.

Coastal Expeditions Folly Beach
2223 Folly Rd
(843) 406-0640