Today (Day 3) we are spending a little time in the beautiful haven of Seabrook Island, SC. These barrier islands have a rich and varied history, and Seabrook is especially well known as a sea turtle sanctuary (more on that in a later post). On our way out here, we saw several island women engaged in the beautiful and rare talent of weaving sea grass baskets. These are SO beautiful. And their price is reflected in the labor of love that they are to make. Here is a website so you can see just how lovely and unusual these are: http://www.gullahgourmet.com/sweetgrass-baskets/row-upon-row-sea-grass-baskets-of-the-south-carolina-lowcountry And a little bit of history behind their storied past: http://northbysouth.kenyon.edu/1998/art/baskethistory.htm
While I am talking about these storied islands, let me give you a little bit of background. My five favorites are Kiawah (named after the Kiawah Indians who first inhabited it) , Johns Island, James Island, Seabrook, and Wadmalaw Islands. (We’ll tell their stories this week too!) These islands are surrounded by marshes that are the environmental homes to thousands of varieties of seabirds, and native flora. You should be here to smell the salt air, and hear the ocean as it calls. The siren song of the beach called us all – and we had a great time walking the coastline, even finding a marsh full of baby whelk shells and ghost crabs scurrying across the sand in front of us. Seabirds whirl and call to each other in the azure blue skies and the warm salty ocean rolls in and out, eternally whispering its song to us.
Seabrook, the island on which we are staying for the next few days, is a silent partner to the chaos of the PGA Tour on Kiawah this week. Man, are these golf aficionados dedicated! The traffic they are braving on these laid back islands rivals what we see in Annapolis, Baltimore and DC.
My kids wanted to know the history of Seabrook, and so we visited the local internet café to find out the following: Despite the fact that the island has streams and marshes (the reason my 13 year-old proffered for its name) Seabrook is named for Robert Seabrook, a businessman and politician who arrived in what was to become Charleston in 1679. The island changed hands several times through its storied past, and eventually became incorporated as a town in 1987. Today it is a haven for those seeking a peaceful life, and for the Loggerhead sea turtles its inhabitants labor so lovingly to protect. I will tell their story tomorrow.