Saturday, March 24, 2012

Daufuskie Island

Yesterday we went on a Calibogue Cruise to Daufuskie Island, just off the coast of Hilton Head Island. This area has a long history (Indians, Spaniards, the Union Troups) but the really interesting history starts after the slaves were freed and the plantation owners left the island pretty much to their slaves who were all from a tribe in Africa called "Gullah's". This particular group of slaves had held fast to their tribal customs and language and did not mix with the rest of the country (pretty isolated out there on the island). The descendants left of the Gullah Tribe still live on Daufuskie Island but they are few in numbers. There are a few "immigrants", people that moved to the island from the mainland (like the postal lady we talked to). Other than that, there is one area of the island that was developed as a rather ritzy community. These remaining residents depend on a ferry to get to and from Daufuskie. I can't imagine and hour ride just to get groceries, then lugging them back on the ferry, then on to the golfcart and home. And the kids, from 6th grade on, go to a mainland school which involves a bus to the ferry, the ferry ride over, then another bus to school. An hour and a half twice a day...UGH! But...extremely beautiful, and extremely untouched, island paradise. In addition to the Atlantic Ocean shoreline that was clean and scenic, the island is heavily wooded and heavily spanish-mossed for an altogether lovely area.

So off we went for the hour ride to Daufuskie on a beautiful South Carolina morning (yes, we are still in Georgia but Hilton Head Island, where we caught the ferry is about 75 minutes away). We were promised Dolphin sightings and did see a few bobbing up and down on both the way there and back, but no big shows or displays :(
Buck Island Lighthouse

We arrived about noon and, as part of the tour package, had lunch at Old Daufuskie Crab Company. Total rip-off (I guess you can get away with anything when you have a monopoly) and awful "buffet" lunch. But, on to the tour portion, which consisted of a golf cart and a map of the island. We were free to go anywhere we wanted on the island (which is, approx 8 square miles) except the private community of Haig Point.

First things first, of course. We hit the beach (actually called Bloody Point after an infamous Indian Massacre). It was very pretty, wide expanse of gold sand, pretty clean (no seaweed anyway) but that murky brown Atlantic water.

And a few of these attractive little buggers..

We walked the beach for a while, found some pretty shells then hopped back in the golf cart for more touring. Jeff was really getting a kick out of driving the cart. Tooling down the road with a Corona, a cigar and a big smile!

We tried to find a few of the shops and landmarks posted on the map but either they didn't exist, were hidden in the woods or we were having a bad map-reading day. For a really small island, it had a labyrinth of roads, both dirt and paved, and they were not well marked.Typically when Jeff drives and I navigate we do pretty well but we were batting a big fat zero yesterday!. No worries though, it was such a nice day and we enjoyed the views of the island itself.
We got back to the Marina well before the required time so we sat a spell and enjoyed watching the local Osprey tend to their nest on top of a near-by boat lift.

We probably would not have done this tour had we known just how far it was (we had been told 30 minutes and almost missed the boat!). By the time we got back home it was almost 7 so we stopped for a bite at a local Scottish Bar. Across the street was...

So Jeff stopped in a found a six-pack of a beer he had in Savannah that is brewed in North Carolina. The rest of the night it stormed so we tucked in. Tomorrow we head to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a few days. We were warned by the couple we met in Savannah to expect touristy crap and crowded beaches so we are prepared for the worst but hoping for the best...a few days by the shore!


  1. I love your pictures of your trip and your write up. Please check out my blog site at I would love to repost your picture with the pink rocking chairs. Let me know if I have your permission. Thanks, Kristine

  2. You missed a lot. My gallery is easy to spot once you find the road and the 17ft long iron fish sculpture by the road. Since you missed it, try pack a lunch/cooler next time in an effort to save time.

  3. You should have read Pat Conroy's "The Water is Wide" before you went. It totally gives perspective to being on the island. I went with my family last year and loved the island.

  4. Thanks for the Info. I'm going next week and one of my stops is the TheIronFish!