Monday, May 26, 2008

Hilton Head Island, SC to Beaufort, SC

Monday, May 26, 2008 - HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!! "Island Hopper" departed the dock at 9:50 AM heading to Beaufort, SC. We waited to leave for higher tides. Tides in this area is running around 6 feet. Temperatures are in the high 70s. It rained briefly this morning, but the skies are now overcast with blue skies peeping from behind the clouds. We will be traveling 28 miles on the inside. Winds are mild SW 5-10. Current is .9 of a mile per hour. Along the waterway we saw many beautiful homes. Some were historic homes and others were newly built. It was a very picturesque ride.

We arrived at the Downtown Marina of Beaufort at 12:30PM. The marina is located in the heart of the historical district and is a well-appointed facility.

Debbie using the well-appoinrted laundry facilities
Beaufort History The long and colorful history of Beaufort stretches back to early exploration and colonization by the Spanish empire. The first European to visit the region was apparently Francisco Cordillo, who landed at Port Royal Island in 1520. It was he who named the nearby cape St. Elena, which with the passage of the years became St. Helena. In 1557, the Spanish attempted to establish a base in the area, but the colony failed. In 1562, an adventurous Frenchman named Jean Ribaut led a group of French Protestants to the New World. The colonist built a settlement on nearby Parris Island and named their small town Charlesfort. For a time all went well, but the colony was doomed to end in tragic and grimly failure. Promising to return as soon as possible, Ribault sailed back to France to obtain needed supplies. When the dynamic leader arrived in his mother country, he found the French nation torn asunder with religious conflict. He traveled to England hoping for aid, but was thrown in prison and vanished from the canvas of Beaufort's early history. Meanwhile, the Parris Island colonists were quickly running through their supplies. So the colonists decided to set sail for France. Spanish soliders returned to Parris Island in 1566 and built Fort San Felipe. With the burning of St. Augustine, FL, by Sir Frances Drake in 1566, Spanish efforts to maintain a foothold in the lands lying about modern-day Beaufort were brought to an end. In 1660, following the restoration of the English monarchy, Britain sent an expedition under William Hilton to explore the Carolina coast. Beaufort and Port Royal were occupied by British forces in 1779. Prosperity returned around 1790 with the rise of Sea Island cotton. Until 1860, the long-staple plant brought fabulous wealth to Beaufort, as it did to the surrounding Sea Islands. In 1893 , a hurricaneof astonishing violence struck Beaufort. The town and nearby island were covered with 12 feet of water, and winds of more than 100 miles per hour wreaked havoc. Prosperity finally began a long awaited return to Beaufort during World War I with the establishment of the Parris Island Marine Base nearby. The event was followed by the establishment of thePort Royal Port Authority in 1955 and the opening of a major shipping terminal at Port Royal in 1958. With the historic restorations and a beautifully landscped waterfront. Beaufort's future as a tourist attraction appeared bright. Beaufort Today The Beaufort downtown Bay Street shopping district, virtually next door to the Downtown MArina of Beaufort, boasts a colorfularray of gift shops , restaurants, and a surprising number of art galleries. Thereis much to see and do in the historic district.
Historic Downtown Beaufort

Local Art

More Local Art

Island Hopper at the Dock in Beaufort

We walked into town around 7:30 PM and had dinner on the porch of Plums.

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