We are getting pretty good at shoving off the dock. Shelter Cove is great but there are lots of other places to discover and we are determined to do just that. Our son, Michael shared with us that the community of Isle of Hope, just south of Savannah, has a wonderful art and music festival that we needed to explore. He encourages us to get a slip for the weekend in order to have front row seats to the action. So Friday morning, off we go.
It’s about a four hour cruise down to Savanah and we are going in tandem with Bill and Meredith Chastain. They are southbound now on the CTime on their way back to Alabama from adventures that led them all the way to Maine. We are glad to spend the weekend catching up on their stories.
Isle of Hope is a charming community with Isle of Hope Marina at the heart of the waterfront. It’s rich history is a fun read. Click the link and you’ll see what I mean. I own a copy of A very old cruising guide that mentions the marina’s railroad system for hauling boats from the water for repairs and painting. My walk along the wharf revealed the remains of that old system. Not so state of the art any longer!
The deckhands put us on the face dock which gives us a perfect vantage point for the weekend’s action. My first order of business was to get out and walk!
The town is located on a hairpin turn on the Skidaway River which is part of the ICW. This provides a huge expanse of waterfront along Bluff Street. Each home is prettier and more iconic low-country than the next. There is a mix of mansions, cottages and new construction. Lovely cozy porches and pristine picket fences adorn every lot and massive oaks and towering pines as large as I’ve ever seen are in every yard. Unspoiled by time and development this historic little river stop has been a bustling community for several hundred years. People were walking everywhere. And the dogs! I’ve never seen so many dogs! My Saturday walk was a literal dog traffic jam.
The local citizens saved their town and marina from condominium developers in the 1980s and now have strict guidelines for what can be built in the historic district. The new homes compliment the old and the spanish-moss draped-oaks reign supreme over all.
Saturday was a delightful mix of strolling the art booths and chilling to the music from the fly bridge of the boat. The kids came in their boat and tied off to join us. Our granddaughters love exploring and pretending and Pelican gave them the perfect backdrop. They played restaurant in the galley and adorned Mac’s berth with their artwork.
Showers shortened the visit a bit but not before Mac could dazzle all with his green-egg pork butt!!
A cold front arrived overnight so Sunday’s cruise back up to Hilton Head was a real change of pace. We were bundled in layers to ward off the north wind.
We are told many cruisers say “Oh we’ve passed by Isle of Hope”. Thunderbolt is the more popular stop for many with its huge operation in view for miles. But I for one am glad we made this lovely town a destination on these adventures. We have washed off the dust from the stroll down the dirt alleyways but we won’t wash the memories of a visit to a town that sings so lovely it’s song of the past.