{ SC's October Calendar + Our Featured SC Event }

Georgetown, October 21-22  |  This year's October Calendar of Events is brought to you by the Georgetown's 28th Annual Wooden Boat Show, a waterfront event that offers fun for the entire family. The 2017 celebration will feature one of the nation's best wooden boat exhibits with more than 140 classic wooden boats displayed on land and water, a wooden boatbuilding competition, children's model boatbuilding, knot tying, maritime art and crafts, food, and music. A special attraction will be Saturday's Wooden Boat Challenge when teams of two race to build a rowing skiff within a four-hour time limit and then test their boats for seaworthiness in an exciting rowing relay on the Sampit River. The Georgetown Wooden Boat Show is regularly selected by the Southeast Tourism Society as a Top 20 Event for October.

 See more great South Carolina events in October and November.

{ Botany Bay's Boneyard Beach: Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend }

South Carolina was spared a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, and our state escaped much of the suffering it caused. Some of our landmarks fared less well, however, among them an old snag standing in the sand at the edge of the ocean on Botany Bay. This 3,300-acre wildlife refuge on Edisto Island is considered one of the most picturesque settings in the Palmetto State. Until Hurricane Matthew hit in 2015, it was home to a "boneyard beach" – the colloquial name for a shoreline strewn with the skeletons of live oaks whose roots hold fast long after the soil beneath them erodes.

Bleached by the sun, these trees stand sentry between the sand and the sea, a stark but stirring testament to the resilience of nature. Matthew tore down all but one, which in turn became an icon of tenacity and even, for many, of courage. When Hurricane Irma landed last month, the tidal surge rose to ten feet, and Botany Bay's last remaining trunk fell. The following essay, written by guest author Tiffany Briley, serves as an ode to this bygone landmark. Tiffany and her husband Keith operate Charleston Photography Tours.

( Keith Briley of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent )

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend
Tiffany Briley, September 2017

It was just three months ago that we stepped out onto the beach at Botany Bay, after eight months of its being inaccessible. Tears welled in our eyes and it was like coming home, especially when we saw that one final tree, beloved by all photographers, stood strong and proud in the water. He was a beacon of hope, telling us that no matter what storms may come in life, and though the shifting sands around us scatter, there is strength in the decay.

( Keith Briley of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent )

We breathed a sigh of relief when we knew Irma was diverting to the west side of Florida, and Charleston would be spared from being hit head-on by a Category 4 hurricane. This morning as we picked up the fallen limbs and debris from our home, our phones buzzed and we received a note from a friend we work with, pilot Hayden Ervin with Holy City Helicopters, that he was going to fly over Botany Bay. We waited and within an hour video from his flight was posted on Facebook. Keith and I sat watching on repeat, pausing to sure what we saw was correct: Our old friend that had once stood so proudly was now down in the water.

( Tiffany Briley of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent )

To us it was like losing a friend who was a constant: The one you didn't think would ever go. For all the folks who also loved that tree, it's a profound loss. Even now, until we can see it with our own eyes, the reality of its absence is dim. From our hearts to that sweet old tree, thank you for what you meant to all of us – a symbol of strength, resilience, and faith. You'll be dearly missed.

( Tiffany Briley of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent )

Photo notes: The tree shown immediately above was lost to Matthew – not Irma. It is a different tree. Tiffany says, "This tree was considered 'the beloved' of photographers because of her ornate limb structure. We lost her to Matthew." The image immediately preceding this one shows the forest before the majority of it fell in 2015 and includes both trees. The top two photos, by Tiffany's husband Keith, document the tree this essay is about, both before and after Irma's wrath.

{ South Carolina's "Boneyard Beaches" }

( Ben Sumrell of Awendaw, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent )

Boneyard Beaches exist within the ebb and flow of tides and time. South Carolina currently has three boneyard beaches that we know of – the quickly-disappearing Hunting Island in Beaufort (shown below) and Capers Island and Bull Island, both in Cape Romain (shown above). The latter two islands are accessible only by boat.

( Jim Dollar of Indian Land, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent )

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