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Port Royal Sound

April 13, 2011

April 9, north side of the Port Royal Sound

Daufunskie was hard to leave. The people at the Freeport Marina were fantastic. I did not pay for anything but food and drinks. I sent a SD card with 350 DNG files of the most important pictures of my trip and the guy at the store gave me an envelope and would not let me pay for the stamp. I tried to pay for coffee but he would not have anything to do with my money so I put it in the Daufunskie school donation box. He told me it was the smallest school of the US with only 12 students in it.

I was on the water at around 9. That day, I only planned to go 12 miles and camp on a deserted area close to the Port Royal Sound. My plan was to cross it in the morning while the wind and waves would be at their minimum and during the incoming tide. Crossing Port Royal can be a big deal. It’s a 4 to 5 mile crossing where the current, ocean swell and the waves of the sound itself intersect. It’s no different than the other sounds I’ve crossed except it’s about twice as wide and its sources are of notable size: respectively 4 and 1 mile wide. It’s the sort of crossing you plan well.

As I was moving towards the sound, it became apparent that perhaps I could cross it that morning and sleep on a deserted beach on the other side. The timing was not ideal but I was willing to give it a try or at least go and see the sound for myself.

I stopped at a marina just before the sound and I was told that I had in fact an hour and a half more time than I expected. The tide charts are quite a bit off. So I went.

What I saw was the most anticlimactic. I was expecting some sort of maritime mayhem but I was faced with a mirror. I five mile wide mirror. There were absolutely no waves or wind. Pedaling five miles was a chore but I was happy to do it. I smiled the whole way thanking my good luck although I was roasting in the sun and aching from so much hectic pedaling: I wanted to cross that sound as fast as possible since even with no waves the current could have easily become a problem if I had taken too long.

I got to Parris Island, on the other side of the sound, expecting to see the Navy Seals training. Perhaps get a glimpse of GI Jane, since that is where their boot camp takes place in the movie GI Jane. It would have been a hoot to cheer them on as I was pedaling along the shore. It was not to be so I crossed the other river and set camp on a long beach. It was rather busy only 200 yards from where I stopped, certainly not the ideal place to stop but it had to do.

My part of the beach happened to be in front of a cemetery. The cemetery was very strange. Everything was overgrown, plants taking most of the place. The graves were fresh and new flowers had just been laid on many of them but the cemetery looked like an over fertilized abandoned garden. One of the fresh graves was laid right into the brush. They barely hacked enough brush to dig a hole and put a large plaque. I guess these people like to go back to nature.

local flag

Here’s an interesting blog that talk about wild camping. It’s from a cyclist that I met in Fort Lauderdale. He just arrived from NY when I met him. Go see his blog :

  1. stoney permalink

    have enjoyed your trip with you ….hope you come back to St. Augustine, always have a piece of sand paper or brush for you

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