If you’re reading this, it means that it’s after June 1st, the official beginning of hurricane season. Being from Florida, the season, which ends on November 30th, is something that is not just noted like the coming of summer, it’s a time that in my mind, I consciously recognize and develop mental notes towards being prepared. I have discovered that, for longtime residents of the lowcountry, the mindset, however, is totally different. Matter of fact, the expectation of a storm actually coming this way was so low, (and I do say was) that the consensus had some people taking the storm (and their preparations) very lightly. Until it was time to evacuate. 

Hilton Head Island’s ocean views and wetlands look stunning in the dwindling light of sunset — linger later and you'll have a pure view of the moon, thanks to the island’s strict lighting rules.

Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface, so perhaps this is why we’re drawn to the ocean. Cities seem to cluster near them and for landlubbers, it has a magnetic pull for vacations. If you’ve visited the Caribbean or west coast beaches, you may wonder why we don’t have the deep blues seen elsewhere.


At first glance, the rehab center for marine turtles at the South Carolina Aquarium on the Charleston Harbor appears to be a collection of large kiddie pools littering a basement storage room.

Look more closely, though, and one can see that inside each of the 12 or so blue fiberglass tanks is a sea turtle in different stages of rehabilitation. Most are wandering around the tank, going this way or that, and coming up for air every so often.

It may be hard to believe there are still wild spaces left in Beaufort County, what with Hilton Head Island’s resort polish, Bluffton’s up-and-coming downhome charms and the city of Beaufort’s historic structures. Even Daufuskie Island, defined by its isolation, has golf courses.

But just behind Daufuskie you’ll find a chain of nine islands whose untamed forests and 360-degree views of pure “uncivilization” let you breathe in the Sea Islands that once were.

Sea cows making their spring trip to local waters

Most people think of manatees as lazily floating about the waterways of Florida. But each spring, these docile creatures get the urge to travel.

Their search for cooler waters brings them north, with many making Beaufort County rivers and estuaries their summer homes. Some migrate as far as Cape Cod, until fall and winter temperatures send them back to Florida’s warmer waters.

There’s no question that Bluffton and Hilton Head Island are well-known for their beauty and for being among the best places in the country to live, retire and vacation. Here are just a few of the latest headlines praising the area, according to the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce:

“[The marsh tacky is] more than a horse. It represents a connection to the land and culture for South Carolinians and a way of living, surviving, and adapting to conditions that ultimately became home.” — Caroline Maffry of Equitrekking

Sunday, Sept. 25:
Tropical weather is detected southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.

Wednesday, Sept. 28:
Tropical Storm Matthew forms in the Windward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. 

Thursday, Sept. 29:
Matthew strengthens to a hurricane with 75 mph winds and continues its path toward the central Caribbean Sea. 

The storm made heroes of so many, and reminded us all of the power of community.

You may not think this is your story, but it is. We all have our own answers to the question, “Where were you during Hurricane Matthew?” But the story of Hurricane Matthew is one we all share.