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For anyone unclear about what a harbormaster does, Nancy Cappelmann – who has held the position at Harbour Town Yacht Basin since 1995 – can sum it up fairly succinctly.

NANCY-CAPPELMANN“Much like managing a hotel, where the purpose is to put ‘heads in beds,’ a harbormaster’s responsibility is to put ‘yachts in slips,’” says Cappelmann, who started working at the marina back in 1981 when she scored what she thought would be a tan- inducing summer job as a dockhand. “Of course, the challenge is to inspire yachters to want to dock in your marina.”

So what goes into putting ‘yachts in slips’? And what kind of person is interested in such a gig? We spoke to seven of the island’s harbormasters for an inside look at the varied personalities and experiences of one of the island’s most important jobs.

Hilton Head Island and Bluffton form a glorious little nook along the Eastern seaboard, inspiring artists in many mediums.

Here's a look at four such working artists who live and create just around the corner from one another.

Robert Rommel’s “Osprey and Flounder,” Recently Tied for Winner in the Expert Category, of the Tri-Club photography contest in late May 2014, at Hidden Cypress in Sun City, Hilton Head

Research biologist/wildlife photographer Robert Rommel takes advantage of his surroundings to amplify the range of his own camera art, as well as to give him a unique perspective when teaching photography workshops.


With all our cutting-edge technology and powerful drugs, and despite the sharp decline in the death rate, half of all Americans still die of preventable disease. Every year more than a million Americans suffer heart attacks, and almost as many more million suffer strokes — a life-changing, irreversible injury that may result in serious disabilities.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D., is a board certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. He is the author of several books including The New York Times bestsellers Eat to Live; Super Immunity; The End of Dieting; and The End of Diabetes.


The coastal steamboat named Planter and a slave named Robert Smalls made history together early on the morning of May 13, 1862, when Smalls commandeered the vessel that was then in the service of the Confederate government, and escaped to freedom with its eight other black crewmen and several family members.

The daring dash to freedom began at 3 a.m. at the southern wharf in Charleston Harbor after the white crew members had left the ship for the night to attend a ball.

Smalls, who was born into slavery in Beaufort, had been leased out since he was a youth for various tasks on the Charleston waterfront and was working as wheelman of the Planter when he made his bid for freedom. Before the Confederate takeover, the Planter would carry cotton and passengers from Charleston to Georgetown.

According to an account of the event put together by the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program, Smalls, 23 years old at the time, had a well-thought-out plan for the escape.

Ralph-Ballantine1RALPH WYCOFF BALLANTINE ENTERED THIS WORLD on Sept. 21 — the autumnal equinox, when light becomes clearer, nature advertises change with showy colors, and shadows grow long and sharp as in the vintage noir comics. The year was 1919.

He was the sole male among three sisters in central Michigan. He learned early that he would have to make his way on his own. As it turned out, this made all the difference for this big blue-eyed boy who, would one day become my father, mentor and friend, a larger- than-life persona who left his mark in the art world and his Hilton Head Island home.

A few summers ago, when I made the decision to move to Hilton Head, I arrived a very broken man. I remember packing up my car, unsure of what this next chapter would be like, and having this overwhelming feeling of defeat. I had previously lived in Brooklyn and worked on 5th Avenue as a retail manager for Guess. During that time, my best friend and I were close to finishing off our 16-song concept album, which we had been working on for the better part of eight years. We both received our recording arts degrees from Fullsail University in 2005 and had been recording all our songs ourselves. In short, the two of us had an ugly falling out and went our separate ways.

Local musicians John Cranford and Jared Matthew Templeton collected childhood photos of several members of the local music scene. They call this yearbook collection, "The School of Rock." Enjoy.



Yoga is a practice in which one learns permanent peace in order to know one’s true self.

It certainly worked for Vicki Rickard, a musician and instructor at Jiva Yoga Center on Hilton Head Island.

It was yoga and a love of music that prompted her to sing in her yoga classes and later teach herself how to use a harmonium to accompany her vocals.

musicmay1407If you think about it, Hilton Head Island became to be as we know it -- a family-oriented vacation destination -- because Sea Pines Resort hired a guy to strum a guitar under a huge oak tree.

That guy was Gregg Russell, a Birmingham, Ala., native who was trying to earn a graduate degree in business by singing for the summer at Disney World.

“I was the front guy for a trio and an agent asked if we wanted to go to Hilton Head for a couple weeks.” His bandmates weren’t interested, but Russell was.

Jeff-BradleySouth Carolina is a bevy of strange political stories, from our former governor’s “hike” on the Appalachian Trail to the most current tale of Andy Patrick, a Republican member of the S.C. House of Representatives from Hilton Head Island.

Patrick is involved in a very contentious divorce that has brought out his dealings with FBI, the Secret Service and possibly the CIA.

In the midst of all of this brouhaha, Patrick has announced he will not run for reelection. His seat will be up for grabs in the Nov. 10 election.

Well, not necessarily “up for grabs.”