Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Beautiful Botany Bay

Thursday November 14,  2013
Edisto State Park, Edisto Island, South Carolina



I get to meet those folks I missed this summer in Vermont.


Back in Vermont this summer I posted some pictures of one of Winnona’s sisters.   That Brave had the best spot at the campground and I’d hoped to meet her owners but they left before I could catch them.  You can read that post here  if you are interested.


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When we pulled in to Edisto Beach, there was a Brave about the same vintage as Winnona.  So this time I went over right away to see her and Vinnie and Donna Crosby.   They are spending a month at Edisto and after talking with them we discovered that they are the same folks whose RV was at Winhall  Brook.  So I didn’t get to meet them then, but I did now.  Pretty amazing.   Also amazing is that in 4 days I took not one picture of them.  What an over sight on my part.  Too busy talking I guess.

But I did get one of their rig.  Looks like Winnona doesn’t  it.  It’s 2 years older than she is, a foot longer  and the floor plans inside are a bit different.  Donna and I both agree that even after looking at all the latest and greatest we really prefer our Braves.

It was wonderful to meet  them and all that talking resulted in getting some great ideas of things to do in this area since they have been coming here and staying a month for a number  of years.  They also travel with bikes and kayaks so one of the things they recommended was that we kayak at Botany Bay.  Hmmmm I’m thinking Australia.  But not quite.



Vinnie and Donna are so right.  Botany Bay is a gem.

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Botany Bay  is a 4687 acre wildlife preserve along the North Edisto River.  It is part of the largest remaining relatively undeveloped wetlands ecosystems on the Atlantic coast.  It is part  of the Wildlife Management Area Program of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  And they have done just that, left  it natural.   There is a beautiful drive/bike road through the preserve as well as an outstanding unspoiled beach and  a boat launch into the wetlands area and Ocella Creek.





Clearly this will take more than one day to see.  Today is kayak day.  On the drive  in, we are the only car on the sand road and come to a small  downed tree which we have to move  off the road in order to get to the boat launch.  No problem.  Not pretty but it gets the job done.





How’s this for  the sweetest kayak put in you’ve ever seen??


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Careful  of those oyster beds. It’s just after low tide  in this coastal creek.


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The golden grasses are magnificent on this beautiful day. 

We stay away from the banks.  Oyster bars everywhere.  Probably not a good spot for a Sea Eagle until the tide  is much higher.  But then it is also much stronger. 








We spot egrets in the trees and osprey in the sky.


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They sure have a gorgeous place to call home just now.





For quite a while,  we are easily cruising along with the slow incoming tide. 


Because we are barely paddling, we don’t scare off the waterfowl.

This picture of a female bufflehead is one of my favorites of the day.  It isn’t retouched in any way so I assume the blue must just be some sort of sky reflection in her wake.  I like the way it stands out in what turns out to be essentially a black and white shot although I did not take it that way.


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This tri colored heron stood on the edge of the grasses by the water and preened standing on one leg for long before we got to  him and long after we floated by.  Here he looks like he’s got  himself all twisted up.


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One of our last birds of the day was this cormorant also in a tree.  I’m used to seeing both he and the egrets  in the water, not in trees at 3:00 in the afternoon.


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Eventually of course we have to turn back and this time we are paddling against the incoming current.   But nothing like that fateful kayak at Crooked River during our first year on the road.  Thankfully we’ve learned a thing or two since then.

It is very interesting to see how different the wetlands look with much more water.  When we get back to the “creek”, it looks more like a river and several  of the oyster beds are helpfully marked with flags.

You can see  how far down the river was when we started out  and what it is like a few hours later.


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This  has to be one of the most wonderful afternoons we have had on the water in a very long time.   No other boats, no other people, no houses or machinery in sight or sound.  I would  love to come back and spend many more days kayaking here.


For sure we will be return to bike the road tomorrow and see much more  of the preserve.  I’ll tell you more about this history of this beautiful place then.


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On the way home, we take another of the Crosby’s recommendations.  We stop by the Flower’s Seafood Company take out located just behind their fresh seafood store.   David chooses the shrimp basket and I  the oysters.  We take  them home for dinner.  After  our paddle we are VERY hungry.

Yes yes everything is deep fried – seafood, hush puppies and french fries.  And it is all super good including the cole slaw which was not deep fried.  We can definitely second the recommendation for Flowers.


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Great day from the beginning to THE END!




  1. Laughed at the heron He really did look like he was tied up in knots. Looked like a great day for a kayak trip....

  2. Lovely kayak I'll have to bookmark this for the future. We may stay on the east coast Hatteras area summer 2015, so we'd be in the ballpark :-). There's an OLD Winnebago here now as well, I'll have to take a photo of it for you and see if it's an old aunt of Winnona :-).

  3. So, did the Brave sisters laugh and giggle when they saw each other again? ;c)

    Just amazing how much you're able to pack into a day. Such great pictures of your paddle. Was the tri colored heron standing on one leg because the water was so cold?

  4. Guess no such thing as coincidence running into the Brave again plus the added bonus of this great place to kayak. I wonder how hard it is to paddle against the tide.

  5. Great pictures of a great day for you and David. I love the picture of the little Bufflehead, too. If I were you, I'd have it printed and framed. It would look nice on one of Winnona's walls or even in the farm house.

  6. Nice that you finally met up with Winnona's relative;o) That is really a beautiful paddled but with all the oyster beds, we may just have to pass and check out your next post of the bike ride:o)) Wonderful photos of the birds...love the twisted one!!

  7. Wow! what a beautiful Kayak and bird viewing day. Thanks for the pics.

  8. My favorite part of this post was the "no people, no machinery, no noise, no boats, no houses." I know you never take that for granted, but how sad that in our world now, it's almost impossible to find! One of these days, I want to have a conversation with you about how you chose and acquired Winona.

  9. Love the bird pictures, but my favorite is the lady in red standing on one leg as she clears the road of pine debris. ;)

  10. I would have picked the shrimp just like David did. :)

  11. You are in my neck of the marsh. How long are you going to be here?

  12. I don't remember the fateful trip on Crooked River. I might have to go back and read that post. We had one of those on Juniper Springs Run.

    How interesting that you ran into the same people again.

    It's nice to see you two eating junk food. Makes me feel less guilty as we're about to head over to the all you can eat buffet.

  13. That really is a cool picture of the bufflehead. That's my favorite pic of the day too.

    Hmmm -- shrimp or oysters. I love 'em both, so I might've had to have a combo. :-)

  14. Lovely places to paddle. Fried shrimp & coleslaw sounds wonderful too!

  15. Sounds like a wonderful day all around, kayaking, birds and good seafood :)

  16. Somehow I can't think of Botany Bay as being anywhere but in Australia. Guess it's all those Irish songs I've heard.

  17. Love the birds and the colors in the grasses! I've never seen a cormorant in a tree either. They are so cool! Looks like a very fun place-

  18. Neat Bufflehead picture. I still say some of your pictures could win at a contest! The Crosby's Brave does look close to a twin! Great ideas from them! Gorgeous paddle and fun food. Can't imagine deep fried cole slaw...I'm sure it must be somewhere. Not sure it'd be at all tasty ;)

  19. Hum, love the kayak photos, but one question.....what is with us cheating eating? Karen and Al, you two and John and I all this last weekend. Is it the weather or what? Suddenly, we have this craving for non-plant food!

  20. Cool that you found the same RV again.


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