"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

April 15, 2016

April 14 – Beaufort, SC

Downtown Marina Mooring Ball

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” —Thornton Wilder

Stan and I both enjoy being on the water and we both like when we are moving along to new places, but it also feels nice to stay for awhile in one spot. It means we can have a slower mornings enjoying our coffee and watch things come alive on the water...that's the kind of morning we had today.

The day was beautiful, a little cool, but sunny. Perfect for riding our bikes...and ride we did, sixteen miles. First we rode through the historic section of town staying close to the water, looking at the pretty antebellum homes and huge oak trees.

We stopped for lunch at Bricks Cafe, we were told they had great oysters and they didn't disappoint. We both had a very good lunch, which refueled us for the afternoon. Beaufort County has a nice bike trail called Spanish Moss Trail. It follows the old Port Royal railroad from Seabrook to Port Royal. The trail follows along serene marshes, historic buildings and quiet neighborhoods. We rode from the old depot to Port Royal. It's a great trail and it was a nice way to spend our afternoon. When we returned to Beaufort we treated ourselves to ice cream and enjoyed the view of the water from the swings in the park.

The Castle - was built in the late 1850's for Dr. Joseph Johnson, it was the last mansion built in Beaufort before the Union invasion. It has seventy-nine windows to ventilate twenty-three rooms, and eight fireplaces that were necessary to create enough warmth in the winter months. The front veranda boasts six massive columns which are uninterrupted, stretching two stories high. Water from the Beaufort River flows alongside the property, creating a moat effect and prompting the nickname: “The Castle.”
When the Federal troops occupied Beaufort in 1861, the home was used as a military hospital. The outbuilding served as a morgue while the grounds surrounding the house very well may have served as a graveyard. After the war gardeners reported many strange happenings, even Dr. Johnson himself was said to have seen a dwarf walking outside the home.

This is the legend of “The Castle”When the French explorer Jean Ribaut and his Huguenots came to the area in 1562, he brought with him a jester; a dwarf named Gauche. Although there is no evidence that Gauche even sailed with Ribaut, his death remains a mystery to this day, with many speculated accounts of the dwarf’s demise. Some say he may have succumbed to disease, other accounts say he may had been hanged or perhaps killed in a brawl. Whatever the case, his spirit seems to remain and his ghost is said to still inhabit The Castle. He`s been sighted walking on the grounds of the home. Some even say they’ve seen him inside while touring the historic home.

More beautiful homes in the historic district
Not all the homes were huge, but they all are appealing to me
I love the oak trees here
Here is a map of where we rode today. The red dot is where The Pearl is moored this year. The other icons is were we've been in the past.
The Depot built in 1901 is where we began the Spanish Moss Trail.
Part of the trail
Views from the the trail
Buildings in Port Royal
The Police Department
The Fire Station
American Cruise Line's ship Independence docked in Beaufort 
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

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