Savoring Summer

Not much beats a day on the water in Charleston—especially in the summertime. While a paddleboard is my usual means of getting out on the creeks, every now and again, generous friends invite my husband and me out on their boats. (The old saying is true: The only thing better than owning a boat is having a friend that owns one!) Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to go on a variety of excursions, from picnics on sandbars and fishing the marsh flats to harbor cocktail cruises and camping trips to Capers Island. Like any good boat guests, we always offer to lend a hand and kick in for gas money.

According to 2022 stats from the US Coast Guard, South Carolina ranked second in recreational boat and yacht ownership per capita—that’s nearly 109 boats per 1,000 people! With so many new residents, a preponderance of boat clubs, and high season for boating ramping up, we asked frequent contributor and proud pontoon owner Stratton Lawrence to create a Charleston boating guide. For “Know the Ropes,” he talked with local experts, including a harbor pilot, a tour boat captain, and a Department of Natural Resources officer, among other longtime watermen, gleaning sound advice on everything from gearing up to reading channel markers to anchoring on a sandbar. While there’s plenty of fun to be had, including some suggested destinations, there’s also safety and environmental concerns to keep in mind. Be sure to check out the online version with an interactive map marking places to go and hazards to avoid.

Our “Summer” issue also highlights another pleasure of the season, South Carolina’s favorite fruit. In “The Peach Buzz,” you’ll learn all about the luscious beauties, including a long-lost Lowcountry varietal, the lemon cling; where to buy them; and an array of recipe ideas from local chefs and purveyors. Hmmm, perhaps I can entice some friends for a boating adventure with the promise of a peach-filled picnic. Think it’ll work?


Darcy Shankland
Editor in chief