Great Loop Adventure Hilton Head SC – Day 19-25

It was a nice, short cruise from Savannah Georgia to Hilton Head Island South Carolina. We got up early to arrive before the big wind that was forecasted.  Best I can tell, a lot of looping is running from the next storm! Typically, we found that on the water the mornings and evening are the calmest from a wind perspective and afternoon is when the wind usually picks up. Also, there are typical wind patterns and then there are blows… us power boats hate blows.. nothing worse than getting caught out or trying to dock or anchor in strong winds.

Here is our Nebo log for the cruise from Savannah to Hilton Head Island.


As it turned out, we arrived early to Palmetto Bay Marina and then the wind started again…up to 40 mph gusts for almost three days. Good news is we had planned to stop here for a week – YAY. The marina itself is very nice, very quiet and not a lot of transient boaters. The docks are big and new, as are the restrooms and free laundry facility. They are Great Loop Sponsors, and the dockage rates are some of the most reasonable on the island so all that combined is why we decided to stay at Palmetto Bay Marina for the week. 

One great aspect of slow looping is we can stay as long as we want and wait for nice weather to cruise. We had long time friends staying on the Hilton Head Island so it was great to spend time with them, relax on the beach and catch up. While the island is very bike-able, we decided to rent a car so that we could have the flexibility to explore more. The four of us had a fabulous dinner and celebrated our 31st anniversary together at Ombra Cucina Italiana. 

Hilton Head Island has over 12 miles beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean, loads of golf courses and wonderful restaurants making it is a popular vacation destination. The island is named after Captain William Hilton, who in 1663 identified a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound, which mapmakers named “Hilton’s Headland.

The island has a rich history that started with seasonal occupation by Native Americans thousands of years ago and continued with European exploration and the Sea Island Cotton trade. It became an important base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports during the Civil War. Once the island fell to Union troops, hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head, which is still home to many of their descendants, who are known as the Gullah (or Geechee). They have managed to hold onto much of their ethnic and cultural identity.

Hilton Head Island is considered a barrier island. A typical barrier island has a headland, a beach and surf zone, and a sand spit.  The Island is lush and beautiful, with a dynamic beach system with offshore bars, pounding surf, and shifting beaches; as well as grassy dunes behind the beach, lush maritime forests with wetlands in the interiors, and salt or tidal marshes on the lee side, facing the mainland. 

Besides hanging with friends, exploring and checking out the restaurant scene, we got caught up on some chores (free laundry), fixed an emergency vacuflush disaster (ohh, the joy of boat toilets) and we actually did do some general relaxing. I also found a great seafood market – Benny Hudsons. They had an Atlantic fish that I had never heard of – Wreckfish. Of course, I had to try it. DELICIOUS… it is a mild, flaky but firm whitefish. I fixed it with a herbed panko crust and a citrus beurre sauce.

Another highlight was that friends and fellow boaters from Anacortes WA, Ken and Joyce joined us on Saturday and will be cruising with us to Charleston. All in all, we really enjoyed our 7 night stop at Hilton Head Island… Off to Beaufort SC now.


One thought on “Great Loop Adventure Hilton Head SC – Day 19-25

  1. We just returned from a week in that area! (We were staying in Bluffton.) I wish we had known you were there and we could have finally met in person. If you get a chance, check out Bluffton. It’s a charming town and Sunday brunch at The Farm is excellent. There’s also a boardwalk in Port Royale and the nesting herons and egrets are so much fun to see up close. So glad you’re having such a great time!


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