Magic in the Ocean

Coastal Living - - EDITOR’S LETTER - SID EVANS, ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF [email protected]­liv­ing.com; @sid­mem­phis

THE NIGHT BE­FORE WE OPENED the 2018 Idea House in Haber­sham, South Carolina, our hosts at the An­chor­age 1770 in nearby Beau­fort took us on a lit­tle boat cruise. Amy and Frank Le­sesne, who fell in love with the his­toric water­front man­sion, bought and ren­o­vated it, and opened it as an inn in 2015, said we hadn’t re­ally seen the town un­til we’d seen it from the wa­ter. We walked across the street with a cooler full of re­fresh­ments, and within min­utes we were cruis­ing down the Beau­fort River to­ward Par­ris Is­land. Clas­sic Lowcoun­try homes with wide porches and long docks lined the banks, and the sun was set­ting over the spartina—or, as Beau­fort lo­cal Pat Conroy once put it, “the vast green ex­panses of marsh, fem­i­nine as lace, del­i­cate as cal­lig­ra­phy.”

But the real high­light of the trip wasn’t the scenery—it was the dol­phins. The first ones popped up not long af­ter we had left the dock, play­fully trail­ing along­side the boat like a wel­come com­mit­tee. Even our Beau­fort friends got ex­cited. “Dolphin!” peo­ple would shout, point­ing as the shiny gray dor­sal fins broke the sur­face. “An­other one!” As a former Charleston res­i­dent who has seen a lot of dol­phins, I never get tired of them, and that night we were lucky enough to see dozens, just as the sun was go­ing down. At one point there was a school of five or 10 chas­ing bait­fish right in front of us, so close you could al­most touch them. We all had our phones out to take pic­tures, of course, but some things just don’t trans­late on In­sta­gram.

As any­one who lives on the coast can tell you, there’s magic in the ocean, and that’s why we’re launch­ing a new col­umn this month called “Ocean He­roes,” writ­ten by best-sell­ing au­thor Su­san Casey. Her books The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Ob­ses­sion and Sur­vival Among Amer­ica’s Great White Sharks; The Wave: In Pur­suit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Gi­ants of the Ocean; and Voices in the Ocean: A Jour­ney Into the Wild and Haunt­ing World of Dol­phins have all chron­i­cled the power and mys­tery of marine en­vi­ron­ments, as well as the chal­lenges faced by the crea­tures who live there. Su­san also hap­pens to be a ter­rific writer, a com­pet­i­tive swim­mer, and a fierce cham­pion of healthy oceans. Her story on page 34 about Ed Ly­man, who dis­en­tan­gles hump­back whales from fish­ing nets and other de­bris, is a fright­en­ing re­minder of how frag­ile these species are, as well as an in­spir­ing story of the peo­ple risk­ing their lives to pro­tect them. Look for more he­roes like Ed in the is­sues to come.

Beau­fort River views from the An­chor­age 1770 inn in Beau­fort, South Carolina

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.