We t Wild & thE CP ’S GUIDE TO ONE HOT SUMMER
summer guide 2006
joys of summer
Water Parks p.22
Roller Coasters p.23
Doin’ the Shag p.24
Myrtle Beach p.26
Sea Turtle p.30
Wild Islands p.32
Rockville Regatta p.39
We may not look forward to the ridonkulous (see Charleston, get cozy with all types of reptiles at the Cover model Lisa Epps
is wearing ROXY
our surf lexicon on pg. 29 for more dude-speak) Serpentarium and the Aquarium, stargaze at the CofC
provided by McKevlin’s
temperatures and seemingly endless sweat that observatory, and shag our brains out (the dance,
Surf Shop, Folly Beach.
come with the arrival of the year’s hottest season, sickos) on the pier. For the lowdown on these and She holds ball python
but here at the CP, it’s always a treat to put togeth- more wet and wild activities to spice up the lazy days, Ickulus, provided by
er our annual Summer Guide. We get to do exciting read on. And remember: wherever summer takes you Fusion 5 Studios, Mt.
things like visit an underwater dive school in North this year, for God’s sake, bring bug spray. Pleasant.
We t summer guide 2006
SlIppERy WHEN WET * All afloat for fun in the h20
In Charleston, we’re so refined that we hide our water parks from view. Instead of sitting along the highways
and byways (we’re looking at you, Myrtle Beach), our water rides are tastefully tucked away in Charleston
County’s sprawling park system. But if our local offerings aren’t enough to whet your appetite for scream-
ing waves, then you can always head north for a more adventurous wet and wild day out. (Lynsy Smithson
With proximity and all the amenities a family could ask for, and, although outside food and drinks are prohibited, con-
the charleston county Parks and recreation commission’s cessions offer sustenance between dips. Passes and group
water parks are fun, maybe not myrtle Beach fun, but fun rates are available, and admission is discounted after 3
nonetheless. each park has lifeguards and locker rooms, p.m. Visit the www.ccprc.com for more information.
SplaSh ISland at palmetto SplaSh Zone at JameS ISland WhIrlIn’ WaterS adventure at h2oSmoSIS SportS at
ISlandS County park County park Wannamaker County park trophy lakeS
444 needlerush Pkwy. 871 riverland Dr. Hwy. 78 university Blvd. 3050 marlin road
mt. Pleasant 795-7275 n. charleston 559-2520
884-0832 open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 572-7275 www.h2osmosis.com
open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through aug. 20 open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. times and prices vary with activity
through aug. 20 $9.99/general admission; through aug. 6
$6.99/general admission; $6.99/children under 42”; $18.99/general admission; It’s no fun if you can’t fall off.
$4.99/children under 42”; free for kids two and under $13.99/children under 48”; at least that’s the mantra at
free for kids two and under free for kids two and under H2osmosis. choose from their list
With both tube and open slides in of watersports that cover lessons
for those with wee little fishies, this addition to a 500-foot lazy river, the of the local options, Whirlin’ is the (from beginner to advanced), rent-
is the best bet of the ccPrc parks. Zone covers all the slippery bases. great white. typically, it draws the als, and shows built around all the
emily cavell, 23, nannied for three cavell says that while she would most visitors, but its amenities best toys in and out of the water:
young children last summer, and never pick this over the beach, this make any lines worth the bikini- skis, wakeboards, and disc golf.
says the majority of this park caters park is geared more toward teens bumping wait. the Big Kahuna, Pay per hour, per day, or make it an
to an under-12 crowd. raindrop wa- and could also satisfy adults for an a 27,000-square-foot wave pool, overnighter. just be sure to scrape
terfalls, geysers, sprays, and plenty afternoon. offers a variety of wave action, and yourself out of the wetsuit before
of shade trees keep onlooking it takes six goes at riptide run coming downtown.
parents cool. older kids can swirl to cover all possible routes. this
on the 10-minute ride, the cyclone, destination doesn’t exclude smaller
or spiral down an otter slide. those swimmers either; otter Bay, the
older than preteen should probably kiddie pool area, has a six-lane
consider a more intense destina- racer slide, sprays, and 10 different
tion, though. interactive features.
for those who don’t mind being in a wet bathing suit in the car for two hours,
myrtle Beach’s water (and often adjoining theme) parks boast more wet ad-
FamIly kIngdom Water park myrtle WaveS WIld Water
300 south ocean Blvd. us 17 Bypass at 910 Hwy. 17 south,
843-916-0400 10th ave. north surfside Beach
www.family-kingdom.com 843-913-9260 843-238-3787
open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. www.myrtlewaves.com www.wild-water.com
through aug. 19; open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m., but open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. until 7 p.m. tues.-thurs. in july through aug. 19
aug. 20-sept. 3 $24.95/ages 7-54; $24.98/adults and children
$15.95/adults; $15.95/ages 3-6 and 55 plus; over 48”;
$14.75/children under 48” free for kids under three $16.98/seniors and children
Because it sits on the ocean, twenty acres, one million
we’ll call family Kingdom a gallons of water, 32 rides. for as ominous as it sounds, “the
chlorinated reprieve from south carolinians, myrtle Waves Dark Hole,” an enclosed ride
sandy faces and the weight of adds up to the grand palmetto that calls for individual inner
a catch-everything beach bag. of waterparks. you might as well tubes, is this park’s can’t-be-
But according to one online be on Waikiki while swimming missed thrill. southern Living
reviewer, this might not be the in ocean In motion, a wave pool magazine once named it the
most family-friendly trip after all. that churns out four-foot waves “Best scary ride” in the city.
although www.thrillnetwork.com in eight variations. If climbing Between that and slides called
gave the park three stars (out of 10 stories to plunge down turbo triple Dip, serpentine, and side
five), one reviewer complained twisters — supposedly the Winder — it might just be worth
about shoddy customer service world’s tallest tubular slides the gas.
— seems just plain stupid, the
and overpriced tickets for a park
park also has sand volleyball
of its size. But what did they ShootIn’ the tube at WhIrlIn’ WaterS
and dozens of slide options.
expect? It’s myrtle Beach!
Wild summer guide 2006
COME FLY WIth ME * But please, use restraint(s)
Ah, the roller coaster — the control freak’s worst nightmare. As you careen down a hill at 65 mph, unfet-
tered by annoyances like brakes, a steering wheel, or, well, anything but pure, unadulterated joy (or terror),
all you can do is sit down, strap in, and wait as you’re carried up a gigantic hill, wondering if that groaning,
clickety-clack noise is the last music your precious ears will ever hear.
What began in the 19th century as gigantic ice slides created for Catherine the Great in Russia eventu-
ally morphed into the multimillion-dollar, rigorously safety-tested behemoths that we get our kicks from
today. While our roller coaster options may be somewhat limited here in the Southeast, there’s still plenty
of scream-release opportunities to be found across the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. (Sara
Here’s a sampling of some of the best ways to get euphoric on a thrill-seeking day trip outside of our safe,
height-limited little peninsula:
the hurrICane the great amerICan the borg aSSImIlator tImber toWer expedItIon evereSt
Category 5 SCream maChIne CaroWIndS dollyWood Walt dISney World
the myrtle beaCh SIx FlagS over georgIa charlotte, n.c. Pigeon forge, tenn. orlando, fla.
pavIlIon austell, ga. (800) 888-4386 (865) 428-9488 http://www.disneyeverest.
n. myrtle Beach, s.c. (770) 948-9290 http://www3.paramount- http://www.dollywood.com com/
843-913-5200 http://www.sixflags.com/ parks.com/carowinds
http://www.mbpavilion. parks/overgeorgia yeah yeah, so most
com the world’s first star people don’t count rides Disney’s newest ride at
the scream machine is a trek-themed coaster that involve water as roller the animal Kingdom in or-
the Pavilion, a myrtle picture-perfect example (carowinds is owned by coasters, but this one lando features the tallest
Beach institution that has of the classic wooden Paramount, after all), the sounds wonderfully prom- “mountain” in florida and
been amusing families coaster, with its track built steel Borg assimilator ising. just a few months run-ins with the mythical
since 1948, is closing half over rolling, grassy is the tallest ride in the ago, Dollywood unveiled yeti of the Himalayas.
its gates at the end of fields and half over a lake park at 115 feet. the the Dolly Parton-owned an 80-foot drop in an
this season. this means that connects to the chat- twisting, hulking steel ride park’s newest addition “old” steam-engine train
that this summer is your tahoochee river — which was originally unveiled as — the $6.5-million timber combines with hairpin
last chance to take a gives riders a chance to stealth, the world’s first tower, a one-of-a-kind ride turns and heart-stopping
spin on the Hurricane, glimpse themselves in the “flying” coaster — mean- that resembles a falling twists to make expedition
south carolina’s biggest glassy surface as they’re ing riders actually stay log (sounds scary, eh?). everest the most exciting
wooden roller coaster. hurtled up and down the parallel to the tracks in a the timber tower consists Disney ride to come along
the three-minute ride is hills at 57 mph. Built in superman-style position of a 65-foot-tall tower that in a while. one online fan
3,800 feet long, 110 feet 1973 and reaching 105 — in santa clara, calif., sits in the middle of a gi- review said: “this is one
tall, takes 14 turns over feet at its highest peak, at Paramount’s great ant pond, spinning around of the best roller coasters
the course of the track, the scream machine was america park. Paramount before it starts “falling” I’ve ever ridden. not for
and offers riders a forceful the tallest coaster in the decided to move it to from side to side, dipping giant drops and g-force
3-g experience (meaning world that year, although charlotte in 2004, possi- riders at damn scary turns, but for speed,
you’ll feel three times the it was soon dwarfed. bly to go hand-in-hand with 60-degree angles. take it smoothness, suspense,
force of gravity). and after Despite the fact that the all the speed freaks that from the mouth of Dolly and surprise. It has an
it’s over, you can step scream machine is one of congregate around the herself: “I think folks will ending as shocking as
onto the boardwalk and six flags over georgia’s car racing capital of the agree that timber tower ‘Dinosaur’ and a very
get a spray-painted t-shirt oldest coasters, it still southeast. the Borg has is every bit as unique as intriguing premise to the
to remind you of the ride packs a wallop, especially eight inversions (those are I am, and that’s saying a ride ... the abominable
forever! during those special times what create the g-force lot ... and one of us is just snowman.”
of the year when the pow- rating of 4), more than about as likely to topple
ers that be decide to run it any other coaster in this over as the other!”
backwards — you haven’t region of the country. Put
lived until you’ve been the Vulcan mind-meld to
thrown to and fro in a work on your friends and
rickety old wooden coaster convince them to head
without the benefit of to carowinds for a little
being able to see what’s assimilation.
We t summer guide 2006
I lOvE BEACH MUSIC * South Carolina’s wildest dance still has fans
If a Carolinian asks a visitor what the term “beach music” means to them, they usually get a mixed response: “Is it calypso and reggae music …
the Beach Boys and surf guitar tunes … a recent pat Conroy novel … a rock cover band at the Windjammer?” Not exactly.
True-blue beach music follows a specific meter, rhythm, and lyrical theme associated with the culture of the Carolina coast and shag dancing. Go
to any local wedding reception, fancy night club, or waterfront bar where musicians perform and keep an ear and eye out. If the right tune comes up
— or even simply the right swingin’ mid-tempo dance beat — you will likely become witness to the state dance in full glory. Even these days, 60 years
after the advent of the original Coastal Carolina dance craze, the shag is alive and well.
“The shag that we talk about so much now was an improvisational ensemble It was all teenager themes: sun, sand, beer, and watching the girls go by. In the ’80s, it
dance,” says author and historian John Hook, speaking from his home in North absolutely, totally, completely exploded in many different ways.”
Myrtle Beach. “I can’t even begin to talk about how radical that is. The European The first S.O.S. (“Society of Stranders”) reunion event happened in 1980 at Ocean
dances in style were all traditional. There were no real ensemble dances in Africa Drive Beach, near Myrtle Beach. On a September weekend, over 4,000 “stranders”
because the men and women danced apart. The shag was a new expression that returned to Ocean Drive for what was originally to be a small gathering of a few
evolved and still evolves in the Southeast.” hundred beachgoers, organized by Gene “Swank” Laughter.
A radio broadcaster, longtime musicologist, and beach music historian, Hook, 56, The S.O.S. corporation is currently owned and operated by the Association of
first caught wind of the shag as a college student in Charlotte in 1975. The dance Carolina Shag Clubs (ACSC), which includes over 100 nonprofit, local shag clubs
opened the door to the world of beach music. His new 128-page paperback book, stretching from Baltimore to Miami. The organization is now recognized for its three
Shagging in the Carolinas (released on June 14 by Arcadia Publishing) illustrates the yearly “adult parties” in the spring, summer, and fall at North Myrtle Beach.
cultural significance of the dance and beach music in the Carolinas. Shagging is still wildly popular in the Charleston area, too. The town has two major
shag social clubs — the Islanders Club based on Folly Beach (www.islandersshagclub.
According to Hook, the shag established itself mostly along the Southeastern
com) and the Charleston Shag Club based on Sullivan’s Island (www.charlestonshag-
coastline in the 1930s and ’40s, well before the “lindy hop,” the “jitterbug,” the “big
club.com). Nightclub J.B. Pivots (www.pivotsbeachclub.com), located in West Ashley
apple,” and other popular dance floor steps. Early beach bands included Harry Deal
at 1662 Savannah Hwy., is a major hotspot for shaggers and beach music lovers. The
& The Galaxies, The Daddys, The Embers, The Dominos, The Rivieras, The Ventu- venue holds dance lessons, DJ nights, and various live bands and entertainment and
ras, The Jetty Jumpers, and Maurice Williams & The Gladiolas. More modern-era celebrates a 20th anniversary from Oct. 5-8. Pivots is also a main sponsor for the First
beach music acts (most of whom still perform as one version or another) include Beach Music and Shag Festival of Charleston, set for Aug. 17-20.
The Drifters, The Tams, The Swingin’ Medallions, The Jesters, The Fantastic Shak- “You know, beach music has really matured recently,” Hook says. “There are great
ers, and Delbert McClinton. The shagging craze hit its stride in the ’60s and found new original songs out by Leah & The Wave, Shaggy Maggie, Pat Carpenter, North
a resurgence in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Tower, and Charleston’s own Rick Strickland, who wrote last year’s chart hit ‘Some-
“Beach music became conscious of itself when Jackie Gore wrote a song called thin’ Smooth.’ We are talking about really sophisticated themes and mature music;
‘I Love Beach Music’ [recorded and released by The Embers in 1979],” says Hook. that’s where beach music is now.” (T. Ballard Lesemann)
“Prior to that, there was never ever any beach music song that observed the culture.
get your sHag on * a shagadelic summer calendar of dance
SugarCreek reunIon ConCert thIrd annual Shag-a-thon ShaggIn’ on the pIer
charlotte-based band sugarcreek was the house the Islanders shag club conducts monthly charleston county Parks present a three-night
band at myrtle Beach’s popular beach pavilion socials and parties, and teaches newcomers “moonlight mixer” series for shag dancers and
club for 10 years. this show is part of the new shag steps. the club presents a dance beach music lovers at the far end of the pier. Dj
Pavilion’s farewell season celebration. fri. july 9. event in conjunction with Hospice of charleston. rob Duran spins beach music, oldies, and shag
$20. the attic at the myrtle Beach Pavilion. 812 Donations and proceeds benefit the charleston faves. fri. july 7, fri. sept. 15, and fri. oct.
n. ocean Blvd. myrtle Beach. (843) 444-3207. Hospice House. sat. aug. 12 at citadel mall. 6 from 7-11 p.m. $8 (for chas. co. residents)
2070 sam rittenberg Blvd. call Isc president and $10 (for non-residents). folly Beach fishing
nancy strother at 762-0850. www.islandersshag- Pier (at the end of folly road). 795-4386. www.
the tamS club.com ccprc.com
atlanta-based act the tams (a.k.a. joe Pope &
the tams) are beach music legends known for
such soulful hits as “What Kind of fool” and FIrSt beaCh muSIC and Shag thIrd annual hurrICane party
“Be young, Be foolish, Be Happy.” fri. july 14, FeStIval oF CharleSton j. B. Pivot’s celebrates its 20th anniversary
6 p.m. free. Party at the Point at charleston featuring the Drifters, the tams, maurice with a four-day event with live bands, Djs, and
Harbor resort. 20 Patriots Point Blvd. Williams, east coast Party Band, the coastline dancers. Dj jim Bowers: thurs. oct. 5, 7 p.m.
Band, Band of oz, rick godfrey, the fantastic at the Plex. the tams: fri. oct. 6, 7 p.m. at
shakers, clifford curry, Dj jerry Burbage, the j.B. Pivots. Dj Betty “Blues mama” Brown: sat.
beaCh boogIe muSIC SerIeS coppertones, the fabulous shades, craig oct. 7, 7 p.m. the coastline Band: sun. oct. 8,
an evening of music, Lowcountry cuisine, and Woolard Band, sea cruz, Dj jim Bowers. thurs. 7 p.m. j.B. Pivots. 1662 savannah Hwy. www.
cocktails with Dj jim Bowers on the turntables. aug. 17: “Kick off Party” at the Plex, 6 p.m. pivotsbeachclub.com
Local dance instructor Kae childs will conduct ($20). thurs. aug. 17: exchange Park, Ladson, 6
a group shag lesson at 6 p.m. in the great p.m. ($20); fri. aug. 18: “folly Pier reunion” at
Hall. thurs. july 20 and thurs. aug. 17, 6-9 j.B. Pivots, 6 p.m. ($15); sat. aug. 19-20: “rV
p.m. $7 (general public), $5 (members). s.c. space exchange Park” ($50, $25 per day). $85
aquarium. 100 aquarium Wharf, 720-1990. www. for a ticket for all four days. the Plex. j.B. Pivots
scaquarium.org. (1662 savannah Hwy.), and the exchange Park
fairgrounds (Ladson). www.charlestonbeachfest.
ShaggIn’ on the Santee
Hosted by the orangeburg area shag club, this
three-day event includes beach music Djs, a
ShaggIng Started along the SoutheaStern CoaSt- beauty pageant, and cookouts. afternoons, fri.
lIne In the 1930S and retaInS ItS popularIty today july 28 through sun. july 30. $40 & $45. ra-
mada Inn, santee. 123 mall st. (803) 854-2191.
Wild summer guide 2006
ByE-ByE, BOARDWAlK * the Myrtle Beach Pavilion prepares for the end
For 58 years, vacationers have been creating memories at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park. the memories will last for years to come, but
the Pavilion Amusement Park will soon be gone. When the lights go dark, when the carousel stops, and the band organ falls silent on September 24,
it will be for the last time. “the Pavilion” — as it is known to millions — will be consigned to history and photo albums.
The Burroughs & Chapin Co., which cre-
But the Pavilion is only the main course
ated the park in 1948, made the announce-
in a smorgasbord of beachfront fun. There
ment in March, sparking a flood of anger and
are dozens of T-shirt shops, bars, grills, ice
nostalgia. But times change, demographics
shift, and the venerable old playground-by- cream parlors, and video arcades alongside
the-sea must make way for other things. the Pavilion on Ocean Boulevard. What
The Pavilion is what brings people to will become of the Oceanfront Bar & Grill,
Myrtle Beach, says Jack Thompson, a Myrtle Peach’s Corner, the Gay Dolphin Gift
Beach photographer and institution in his Cove, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum,
own right. For more than 53 years, Thomp- and The Bowery, that legendary beer hall
son’s studio has been within 100 yards of the across from the Pavilion, where Alabama
Pavilion. In those years his photographs have got its start as the house band and the sign
captured the thrills and delights of genera- over the door has promised “Free Beer To-
tions of Pavilion patrons. morrow” for decades?
BurrougHs & cHaPIn co
“It’s one of the last few vestiges of pub- They will probably survive, but it will be
lic space where people can come to mingle as part of a different culture, a different mi-
and meander on the beach without paying a lieu, a different town. After September 24,
large fee,” Thompson says. “Now it’s gone.” they will not stand across the street from
Well, not quite. For the next three months thousands of flashing, spinning lights, from
you can still ride the Hurricane Category the squeals and screams of delighted and
5, the largest roller coaster in South Caro- terrified children and adults. The center of
lina, or the Mad Mouse, the Log Flume, the this wonderful little universe will be gone
Scrambler, the HydroSurge, or any of the the myrtle beaCh pavIlIon promISeS one FInal Summer oF noStalgIC Fun forever. So take a drive up U.S. 17 to Myrtle
dozens of rides, games, and attractions. Beach and spend one last day or evening at
While it lasts, you can touch a bit of his- the Pavilion.
tory with a ride on the Hershell-Spillman — with its hip-hop and beach music, DJs, and elec- It does no good to mourn or grow
carousel, with its 27 hand-carved wooden animals. You tric dance floor. Downstairs from The Attic in the old angry. The passing of the Pavilion is a reminder that all
can hear the German band organ, just as it has sounded beachfront pavilion is one of the largest video game ar- is transient. So eat, drink, and ride the Tilt-A-Whirl one
for the past century, with its 400 pipes and its moving cades in the state. last time. Remember when the world was young, when
life-like figures. And helping to mark the Pavilion’s last season will be summers lasted forever. This summer will end too soon
For young people, there is still The Attic, Myrtle nights of fireworks, beach music, shagging contests, and and when it passes, take a big piece of our hearts with
Beach’s only teen night club — alcohol-free, of course more. (For details, see MBPavilion.com.) it. (Will Moredock)
magIQuest * myrtle Beach’s newest attraction takes kids back to the future
Located at Broadway at the much like a video game, blocks, and if you’re a parent who
Beach, the heir apparent to the magiQuest requires gamers to wants to quest along with your
dated Pavilion may just be magi- complete various objectives and kids, you’ll have to pay regular
Quest. Because when the roller gain valuable power and experi- admission prices. the good news
coaster comes down and the kids ence in order to go on to harder is, once you have the wand you
are sick of the beach, you may tasks, like taking on charlock the simply buy more time, and parents
find this interactive game of the Dragon or exploring locked areas. receive a VIP (Very Important
future is everything you “wand” it magi can work together with family Parent) card that allows them to
to be. and friends to complete the tasks, get reduced admission for their
essentially a high-tech interac- summon other magi to help them, second visit, and free admission
tive scavenger hunt, magiQuest is and check their progress at the after that. (Stephanie Barna)
a 20,000-square-foot fantasy king- stone circle on interactive com-
dom for Harry Potter wannabes of puter screens. magiQuest is located in myrtle
all ages. the Questers, or magi While cheesy at times, magi- Beach at Broadway at the Beach.
as they are called, purchase a Quest is addictive, and not just for more information call toll free
BurrougHs & cHaPIn co
magic wand at the beginning of for the kids. Parents will have fun (866) 353-magI (6244). Doors
the adventure that they use to helping battle goblins and search open at 11 a.m. daily.
find valuable runes, open treasure for crystals. Bring your own gold www.magiquest.com
chests, play musical crystals and coins, though, because it isn’t
more. the best part about the cheap to get started. first, you’ll
wands is that they “remember” need a wand, and perhaps a cool
each completed task and quest, wand topper (optional) to repre-
allowing players to pick up where sent your clan. “Quest time” is magIqueSt: everythIng you ‘Wand’ It to be
they left off each time. then purchased in one or two hour
SURF’S Up * Catching some waves this summer
The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) is home In Charleston, the Southern South Carolina
base for Charleston’s amateur surfers. The larg- District (SSCD) of ESA is directed by Nancy Hussey,
est amateur surfing association in the world, ESA a professional surf photographer and mother of
has a 7,000-plus membership and 26 districts three redonculous surfers. “the Southern S.C.
which extend along 2,000 miles of coastline District has about 250 members and hosts about
from Maine to the Gulf Coast of Florida. Cecil 10 surf contests per year,” says hussey. “We are a
volunteer, nonprofit organization and we do a lot
lear and David Reese founded the association
of outreach work.”
in 1967 in order to promote the sport of surfing
The SSCD also collaborates frequently with an-
along the East Coast.
other Lowcountry conservation group, the Sur-
today, ESA is host to a number of competitive frider Foundation. the Surfriders are dedicated to
events. Just this May, the Mid Atlantic Regional keeping the beaches safe and clean and they bring
surf competition was held at the Washout on together surfers, kayakers, and all outdoor enthu-
Folly Beach. ESA also sponsors several college siasts down with preserving the environment.
scholarship programs and has aligned with nu- To find out more about the Southern South Car-
merous environmental organizations to protect olina District of ESA and how you can get involved,
our oceans from pollution and ensure clean, visit www.surfesa.org. to join the Surfriders, visit
safe coastal environments. www.surfrider.org/charleston. (Elle Lien)
BLue crusHaBLe * a Q&a with the women of the Washout
the word is out on the Washout at folly Beach — it’s the no. 1 spot for catching waves in the charleston area.
But it helps to know the difference between “knee-high sets” and “a hurricane swell” before you paddle out.
We got our surf education by chatting with some of the local ladies who spend just about every weekend with
their toes in the sand. (Jason A. Zwiker)
1. you are on the way to the Washout for a day of surfing. What are the essential supplies?
“Wax and board” —Kona
“I’m a tomboy, so all I need are chapstick with sunscreen, my board, some wax, and a bottle of water. Oh, yeah… and some
Mace to spray in the eyes of the punk boys.” —Amy P .
“Sun block, surf wax, towel, large bottle hot water to rinse in, Swatch, ATTITUDE!” —Katherine
2. most humiliating surfing memory
“When I first started surfing I rode a wave all the way in and when I dismounted, in knee-deep water, I landed on an old
creosote post, which broke off in my foot. The COFB paramedics carried me off the beach and I spent the remainder of
the day having shards of wood removed from my foot. Of course, we had an epic swell for the next several days, which I SurF royalty ChrIS and Jenny broWn CatCh Some WaveS
missed.” —Jewel N. at Folly beaCh
“Cutting off a veteran surfer in the water and looking back to see him right behind me.” —B-Love
“Losing a surfing event to Kristin Tanner when I was about 40 years old and she was about 5 — and she was on a boogie
board. That she had friends in high places didn’t make me feel any better.” —Katherine Learn to rIDe
school yourself in catching waves
3. When were the best waves you ever remember in the local area?
charleston has a number of surfing schools available to
“The biggest waves I’ve ever seen were before some hurricane two years ago. It was NUTS. I didn’t even get in. It was actu-
ally pretty scary watching people surf in it. I sat on the rocks just watching and praying no one would get killed.” —Amy P. both kids and adults. the following were recommended
“Hurricane Bonnie swell, September ‘98. My first barrel ever — stand up, covered up! The waves were perfect glass, 8 to 10 to the City Paper by embryo’s chad rhodes and nancy
feet, and the crowd was stoked.” —Patti N. Hussey of the southern south carolina District of esa.
“Just going out for ‘dawn patrol’ and the waves were great!” —Tara N.
→ Shaka SurF SChool
4. Jellyfish: friend or foe, and why?
shaka is run by moira gil john and jenny Brown, both east
“Back-stabbing friend.” —Kona coast surfing champions and very cool girls. they offer bilin-
“Foe. Because he stung me in a place where a girl should never, ever be stung.” —Amy P. gual lessons and instruction for all ages.
“Jellyfish deserve to live, but hurt when they sting. I landed on a Man-o-War once that had washed over my board and I had
a welt on my leg for a week that was bigger around than a softball. The tentacles wrapped down my leg as well.” —B-Love → barrIer ISlandS SurF SChool
Barrier is off of folly road. they offer all-ages lessons, and
5. the most important thing to remember when you are on the beach this summer is: before or after, you can grab a great fish taco at the nearby
“Wear sunscreen and drink beer!!!” —Kona La cocina restaurant.
“Respect the beach. Respect each other. HAVE FUN.” —Patti N.
“Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock. And respect the beach by picking up your trash, recycling, and not walking on dunes and → Sol SurFerS SurF Camp
sea grass.” —B-Love
Kai Dilling is lead instructor at sol surfers. the camp is
recommended for kids between the ages 8 and 15, and they
promise a 6-to-1 teacher ratio.
summer guide 2006
DuDe sPeaK * Learn the lingo to be authentic
aCCeSSory man burnt reynoldS In SurF We truSt SphInCter FaCtor
a surfer that has When a surfer gets Popular mantra spoken the pucker felt in the
every piece of surf gear badly sunburned. by many surfers when posterior region, run-
imaginable and uses example: “man I should asked why they surf. ning concurrently with
it all at the same time have worn my rashie wave height, speed,
regardless of whether today and I’m totally JIvel and adrenaline dosage.
the circumstances call Burnt reynolds.” When everything goes example; “the sphinc-
for it. wrong. example: “yo dis ter factor was a 10 out
FlaCa jus turned jivel, yo!” there today.”
aCe a female surfer, or ‘du-
to be alone or in a dette’. originated during man In grey SuIt SquId
solitary state of mind a trip to centinela. What surfers in aus- unlikable or disrespect-
— to go solo. tralia call a shark. as ed person. often used
FroSt in; you know, those big to describe someone in
the lineup who has little
barnyard fine, hot, sexy, cute. great White ones? In
to no regard for fellow
another name for example: “check him california they’re called
a kook, beginner, out — he’s frosted.” “the Landlord.”
wavehog, non surfer
coming out and scream- glIde redonCulouS Hawaiian moniker
ing about how they’re a spiritual place when crazy good. Barreling, for women surfers.
ripping when they’re everything seems to be huge. anything that you also used by Bruddah
actually stinkbugging, in synch; the wave, the think is crazy or out of surfers to refer to their
squatting, and surfing surfer and the board the ordinary. counterparts of the
with the poorest style are one entity. When opposite gender. term
possible. common with a surfer achieves this SkeepS of affection.
high school jocks, prep- he’s said to have the... sketchy people who
pies, and others who glide have little to no regard WomanISta
are trying to fit into the for the environment. a surf Betty that’s al-
surf community. hIddIe typically leave trash on ways competing against
Derivative of hideous the beach for someone the guys, and obsessed
bubbleS or particularly intense else to clean up. with beating them, in
a beach bunny that’s a situation, maneuver, any kind of competition.
total ditz. example: “yo or wave.
brah, that beach bunny source:
was so bubbles!” www.riptionary.com
RACING FOR SURvIvAl * the endangered loggerhead
When Lighthouse, a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle, arrived at the South trainers expressed interest ... and since
Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital on June 13, it was discolored, then, I’ve learned hands-on from being
anemic, covered in barnacles, had leeches suckered to its underside, and fully immersed in sea turtles.”
In Dec. 2004, they got a grant from
had exposed bone on the back of its carapace (shell).
the National Fish and Wildlife Founda-
tion that allows them to care for up to
Lucky for him (or her; they won’t South Carolina Department of Natural 10 turtles at one time. The Sea Turtle
know for sure until the turtle reaches Resources (SCDNR) encountered sick Hospital, located in the underbelly of
maturity), he washed up in the right or injured turtles stranded off the S.C. the Aquarium, is made up of turtle tanks
place — the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hos- coastline, they had to travel six or more that look like sturdier versions of those
pital and rescue program is the first of its hours to receive the needed medical 3-foot-tall above-ground backyard pools,
kind worldwide, and they’ve rehabilitat- care. a kiddie pool containing a cadre of blue
ed and released over 20 sea turtles since Between 2000 and 2004, even though crabs (the loggerhead’s favorite snack,
the Aquarium opened in May 2000. the Aquarium helped and released a
The endangered Western Atlantic log- which it can crunch with its powerful
modicum of turtles, it became apparent jaw), and various medical equipment,
gerhead sea turtles are an integral part
that there were more stranded turtles be- much of which is generously donated by
of summertime in S.C. Each year, from
ing found than the Aquarium’s facilities East Cooper Hospital.
May to August — nesting season — the
could handle. When the turtles come in, they could
females create hundreds of nests, each
one containing upward of 130 eggs, up Currently at the helm of the Aquar- be ailing from infections, gashes from
and down the Southeastern coastline. ium’s program is marine biologist Kelly boats, an obstruction in the esophagus,
The Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Summer cel- Thorvalson, a College of Charleston shock from cold temperatures, or other
ebrates these majestic creatures by work- graduate with a readily apparent enthu- problems. The sea turtle hospital staff
ing to educate the public through both siasm for her job. nurse them back to health with IV fluids,
their new sea turtle exhibit and summer “We didn’t ever have any one person antibiotics, vitamins, and other medica-
educational programs. in charge,” Thorvalson says. “We didn’t tions, releasing them back into the wild
The biologists at the Aquarium discov- plan for a sea turtle hospital when we when they’re ready to fight the big, bad
ered shortly after opening that when the opened. Myself and one of our otter world.
oH, rePtILIa * the Lowcountry’s treasure trove for budding herpetologists
although it’s a bit of a haul to get out to
edisto Island from downtown charles-
ton, there’s a wonderful reward waiting
at the end of the hour: the edisto Island
serpentarium, packed full of reptiles
both inside and out.
the serpentarium, owned by brothers
ted and Heyward clamp, opened to the
public in july 1999 after the snake-lov-
ing brothers tired of people coming to
their houses to check out their extensive
live snake collections. the SerpentarIum’S InteraCtIve, eduCatIonal pro-
“Before we opened this place, we had gram takeS the Fear FaCtor out oF Snake handlIng
so many people wanting to see what we
had that there was no privacy and no
a custom-built miniature amphitheater, ming in, and spend their days lazing
peace,” says ted clamp. “We wanted
complete with a heart-stopping show of about in the sunshine on tree branches
to teach people that snakes have a (ah, the joy of being cold-blooded in the
some of the poisonous snakes.
purpose and a use, and we realize that although the serpentarium primarily south carolina summer).
knowledge about these creatures prob- deals with native animals, including as “We don’t have any native snakes in
ably saves more lives than any other many of our native species as they’ve the united states that attack,” clamp
method.” caught over the years, they’ve got an says, discussing how people often
there are over 38 species of snakes extensive collection of more exotic mistake the cottonmouth’s defensive
native to south carolina, six of which reptiles, too, including a pair of poi- showing of its white mouth to be a sign
are poisonous — the coral snake, cop- sonous gila monsters from arizona, a of attack. clamp, as you’d hope from a
perhead, cottonmouth/water moccasin, giant anaconda (“He loves to eat ducks serpentarium owner, knows his reptiles;
pigmy rattlesnake, eastern diamondback whole,” clamp says), an albino python, he can name any of the probably 75
(or canebrake) rattlesnake, and the and a pair of huge alligator snapping snakes in the nonvenomous snake pit at
timber rattlesnake. I learned all this turtles. the reptiles are spread across the point of a finger.
through biologist meg Hoyle, who gave the serpentarium in exhibits both inside clamp is eager to point out that ven-
the snake presentation on the day I and out, and there are two huge “snake omous snakes have produced countless
visited the serpentarium. they offer pits,” where the snakes are surrounded types of medicine for ailments ranging
educational seminars every two hours in by little moats, which they enjoy swim- from diabetes to hemophilia, as each
summer guide 2006
gets a flipper up
There are steps people can take to help
further the survival rates of this endangered
species: don’t leave litter on the beach,
don’t use flashlights or turn out outside
lights on the beach or in beachfront areas
during the turtle nesting season, and keep
an eye out for sea turtles while boating,
avoiding seagrass beds, where turtles feed
“Many things can affect the turtles’
beach habitat,” Thorvalson says. “People dig
these three-foot-deep holes on the beach
and don’t fill them ... if a hatchling fell into
something like that, it would never come
The Sea Turtle Summer continues
through Aug. 20 of this year, and while
the Aquarium has a creative, informative
exhibit already, Thorvalson revealed that
they’re getting ready to add a new factor:
an interactive, Plinko-esque exhibit where
guests release ball “hatchlings” and watch
as they are randomly dropped into vari-
ous obstacles, such as fishing nets, bright
lights, and ghost crabs (a gourmet meal for
an adult turtle can be an executioner for a
hatchling). Crossing The Price is Right with
gigantic reptiles? Now that sounds like
summer. (Sara Miller)
venomous snake has a slightly differ-
ent chemical makeup of their venom,
although there are only two main types of
loggerhead Sea turtle St. SImon IS Well
venom the snakes can produce — neu- on hIS Way to Full reCovery, thankS to
rotoxic, which affects the nerves, and the aquarIum’S Sea turtle hoSpItal
hemotoxic, which affects the blood.
of course, an educated person would
know the types of poisonous snakes
sea turtLe summer
located around his or her living area and
what to do should one be encountered. → the aquarium hosts daily interac-
this is a thought possibly best pondered tive dive shows at the great ocean
when peering over the side of the venom- tank featuring turtles: turtle
ous snake pit at the serpentarium, the tranSFormatIon at 11 a.m.
view unfettered by anything like, say, nets mon.-sat. and tIC taC turtle at 3
or a fence or what-have-you. p.m. mon.-sat.
the real excitement at the serpen-
tarium comes at feeding time — they
→ on sat. july 22, the aquarium
hosts Sea turtle day from 11
feed the alligators every day at different a.m.-2 p.m., with representa-
times, and every week at noon on satur- tives from the Island turtle team
day, guests get the pleasure of watch- answering questions about sea
ing them feed the hundreds of snakes
turtles and volunteer opportunities,
throughout the place. and what do they
turtle crafts and activities, and a
eat? mice, fish, rats, ducks, rabbits,
chance to win a behind-the-scenes
and more (some of them even eat other
tour of the aquarium’s sea turtle
snakes!). you’ll have to head to edisto to
find out for yourself. (Sara Miller)
→ for those IntereSted In volun-
the serpentarium is open mon.-sat, 10 teerIng to scope the beaches for
a.m.-6 p.m. through Labor Day. $9.95/ sea turtle nests, visit http://www.
adults, $7.95/children 6-12, $4.50/ scaquarium.org/seaturtle for
children 4-6. 1374 Highway 174, edisto detailed information on beach-
Island. (843) 869-1171. combing volunteers in each
coastal area of the Lowcountry.
WIlDIN’ OUT * hidden treasures
If you want a taste of what the lowcountry’s barrier islands were before
the Europeans put their waterfront property-loving feet on shore, you
need only venture into the northeast corner of Charleston County.
BarrIer IsLanDs * how to find them
starting about 15 miles north of charleston, just past Isle of Palms and Dewees
Island, are more than 20 miles of protected islands, marshlands, and open water
stretching up into the northeast corner of the county. capers Island, managed by
the s.c. Department of natural resources, and Bulls Island, in the cape romain
Wildlife refuge and overseen by the us fish and Wildlife service, are open to
the public, but accessible only by boat. no boat? Don’t sweat it; you can still get
capers Island is 2,254 acres of beach, forest, marsh,
and brackish water impoundments visited by migratory
shore birds. the skeeters are vicious, but once you reach
the beach, the ocean breeze offers a respite from the
little blood suckers. and what gorgeous beaches they are.
the only manmade structure in sight is what is likely an
abandoned fire tower. the three miles of sandy beach are
covered in driftwood so big and plentiful that even the most
BarrIer IsLanD eco tours Inc.
worldly of yoga instructors would quiver.
the island is open during daylight hours unless you ac-
quire a camping permit, which you can do by calling the Dnr
at (843) 953-9300. Hunting and target shooting are not
permitted. a public boat landing on the island’s southwest
side is visible from the Intracoastal Waterway.
you can put your boat in at the Isle of Palms marina or
take Highway 17 north for about 17 miles to sewee road
to reach garris Landing.
no boat? mt. Pleasant’s eco-tour company coastal ex-
peditions offers one- and two-night kayaking/camping tours
to the island for $170 and $255, respectively. call them at
884-7684 for more info.
just north of capers Island lies the federally managed cape
romain Wildlife refuge. once home to the sewee tribe, cape
romain offered safe harbor through the years to colonists, pirates,
redcoats, and confederate blockade runners.
today, the 64,229 acres of protected marsh, forest, beach,
and open water offer safety to 337 species of birds, alligators,
deer, loggerhead sea turtles, and more mosquitoes. until recently,
the cape’s destination of note, Bulls Island, played a role in the
recovery breeding program for the endangered red wolf.
crisscrossing the island’s maritime forest are 12 miles of trails.
some of these trails lead to another one of the state’s few unde-
veloped beaches. refuge manager james Browning says the south
side is open sand. to the north lies the “Bone yard,” filled with
more giant hunks of driftwood. People do swim here, but Browning
added: they do so at their own risk.
a public boat landing is available on the inland side of the
island. no camping is permitted, but the public is welcome during
daylight hours. While Browning recommends coming in the fall when
ducks come through, he said the island is always a great place to
no pirate ship to call your own? coastal expeditions runs a ferry
to the island tuesdays, thursdays, fridays, and saturdays. for
$30, you can come aboard for the 30-minute ride, which is hosted
by a naturalist. the ferry leaves the above mentioned garris Land-
ing at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. the boat departs Bulls Island at 12
p.m. and 4 p.m. cash and checks only. (shells and credit cards are
TAKE NOTE: these are not county parks. there are no snack bars. Bring food, plenty of
water, trash bags, and maybe some toilet paper if you had a big breakfast. the mos-
quitoes are out in full force this time of year, so bring the biggest can of bug spray you
can find (Browning recommends Deep Woods OFF!). (Benjamin Schlau)
Wild summer guide 2006
STARGAzER * One wild way to spend hot starry nights
It’s a big world out there. Or should we say up there? Our sun is only one of suggesteD ceLestIaL
100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, just one of 400 billion galaxies in reaDIng & guIDes
the universe. Stargazing shines with opportunities for discovering what else
lies in the big out-there.
The real satisfaction of stargazing than 3,000 stars visible to the naked eye. By Pat Price
comes from knowing what you are see- Magazines such as Night Sky or Sky and
ing, so start by picking up an all-sky map, Telescope offer charts and their websites nIght Sky traCker —
which denotes what is visible to the na- have free tutorials that highlight what is
ked eye based on time of year and latitude.
visible in a given month. Websites such as
A planisphere, or star wheel, also works. http://stardate.org/nightsky/almanac also By Leslie alan Horvitz
Half-Moon Outfitters has them, and the list what is overhead on a day and weekly
CofC bookstore can order them. More basis. Bring a flashlight to read the maps, the nIght Sky Wheel
than 5,000 years ago, people in Mesopo- but use red nail polish or cellophane to By William chandler
tamia started identifying constellations, or filter the light. If those aren’t available, (available at the cofc bookstore)
groups of stars that formed recognizable Richardson suggests a paper bag; just
shapes such as a lion (Leo). Today, the 88 make sure not to turn the light green or
officially recognized constellations provide blue — colors that destroy rhodopsin, the
a great starting point for novice stargazers. chemical your eyes need to see at night.
By learning the basic shapes, you can iden- Haze or thick clouds can disrupt star
tify the patterns that define the sky. viewing, as can light pollution, or the glow for LocaL
Understanding the sky map can get a bit given off by cities. The humidity might
confusing. Senior instructor of physics and be unavoidable (bug spray is also a must), stargaZIng
astronomy at CofC Terry Richardson rec- but capitalize on the clearest nights and
ommends lying on a lawn chair (nobody richardson suggests folly Beach,
darkest spots available, such as the beach.
wants a crick in the neck) with your feet If viewing from the backyard, aim for the and as far away from the morris
pointing north. If directions pose a chal- corner farthest from street lights. And al- Island Lighthouse as possible. “you
lenge, don’t forget a compass. Hold the
though the full moon makes for a sight can see clusters and even some
map directly over your head, arms out-
all its own, it washes out the sky, so the bright galaxies.”
stretched. That way, what you see on the
waxing crescent during early July is great.
map matches your perspective for the en-
Richardson also recommends amateurs
tire sky. Once you start matching the larg- His secret spot, though, is off of
use averted vision, or focusing slightly to
er dots on the map (which denote brighter francis marion forest service road
the left or right of the object you are seek-
stars) with what’s overhead, try standing.
ing. 260-B in awendaw, s.c.
Remember that the map’s designation for
Richardson says a telescope isn’t nec-
the direction you face should be closest 1. From CharleSton or mt.
to your body. “You have to watch out be- essary, but that binoculars — even the
low-power pair most people already have pleaSant, take hIghWay 17 north
cause the planets will fool you,” Richard- toWard georgetoWn..
son warns. “The trick is that planets don’t — enhance viewing significantly. With
twinkle.” Keep in mind that because their them, July and August are prime time to
2. When you paSS the SeWee
positions change depending on the time see the dynamic clouds and clusters of
reStaurant on your leFt, there
of year, planets will not be on most sky the Milky Way. After a few hours and a
are 8 mIleS to go. note the SIgn
maps. little practice, the ancient names of the
sky like Sagitta, Dephius, and Altair will that SayS Cape romaIn WIldlIFe
Human eyes need 15-30 minutes to ad-
no longer seem so Greek. (Lynsy Smithson reFuge, mooreS landIng and
just to the dark, so plan on a few minutes
Stanley) poIntS to the rIght.
to acclimate before checking out the more
3. When you paSS the SeWee
vISItorS & envIronmental
an aLL-star (actuaLLy, PLanet) LIne-uP for tHIs WeeKenD eduCatIon Center on your rIght,
there are 3.7 mIleS to go.
1. aS Soon aS the Sun SetS,
FaCe dIreCtly WeSt duSk, July 2 4. When you paSS the doar road
turn (thIS IS the SeCond SIgn
2. look up 1 1/2 FIStS From the that SayS Cape romaIn WIldlIFe
horIZon to FInd merCury. reFuge, mooreS landIng, etC.)
rIChardSon SayS It Should be there are exaCtly 2 mIleS to go.
vISIble to the naked eye, but It’S tIme to mark your odometer
SpottIng It FIrSt WIth the bIn- and SloW doWn. the Spot IS
oCularS helpS on the rIght and IS aFter the
Smokey t. bear SIgn and rIght
3. turn a halF-FISt’S WIdth toWard
Saturn aFter the herItage CorrIdor
SIgn (unleSS Some vandalS got
4. From there, one FISt hIgher them). drIve SloWly and look
and a bIt SouthWard IS Saturn For the turn. It WIll be dark.
at the turn IS a break In the
5. one FISt above and SlIghtly
medIan that alloWS a leFt turn.
leFt ShIneS marS the obServIng loCatIon IS on the
6. halF-FISt up From marS IS rIght.
reguluS, a Star In leo FaCIng WeSt
lIqUID ASSETS * Underwater academy trains scuba divers for a lucrative career
“Blue diver, can you hear me? Red Diver, wave to blue diver.” This is the Many of the divers that come to the one interested). Basically, every process
gist of commercial dive speak. They get to live out everyone’s childhood Institute choose to either forego or with- has a protocol at the Institute, and safety
swimming pool dreams; breathing in a gravity-free environment, speak- draw from college. Smith says that his takes ultimate precedence.
school provides an
ing through radios wired into their helmets. Apparently the pay isn’t bad
either. tive to the norm and
can sometimes offer “Some of these companies are
The International Diving Institute in a better return on
offering $10,000 reimburse-
edge, built the gas-powered contraption
North Charleston is one of only five of its investment.
in only four days.
kind in the U.S. and one of only 12 in the “You can go to
ment on tuition, $3,500 sign-on
“They fabricate a lot of the materials
world. a standard college
they use out in the field because when
“Our mission is to train commercial course for four years,
bonuses, medical and dental after
they’re 250 miles offshore they can’t go
divers to go out and do one of the best but as you know, a
to a Home Depot or Lowe’s,” says Smith.
jobs available right now for such a short lot of people don’t
60 days, and they start off at
The Institute trains about 40 commer-
training period,” says Sergio Smith, co- like traditional edu-
cial divers each year. The worldwide scar-
owner and director of the Institute. “It’s cation. Some people
$17.50/hour,” says IDI co-owner
city of commercial dive schools provides a
a very small, select group of people who aren’t cut out for
diverse spectrum of students from various
go through training and the rewards are it,” says Smith. “So
and director Sergio Smith.
locales. Smith says relocating to Charles-
massive.” people can come to
ton is lucrative for the students, who can
The Institute prepares divers to work a commercial dive
receive financial aid and excellent career
on a variety of commercial projects. They course here for 16
learn to weld at Trident Technical College weeks, 10-12 hours
“Some of these companies are offer-
and spend countless hours in a large tank per day. Then you’re ready to go out into “They’re very careful here and every-
ing $10,000 reimbursement on tuition,
practicing underwater. Divers also learn to the field and make money. And these are thing is closely monitored. A lot of the
$3,500 sign-on bonuses, medical and
build their own tools. Smith is especially high-paying jobs!” stuff we do is really dangerous and there is
dental after 60 days, and they start off
proud of a small trailer supporting two Smith is careful to explain the tedious always a strict focus on doing things a cer-
at $17.50/hour. There aren’t many jobs
large air compressors. His students, who set of standards his company follows tain a way, even after we finish the course,”
that offer that after only 16 weeks,” says
previously had little applicable knowl- (ADC, ACDE, ANSI, and SRS — for any- says a student who we’ll call Red Diver.
summer guide 2006
scuBa-Do * where academy flunkies can go for adventure
there are over 20 different dive sites around charleston, but these are four
of the most popular according to the experts at charleston scuba.
the y-73 WreCk
the y-73 wreck is a 180-foot tanker submerged
in 100 feet of water. the visibility is high and
the site boasts a variety of large marine life,
such as sharks, rays, and loggerhead turtles.
a charter to see the y-73 wreck is $115 for
the ComanChe WreCk
the comanche is a former icebreaker from
the great Lakes that was intentionally sunk in
1992. the site is home to all sorts of different
marine life, including amberjack, spadefish,
and lobster. the comanche is located close to
the train Wreck, making it easy to dive both
sites in one trip. a charter to the comanche
wreck is $115 for two dives.
the traIn WreCk
the train Wreck is a unique artificial reef sys-
tem formed by several new york subway cars.
the site is exceptionally popular for photogra-
phers because of the unique appearance. the
train Wreck is located at a depth of over 100
feet and is recommended for advanced divers
only. a charter to the train Wreck is $115 for
the anChor ledgeS
the anchor Ledges are a popular site for both
novices and experienced divers. Located at just
60 feet, the site is a series of five-foot ledges
that support a wide range of marine life, includ-
ing many tropical species. the anchor Ledges
are a short distance from the frederick W. Day
site, a relatively shallow wreck that is perfect
Who SayS FIre and Water don’t mIx? for novices. a charter to the anchor Ledges is
$95 for two dives. (Steven Zimmerman)
Red Diver says every morning starts ipates increased demand for his services
at 6:45 with a two-mile swim down the in the coming years as the need for com-
Cooper River. Students then do “top- mercial divers grows. Recent offshore
side” exercises for 45 minutes to build development ideas for coastline energy
cardio. Next are up-and-down repeti- sources point to a growing market.
tions on a ladder in full 120-pound dive “There are several diving companies
gear. in the area, with more popping up each
Students also undergo rigorous pres- year. It’s very attractive to get into this
sure chamber exercises. Traditionally the business right now,” says Smith. “There
hyperbaric chamber is viewed as a safety is also talk of putting offshore oil plat-
mechanism for divers suffering from de- forms off the East Coast. If that hap-
compression sickness, or “the bends,” as pens, we’ll see a lot more jobs open for
it’s generally known. This happens when commercial divers.”
a diver’s ascension to the surface is too Although commercial diving is the
quick, forcing gaseous bubbles (mainly main focus of the Institute, they also
nitrogen) to release in the bloodstream.
train about 250 recreational divers each
This is a potentially fatal condition and
year. “We teach recreational diving from
the hyperbaric chamber is regarded as
the open-water level all the way up to
the most effective treatment.
the instructor-trainer level,” says Smith.
“We have two of six hyperbaric cham-
bers on the East Coast; one from Hali- Smith encourages anyone who has
fax, one from Scotland. A lot of people ever dreamed of breathing underwater
in the diving industry, or just recreation- to give diving a shot. He understands
al divers, never get to see a chamber,” many of the common fears, but one visit
says Smith. to the North Charleston facility and a
The Institute is a one-of-a-few enter- chat with Smith can easily assuage those.
prise, boasting things other dive schools “All we do is train divers from every walk
simply can’t compete with. Smith antic- of life,” says Smith. (Ian Wheeler)
FIRE IN THE SKy * Putting the bang
The Fourth of July is a pyromaniac’s dream, and while most folks are
satisfied to stock up on wimpy 1 1/4-inch shells from roadside stands,
the professionals get to blow up massive shells ranging from 3 to 12
inches in diameter.
Paul Grizzle is one such professional. For the RiverDogs, pyrotechnics are a
Grizzle is a licensed fireworks operator for regular occurrence; they host a fireworks
Zambelli Internationale, which means his show after each Friday home game. The
job is to set up, choreograph, and operate weekly event can take a lot of work.
professional fireworks shows. “We start the process of getting the fire-
“It’s a fun business, let me tell you,” says works ready five or six months in advance
Grizzle. “I’m really excited to be a part of of the season,” says Jim Pfander, director of
it.” promotions for the Charleston RiverDogs.
Grizzle has been playing with fire for “The guys usually arrive in the early after-
over 20 years. He began his life as a fire- noon on the day of the show and they will
works operator by serving as an apprentice work until six or seven o’clock setting up.”
to a Zambelli employee. After many shows A typical show lasts anywhere from 10
and a lot of work, Grizzle received his pro- to 15 minutes — plenty of time to dazzle
fessional license. the crowd. Because of the wide variety of
Grizzle has worked as the “gun man” for fireworks available, no two shows are ever
hundreds of fireworks shows in the Charles- the same.
ton area, including the Isle of Palms July 4 But with July 4 approaching, a typical
celebration, several Spoleto finales, and nu- show is not enough. The RiverDogs will cel-
merous shows for the Charleston RiverDogs ebrate Independence Day one day early, at
at Joe Riley Stadium. the end of the home game on July 3.
lICenSed FIreWorkS operator paul grIZZle SpendS hIS Summer nIghtS In the hot Seat
summer guide 2006
“The show after the July 3 game is go-
ing to be great,” says Pfander. “It will be
bigger, longer, and better than what we
While most casual shoppers get their
fireworks from a roadside stand, the
RiverDogs go right to the source, getting
their explosives from two companies:
Melrose Pyrotechnics and Zambelli Inter-
nationale. The latter was responsible for
the awesome fireworks show during the
opening of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.
“A professional show could run from
$3,000 to $300,000,” says Grizzle. “For
a smaller show, we hand-light the explo-
sives, for bigger shows we’ll use electric
lighting, and on the biggest shows we use
a computer system.”
There are many different types of fire-
works at a professional show, but every-
body has a particular favorite.
“I really like the four-inch shells that
we use because you can get the really big,
expansive shots from those,” says Pfander.
“We use a lot of different shells and dif-
ferent colors, so our shows have a great
variety. It’s great for the fans and it makes
all our shows unique.”
Professional shows are a lot of fun, but
many people prefer the thrill of lighting
fuses and getting the hell out of the way.
“Fireworks available to the public are
Class C, but at the professional shows
we use Class B,” says Grizzle. “But don’t
worry, there are plenty of really nice Class
C fireworks available.”
Grizzle explains that the largest shell
available for consumers is 1 3/4-inch in
diameter. Professionals use shells that
are much larger and more powerful than
anything a casual consumer can legally
So what should you buy when prepar-
ing for your own personal show? Grizzle
has a few recommendations.
“Fountains and candles are small and
good to start with,” he says. “There is also
something called a cake, which is a small
multishot box with anywhere from a doz-
en to 30 or 40 firings. They make a real
good aerial effect and you can put three
or four of them in a row and get a sort of
flowing show. These are great for finales.”
If you are looking for a stunning visual
display, Grizzle recommends getting large
shells or multishot cakes. If you prefer
quantity over quality, 12 packs of rock-
ets are a good choice. If you just want to
make a lot of noise, look for rockets or
shells that produce whistles when they
launch and reports, or loud bangs, when
“If your kids just want to play in the
yard, you should get smaller rockets,
about a 1/2-inch in diameter,” says Griz-
zle. “Fountains and candles are also kid-
The secret to a great show is to start
small and work up to the larger shells and
multishot fireworks. With a little prac-
tice and careful planning, you can dazzle
your entire neighborhood with your own
personal fireworks show. (Steven Zimmer-
SET yOUR COURSE * Hoist a sail this summer at one of the area’s sailing schools
If the sight of crisp sails dotting the harbor makes you yearn to tie a bow- dock and onto the deck of a boat, a few short weeks of classroom instruc-
line, take the helm, and chart a course for waters unknown, make this the tion and hands-on experience will have you well on the way to becoming a
summer you learn how to sail. Even if you’ve never stepped foot off the Lowcountry mariner.
HoW to get starteD
→ for true neophytes, the best place to start is → the oCean SaIlIng aCademy (oSa) also offers
a lightning-fast 20 knots, for racing prep. no more
with the College oF CharleSton’S adult training for the novice sailor, but their advanced than four students are accepted per class, and
nonCredIt ClaSSeS. adept at turning out training puts the school in a class unto itself. If courses run year-round. osa also offers custom
winning collegiate sailors, as evidenced by you dream of taking bareboat sailing vacations team-building courses, classes for families, and
the college’s recent Inter-collegiate sailing to exotic ports-o-call, osa’s ocean Passage instruction tailored to owners of specific boats.
association national championship title, this making and celestial navigation certifications as is the case at the college, osa’s instructors
program’s resources allow it to accommodate are your ticket to blue water. are veteran sailors with a broad spectrum of
a large number of fledgling sailors each year. “an interesting divergence occurs in the cur- experience. one instructor is an olympic hopeful,
they accept up to 18 students per session, and riculum we teach,” says ocean sailing academy while another has such a passion for sailing and
sessions run continuously from april-september. partner andy gilbert. “once you’ve gone through restoring wooden ships — his students often
each session lasts three weeks, with four hours basic keelboat, a number of paths open up.” learn ancillary information like how to caulk and
spent in the classroom and 15 hours spent sail- at the advanced level, students are often tar the seams of a wooden hull. just about the
ing. the college’s fleet of j-22s, the most widely interested in sailing as a lifestyle. upon comple- only thing osa is not equipped to teach would-be slots during the Wednesday evening races: www.
used instructional boat in the nation, is docked tion of the advance courses, osa students not sailors is how to speak like a pirate. you might charlestonoceanracing.org. also, upon completion
at the Patriots Point marina. only have the ability to navigate and the skills try hanging out at salty mike’s to acquire that of the college’s noncredit courses, students have
colin Bentley is the dockmaster and has needed to deliver boats, they also have the particular skill. the opportunity to join the sailing association for
worked with the program for 18 years. “We opportunity to race with osa. for detailed course information, visit http:// a moderate fee, which allows use of course boats
provide all equipment, including a textbook,” “In fact,” says gilbert, “a student-crewed boat www.oceansail.com. throughout the year. the paragon of Lowcountry
says Bentley. “adult students need only show placed first in the cruising class of the 2005 sailing activities takes place in august, when the
up wearing a reasonable shoe that will work on charleston to Bermuda race.” → the next step to getting on the water, short rockville regatta blows through Bohicket creek,
deck.” osa uses a colgate 26 for basic keelboat of investing in your own sailboat, is to join the so plan accordingly if you want the skills
for a course schedule, visit www.cofc.edu/ instruction, a catalina 32 for basic cruising, and CharleSton oCean raCIng aSSoCIatIon needed to skipper a boat in this year’s fleet.
sailing. a melges 24, which has the capacity to move at (Cora) and check the website for open crew (Ida Becker)
summer guide 2006
DO GO BACK TO ROCKvIllE * And don’t forget your sunscreen
For one weekend each summer, the sleepy enclave of Rockville, with its smattering of homes that dot the marsh-
lined bluff along Bohicket Creek at the end of Wadmalaw Island, becomes the lively host of summer’s social apex
— a raucous party on the water disguised as a regatta. As with all exalted Lowcountry happenings, the Rockville
Regatta is steeped in tradition, and in this case, the storied history is actually true. Founded in 1890 as a competition
amongst area families with aristocratic names, several subsequent generations of sailors have attempted to harness
the swift current leading into the North Edisto River for their own bit of glory. Rockville today is a melting pot of
the true sporting set and the sort of people with plenty of provisions, drop anchor or tie Point, the visual illustration of the wild times
who celebrate the Kentucky Derby yet fail to up next to friendly folks, and don’t become had every year at Rockville, start bragging.
ever see a horse. Not only does a sleek fleet so incapacitated that when the tide changes By the way, we’re not laughing at you, we’re
of boats float by the rowdy conclave of spec- — and the entire flotilla starts to swing laughing with you. Promise. (Ida Becker)
tators, but the flotsam and jetsam includes around — you are unable to free your skiff
lost cans of beer bobbing along, plastic cups from beneath the enormous sportfisherman
of Jell-O shots skimming the tide, and sun- bearing down on you. It happens every year.
burned folks on rafts that have been unwit- By the time the Sea Island Yacht Club
tingly set free from the transom of a friend’s party rolls around on Saturday night, noses
runabout. Rockville is one long weekend of will be sunburned, the number of boats
pure spectacle tinged with sport. will have thinned, but the party spirit will
Recent years have seen better enforce- be alive and well. Be sure your provisions
ment of the delineation between sail and include plenty, at least several gallons worth,
powerboats, and returning spectators often of drinking water per person and a place to
jockey for a mooring with a clear view of spend the night. Sleeping in cars, on docks,
the start, where the artful dance of vessels and on deck happens all too often, but use
under sail power is best observed. The South your better judgment and don’t pass out on
Carolina Department of Natural Resources an inflatable.
has been out in full force for the last 10 Mark your calendar for this year’s Regatta,
years, so boaters are forewarned to brush up which happens over the weekend of Aug. 5-
on regulations before heading to the scene. 6. And if your vessel is the lone powerboat
The best advice is to arrive early and armed stranded high in the marsh near Cherry