Georgetown, SC

This trip to Georgetown was first and foremost to pay respect to the couple I loved who recently passed away within a week of each other. As such, I brought a minimal amount of camera equipment, leaving behind the pro camera, lenses, tripods and filters. As it turned out, there were plenty of photo opportunities after a day of visiting gravesites. I got a chance to visit my friend's new 800-acre playground where they can roam and hunt, saw a wooden boat how where teams competed to build wooden boats within a few hours and had to race on the river, went on a photo trip with my friend and a new friend, and got to try out kayaking on the picturesque Mingo Creek. Below are summaries of events, with more in depth description and photos in relevant links.

Wooden Boat Show - I came to town right when the Wooden Boat Show was held. Aside from the typical things at a festival such as arts and crafts, and of course band and food, what made this show quite interesting for me was the boat construction competition. It was amazing to see how a pile of lumber, plywood transformed into nice boats within hours, then the teams raced on the river before a winner was declared. Most teams used power tools, but one team only used hand tools! It was amazing to see their skills and stamina during the boat construction phase, followed by a fun race out to the center of the river and back. The wooden boat theme was pervasive in the entire festival with everything from finely crafted wooden oars to awesome wooden kayaks.

Photo tour with Walter & Norman - It was a wonderful surprise during this family-focused trip for me to meet Walter through my close friends. Walter is  a fellow photographer, fellow Vietnam vet by alliance, avid kayaker who also volunteers for Healing Waters teaching fly fishing to disabled veterans. He took me and my close friend Norman on a photo trip to places that my local friends have not gone to. The focus of the photo tour was around McClellanville area where he lives and explores, including sunrise at Santee River, walking some trails at Santee Coastal Reserve, visiting the prehistoric Sewee Indian Shell Mound, the historic St. James Santee Parish Church, and St. James Chapel of Ease in McClellanville. Walter explained many things about places we saw, making the visits much more interesting.

Prince George’s Winyah Episcopal Church - This church is where my "adoptive" parents went to. It was quite a surprise for me to find a docent in the church when we came to visit their gravesites. As it turned out, this church was rich in history. It was the third oldest colonial church built in South Carolina and still hosts services every week. It was wonderful to see such an old church (built in 1700's) so well maintained. History books indicated that bricks used to build the church came from ship ballasts from England...

Kayaking in Mingo Creek - On the day before my departure, my friend took me on a kayaking trip. This turned out to be the most enjoyable day for me since I was back in my comfort zone - being in nature, gliding along a wonderfully peaceful and picturesque creek, while learning a new skill that might help future photo expeditions.

Aside from the short distance to get beyond bridge traffic noise, our entire day was peaceful and quiet, with the only noise made by our paddling or birds, turtles splashing the water, fish jumping and occasional conversations between the two of us. Photo opportunities abound, but I was running low of memory card space, requiring constant deleting in between pictures.

  Around town, etc