Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Royal Port in the Storm

We're parked by the water's edge at Port Royal, South Carolina. This may not be the exact spot, but we're close to the point where French explorer and passionate Huguenot Jean Ribault made landfall in 1562. That puts Port Royal on the map some 108 years before the founding of Charleston, SC, our point of departure en route to this idyllic township.

The tempest tossed Captain Ribault narrowly survived a hurricane shortly before he landed at Port Royal. Before we landed there we had navigated the narrow channel of Highway 17 with its treacherous shoals and sustained a two point hit from a Sergeant of the SC Highway Patrol. Upon his arrival Ribault was inspired by the breadth and depth of the harbor at Port Royal and the beauty of its coastline. We arrived with the same assessment.

It was a bright day, mild and so still that the water lay without a wind driven ripple. We made our way along a deeply rutted stretch of hard damp sand to a patch of sand dry enough to stick to the wet tires though the tires did not stick well to the sand. The town had seemed in suspended animation, vacant and quiet. When we got to the bank we found two fellows on Jet Skis cavorting like porpoises jumping deep swells which each was churning for the other. There was absolutely no utility to the moment, no purpose or point beyond pure uncomplicated fun. With everything going to hell in the country, in the world, all around us, two pals had decided to simply enjoy this fine day. That light moment lifted the weight of a wretched week from our shoulders and reminded us to be grateful for what we still have.