Blues by the Sea

The drive through John’s Island on the way to Seabrook Island is one of splendor and beauty with huge oak trees reaching over Bohicket Road like a branch covered tunnel.  Spanish moss hangs from the branches and softly waves as you drive by.  We passed through this gorgeous display on the way to Freshfield’s on Sunday to see one of the local events, Blues by the Sea, organized by Gary Erwin of Shrimp City Slim.

As we turned the corner of the roundabout and into the market, we could hear the music coming from the bands and made our way to party.  Carrying chairs and a small cooler with beer and water, we landed right beside the stage.  Our view of the band and partygoers was perfect.  The band, Beverly Guitar Watkins, was up…and so was everybody else.  Let us try to describe what the scene was like, as it’s probably one of the most beautiful sights we have seen in a long time.

The venue was surrounded by an array of azaleas in white, pink and purple.  A huge tent covering at least 100 white plastic chairs protected people from the hot sun.  The staging area left enough room for people to dance, and dance they did!  There were people everywhere moving, grooving and doing their version of the Shag.   A beer truck parked on the side of the street, and people purchased a variety of pilsners, IPAs and choice offerings of red or white wine.  A barbecue vendor was selling tasty morsels of pulled pork or chicken dinners with succulent sides.

We decided to head into the Village Market and stocked up on an array of cheeses with crunchy toast bites.  A huge cup of salty boiled peanuts perfected our picnic, and we then settled in to take in the excitement around us.  We got a chance to talk to the people seated next to us and found out that they’d come all the way from Beaufort.  “We heard about this and thought we’d come out.  My husband’s always looking for things to do.  We are having a great time!” Mrs. Boatright said.

The Tinsley Ellis band from Atlanta closed out the event.  Tinsley Ellis is a local band who has gone national and has played many venues around the area, such as the Sand Dollar at Folly Beach, and has a huge following.  We ran into quite a few friends who had also traveled quite a distance to get a chance to see Tinsley play, and we shared stories and made new friends as well.  The ambience of Freshfield’s is accommodating, lively, and having a musical experience of this quality come through is absolutely stellar!  We will most definitely come back and bring our dancing shoes next time.

 

Bohicket Billfish Tournament

Bohicket Marina, located just outside of the Seabrook Island gates, is holding the Bohicket Billfish Tournament from June 4th to June 7th.  The tournament is the second leg of the SC Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series that initiated in 1989 to organize the fishing community and collect data for scientific purposes.  Fish, such as sailfish and marlins, are caught and released at a rate towards 100% and contribute to the success of the fisheries’ future.    Pictures, times and other data are recorded and turned into the Department of Natural Resources for points, and the highest points win the tournament.

Thousands of people come out to watch this spectacular gaming event.   Sponsors, guests and wranglers will have various festival activities to participate in while enjoying the excitement of sports fisherman bringing in their catch of the day.

Weigh-ins for dolphin, wahoo, and tuna are collected, and the fisherman with the heaviest catch wins the tournament.   Prizes for the winning boats are:  $10,000 cash for 1st place, $5,000 for 2nd place, and $2500 for 3rd place.  The fisherman with the heaviest wahoo will receive a $1,500 prize.  The heaviest tuna and heaviest dolphin anglers will also receive a $1500 prize.  Donated prizes for winning lady anglers are also awarded.

Sponsors are a huge part of the success of the event.  Past supporters have included BB&T, Freedom Boat Club, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Piggly Wiggly, Sherwin Williams and many others.

Please note that the winning prize money is based on a set number of minimum participants.  The entry fee is $2000 and includes your slip, electricity and water, 6 ID badges, and wristbands for food and drinks. Payment is expected upon registration and can be mailed to Bohicket Invitational Billfish Tournament, 1880 Andell Bluff Boulevard, Johns Island, SC 29455.  Make checks out to:  Bohicket Invitational Billfish Tournament.