Fresh Deliveries from the Bounty Box

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I’ve been experimenting with some food delivery options to the island recently, and so far my favorite is The Bounty Box.  This is a collaborative effort with local and regional farmers, and you sign up to join.  (You are not committed to weekly deliveries if that doesn’t work for you~ no worries.) In fact, if you sign up in January (like today) you get free enrollment for the year.  Otherwise, it will cost you $23.00.

It works like this: On Fridays, I get an email reminding me to pick my box for the next week.  I can choose between a small box, my usual (farmer’s choice) or I can assemble my own box.  Sometimes I want all the control, so I assemble my own box, and sometimes I like the random challenge of creating meals out of what is fresh and plentiful. You do have to think ahead a little: any changes have to be finalized by Sunday night or you’ll get your default package.

The following Friday, my box arrives at the ferry dock, usually around the time one of us is coming back to the island.  The ferry staff has been very helpful about delivering it and letting me know which ferry to meet on the Dewees side. On Friday mornings I put the boxes back at the IOP side of the ferry dock for re-use.

If you are not a full time resident, no worries: you would just pause the weeks when you aren’t going to be here.  Check out the website for more information:

I asked Kathryn about her involvement with the Bounty Box, and she told me this:

I first heard about The Bounty Box through a friend. The Bounty Box only does “guerrilla marketing” through word of mouth, door hanging and now some paid advertising with social media. I signed up for The Bounty Box as a member but saw they needed NC’s to deliver in my area. I work 1:1 with an adult with special needs full time acting as his life skills tutor/therapist. Together, we volunteer at various organizations as his “job” and his involvement in society. I knew us delivering for The Bounty Box would be the perfect fit into our schedule as we are used to delivering for The Meals on Wheels Program. We have been delivering for The Bounty Box for 3 years and love it! We love the fresh produce and it lasts so much longer and fresher verse a grocery store. 
We try to use as little plastic as possible. Our produce comes in different cardboard boxes to keep the product from damaging each other. The theory behind the boxes it to return them on your next delivery date. This helps us to reuse and recycle them back to the box manufacturer. We do have to use some produce for packaging such as hydroponic lettuce, meats (to prevent contamination) and cheese. Most of these plastics get sent back in our returned boxes and we can turn around and re-use them to prevent waste. The fruit that bruises easily and you would normally put in a plastic box at the grocery store, comes in biodegradable fruit containers (you would get them at a farm stand). Our costumers always return these in their boxes to be used again and again. 
We also now have a community box option where instead of the costumer skipping their box for the week, they order a community box and it gets delivered to the Low Country Food Bank. This produce then goes through The Low Country Food Bank and gets sent to smaller non profit Distribution Centers for people in need. One of them is ECCO which is where my student and I volunteer at. 
The Bounty Box is a great, small local CSA delivery company that has been around for 6 years. Edward, the founder, wanted to go further with a CSA instead of having it be a pick up location and an overabundance of the same produce. Hence why we began delivering boxes that come with a different menu each other or one you can customize. It’s the perfect job for stay at home moms or people with flexible jobs and people that want free produce. Our costumers that are loyal to TBB agree with our mission and know about the importance of supporting local farmers and artisans. 

You can sign up using KATHRYN2019 and you will get $5 off your order ($10 off if you sign up today. Use Dewees Island or Judy as your reference.  There is also no enrollment fee and there is never a renewal fee.


Saving Crab Bank: Why We Care

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If you don’t live locally, you may have missed the conversations about Crab Bank, right off of Shem Creek. It’s a narrow strip of land in Charleston Harbor, and there is a good likelihood that most, if not all, of the Brown Pelicans we see were hatched right there.  In addition, many of our summer birds also nest there.  It’s a relatively isolated strip of land which has been a successful nesting colony for years.  Hurricane Irma so significantly eroded the island that there is barely a strip left, and I believe there were NO nesting birds there in 2018 at all.  This video from the Post and Courier explains the situation.  (You’ll see many island friends like Nolan Schillerstrom, Felicia Sanders, and Chris Crolley in there!)

Pelicans are one of the iconic symbols of the Lowcountry, and they provide us with great amusement as well as that surge of joy when we see them soaring in formation. We’ve written about them on this blog several times: from the kleptoparasitism they participate in as both aggressors and victims,  to this post with a bunch of facts about them,  to assisting with rehab and release, to the sighting of a banded pelican, we really can’t get enough of them. We took that top photo from the rooftop deck of 391 Pelican Flight, where you can watch them soar right by.

This morning, I went out to take a look at the ones who are resting and feeding nearby.  At the corner, there were several perched on low-lying stumps and stones.

They were so pretty in the morning light, grooming.

pelican hatched at crab bank

This one was scratching his gular pouch:

It’s not just the Pelicans that count on Crab Bank.  Have you ever noticed that in the summer, the Royal terns carrying fish all seem to be going the same direction?  That’s because they’re bringing fish back to nestlings on Crab Bank.

Sandwich terns also nest there~ they’re the ones with the white tip on their beaks:

There are only 5 seabird sanctuaries along the entire coast of South Carolina where these colonies exist, and as you can see, many of the birds that call Dewees home in non-breeding season really depend on that nesting ground.  Chris Crolley, owner of Coastal Expeditions and fellow SC Audubon advisory member describes this as the conservation moment of our lifetime.  Here is a video that shows the birds actually nesting on the island: it is incredible footage uploaded to youtube in 2011 by Dakota Walker.

When I spoke with Nolan yesterday, the project was within $276,360 of the goal of $1.4M, due to some corporate sponsorship.  Every little bit helps, and time is running out. Island friends Mary Pringle, Mary Alice Monroe, and Mary Edna Frasier sent out a letter yesterday urging donations: if you don’t want to donate online, they have a group called  Barrier Island Neighbors for Crab Bank.  Below is a photo of one of our Audubon banders Jenny McCarthy Tyrell raising awareness and a video of a fundraiser and awareness paddle out to Crab Bank.

You can donate directly through SC Audubon here, or  donate here at the Post and Courier Site, or mail a check to Mary Pringle’s group. All donations will support the critical needs of our coastal birds including habitat protection and restoration, nesting success, and community education. 

Mailing address for Mary Pringle’s group is BINCB, 1851 Flag St, Sullivans Island, SC 29482. Individual recognition to you will be
as charter members of SINCB; 501c3 in process.


Golf Options for Dewees People

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editors note: I don’t know anything about golf, but I get asked about it a lot. This guest post is written by dear friend and dunes colleague Jennifer O’Brien, who has worked in the local golf industry for years. Leave comments below: Which one of these is your favorite? Where do you play most often?

Is Dewees Island Golf Accessible?

ABSOLUTELY! Dewees Island is regionally located within thirty-six minutes of ten renowned golf clubs, two of which are two of the oldest in South Carolina. Did you know Charleston is credited with bringing golf to America? Shipping records show that clubs and balls were brought to Charleston as early as the 1640s, and the Country Club of Charleston can trace its origin back to 1786.  As a novice or scratch player, Dewees Island affords you a quiet, serene beach setting not available on most islands outside of Charleston. Leaving from the Dewees Island parking lot, let’s explore the best courses for you.

Wild dunes Links Course

Wild Dunes Resort

Wild Dunes resort is the closest golf to Dewees. You can see the 17th and 18th holes from the South side of Dewees; they are just across the inlet. Wild Dunes has two courses for you to enjoy. The Harbour Course is only a six minute drive from the Ferry parking lot. Designed by Tom Fazio, the Harbor Golf Course is known for its challenging design and beautiful views, and most of all, water. From lagoons and salt marshes to the Intracoastal Waterway, this varied golf course will test all aspects of your game.

The Links Golf Course was Tom Fazio’s first. Today, it’s newly renovated and still among his favorites – and he’s not the only one. From the rustling palms lining lush, rolling fairways to a finishing hole overlooking the glistening Atlantic Ocean, the Links Course is South Carolina golf at its finest.

golf on Dewees
Wild dunes Links course

Snee Farm Country Club

Snee Farm is located fifteen minutes from the Ferry and just off the Isle of Palms connector. The Club is home to a George Cobb designed, championship golf course. The 6,834 yard, 18 hole, par 72 course boasts picturesque marsh views and offers an experience that is enjoyable yet challenging. The course is home to the famous amateur tournament, the Rice Planters. Many notable names have won and competed in this event held each June, including Davis Love III, Stewart Cink, and Mark O’Meara.

Daniel Island Club

Only 15 years young, the Daniel Island Club is one of the new kids on the block for golf in the area. As one of the top private golf clubs in Charleston, the Daniel Island Club features the country’s only private pairing of golf courses designed by Tom Fazio and Rees Jones playing out of the same clubhouse. Both nationally ranked courses are perfectly integrated into the breathtaking Lowcountry landscape.

The Beresford Creek Course is the Tom Fazio-design. At 7293 yards from the championship tees, the par 72 course traverses pristine marsh, creeks and waterways, providing incredible views. In traditional Fazio style, holes have been shaped and contoured to create challenge and drama for players at every level. Ralston Creek, Daniel Island’s second 18-hole masterpiece, is a par 72 course playing 7,446 yards from the championship tees. Opened in 2006, the course was named among the nation’s top new private courses by Golfweek and Golf Digest magazines. Once home to a stop by the tour, you may catch a glimpse of one of Charleston’s local celebrities, a few NASCAR racers and Hollywood stars who play here.

Country Club of Charleston

Charleston’s oldest club is locally referred to as The Country Club. Its present location was built on the McLeod Plantation and designed by renowned architect Seth Raynor. The number 11 hole is a replica of the 15th hole at North Berwick in Scotland and is so treacherous that Sam Snead carded a 13 and Ben Hogan, when asked how he liked the hole, replied that it should be dynamited. The Country Club has been home to several famous golfers. Beth Daniel, who grew up in Charleston. She won the US Women’s Amateur in 1975 and again in 1977. Her professional career includes 41 wins, one major, and she is an inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Henry Picard, a golf professional at The Country Club from 1925 – 1934, is also an inductee of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Henry won the Masters in 1938 and the PGA Championship in 1939. Most recently, the club hosted the 2013 USGA Women’s Amateur Championship, and will host the 2019 US Women’s Open Championship May 27th – June 2nd.

Yeamans Hall Club

Yeamans is the second oldest Charleston course, opening in 1926. Similar to The Country Club of Charleston, the course was also designed by Seth Raynor. Built as a winter retreat for wealthy families from the north such as the Rockefellers and Ford’s, the current design was restored in 2015 to Raynor’s original layout. In the 1980’s the original Raynor blueprints where found by the Superintendent in the clubhouse attic. Once you drive through the gate it’s as if you’re transported back in time. It’s like playing in a Raynor museum with all his characteristics at work here.

Bulls Bay Golf Club

Bulls Bay is a unique club, unlike any others in South Carolina. Designed by Mike Strantz, this once flat stretch of Lowcountry coastline has been transformed into a landscape reminiscent of the great links courses of Scotland and Ireland. Roughly two million cubic yards of earth were moved to reshape the site. At Bulls Bay, Strantz created 75-foot elevation changes and 360-degree views unlike any in the Lowcountry. Unofficially, the club house sits on the highest point of land in the lowcountry. The course boasts firm, sandy turf and ever-present wind off the ocean. It is a true links golf experience reserved exclusively for its members and their guests.

There are several other semi-private courses within thirty minutes of the Dewees Ferry parking lot:

Rivertowne Country Club – 26 minutes

Dunes West Country Club – 27 minutes

Charleston National Club – 20 minutes

Patriots Point Links – 26 minutes

A new program was introduced in 2016, like none other in the Charleston area! Dual and Triple Club Membership options are available with Dunes West Golf, Rivertowne and Snee Farm Country Clubs. You can enjoy all three courses and the amenities each has to offer through one membership. Rivertowne is also affiliated with the ClubCorp network which gives you access to over 200 private clubs and special offerings at more than 700 hotels, resorts, restaurants and entertainment venues worldwide. Living on Dewees Island, you have an abundance of opportunities to play several of the top courses in Charleston. A benefit to lowcountry living is that the courses do not close in the winter. You’ll be able to enjoy golf year-round. The alligators, water hazards and bunkers are ever-present on the course, but so is a cool breeze, plush fairways, and fast greens. Dewees Island is the perfect launching pad for this lifestyle. You’ll enjoy the quiet serenity of a lesser inhabited island, no crowds and the ease and relaxation of lowcountry living. Jump on the ferry to the mainland for some easy swings and the enjoyment brought on by a great round on a great course. Don’t forget to comment in below and let us know which of these courses is the best!

Jennifer O’Brien is a Dunes Agent who helps with Judy’s buyers and sellers on Dewees, and takes care of her own clients on IOP and surrounding areas.  If you’re looking for something on Dewees, you can reach her through Dewees Real Estate.  If you’re looking for something off Dewees, you can find her here. Tell her we sent you.  


All is Well. Returning to Dewees after Florence

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A week ago, I was in the middle of writing a leisurely post about how relieved we were NOT to have to pack up and evacuate for Florence when everything went awry with the forecasts and the governor ordered an evacuation. I’ll eventually finish that one, which explains all of the hurricane preparations we go through out here on Dewees, but for now, I want to express some gratitude about being home. Our hearts go out to our friends and colleagues who are still struggling with this monster storm. We are delighted to find the island relatively unscathed. Since I know there are folks out there with a yearning for some visuals, here you go:

It was so nice to be back on the island!

Dewees after Florence
Terry was taking down the Hurricane Flag

When we came past Huyler House pond, there were spoonbills hanging out on the raft

Dewees after  Florence
Morning glories were in full bloom, covered with gulf fritillaries, cloudless sulfurs, and a zebra longwing!

When we got to Ancient Dunes, the walkway showed that there had been some pretty strong wind
Dewees, post Florence
And the wind was still in full force as we got to the beach:
Dewees after Florence
Looking north from Ancient Dunes
Dewees after Florence

The strong breezes carved the dunes and sand into some amazing patterns and textures:
[caption id="attachment_10810" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Dewees after Florence This shell created a shelf where the wind carved around it.

More sand/wind sculpture

Clouds at Ancient Dunes

We had much larger waves than normal.

Dewees after Florence (beach)
The dunes were relatively unscathed, and some of them looked even bigger!

Osprey Walk was our next stop.
Dewees after Florence Osprey Walk
Looking north from Osprey Walk

As you can see, there was no sign of water intrusion into Lake Timicau.

From the main dock, we could see some large white birds out on the midden. Knowing that sometimes storms drop some unexpected guests by, we grabbed a big lens and some binoculars. Sure enough, the usual suspects of Oystercatchers, Cormorants, Pelicans, and Ruddy Turnstones were joined by a large flock (120) of White Pelicans. They will occasionally winter here, but this is certainly the largest flock we’ve seen, and the earliest we’ve seen it in the season.

We went a little closer to check it out:

And finally, we finished the day with this rainbow over the impoundment:

With a huge sign of relief and gratitude for the kindnesses of staff and neighbors, we turn in for the night.


Dewees Island web cams during Hurricane Florence 2018

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We installed 2 webcams on the island, roughly 35′ or 40′ above sea level. One faces Southeast over the Impoundment (aka Old House Lagon). The other faces West over the impoundment towards Chapel Pond dock.

Southeast camera

Southwest camera

Check out Dewees Island Real Estate

Homes for Sale
Lots for Sale

Dewees Island ferry to Atlantic Ocean


Local Author Signe Pike describes Dewees

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signe pike Lost Queen

Local author Signe Pike released her new book today, and I got an advanced reader copy and LOVED it!  Our island friends over at Buxton Books hosted a launch party for her on Sunday night.  Several of us hated to miss the annual dammit!ball championship, but enjoyed her reading from her book at a lovely reception hosted by our friends at Buxton Books.

I first met Signe on the Dewees Island ferry when she rented from us years ago.  Here is a photo of her on Dewees Island, reveling in the easy discovery of sand dollars and shells on the beach:

Signe Pike on Dewees

Signe describes her first visit here:

“Visiting Dewees was like stepping behind a veil. The enchantment of the island struck me instantaneously, the moment I stepped on board the boat. Unspoiled is the word that comes to mind. It is an island where nature is still queen, and she graciously permits us to walk the breadth of her kingdom. I felt a deep and inexplicable connection to the landscape there. The only way to describe it would be to say it felt like coming home.”

Her first non-fiction memoir details her journey from a New York book editor to explorer of faery magic in the UK~ it’s a hilarious and entertaining read which I thoroughly enjoyed.  As a long time fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, I have been crazy about the King Arthur legend for ages.  She researched all the places I dreamed about visiting.  When island friend Mary Alice Monroe introduced Signe on Saturday evening, she remembers encouraging her to write the story, to make it fiction.

Signe brings scholarship and a lyric narrative voice to the story, delving into a real-life Scottish queen who was the twin of the “real Merlin”, telling the story so vividly and at such a great pace that didn’t want it to end.  She read from some passages of the book at the harbor club Sunday night.

I hate to have to wait for the next two books in the trilogy!  Hopefully we’ll be seeing her more on the island, but I have a feeling her world is about to take off.

You can grab a signed copy of this book downtown at Buxton Books, (if you haven’t been there, you should check it out!!!) or a kindle copy with the link at the bottom.

Signe’s world view fits right into everything Dewees.  We hope she’ll get back here soon.  Meanwhile, enjoy her books and this lovely thought from the preface to Faery Tale:

Please tread lightly and with respect.  Leave each place better, in some way, than when you came, and most important, be prepared to see everything… with a grateful and open heart.




Summer Programs: July 2018

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Monday July 2

Description:Learn how to ID & catch a blue crab and alligator safety during this catch a release program. Reserve your (free spot) Here:

Monday, July 2

Naturalists Choice: Save the Sea Turtles!
Description:Through hands on activities learn what makes a sea turtle a sea turtle, what turtle biologists do, challenges sea turtles face and what you can do to help. Wear clothes that can get sandy and possibly wet.
Ancient Dunes Gazebo: 6:30 pm Sign up here.

Tuesday July 3

Jan and Bubber’s Beach Run and Party
Join Bubber on the beach at Needlerush – for morning exercise on a beach course.You may run, walk, crawl, or escort a child – whatever you desire!
Even if you do not participate in the beach event, come and socialize on the McAlhany’s porch with Jan where you can enjoy her refreshments and applaud the winners!



Wednesday, July 4

Golf Cart Parade
Meet at the fire station at 11:00 am for the start: We’ll finish at Huyler House with some ice cream.

Thursday, July 5

Sand Art Contest
Start whenever you like at Ancient Dunes. Judging is at 5:30 p.m.
All welcome: spectators and participants: no registration necessary.

june summer activities DeweesFriday, July 6

Turtle Friday Meeting 8:30
Ancient Dunes Gazebo
All Welcome: we will review current nests and any tasks and make plans for the upcoming week. If you want to learn about our turtle program, this is for you. To follow the Turtle team on Facebook, click here.

Friday, July 6

Seining and Beachcombing
9:00 am Ancient Dunes Beach

Discover a variety of fish, crabs and other creatures as we pull a long seine net along the edge of Dewees Island. Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. Sign up here.


Friday, July 6

Happy Hour  (Lake Timicau Online Auction closeout Moved to July 20)


Monday, July 9

9:30 Crab Dock
Description:Learn how to ID & catch a blue crab and alligator safety during this catch a release program. Reserve your (free) spot here.




Monday, July 9

Naturalists Choice: Horseshoe Crabs
10:30 Landings Building
Horseshoe Crabs are found on the front beach as well as the island’s brackish water marshes and Impoundments. They gather to spawn in the full moon and are a valuable source of food for migrating shorebirds. Through hands on activities, we will learn the parts of a horseshoe crab and how it feeds. Sign up here.


Tuesday July 10

mississippi kite eating a bug
Terrific Tuesdays: Raptors and Birds
9:30 am New Location: Landings Building
Description:Learn about local birds on Dewees Island and what makes a raptor different from other birds. Fun for the whole family, even if you don’t bring kids. Click here to reserve your (free) spot.



Thursday, July 12

Book Club with Susan Boyer
Please join us on Thursday, July 12 for a special book club including conversations with Susan Boyer, author of a series of mysteries set on a ferry access island called Stella Maris, which is located just north of the Isle of Palms and the ferry loads at 41st street. Her latest novel, Lowcountry Bookshop, is the seventh in her award-winning series starring Liz Talbot, a detective who lives on the island and solves mysteries all over the Charleston area. Click here to get to her author page where you can read more and purchase her books.
This will be Susan’s first visit to Dewees, and she’s looking forward to seeing the real island and meeting with us for a discussion on her Lowcountry series.
We’ll meet at 6:30 in the Huyler House. Bring your own beverage and a snack to share.

Friday July 13

Turtle Team Friday Meeting
8:30 am: Ancient Dunes Gazebo
All Welcome: we will review current nests and any tasks and make plans for the upcoming week. If you want to learn about our turtle program, this is for you. To follow the Turtle team on Facebook, click here.

Friday July 13

Seining and Beachcombing
9:00 am Ancient Dunes Beach
Discover a variety of fish, crabs and other creatures as we pull a long seine net along the edge of Dewees Island. Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. To sign up, click here.

Friday July 13

Paddle with the Naturalist Interns
2:00 pm Canoe Dock
Explore one of the richest wildlife habitats of Dewees Island. This interpretative paddle offers a unique look into the ecology of impounded wetlands. Participants must be able to maneuver a short portage. 10 years minimum age. Under 16 must be with an adult. Space is limited to 6 participants: RSVP 24 hours in advance – text 843-568-3994

Friday, July 13

Happy Hour
5:30 Huyler House
BYOB and a Nibble

Monday July 16

Crabbing at the Crab Dock
9:30 am
Learn how to ID & catch a blue crab and alligator safety during this catch a release program.
Sign up here.




Monday July 16

Naturalists Choice- Hurricanes vs Barrier Islands
10:30 am – Ancient Dunes Gazebo
Through hands-on activities and games learn about the interactions between barrier islands and hurricanes, how islands withstand hurricanes and how hurricanes form. Wear clothes that can get sandy and possibly wet. Sign up here.

Tuesday, July 17

Terrific Tuesdays: Family Nature exploration: Micro-safari
9:30am – 11:00am
Ferry Dock
See Dewees Island from a new perspective as we get up close and personal with nature. Join us as we use lenses and scopes to examine the tiny wonders we’ll discover on our “micro-safari” exploration. Sign up here.


Wednesday, July 18

Ladies Roundtable coffee
9:30 Huyler House
Join us for Ladies Roundtable coffee at Huyler House

Friday July 20

Turtle Team Friday Meeting
8:30 am Ancient Dunes Gazebo
All Welcome: we will review current nests and any tasks and make plans for the upcoming week. If you want to learn about our turtle program, this is for you. To follow the Turtle team on Facebook, click here.

Friday July 20

Seining and Beachcombing
9:00 am Ancient Dunes Beach
Discover a variety of fish, crabs and other creatures as we pull a long seine net along the edge of Dewees Island. Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. Sign up here.

Friday July 20

Paddle with the Naturalist Interns
2:00 pm: Canoe Dock
Explore one of the richest wildlife habitats of Dewees Island. This interpretative paddle offers a unique look into the ecology of impounded wetlands. Participants must be able to maneuver a short portage. 10 years minimum age. Under 16 must be with an adult. Space is limited to 6 participants: RSVP 24 hours in advance – text 845-568-3994

Friday, July 20

Help us raise money for Lake Timicau while learning about the talents and strengths of our friends.  Register to bid here.

Monday July 23

Crabbing at the Crab Dock
9:30 am
Learn how to ID & catch a blue crab and alligator safety during this catch a release program.
Sign up here.

Monday, July 23

Animal Tracking and Sighting
6:30 pm, Landings Building
Learn about what animals live in and along the edge of wetlands. We will explore the edge of the Impoundment & Huyler House pond and search for animals.
Become a wildlife detective! Learn how to identify wildlife by what they leave behind: tracks, scat and much more. Make and take a wildlife track. Sign up here.

Tuesday July 24

Terrific Tuesdays Family Program: Critter Capture
9:30 am meet @ 1-pipe
Description:Explore the Salt Marsh of Dewees Island and discover who resides in “Nature’s Nursery” and learn about the important roles they play in the food web. Please wear clothes that can get wet and muddy. * Please wear old tennis shoes or sandals with a back strap; no flip flops or crocs. Sign up here.

Wednesday July 25

Ladies Roundtable coffee
9:30 Huyler House

Friday July 27

Turtle Team Friday Meeting
8:30 am Ancient Dunes Gazebo
All Welcome: we will review current nests and any tasks and make plans for the upcoming week. If you want to learn about our turtle program, this is for you. To follow the Turtle team on Facebook, click here.

Friday July 27

Seining and Beachcombing
9:00 am Ancient Dunes Beach
Discover a variety of fish, crabs and other creatures as we pull a long seine net along the edge of Dewees Island. Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. Sign up here.

Friday July 27

Paddle with the Naturalist Interns
2:00 pm Canoe Dock
Explore one of the richest wildlife habitats of Dewees Island. This interpretative paddle offers a unique look into the ecology of impounded wetlands. Participants must be able to maneuver a short portage. 10 years minimum age. Under 16 must be with an adult. Space is limited to 6 participants: RSVP 24 hours in advance – text 845-568-3994

Friday July 27

Art Exhibit
5:30 pm
Huyler House
Art Exhibit featuring Scottie and David Hoffman’s private collection of Charleston Renaissance art. All welcome.

Monday July 30

Crabbing at the Crab Dock
9:30 am
Learn how to ID & catch a blue crab and alligator safety during this catch a release program.
Sign up here.


Monday July 30

Naturalists Choice: Night Sky
8:30 pm Ancient Dunes Gazebo
Learn how to Identify what is visible in the night sky. To sign up, click here.



Tuesday July 31

Terrific Tuesdays Family Program: Mammals
9:30 Huyler House Picnic area
Description:Learn about marine mammals living just off shore through activities and crafts. SIGN UP HERE.





Internet Access – Solutions Available Today

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We get a lot of questions about Internet access on the island: and what we are using at our house, whether it’s bundled with land lines, DSL or satellite, etc. Improving Internet speed has been identified as a priority at our annual meeting. There is a group of volunteers working on Internet solutions, and one step in the process was to have a sharing and brainstorming session about what solutions were working well for people. Here are some of the outflows of those discussions.

Existing Solutions

  • AT&T DSL
  • Cellular Data from one of the 4 major carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint
  • Satellite Internet — HughesNet, ViaSat – reviews

Newer Solutions

The new solutions in the market are trying to overcome 2 types of problems:

  1. A business model that limits data usage by “throttling” or dramatically slowing down data (to almost unusable speeds).  Even when you get an “unlimited” plan from a major, it doesn’t feel unlimited in practice.
  2. A weak signal

Let’s address them one at a time.

New Cell Data Plans — Overcoming Data Throttling

Cellular resellers are buying data in bulk from the major carriers and reselling it under terms that aren’t available directly to consumers.  These new plans offer unlimited, unthrottled, no contract plans.  Most also offer brief free trial periods.  However, they still have one potential limit — if the cellular tower you’re connected to becomes overloaded, even temporarily, then your service can be “deprioritized.”  Effectively your data goes to the back of the line.  This might cause a dramatic reduction in speeds, buffering, or even an interruption of service.  The providers I talked to promoted the idea that your service would return to full speed as soon as the cell became unloaded.  This means that on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and other days that attract lots of people to the cellular towers closest to us on IOP and in Mt. Pleasant, our service is likely to be suboptimal.  Some of these resellers require you to buy a wireless cellular modem/router from them or a third-party; some bundle the hardware into their monthly fee.

Several people on Dewees have been experimenting with plans where the underlying carrier is T-Mobile, AT&T or Sprint.  All three seem to work on parts of Dewees.  Verizon should also work as many people on the island use it for their mobile phones.  But for Internet data Verizon’s plans through these 3rd-party resellers are so expensive (as of 2/13/2018) that most aren’t finding them attractive.

So far, I’m aware of people trying these resellers

  • – examples:  David M. and Alicia R. – modem bundled into monthly fee $149/month plus startup fee for T-Mobile based plan
  • – examples: Reggie F. and Mike L. – $55/month
  • – examples: Reggie F. – $80/month
  • Dynami Wireless – examples: Faith and Fred S. – $80/month

The iPad plans limit you to 15 devices whereas the router hotspots can usually handle 32 devices.  Either should be plenty of connections for most Dewees household.  Instead, the limiting factor will be the overall data speed.

Running an iPad hotspot is a little clunkier than a dedicated cellular hotspot.

The deals the resellers offer change.  So what makes on “the top provider” now might be bested by a competitor later.  You can find more options by Googling.

It’s highly likely that you can order one of these plans and setup the equipment inside your home on your own.

Quantitative Measures of Improvement

  • DSL on Dewees tests on at a maximum of about 1.1 Mbs.  Individual results vary based on location, time of day, etc.
  • New Cell Data Plans. It’s early and we’ve only been testing in the off-peak winter season so far.  We’ve seen speeds ranging from 5-25 Mbs for both upload and download.

Qualitative Measurements

  • DSL on Dewees the signal regularly just “isn’t there”.  In many cases DSL isn’t sufficient to watch a movie without lots of annoying buffering.
  • New Cell Data Plans. It’s early and we’ve only been testing in the off-peak winter season so far.  We’ve seen speeds ranging from 5-25 Mbs for both upload and download.  Generally, the signal is plenty good enough to watch 1 or 2 or more movies at the same time.  Gamers still say that some times the signal “fades out” and then “comes back”.  In the mean time your game character might have been killed.

Cellular Antennas — Overcoming a Weak Signal

Another issue is a weak cellular single inside your home.  Signal strength on Dewees varies widely based on carrier and location.  Some of the factors affect signal strength are:

  • distance from the cell tower(s) being used by your carrier — homes towards the eastern edge Pelican Flight tend to have less signal
  • construction materials in your home — homes with metal roofs, certain types of glass and home wrap (such as Tyvek) tend to have less signal
  • environmental factors — homes in heavily wooded areas, especially those with lots of pine trees, tend to have less signal
  • and so forth

The first step try is a directional yagi antenna or two and wire them into the back of your cellular modem using ultra low loss coaxial cable.  This brings the stronger signal from outside your home into your modem.  Several people on Dewees have had good luck with them.  The direction you should point the antenna(s) depends on where your home is on the island and which carrier you’re using.  There are cell towers on IOP and near the intersection of highways 41 and 17 that you might want to point the antenna towards.  We believe the towers on IOP are best for Verizon and Sprint; the towers near highway 41 and 17 are best for AT&T and T-Mobile for most locations on Dewees.

If you’re going to use 2 antennas, then they should be set up at 90 degrees polarization from each other.  Some experts suggest angling them at 45 degrees relative to the earth and then 90 to each other.

At least one person on the far east end of the island is experimenting with a parabolic antenna.  We don’t know the results yet.

Cell Phone Booster — Another Way of Overcoming a Weak Signal

If the antennas alone aren’t enough, you might want to try a signal booster.  Home Cell Phone Signal Boosters can reduce or eliminate dropped & missed calls and increase voice, text and 4G LTE signals for all mobile devices inside your home.   They catch the signal from the best location outside, amplify it, and bring it inside.  Two of the leading vendors (as of 2/13/2018) are

  • weBoost – examples: Mark P. and Faith S.
  • SureCall – example: Mike L. is trying one

The online retail UberSignal has a more detailed description of how these devices work.  In all likelihood, you want to order the kit with a Yagi (or directional) roof antenna.  The omnidirectional ones are used for RVs and other mobile applications.

They can be purchased online from Amazon, UberSignal, weBoost, SureCall and others.

The systems come with an inside and outside antenna plus an amplifier and cabling.  They require a power source and should be properly grounded to reduce the risk from a lightning strike.  You can learn how to install them from online videos and training manuals.  Some people may want to employ a professional installer.  The devices cost $400 – $900 and I’ve been quoted$700 to $1,320 for installation.  I tried to get a group rate, but installers are in demand and I wasn’t able to get anything special.  If you do, please let other Dewees owners know.

Some installers to try:

  • Reed Worrell, Smart Wire Solutions, Phone: 843.222.WIRE (843.222.9473) — Reed is a coastal SC guy who comes highly recommended and has done work at Marcia D’s house.  He’s very busy and sometimes hard to reach.
  • Jake Stack, Powerful Signal 866-912-3444 | Direct: 435-634-6800 | — they’re a national concern who contracts with “local” installers.  They quoted $1,320.00/home for labor because their local guy would come over from Atlanta.  Powerful Signal was recommended by weBoost.
  • Others found with Google searches, such as “cell phone booster installers in South Carolina”:

Overall Recommendation

These solutions can work in combination.  Just one might be enough.

Start with an unlimited, unthrottled, no contract cellular data plan and wireless router.  Rough cost is $80/month plus the router at a one-time cost of $250.

If you don’t have enough signal at your home, then consider installing two yagi antennas.  If that’s not enough consider a Cellular Booster or a parabolic antenna.  If you’re comfortable with technology and climbing around on your roof with tools, then you can probably install the antennas and/or boosters yourself.  If you’re not, hire a certified professional.  Rough cost is $500 for equipment and $700 to $1200 for installation.

End Dead Spots

Once you have a high-speed cellular data signal, you’ll want to be able to distribute it to all parts of your home and put an end to WiFi dead spots.  New mesh WiFi networks are making this much easier than in the past.  The top offerings as of April 2018 are:

Cutting the Cord

Once you get your Internet data running at a decent and reliable speed, you might want to consider “cutting the cord”.   You might be able to save a bunch of money by disconnecting DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T DSL, etc.  Then reuse a portion of that money on services like Sling TV, Netflix, Hulu, DirecTV Now, and Amazon Prime Video.  When you’re ready Google “How to cut the cord and still watch live TV”.  New articles are being published regularly.

It Takes a Village

The ideas in this write up came from an number for island residents and online sources.  Thanks should go to David M., Faith S., Michael L., Marcia D., Mark P., Keith M. and others.  If you have more suggestions please share in the comments below.

The Future

The POA is continuing to look at ways to bring even faster signals to Dewees.  Perhaps 5G Cellular will meet our needs in a few years, perhaps not.  It’s too early to tell.  Again, if you have suggestions, please let me know.


Summer Internships on Dewees

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Apply now for summer internships on Dewees!

Our community is immeasurably enriched by the energy and scholarship of young interns who spend the summer on Dewees in several programs.  Here is a full description of some of our intern programs.

Our interns live on the island in a two-bedroom apartment, and depending on their job, might assist with arriving rental clients, walk for the turtle team, spend several nights a week up in the Cape Romain National Wildlife turtle program, or even (new this year) assist with Coyote Research.


Dewees Island summer interns often go from here to jobs in the hospitality field, or to DNR, the SC Aquarium, and even farther afield.  It’s our goal to provide them with a great base of skills from which to apply for the job of their dreams.


Here is more information and how to apply for the coyote internship.

The Dewees Island community wishes to better understand how many coyotes are on island, how they utilize the island, are they impacting the mammal population, how are they integrating into the existing ecosystem and how residents can coexist. A Coyote Intern position funded by the Dewees Island Conservancy will assist in answering these questions. The Coyote intern will be responsible for conservation and educational activities on Dewees Island relating to coyotes & associated habitat as well as interactions with other mammal species. The Intern’s responsibilities will include coyote research (monitoring trail cameras, scat surveys, potential impacts on other wildlife, etc.), shorebird and wading bird surveys, wildlife spotlight surveys, sea turtle nest monitoring, caring for animals in the nature center, creating educational displays, leading interpretative education programs relating to wildlife, and other resource management projects as needed. Ferry access from the Isle of Palms, dormitory housing and golf cart transportation will be provided while on Dewees Island by Dewees Island POA. Send letter of interest and resume to by January 26.

Here is more information and how to apply for a hospitality internship.

Looking for two smart, energetic, entrepreneurial interns to join our vacation rental business on gorgeous Dewees Island during the summer months. We are a small local business and manage 10 short-term vacation rental homes and 4 suites. Our interns live on the island and are our eyes and ears on the ground. It is important to have excellent communication and problem solving skills. As a rental business, we never know what the day has in store, so we must be flexible and ready for anything that comes our way! Our interns must have a strong work ethic and excel at working independently. They must have a willingness to assist in all situations. Interns must be comfortable being surrounded by nature. Dewees is a wonderful mixture of forest, marsh, and beach. Bugs, snakes, alligators and mosquitoes are all a part of life on Dewees. We are on an island after all!  Send resume and letter of interest to

Here is more information and how to apply for a sea turtle conservation internship.

Dewees Island is a privately developed ferry access barrier island south of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and north of Charleston, SC. The Dewees community has a strong environmental focus, with approximately 64 homes, native landscaping, sand roads, and golf cart transportation. There are no commercial interests such as stores or restaurants on this isolated barrier island. Dewees Island is home to an abundance of wildlife including white tailed deer, American alligators, wading birds and shorebirds. Cape Island, SC is an undeveloped remote barrier island in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge which
averages well over 1,000 loggerhead sea turtle nests each season. Sea turtle activity accounts for almost 1/3 of all nests in South Carolina. The lack of access to the remote island makes it challenging for federal biologists and volunteers to do beach patrols, nest relocation, nursery maintenance, predator removal, nest inventories, and nesting turtle research. Early morning small boat access is required during the summer nesting season.

A Naturalist / Sea Turtle Technician Internship funded by the Dewees Island Conservancy helps meet the needs of both islands. Two-three days per week on Dewees Island is required to assist in leading interpretative education programs, shorebird and wading bird surveys, trail camera surveys, wildlife surveys, sea turtle beach patrol, animal husbandry, creating educational publications and other projects as needed. Ferry access from the Isle of Palms, dormitory housing and golf cart transportation will be provided while on Dewees Island by
Dewees Island POA.
The Intern will also spend 2-3 days per week helping the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge conduct sea turtle beach patrols, nest relocation, and nest inventories; dormitory housing is provided on the mainland (Awendaw, SC). Boat access to the Islands with Refuge Biologist and seasonal staff is provided. Transportation is not provided between the Isle of Palms and Awendaw.
The intern shall report directly to both the Dewees Island Conservancy Program Director on Dewees Island and the US Fish & Wildlife Chief Biologist on the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge The full-time seasonal position runs May 7 – August 17, 2018.
The Naturalist/Sea Turtle Intern will receive housing and a stipend of $1650 for the 15-week internship.

• Minimum three years undergraduate work in resource management, marine biology, wildlife ecology or
related science.
• Minimum 9 months of experience leading interpretative or environmental educational programs.
• Outgoing, self-motivated and independent personality; strong communication and leadership skills
• Prior sea turtle nesting management experience preferred (additional training provided).
• Basic knowledge of shorebird and wading bird identification strongly desired.
• Basic knowledge of South Carolina flora and fauna; knowledge of barrier island ecology strongly
• Ability to work a non-standard work day, including weekends, holidays and night shifts.
• Ability to endure extreme summer and outdoor conditions (heat, bugs, salt, sand, etc.).
• Ability to carry heavy equipment (up to 50 lbs.)

• Ability to operate an ATV vehicle (training provided).
• Ability to work and live independently in an extremely remote island lifestyle.
• Boating experience preferred.
• Ability to provide own transportation between remote work sites.
• Lead interpretative educational programs to guests and residents on Dewees Island.
• Conduct early morning or late evening beach patrols on assigned day to identify sea turtle nests and/or
stranded sea turtles.
• Conduct early morning or late evening wildlife surveys.
• Provide care and maintenance of animals and displays in the Dewees Island Nature Center.
• Create educational publications and displays relating to conservation and post information in the Nature
Center and on the Dewees Island Conservancy web site and Facebook page.
• Promote and practice stewardship of the all barrier island facilities, properties, and research equipment.
• Assist in facilitation of research projects by visiting scientists as directed by the Refuge Biologist or the
Dewees Island Conservancy Program Director.
• Understand and agree to dormitory and shared housing regulations. Housing at both locations is a
shared co-ed living space and personal effects are NOT provided (linens, toiletries, etc.).
• Ability to provide your own transportation between Awendaw, SC and the Dewees Island Ferry Landing
on Isle of Palms (approximately 20 miles). Remote locations; public transportation is not available.
Email cover letter, resume, and names/phone numbers of three references to:
Dewees Island Conservancy at
Please list Naturalist/Sea Turtle Internship in the subject line.
Deadline to apply: Friday, January 26, 2018



Isle of Palms Farmers Market

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For the first time ever, Isle of Palms has their very own farmers market, located at the county park on Thursday’s from 4-7 through the end of October. Since I started reading about this (and hearing about the variety of vendors!) I couldn’t wait to check out the IOP farmers market. This past Thursday, after the boys and I decided to have a delicious dinner at the 450 Pizza Joint followed by their fantastic homemade ice cream, we figured we would do a walk through to get a feel for what the market offers.

First things first, there is an option for free parking. So if you don’t want to spend $10 per vehicle, you can pull into the municipal parking lot and quickly walk right over. It took us less than 5 minutes and we got to glimpse a good size kids park with lots of slides and swings that we will spend some more time at on our next visit. We got there about 5 pm and it was not very crowded (it was also about 90 degrees, so that might explain the lack of people!)

 IOP farmers market

There were a few stands that had some great looking fruits and vegetables, a couple of local food trucks, and even a grocery store on a bus!


We also saw a few vendors selling meat and seafood and one that only sold popcorn (Cole’s favorite food!)

Ian and Cole thought this was the coolest part of the “carnival” and went through the school bus several times thinking it was a game. Thankfully, the people who worked there were extremely pleasant and sweet about it!

We definitely can’t wait to go back again and bring some of the local goods back to Dewees!

Editor’s note: Welcome Alicia Reilly to the blog writing team.  When she said she was headed over to check out the IOP farmers market, I thought I would get her to write up her experiences here.  Interested in being a guest blogger or reviewer?  Shoot me a quick email/