Cheryl and Dudley's Sailbatical Adventure
Can Beaufort Get Any Better? (Day 36)

Can Beaufort Get Any Better? (Day 36)

Okay, I gotta admit it. I wasn’t prepared to be so amazingly charmed by this quaint southern town. Both Dudley and I enjoyed Beaufort SC, and we were so glad we were able to extend our stay one more day in order to fully appreciate its gracious beauty.

Swing Bridge in in the background. We'll make it swing open for us on Day 37.
Swing Bridge is in the background. We’ll make it swing open for us on Day 37.

In my humble opinion, no self-respecting town can exist without an outstanding coffee shop. Dudley has quickly learned that my highest priority, as soon as our boat is docked, is to inquire about and/or research the local coffee shops. But Yelp reviews only go so far. The Cheryl-Approved-Coffee Shop needs several different seating areas, electrical outlets near those seating areas, strong wifi, a welcoming atmosphere for non-locals (no turned-up noses and raised eyebrows when the door squeaks open), and fabulous decaf coffee. Yes, I only drink decaf. Don’t shake your head.

We scouted out the perfect coffee shop in Beaufort on Sunday afternoon, but time was tight so we returned to Common Ground on Monday to savor its offerings. Dudley doesn’t drink coffee so he set out to find the local bookstore to buy a memoir by local resident Pat Conroy, The Water is Wide. Captain D remembers liking the movie Conrack, which is based on the book and stars Jon Voight.IMG_0500

While he was shopping, I sunk into a comfy leather chair to enjoy my coffee and look out over the waterfront park. My eyes were drawn to the colorful umbrellas lined up along the plaza by a local hospice.

Umbrellas set up by a local hospice in the waterfront park.
Umbrellas set up by a local hospice in the waterfront park.
Love this photo!
Love this photo!

The sun peeked through the Spanish Moss as kids squealed with laughter playing on the expansive public lawn. Joggers ran along the promenade while others were swinging (yes swinging) nearby. It felt like I had just entered Seurat’s painting “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” but it was Monday in Beautiful Beaufort. Absolutely beautiful.

Swings along Beaufort's waterfront park.
Swings along Beaufort’s waterfront park.

My only regret is that I didn’t visit this coffee shop sooner, and stay longer. It gets a 5-star rating from me. It even has a fireplace. Well, sorta. The fire is fake, but it still gives that ambiance that is so welcomed on a brisk fall day. I wrote a few postcards, made an entry in my journal, and then scurried to the post office that was across the street from The Baptist Church of Beaufort, which enabled me to get an exterior photo of the church that so warmly greeted me the day before.

The Baptist Church of Beaufort.
The Baptist Church of Beaufort.

Dudley returned from shopping and we walked a few blocks to meet a friend of a friend, who lives in Tabby Manse, one of the signature historic homes of Beaufort, built in 1786. Tabby Manse is also the childhood home of Richard Fuller, the former pastor of the abovementioned church I visited on Sunday, and the former pastor of my recent two churches in Baltimore, Seventh Baptist and Woodbrook Baptist (see blog post Days 34-35). Yes, the history lesson continues and it gets sweeter.

Tabby Manse, the childhood home of Richard Fuller.
Tabby Manse, the childhood home of Richard Fuller.

We were warmly greeted by George, Barbara, and dog Moses, and a very welcoming fire in the library’s fireplace. There were a few chuckles exchanged when wine was offered to this Baptist, and I eagerly accepted, as did Dudley. Conversation was easy, and I was instantly grateful that friend (and former pastor) John Roberts had connected us with this gracious host and link to local history. George has owned Tabby Manse for 46 years, and raised three children in the historic house. As he gave us a tour, we marveled at the exquisite architectural detailing, especially the 32” thick tabby walls composed of oyster shells and lime mortar, an early local building material in Beaufort.

An example of tabby--using oyster shells and limestone.
An example of tabby–using oyster shells and lime mortar. This is a photo from a sidewalk in the waterfront park.

When the tour concluded, we decided that an impromptu dinner was in order and we all dined at Saltus, yet another fabulous restaurant in Beaufort. Afterwards, George and Barbara drove us back to the marina and accepted our invitation to tour our waterfront home. Not quite the historic tour of a 229-year old house, but Belle Bateau did impress them with the fine detailing of an 18-year old classic Canadian yacht.

George and Barbara looking at our chart plotter in the cockpit.
George and Barbara looking at our chart plotter in the cockpit.

After they left, I opened the book George had given us at the close of the house tour. Tabby Manse graces the cover of the Beautiful Beaufort by the Sea Guidebook. And I know that we’ll be back to Beaufort and will use this book as our guide to tour other parts of the city that we didn’t get to visit this time. I hope we return as early as next spring, on our way north. There is much left to explore in this beautiful seaside town.

3 Responses to Can Beaufort Get Any Better? (Day 36)

  1. Dear Cheryl,

    I just found this page about four and a half months after your visit last November 2015! Thank you for the return visit to Tabby Manse of you and Dudley on your voyage through Beaufort back north yesterday, April 9, 2016. I am busy scrolling through all of your blog pages. What a trip and what an accomplishment to document it so well with text and pictures. I am truly impressed. I’m sending the photos I took of you and Dudley on my front porch last evening and hope to see them on this blog soon.

    My very best and come back soon,

    George Trask

    • Thank you George! We enjoyed both our visits with you. And I’m so glad you are sending your photos. They will be on this blog for sure. Keep following us. I hope you signed up (subscribed) to receive an email each time I post. I also inform my friends via Facebook about postings. But then again, you’d have to be on Facebook. Alas…maybe one day. We’ll be back to visit Beautiful Beaufort by Sea!

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Cheryl Duvall and Dudley Whitney

3 Church Circle, Unit #138

Annapolis, MD 21401

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