Sapelo Island: Wake and Wander Skinny Dips During the Day

Yesterday morning we left Eagle Island and took a boat ride down the Darien River to the Intercoastal Waterway.

Owner Andy Hill offered me the helm right off the bat, and I settled into the captain’s chair with pleasure.

I haven’t had much experience with motorboats (in terms of being behind the wheel, sailing has been my thing the past few years), but owning one is certainly a thought in my back pocket (it’d be really nice to water ski on a regular basis).

The river is truly a snake in the grass – twisting water through green marshland – and we cruised north past the shrimping boats and crab pots, docking at Sapelo Island – a now state-protected land that was a plantation in the early 19th century (owned by former U.S. Rep Thomas Spalding). There were a few hundred slaves on the island, and they mostly produced cotton.

Crazy – that wasn’t that long ago, you know?

Anyway, enough history – check out more here if you are interested – our main priority wasn’t to get nostalgic.

Guests of Eagle Island are provided access and directions to Sapelo – they can either rent a boat from Owner Andy Hill or BYOB (bringing your own boat to Eagle Island will save you $100 on the lodge rental, FYI… more on that later).

What really impressed me, though, was the fact that Andy has a pickup truck and an SUV staged on Sapelo. After docking, we jumped into the truck and drove around the island, exploring the town of Hog Hammock, the old plantation house, the lighthouse, and the remote beaches (I’d recommend riding in the bed of the truck so you can take in the oak trees and the abundance and beauty of the Spanish moss).

This is where I got the chance to do something I’ve never done: Skinny dip during the day.

Don’t roll your eyes just yet – I wasn’t putting on a show – the beaches are essentially deserted (I only saw one other person the entire day).

I told my friends I was going for a run – and I did – but as soon as I got around the corner I shed my layers and took to the sea.

Honesty: I’m not sure when I’ll have the opportunity to do that again, but it doesn’t take a genius to understand the appeal. There I was, out in public yet completely alone – the sea and the beach and the sand all mine.

Maybe that’s how we should evaluate private beaches – whether or not Americans feel comfortable getting naked during the day.




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