A Battle or a Land Grab?

First, let’s get caught up.

Kilkenny Creek

Golden Ours and Exhale traveled together to a rustic gem. The Kilkenny Marina is one of our favorite spots in Georgia.  A few hours (by water) south of Savannah, it’s a quiet little haven, surrounded by magnificent trees. Thanks, Golden Ours, for joining us.

Triple Vision

And then there were three. Hello Chapter Four! NP45, Holly and Dave Lubs are celebrating a full year on the water. We waved hello as we passed by the Isle of Hope in Georgia, another great stop from prior journeys.

Exhale NP49 follows Golden Hours NP45, hello to Chapter Four NP45.
Chapter Four, NP45; owners Dave and Holly Lubs

Hilton Head – Finally reunited with Tonto’s Reward

It was sooo great to finally reconnect with David and Gail.  Golden Ours, Exhale, and Tonto’s Reward docked next to each other at Hilton Head. Resort Shopping by the women meant all three men got something new – lucky boys.

Beaufort, South Carolina

This city with a view is pronounced “Biewfurt”. It is absolutely one of our very favorite stops along the east coast of the US, with unique small shops, wonderful restaurants, and a walking trail along the coast that is spectacular.  The historic homes are beyond comparison.

Rick’s favorite meal is the lamb shank at Old Bull Tavern in historic downtown Beaufort.  Reservations are a must, so plan ahead and don’t miss out!

Let the feast begin!
Tracy Harris, Golden Ours; Mary S, Exhale; and Gail Bernstein, Tonto’s Reward
The Good Life: David Bernstein, Tonto’s Reward; Capt. Rick, and Tim Harris, Golden Ours

Yes, Craig Adford, that’s an old fashioned in Rick’s hands.

Port Royal, South Carolina

Now for the promised history lesson.

The Battle of Port Royal was the largest naval engagement ever fought in American waters. 

On November 7, 1861, a Union naval squadron under the command of Flag Officer Samuel F. Dupont sailed into Port Royal Sound and captured Hilton Head Island on the west and Ft. Beauregard on the east side of the sound.  

A deeper dive into history makes me wonder why it was called a “battle”- since the sheer numbers would imply it was more of an aggressive invasion, a seizure, or a scandalous land grab of the waterfront property. 

Visualize this:

The naval maneuver from Union forces, including Du Pont’s squadron, consisted of seventeen warships, and thirty-three transports, carrying approximately 12,000 soldiers.

In defense, the only Confederate naval presence in the area comprised of a converted river steamer, and three tugs, each armed with two or three guns. Yep, you read that right.

On land, Fort Beauregard was armed with twenty cannon and roughly 640 Confederate soldiers. Across the sound, Fort Walker was armed with twenty-three guns (with limited range), and roughly 1,600 men – mostly plantation farmers with no training.

Thankfully, the battle lasted only 5 hours before the woefully outnumbered Confederate soldiers threw in the towel.  Horribly overpowered and outnumbered, it is surprising that the casualties were not greater; the Union squadron casualties counted eight dead and twenty-three wounded. Confederate losses totaled eleven dead and forty-eight wounded.

Today, Port Royal is home to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island.  If you have time for a tour, it is well worth the visit.

Milestones: Birthday: May 2, Celeste Amish

Next Up:  Charleston

Forgettable Orchid Bay

Capt Rick was confused.  “I just don’t remember being at Orchid Bay, are you sure?” he asked, repeatedly. “Ooh yes, we were here”, responded David G., the proof was in the photo.

Capt Rick and Maddie Sue, 2019, Orchid Bay


Orchid Bay, Great Guana Key is home to two infamous bars, Nippers and Grabbers. Although both are very colorful, there are notable differences.

Entrance to Nippers

We wrote kindly about Nippers in 2019. But after the hurricane, we felt Nippers put lipstick on a pig – let’s just say it was a wimpy effort – with wobbly tables, warped floors, and a sloppy paint job. 

wimpy umbrellas and sloppy paint

The staff at Nippers seemed tired, like the building, and the blaring loud music did not help.  The rum drink was a disappointment. We didn’t even try to order food.

In stark contrast, Grabbers was immaculate. To be fair, the site was completely destroyed by the hurricane. Not a single tree was left standing.

Grabbers, post Dorian, October 2019

With a clean slate, they chose to build back better.  Now, from the docks to the picnic benches – everything looked strong, built to last.

Another major difference, the staff at Grabbers were friendly and attentive. The logo says it all!

Grabbers new logo

We went to Grabbers twice to enjoy the mix of reggae and peaceful island vibe.  The food was great. BONUS: Floating rings, reminiscent of a certain Miami Vice experience in Antigua – but this time no drinks were spilled!

Floating Rings!

Grabbers was restored to maximize its natural beauty.

A peaceful easy feeling

Cleverly, loyal patrons supported the rebuild of Grabbers At Sunset by adopting (sponsoring) Palm Trees! The campaign worked – the restaurant is now surrounded by beautiful trees. Additional donations are encouraged.



Back to Rick’s memory issues – perhaps it was just too much rum in the Bahama sun. No worries, the meals on our boat(s) remain unforgettable!

Chef Rick and Chef Gail prepare a tri-tip dinner on Tonto’s Reward


We had NO idea how exhilarating it would be to catch our own conch! Thanks to Rick’s persistence – and a handful of YouTube Videos – Rick, David, Gail and Mary found, collected (Mary dove for the first one, then David caught the rest), cleaned, prepared, and consumed 7 fresh conch.

A bucket full of conch!

If you follow the Tonto’s Reward blog you will see some action shots from our photo journalist Gail 🙂

Inspired by Tom and Faye – Seven Conch!
Chef Gail and Chef Rick prepared Conch Salad

It was a feast!

Chef Rick prepares conch fingers

Milestones and Celebrations: June 23, Michael Gillespie (worth repeating).

Next up: Anchoring Out in the Cays