H2O Sports – Hilton Head Island – South Carolina

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Paddling Back Through Time: Kayaking Hilton Head Island

People have probably traversed the waters around Hilton Head Island for millennia. Time moves on and yet in the natural world some things always remain the same – the gentle lapping of the water, the clouds scudding overhead, the deep and profound silence and contentment that can come as you get into your stride and forge your way through the waves. Kayaking Hilton Head is one way to connect with the simple essence of the place and to get in touch with its fascinating past.

kayk3Are you paddling in the path of an early native inhabitant of the island? Perhaps one of those who shucked their shells onto the midden ring of Sea Pines? Fifteen thousand years ago, communities lived here seasonally and made use of the resources of the abundant seas. Can you perhaps, on the lush shorelines, imagine the people who made their home here so long ago? When you kayak Hilton Head you connect with our prehistoric past in a way that is seldom possible in the everyday modern world and can still traverse waters that are teeming with sea life.

The tranquillity of a modern kayaking adventure here makes it easy to imagine the peaceful domesticity and natural connection of those prehistoric lives. Perhaps harder to imagine, as you paddle round the coastline, are the fierce battles that have been waged over these waters as various national groups throughout history vied for control of this parcel of land. This place, throughout its long and varied history, was under the auspices of various groups, all of whole sought to dominate this landscape.

Old-world influence on this area began with early explorers. Spanish mariner Francisco Cordelo explored this area in 1521 and made contact with the tribes who lived here at the time. In 1663, Englishman, Captain William Hilton, made his own voyage on these waters, travelling from Barbados to see these lands that had been granted by King Charles II to the eight Lord Proprietors. It was he who named the headland near Port Royal Sound from which the island takes its name. Will you take your own voyage of discovery through these waters? And as you do so, will you imagine those explorers and how they must have felt as they discovered for themselves this stunning stretch of shore?

Today’s untroubled waters are a far cry from the troubled times of the plantation era and the civil war. Can you imagine the houses aflame on the shore, burned by British forces during the 1812 War? Can you imagine the oppression of slaves on the island during the plantation era? Does paddling these waters make you all the more grateful for your own freedom? Can you almost hear the garrisoned soldiers in their forts on the island during the Civil War? Today, all you will hear will be the water, the waves, the cries of seabirds and the slosh of your own paddles.

Much and more has happened here over the intervening centuries but by taking a Hilton Head kayak adventure you can paddle back through time to connect with the past and re-imagine the present to get a sense of much wanted perspective.

For more interesting facts about Hilton Head, Cool Pics, and fun things to do on Hilton Head, visit our blog at www.h2osports.com/blog.


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avatar H2O Sports • November 2, 2015

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