Captain Lee, with his short-cropped white hair and beard, is only missing a pipe to complete his look. Lieutenant Dan sports a long red ponytail and matching beard, making his Irish heritage unmistakable. The boat, built in in Supply, N. Leaving the dock before any of the other boats that day, we slowly chug out into the Little River Inlet, the V-8 diesel engine running as smoothly as the glassy waters of the Calabash River. We cross the invisible N.
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I grip the side of the boat a little more tightly. The gulls follow along, perching on various parts of the boat, constantly sniping at each other in anticipation of the buffet to come. With their cries as the soundtrack to the morning, the salt air in my face and the sun slowly warming the small pilothouse, I feel the unmistakable romance of the sea and catch myself whistling the Old Spice deodorant theme song.
The wrecks of more than a few boats can be seen beached amongst the tall grasses, a lesson of the unforgiving toughness of life on the water. I am reminded of the nautical history of Inlet, where pirates once sought refuge and Civil War naval skirmishes filled the air with cannonballs. We turn north and are officially in the Atlantic Ocean. Captain Lee takes the year-old wooden trawler out of gear and we idle, but the engine is about the only thing idling. Both the captain and Lieutenant Dan begin a dance of organized chaos, handling a dizzying array of ropes, cables, blocks and powerful winches, all designed to spread the massive nets along the ocean floor.
The drag of the nets is immediately apparent in the way the engine moans and the boat rocks as one side or the other digs into the mud and sand some 25 feet below us. With the work of the moment complete, we have 30 minutes to discuss the shrimping life and what got each man to this place. Lieutenant Dan has yet to see a catch that large.
The early season days can be dismal, with a lot of time and energy expended for little or no pay. Bigger boats with sleeping quarters, galleys and iceboxes may stay out for several days at a time and go into deeper waters. With all the hard work, no pay on bad weather days and low pay on bad shrimping days, why do it? Lieutenant Dan agrees, but says his girlfriend gets mad sometimes about the long hours he spends shrimping.
I asked if I could go out a couple of times. I did, and they hired me on. More organized chaos ensues and I scramble to stay out of the way. A giant gear box threatens to chew up limbs and fingers and anything else that gets near it, so I try to give it a wide berth as it strains to haul the nets on board. When the nets reach the surface, Lieutenant Dan throttles up; a move designed to wash the shrimp of any remaining mud before hauling the catch on board. He idles back down while Captain Lee works the hydraulics. They communicate to one another through a series of yells and grunts that only they understand.
He rips open the slipknot and the first haul of the day spills out across the deck. The shrimp are abundant and massive and we all light up. Before they can begin sorting, the nets are back in the water and we trawl in the opposite direction.
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Lieutenant Dan has put on his yellow rain gear and kneels among the catch. The squid are saved and sold to local fisherman as bait. The rays, puffer fish, jellies, starfish, crabs and some of the fish will live to see another day.
The rest of the fish become a banquet for the gluttonous birds, and my do they feast. Pelicans are beloved for their comical stance, their great flapping jowls and their aeronautical symmetry when gliding over the water. These pelicans, however, are crazed, gangly feeding machines, fighting for position by the side of the boat and occasionally perching on anything solid. At one point I count nearly of the massive birds. Then there are the seagulls.
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My untrained eye spots at least three different species. These birds, too, fight for scraps and perch on the rigging anywhere they can find footing. The next haul is poor; maybe five or six pounds. Disappointed, Captain Lee takes a new tack, heading closer to shore.
Dragging them in a net for three hours can even kill them. The small cluster of starfish, sand dollars and seashells on coral ribbons of frosting incorporate the coastal elements of Myrtle Beach with elegant simplicity and a pop of color. This multi-shaped beach-inspired design combines delicate details with soft earthy tones and three different shapes. The bride and groom topper add a hint of sophistication to this beautifully crafted, beachside wedding cake.
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With a basic design concept in mind, a professional wedding cake baker can bring your vision to reality. Most bakers require six months of advance notice when placing your wedding cake order, so plan accordingly. Here are a few top-rated wedding cake bakeries you'll want to check out in the Myrtle Beach area.
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Located in Pawleys Island, Incredible Edibles Bakery offers complimentary tastings and has rave reviews. They have a variety of flavors and fillings that are sure to please your taste buds. Their services also include cake stand rentals, delivery, and set-up.
Visit their website and browse their impressive portfolio. Pink Pineapple Cakes has been making wedding cakes in Surfside Beach for the past eight years. You can find them on Instagram or visit their website to see their gallery of magnificent wedding cake creations. Having nine cake varieties and eighteen filling options, even the pickiest bride can find her dream cake here.