Chapels of Ease

St. Helena Chapel of Ease

On my way back from my paddling trip to Beaufort I decided to take a brief detour and visit a couple of places I had wanted to photograph. These were the St. Helena Chapel of Ease and the Pon Pon Chapel of Ease. There are only ruins left of both chapels, but both places are filled with history and photographic opportunities.

According to Wikipedia, a “chapel of ease” is “a church building other than the parish church, built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently.” In colonial South Carolina the large plantations of the sea islands were remote. It was often hard for parishioners to get to the larger towns, so the local Anglican congregations built these chapels to accommodate the parishioners.

Sheldon Church 1

Probably the most famous of the Lowcountry church ruins is the Old Sheldon Church, which was once known as the Prince William Parish Church, located on Sheldon Road northwest of Beaufort. Even though Sheldon Church is often grouped with St. Helena and Pon Pon, this is not technically a chapel of ease, as it was a parish church in its own right. The brick columns and walls are much larger than the typical chapel of ease. I had visited Sheldon on several occasions, and wanted to focus on the other two smaller churches for this trip. Continue reading “Chapels of Ease”

Kayak Comparison – Dirigo vs Pungo

New Kayaks

I’ll admit it – I have a yard full of kayaks. I’ve got three Perception Torrent sit-on-top whitewater boats that I’ve had for over ten years now. In the past year I’ve bought two decked recreational kayaks, and have been storing my nephew, Chip’s boats, as well. I’ve been paddling the Old Town Dirigo 120 and the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 for about a year now, and have come to some conclusions about them. Ultimately, I think I like the Dirigo better, and here’s why… Continue reading “Kayak Comparison – Dirigo vs Pungo”

Looking for Fossils on Lady Island

Searching for Fossils

It was the second Saturday of the month, which means it was time for another adventure with the guys from Lowcountry Unfiltered. For this trip we were headed to the Beaufort area, where we would be doing some fossil hunting on the north end of Lady Island, along the Intracoastal Waterway.

I headed down Friday evening, taking off a few minutes early from work so it wouldn’t be too dark when I got into town. I found a place to stay in Beaufort, had a so-so seafood dinner, then crashed after the long drive.

Early Saturday morning I drove over to Lady Island and to our meeting spot at Brickyard Creek Landing. While I was waiting for the rest of the guys, a man walked up and started chatting. He had lived on the island his entire life, and declared it to be the one remaining bit of paradise left on the Carolina coast. He was happy to see that I had a kayak, and not one of those noisy motor boats. Continue reading “Looking for Fossils on Lady Island”

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

Here’s an interesting activity you can do with students using Google Earth. It helps if you use the actual program (or the satellite view in Google Maps) instead of a static image so that students can zoom in and out…

View Larger Map

The above Google Earth image is of the Cherrydale Shopping Center in Greenville. Using only clues from the image, can you tell me the following:

  1. About what time of day was the image captured?
  2. What month was the image captured?

Good luck! Continue reading “Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?”

That’s Incredible

HTC Incredible

I’m no stranger to smart phones. I’ve had a Blackberry for several years now for work. Not being tied to a computer just to get e-mail seems normal now, and as it should be. However, it has it’s good and bad points. I’ve started referring to the device as my “leash” since it keeps me tied to the office where ever I go. Even though it would be useful while I’m out and about exploring, I’ve to where I leave it at home when I’m not on duty. To me, it represents work, and occasionally I’d like to escape. Laura had wanted to get me a new smart phone of my own at Christmas, but that didn’t work out. I recently got a bit of cash from a singing gig, and decided that now might be the time before we start some summer traveling.

After some debate and research, I decided upon the HTC Incredible. Since we are on Verizon the iPhone wasn’t an option. At first I was intrigued by the Palm Pre. I liked its ability to act as a WiFi hub for multiple devices. However, I wasn’t as sure about the availability of apps for Palm. That narrowed it to either the Motorola Droid or the brand new HTC Incredible. While I really liked the Droid’s physical keyboard, the speed and overall specs of the Incredible won out, especially since they were the same price.

I won’t go into a detailed review of the Incredible. Others have done a much better job. However, these are my impressions so far, and my impressions about smart phones in general. Continue reading “That’s Incredible”

The Tech Guru

I’ve been accused of having too many gadgets. I confess, I have quite a few. However, I’m not one to rush out and buy the latest just because it’s new. I need to have a purpose for the gadgets that I get – not just so I can have something shiny. Yesterday, however, I met … Continue reading The Tech Guru

Metalhead No More

Today was the day. After having them for not quite two years, my braces came off. It was a strange experience, but I’m glad to have moved on to the next phase of this project. Of course, the timing wasn’t great. This was our big concert weekend, and the Hebrew and Italian were sometimes painful … Continue reading Metalhead No More

All Hail the Cimbasso!


This is a concert weekend for us. The Greenville Chorale is performing a selection of works by Leonard Bernistein and Giuseppi Verdi. The first performance last night went very well (more on that in a later post).

The repertoire called for some unusual instruments, including two brake drums hit by standard hammers for Verdi’s Anvil Chorus, and a sheet of metal struck to simulate thunder in Verdi’s Witches Chorus from Macbeth.

Acoutrements for the Anvil Chorus

However, the instrument that really puzzled us and caught our attention was the cimbasso.  As shown in the photo at the top of this post, it looks like a cross between a trombone and a tuba.  It turns out that is pretty much it’s function, too.  It fills a niche by providing an instrument in the bass range of a tuba, but with more of the tonal qualities of a trombone. Continue reading “All Hail the Cimbasso!”