Water Fest Tales: Why BMH occupies such prime real estate

By Anita Beer

When I first moved to Beaufort many years ago, I was chatting with a friend about all the entertaining options available during the annual Water Festival. She preferred the traditional route — enjoying the concerts, good food and fun themes presented each night.

While I enjoyed those events as well, I was more curious about the river route, which of course includes the sandbar. I had heard multiple stories of “experiences” at the sandbar during Water Fest, and I so wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Finally, a few years later, we were invited out on our friend’s boat.

I was a little intimidated. I hated myself in a bathing suit, didn’t like my new haircut, and where, oh where, was I to go when I had to use the bathroom?

Despite my reservations, I simply had to see for myself if all the crazy stories could possibly be true. I sucked in my tummy, did the best I could with my haircut, and even made the mistake of putting on  mascara. Off we went.

I was completely amazed by how many boats and people were crammed onto that tiny piece of sand!

We tied up about 10 boats out and proceeded to set up shop — coolers, grills, sunscreen, jump off the boat and head for the crowd.

First mistake: Know the tides. I walked with little effort to the sandbar. Getting back was a different story. How did the water get this high? That’s when I learned about boat hopping. I jumped from boat to boat until I got back to our mother ship.

Second mistake: Leaving the mother ship. When I got back to the boat from the sandbar, the large raft that I was so hoping to rest on was already filled. Fortunately, I spied a cute little purple chair float just two boats down, and no one was on it. Yay!

I proceeded to carefully step on the chair, but it immediately flipped me over into the river. There I was, stuck upside down under this stupid purple chair, tide coming in strong, friends otherwise “occupied,” and I couldn’t get above water! Panic quickly set in. I just knew I was going to drown. I was probably under water for approximately 10 seconds when I saw a hand come down to pull me to safety. Thank you, whoever you were.

Needless to say, my hair was a dripping mess, I had mascara streaming down my face, and I was ready to go home. I stomped back to the boat, all the while my friends were rolling with laughter.  Imagine that, a near death experience and they thought it was funny!

At that moment, steaming with anger, I just happened to glance beyond the sandbar and the river and over at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Voila!  My light bulb went off. Of course it makes sense that they planted a medical care facility right on the river on prime Beaufort real estate. I believe they did it solely because of Water Festival.

As the years pass, each time I tell that story, my underwater time increases. I am now up to about 45 minutes under water. (Never ruin a good story with the truth!)

But the moral of my story is this: Even though our hospital is conveniently located for you adventurous young rivergoers, I hope all who partake in the sandbar festivities this summer will use caution, be safe, and stay away from floating chairs. They are evil!

Previous Story

Learning to look away

Next Story

Beaufort Engineering Services awarded design contract in NY

Latest from Voices