An early morning cup of coffee on your Daufuskie Island porch awakens your senses as you begin a typical spring day like many Americans. Yet, in the absence of rumbling motors and horns, you hear an osprey’s babies chirping for breakfast from their eyries. The fresh, pollutant-free air swirls scents of Southern magnolia and Carolina jessamine, along with droplets of moist seawater that beckon you to venture deeper into the surrounding nature. A peaceful stroll along the unpaved road leads you down a path once traveled by Native Americans, British soldiers, the Gullah community, and many others throughout Daufuskie Island’s impressive history.
Denny Jaskowiak is one of approximately 400 full-time residents that dwell across the 2.5-mile-wide and 5-mile-long strategically designed island of Daufuskie, which is only accessible by boat. Transportation on Daufuskie by electric cart, bike, or foot promotes a simple lifestyle on the road less traveled. Denny personally experienced a multitude of residences during her 30 years of faithful service with the United States Airforce. She settled in this remote sea island between Hilton Head and Savannah because of its unspoiled topography, pristine private beach, and deep community. She describes her daily living as opposite as the night and day from her past experiences. While her home near Haig Point has modern conveniences such as fiber optic high-speed internet, electricity, phone, delivery services, and EMS, it also allows her to live unruffled in harmony with nature.
The dependable public ferry brings people and supplies from Hilton Head Island to Daufuskie Island. Every ten days or so, Denny journeys to the mainland, while school or work may have neighbors commuting more often. Online shopping and valet delivery conveniently satisfy almost every need, and timing orders with the ferry lets Instacart deliver groceries to her door within two hours. Home services, repair, and construction are available with a trustworthy list of workers who ferry to the island. A veterinarian even offers his services once a quarter. While there are no doctors on the island, EMS rapidly treats emergencies, and life-threatening cases take medivac to Savannah.
Daufuskie unites all walks of life with the common bond of island living; here, your character matters more than your occupation, successes, or failures. This tight-knit community adds depth to neighborly relationships in a non-judgmental and caring way. The nondenominational church involves residents in festive events such as annual Thanksgiving community meals and craft fairs while communicating inspiring ways to support and help one another.
From restaurants, two golf courses, swimming pools, and Haig Point’s fitness center to learning to catch a crab on a string with Freddy, there are many options to fill your social calendar on Daufuskie. Popular venues include art galleries, a historical museum, wild indigo and sweetgrass at the old schoolhouse, beachfront horseback riding, a local winery, a rum factory (try the blueberry vodka!), and numerous outstanding restaurants. However, even more ways exist to discover the undisturbed beauty that adds pictures to calendars. Unadvertised, free nature shows are performed on Daufuskie daily! Residents may view newly hatched sea turtles scurrying to the water; a pod of dolphins communicating with echolocation; pelicans effortlessly gliding in line with the horizon in perfect formation; and a melody of vibrant colors, quietly fading as the sun serenades a sensational island day to sleep.
Secluded yet engaging – uncommon yet familiar - minimally developed yet comfortable, life on Daufuskie Island is almost out of this world!
Contributed by Janice Magnin, photos by Edy McGoldrick and special thanks to Denny!Posted by Christina Galbreath-Gonzalez on
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