EAGLE ISLAND ~ Far From Reality ? Near Perfection
By Leigh Cort
Time passes slowly on Eagle Island as the days unfold to the rhythm of nature. You don't feel the frenzy of having to create a plan of activities ~ whatever you choose becomes a passion of the moment. From listening to birds waking with a sunrise to the lapping of water against Eagle dock, the smallest of sounds becomes a special moment to savor. Spot a playful raccoon climbing a palm frond?hold your breath when a bald eagle swoops gracefully out of his nest. And it's not yet breakfast!
Cruising along the Darien shrimp dock into the Darien River toward Eagle Island
Owner and Cap'n Andy Hill invites guests to Eagle Lodge who understand what it's like to unwind without looking at a watch or Day-Timer. This may take a day or two but eventually ?island time' begins to settle into everyone's tempo.
Cap'n Andy shares stories about his 8 islands and the awaiting eco adventures
Eagle Island touches everyone :
A lone visitor can become tuned to the quiet while painting a vibrant landscape of marsh and sky. A couple in love can share the sweetest hour building a fire or relaxing on a porch swing.
A family can connect again with no intrusions as they toast a celebration.
A group of friends can make anything happen together as they laugh at each other's culinary wizardry.
~OR one can do absolutely nothing. Watch the clouds roll by. Inhale the magnificent coastal breezes. Hear a tree's leaves rustle. Think about life's joys & beauty. Start a conversation. Listen to someone's personal thoughts and dreams.
A glimpse of Eagle Island on Mayhall Creek
Anything is possible on Eagle Island .
Eagle Lodge sits proudly within its 10-acre wilderness
Arrive and step onto the dock; Andy and crew take your bags to the Lodge while you feel your cares drift toward the enormous open sky. The oyster shell path leads to a private retreat that's ? a little bit rustic ? a lot of luxury ?. From fine furnishings, luxe linens and spa-style bath to well-stocked gourmet kitchen and amenities to make each stay unforgettable, getting settled in the Lodge takes a few moments.
This is a vacation where you can flex your culinary muscles since there isn't a chef to take your order. Groceries and beverages are a personal choice with optional Southern Georgia seafood, BBQ and regional specialties ? meticulously arranged by Cap'n Andy. Catch a huge bounty of crab or fish and while they're boilin', watch for the grand eagle.
The Eagle posed patiently (11/8/08)
Courtesy of Craig Myers
Entering Eagle Lodge from the gracious and compelling wraparound porch
If you've never sat by a bonfire on a brisk autumn night, here is the perfect setting. Andy has thought of everything ? even setting the kindling and first stack of wood inside a massive brick fire pit that only needs a match to ignite. The ensuing hours of mesmerizing fire light and sparks ascending into the night air are ripe for relaxing conversation and FUN. Even the faint hearted get into the act by gathering logs and keeping the fire blazing til dawn.
What could lure friends from their down-comforted beds quicker than the aroma of coffee in the chilly wee hours of the morning? Now it's time to build a fire in the living room of the Lodge, watch wanna be chefs preparing a hearty breakfast, amateur and serious photographers disappearing into the island with armloads of camera equiptment and tripods. It's a wonderful day to dig into the deep freezer for Andy's stash of frozen shrimp & fish used to bait hooks and crabtraps. With the dock only a few yards from the Lodge, it's easy to hear a ship's bell clanging to alert guests that ?breakfast is served'.
Mayhall Creek is bursting with blue crab, fish and graceful dolphin
Each day on Eagle Island is whatever you want to make it. It's invigorating and teeming with eco options whatever the season. Take a leisurely walk through the woods to the southern tip and find a hammock under the tall pines ? or stay on the porch with a book and relax in the massive swing within view of the bald eagle's nest, horseshoe pit and hot tub. Curl up and read about the Georgia marshes and history of the Guale Indians. Napping is permissible anytime of the day so that when you re-enter civilization, you'll know that you've let all of your tensions lapse.
Consider a day trip to Sapelo Island, the 4 th largest of Georgia's chain of barrier islands; although one of Georgia's secrets, Cap'n Andy can cruise you over and introduce you to Hog Hammock, a privately owned community where most of the residents can trace their Sapelo ancestry back to the early 19 th century ~ descendants of former slaves and tenant farmers employed by the Island's plantation owners. Nanny Goat Beach is one of the surprises for guests of Eagle Island ~ an exclusive invitation to explore a beach with nobody in sight for miles. Picnic, swim, gather shells and view the ever changing primary and secondary dunes that are home to sea turtles, sandpipers, white pelicans and plovers.
Sapelo's Lighthouse Presides Over the Doboy Sound
Back at the Lodge, it's anyone's guess about whose turn it is to prepare dinner. It just might be that the prior evening's Chef Team A hops into the hot tub while Chef Team B listens to music, lights candles, sips wine and whips up a ?Low Country Boil' with local shrimp, crab, potatoes, onions, corn on the cob and sausage. It's a snap to make in one huge pot which, once again, Andy has provided for no-stress eating~
A crystalline afternoon on Eagle Island
As another day breaks, you realize that there are many more adventures in the offing. Who would want to miss Fort King George ( 1720's British Outpost in Darien ), The Smallest Church in America ( a few miles north on the mainland visited by thousands each year ) or a collection of historic landmarks dotted throughout McIntosh County ? But these are for next time.
You've already fallen under the spell of Eagle Island ? admitting that ?island time' is now your time and everything else can wait. It's a perfect day to sit and watch the stately moss-draped oaks, a scurrying raccoon drenched from swimming across from a neighboring island and the tidal creek opening its welcoming arms toward the Atlantic Ocean .
You can't beat privacy in today's frantic world and some of the Island 's recent literary visitors to www.privateislandsofgeorgia.com have shared their thoughts on the matter:
?When you are on Eagle Island , you're surrounded by water, woods, and the sounds of nature. There are no distractions from television, the internet, or the outside world, unless you bring them with you . The rest of your life is a world away when you're on Eagle Island . If you're a writer, it's the perfect place to focus on words. ? Maggie Fitzroy , ShoreLines
Privacy and seclusion are guaranteed at Eagle Island , making it an ideal writer's retreat. Alison Trinidad, Managing Editor - Jacksonville Magazine
To get away from everyday stressors is important. Creative types, be they writers, artists, photographers, chefs or dancers, need time for inspiration. Eagle Island offers such a place, a lonely spot that abounds with a wilderness spirit and calm serenity. Debi Lander ? Jacksonville , FL.
"If you want to experience what it is like to live in a mansion on your own private island, go Eagle!" Dennis Byron, Exec. Editor ? J'Adore Magazine - Atlanta
? Eagle Island is place of peace and solitude. Leave the mainland and in 15 minutes you've arrived in another world without clocks ~ where time is measured by the tides and movement of the sun through the sky. Without distractions of the outside world, the creative juices can begin flowing? Warren Resen ~ Farmer & Rancher Magazine
" Eagle Island is a focusing point. Where else can you study a nesting pair of American Bald Eagles from the comfort of a hot tub, by a roaring fire, as you watch the sun rise over the marsh and the moon set into the towering oak hammock that surrounds you? And the only sounds are Nature and you. That's what makes Eagle Island an ideal writer's retreat?.
Amy Laboda ~ Editor in Chief, Aviation for Women Magazine
? With its isolation from the outside world, yet its access to telecommunication, Eagle Island makes a perfect writer's retreat. You can relax and do all sort of research, yet shut it off and let the sounds of nature soothe your mind?. Jane Garvey ~ Georgia Magazine
"With a combination of solitude, nature, and modern conveniences, Eagle Island is an excellent environment for writers." Kay and David Scott ~ Georgia Journalists
?I can't think of a better retreat for a writer - or any artist. I can envision any number of great writers such as Faulkner, Capote, Hemingway, and of course, local favorite Pat Conroy loving Eagle Island for the serenity it provides among the marshes, as well as the remote, focused setting. It's both close and distant - the ever-changing natural beauty of the grasses and waters surrounding it adds a rich layer of inspiration everywhere you look - any time of day. It's got all the comforts writers require - a dock, access to a boat and a beach, a wrap-around porch with swings and rockers, a fireplace and a giant kitchen with a corkscrew. I'd be there to recharge my system once a month if I could ? Jan Norris ~ Cookbook Author/Editor
Solitude, beauty, isolation, the rhythms of nature, enough silence to hear a breeze freshening, comfort and internet connections make Eagle Island one writer's antidote to the demands of every day life. All of that plus camaraderie and hilarity ensue when more than one writer retreats there. Judy Wells ? Wells Words - travelonthelevel
?I think Eagle Island is a writer's dream come through. It is quiet, serene and a great place to be to contemplate, to see nature at first hand, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, no phones and no tv. What a place to be in. I love it and cherish the time I spent there? Edwin Ali ~ www.jetsetter.com
?From crab boils to kayaking, hammocks to bonfires...Eagle Island is the epitome of comfort and seclusion? Andrea Janise, Food & Lifestyle Journalist - Atlanta, GA
"The serenity of a hammock in the woods, the solitude of a bench sitting by the pool, the comforting warmth of fireplaces are all options available to writers seeking to invoke the muse. Eagle Island is away from the maddening crowd but has the space for groups of 8-10, offers wireless connectivity, provides a state of the art kitchen. Eagle Island is perfect for a community of writers retreating for creativity and productivity." Jennifer Beaumont ? Odyssey Couleur
?An ethereal experience whether one is seeking serenity or adventure. LowCountry charm of the highest order.? Barbara Ryan, Publisher ST MARYS MAGAZINE
Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.