Where did Botany Bay Island go? Formerly wing-shaped, it turned the corner of the North Edisto River to protect the northeast corner of Edisto Island. Only the rounded elbow-joint remains today.

How big was Botany Bay Island 100 years or so ago?

Oh, about the size of current Sullivan’s Island.

Edingsville, that gracious 19th century beachfront development a couple of miles south at Frampton’s Inlet similarly disappeared. Hurricanes helped, but it was more the relentless action of the unpredictable sea which sealed her fate.

Today, debate swirls on the other side of the North Edisto, where a quintessential drumstick-shaped spit, called Captain Sam’s, is carved at the inlet of the Kiawah River.

The sequentially rounded dune ridges, viewable on Google Earth’s satellite-view, speak of how barrier islands come and go, especially around inlets. But switch to “developer-view,” and these curved ridges show 50 new homes, poised for battle with the inevitable onslaught of the Atlantic.

Why bother to ask, “When will we ever learn?” We have learned. We know. It’s just that Lowcountry beachfront land is so finger-lickin’ good — especially as we get down to the bottom of the bucket.

Bertha Booker

Botany Bay Sea Salt

Maybank Highway

Wadmalaw Island