It seems quite random that some dude from Atlanta eventually decided to go live by the coast and then has this private island experience he offers for guests. I am talking about Captain Andy Hill, the owner and director of Eagle Island, and probably the one that will ensure you get off Darien and onto the 10 acre private island via his boat.His background as a fast food franchisee seems boring compared to his work now coming in from St Simons, visiting guests in Darien, checking on his guests at Eagle Island, cooking his famous low country boil if requested, and ensuring your time as his guest is simply splendid. Dinner the first night was the low country boil with fresh blue crabs caught off the dock using chicken bait in yellow crab traps. If you haven't seen that process before then its quite interesting. I have eaten crab but never seen it caught or cleaned for consumption. Andy and his colleague Laura to a bunch of prep done beforehand and then it was off to a big pot for some seasoning and cooking. I also learned that the mature males are called Jimmy and the mature females are called Sook (of particular interest to me as my current time-suck involves binge-watching True Blood where the lead female character's name is Sookie). The males are a fantastic blue and easily recognizable. The females don't dawn similar blue but actually have clearly identifiable red tipped claws. They tasted delicious and it was quite fun enjoying shrimp and crab for dinner, eating with our hands, at a table with new and old friends and good camaraderie.
Nope I did not hunt eagles if that's what it sounds like. I simply eagled, as in lived on Eagle Island time! The lodge was quite the vision entering and the little tour of the premises with Captain Andy Hill was a nice added gesture as opposed to checking into a hotel room and having to discover amenities on your own. I was designated the loft space at the very top of the lodge, accessed by a spiral staircase and lovely high window views of both sides of green expanses (Pictures to follow). The downside (or thats what 'they' thought) was no restroom at my level and being somewhat demo-open to noises and light from the rest of the house but quite frankly that didn't seem quite as bad at all once I saw how comfy the space was and how strategically the writing desk was positioned! Writer's dream come true, if you ask me! The wraparound deck has several scenic sit outs including swings, rocking chairs, multiple fireplaces and even a hot tub, which was duly put to use later at night. The main living area has a grand old fire place and couch but with an open floor plan so you can see the kitchen and dining and eat and cook and entertain all simultaneously. Two bedrooms and a bathroom make up the rest of that level. There is wi-fi access all around so don't worry about you r private island getaway making you feel isolated in any way. I am posting this from Eagle Island right now! The lower floor is actually a hidden treasure trove - a big space that has been converted into a bunk bed/bedroom combo that an accommodate 5-6 people. They also have table tennis, TV, game tables, fridge, coffee machine, bathroom and washer/dryer down there. And when you come out you see an open kitchen area for your late night outdoor culinary adventures as well as, wait for it...an outdoor shower! Such a cool idea! It is in an enclosed space but outside of the structure of the house. Words and pictures can only describe so much so I suggest you make a trip here to see what its all about. They also have an outdoor fire place by a pond (which currently houses an alligator we are told is only visiting but was playing around with a raccoon last we saw) and a swing set there so you can do marshmallows by night. Overall, this is a well-established location with facilities that you will enjoy and use. I will have more on my adventures over the next few days.
Something seemed gimmicky when I heard about this place called Eagle Island and I thought, their marketing person sure knows how to get your attention. I looked online for images and found a few, and a website, of course, but still wasn't convinced. So I decided to go see for myself. I was invited to experience a private island getaway and figured, oh yeah - this will be fun. I was positive I'd get there and be disappointed with all the marketing around this so-called private island, island time, five moon getaway - no, not making those up, thats what the marketing brochure says, and so does their site, and so did the email invite I got initially. So accepted the invitation and set out on a 5-ish hour drive on a Monday morning to Darien GA, which is where you'd have to get to in order to be able to get on Captain Andy Hill's boat so he can personally deposit you on the island. Yup, there is no roadway headed there and they do not belong to royalty so no helipads or private jets catering to your needs either. I was partying with a group of female guests - two writers, a painter and and their PR gal so we met up over at Skipper's Fish Camp for lunch and meeting the owner of the Eagle Island lodge, captain Andy himself. If you drive in then this is where you park your car for the rest of your stay. Then its a 10 minute boat ride and you get to the dock of Eagle Island. You will see shrimping boats aplenty and a few private boats as well. If you are a birding or flora/fauna fanatic then let him know beforehand and he will show you a few sights. We sighted an eagle and its nest thanks to Captain's knowledge of the area. The man has been doing this for more than 10 years - enough time to perfect his art of entertaining and seeing to every guests' every need. I will say that I was already impressed as we got off at the dock - I saw some colorful kayaks ready for use, crab traps catching the nights dinner and a cozy wooden swing set and dinner table right there on the deck at the dock! The views of the expanses from there are unbelievable. There is something about the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere yet just 10 minutes away from somewhere that's refreshing and exhilarating. A walk down the pier and a well-decorated pathway of shells accompanied on both sides by recycled and reclaimed natural wood decor (I am talking turned over tree pots here!) opens up to your first glimpse of the lodge itself and you have to take a minute here to realize that this really is a private island experience. Unless you know how to get a boat going you ain't going nowhere and there really is nowhere else to go on the island itself except for a walking path around the house and that's that. This should be fun, is what I thought to myself then and there!