SEA Island LIFE SPRING/SUMMER 2015 Social CREATURES DOLPHINS IN GEORGIA’S WATERS SETTING SAIL HOBIE ALTER’S SEAFARING LEGACY THE NEW MOONSHINE WHITE LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN HAUTE CAKES CREATIVE WEDDING CAKE DESIGN
SPRING/SUMMER 2015 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 3 when spring and summer arrive at Sea Island, it’s time to throw on a swimsuit and jump in the water; hop on the Jeep Train and head to Plantation Supper; or experience all that the Beach Club has to offer. If you’re familiar with Sea Island’s history, you know that the resort has always been a destination for classic warm-weather fun. Many of the same activities from Sea Island’s early days are still very much alive, just one reason why members and guests return year after year. While putting this issue together, we had those fond memories in mind. It’s easy to feel nostalgic—especially thinking about summer mainstays such as dinners alfresco and riding the waves on the catamarans developed by the legendary Hobie Alter (“Sailing Away,” page 74). We explored yet another tradition in a story about live music at Sea Island, including information about our upcoming Southern Grown Food, Drink, and Music Festival (“Music in the Air,” page 28). The event is sure to please those who are in search of good food and top entertainment, all wrapped in a blanket of Southern culture. While listening to the Island’s sweet sounds, you may also want to sip on some ’shine— another tradition deeply engrained in the South. We take a look at moonshine’s scandalous past and innovative—not to mention delicious—future in “By the Light of the Moon” (page 48). Even though Sea Island has been the setting for generations of iconic spring and summer scenes, there’s more to experience than ever before. If you can bring yourself to slip out of swimwear and into golf apparel, it’s prime time to head to our Golf Performance Center or hit one, or more, of our three courses. We have articles on the anatomy of the modern golfer (“A Whole New Game,” page 18), and the tradition and benefits of using a caddie (“A Matter of Course,” page 54) to prepare you for your next 18. For those younger athletes, we’ve showcased the Sea Island Jensen Brothers Tennis Academy (“Causing a Racket,” page 20). Our eco tours and Junior Naturalist Program present new ways to enjoy nature (“All Natural,” page 16), as does the falconry program, which introduces members and guests to fascinating avian hunters and how they partner with humans (“Birds of Prey,” page 42). The season wouldn’t be complete without mentioning some of our favorite ocean residents in “Dolphins in the Wild” (page 36). While the activities and offerings at Sea Island are continuously evolving, the spirit of those early beach-goers lives on. We know there are plenty of new choices to fill your days and nights, but also encourage you to try out some of our timeless activities that have attracted people for decades. Whatever you decide to do during your time at Sea Island, we’re glad you’re spending it with us. Sincerely, Scott Steilen President, Sea Island WELCOME TO SEA ISLAND AND THE LATEST ISSUE OF SEA ISLAND LIFE! WELCOME
4 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 32. 36. 42. 48. 54. 60. 66. 70. 74. features THINKING LOCAL Increased awareness for sustainability, nutrition and taste is changing the way we eat. By Bret Love DOLPHINS IN THE WILD Georgia’s coastal waters provide a haven for dolphins, creatures that have charmed mankind since the days of Aristotle. By Nancy Dorman-Hickson BIRDS OF PREY Falconry lends a unique perspective on wildlife for avid hunters and outdoor novices alike. By Joe Rada BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON Finding its way out of the secrecy of nighttime production, moonshine enjoys a renaissance that goes far beyond the hills of the South. By Jessica Leigh Brown A MATTER OF COURSE The person carrying your golf bag could ensure you have your best round ever. By Dale Leatherman THE SILVER STANDARD Generations gather ’round the table with family silver collections spanning centuries. By Gwyn Herbein TAKING THE CAKE Dessert tables are enhanced by modern reinterpretations of the wedding day classic. By Michelle Franzen Martin A DIP INTO THE PAST As retro swimwear splashes onto beaches this summer, Sea Island Life highlights its humble beginnings and popular comeback. By Laura Janelle Downey SAILING AWAY Hobie Cats have introduced millions of people to the joy of sailing and, in the process, changed the landscape of water sports around the world. By Amber Lanier Nagle 42 74 70 SEA ISLAND LIFE MAGAZINE SPRING/SUMMER 2015
6 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 departments WELCOME LETTER SEASONAL FLAVORS: FROM COBS TO CASSEROLES Spring and summer allow corn, one of chefs’ favorite ingredients, to shine in a variety of dishes. LIBATIONS: A SPIRIT ABOVE The Macallan has raised the bar for Scotch whisky since 1824. SOUTHERN STYLE: FAR FROM OLD HAT Classic brims get unmistakably stylish updates. OUTWARD BOUND: ALL NATURAL Outdoor exploration tours offer a backstage pass to Sea Island’s indigenous landscape. IN THE SWING: A WHOLE NEW GAME Better technology, better instruction and better athletes have changed the way golf is played at all levels. FAMILY FIRST: CAUSING A RACKET Tennis teaches young athletes valuable skills, gets them active, and, most importantly, is a lot of fun. MIND + BODY: FAST FOOD Get the meal-planning tools you need for a healthy lifestyle, even on the go. GET FIT: THE WATER’S FINE Improve strength, balance and flexibility with aqua cardio workouts. ON THE ISLE: DID YOU KNOW? Discover fun facts and stories about your favorite Island. TRADITIONS: MUSIC IN THE AIR Live music has always been a part of Sea Island’s past— and it’s an integral part of its present and future. ISLAND NEWS & NOTES SOCIETY Classic TV Weekend celebrates 30 years of television at The Cloister; “Downton Abbey” returns to Sea Island; the second Creativity Conference sparks new ideas. THEN AND NOW: THE BEAUTY OF SEA ISLAND The services that have helped guests look their best for decades are still alive and well. SEA Island LIFE SPRING/SUMMER 2015 Social CREATURES DOLPHINS IN GEORGIA’S WATERS SETTING SAIL HOBIE ALTER’S SEAFARING LEGACY THE NEW MOONSHINE WHITE LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN HAUTE CAKES CREATIVE WEDDING CAKE DESIGN FC_SI5.indd 1 3/20/15 2:56 PM 12 GEORGIA’S WATERS PROVIDE A HAVEN FOR BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS. LEARN ABOUT THE INTELLIGENT SPECIES AND IMPORTANT RESEARCH ON PAGE 36. 16 18 SEA ISLAND LIFE MAGAZINE SPRING/SUMMER 2015 10 CHRIS MONCUS PHOTOGRAPHY 3. 10. 12. 14. 16. 18. 20. 22. 24. 26. 28. 78. 80. 94.
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8 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 EDITORIAL & DESIGN EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Steve Zepezauer CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sonia Chung GROUP EDITORS Linda Domingo, Allison Hata ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITORS Kirsti Correa, Katherine Duncan ASSOCIATE EDITOR Sharon Stello DESIGN TEAM Paul Graff, Jenn Prewitt GRAPHIC DESIGNER/ASSISTANT EDITOR Karlee Prazak GRAPHIC DESIGN ASSOCIATE Shaylene Brooks EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Lauren Matich, Bria Balliet CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jessica Anderson, Jessica Leigh Brown, Chris Chaney, Nancy Dorman-Hickson, Laura Janelle Downey, Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Gwyn Herbein, Vicki Hogue-Davies, Katarina Kovacevic, Dale Leatherman, Bret Love, Michelle Franzen Martin, Rebecca McCormick, Amber Lanier Nagle, Kent Oswald, Joe Rada PHOTOGRAPHER/PHOTO EDITOR Jody Tiongco DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR Kim Zepezauer ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Carrie Robles [email protected] 305-431-5409 SALES NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Maryellen Case [email protected] 914-953-3202 PRODUCTION MANAGER Tina Leydecker PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Katie Babcock FINANCE ACCOUNTING MANAGER Cyndy Mendaros CHAIRMAN Allan Simon CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Steve Zepezauer PUBLISHER & CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER Scott Sanchez PRESIDENT Scott Steilen CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Parra Vaughan MANAGER, MARKETING & CRM Jessica DiVincent STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Eliot VanOtteren SEA ISLAND LIFE MAGAZINE ©2015 BY FIREBRAND MEDIA LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS PERIODICAL MAY BE REPRODUCED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM SEA ISLAND LIFE. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHORS AND ADVERTISERS AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF THE OWNERSHIP OR MANAGEMENT OF THE MAGAZINE OR SEA ISLAND. SINGLE COPIES OF SEA ISLAND LIFE ARE AVAILABLE FOR $6.95 PLUS $1.50 SHIPPING AND HANDLING. THE SUBSCRIPTION RATE FOR SEA ISLAND LIFE FOR ONE YEAR (TWO ISSUES) IS $15. FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS, CONTACT 949-715-4100 OR VISIT SEAISLANDLIFEMAGAZINE.COM. TO OUR READERS: Sea Island Life invites you to share with us your reactions to our magazine. Send your correspondence to Editor, Sea Island Life, 250 Broadway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 or to [email protected]. The magazine accepts freelance contributions; however, unsolicited materials cannot be returned, and Sea Island Life accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to unsolicited materials. ADVERTISERS: For inquiries, please contact Scott Sanchez at [email protected]. Sea Island Life, 250 Broadway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651; 949-715-4100.
June 19-21, 2015
10 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 FROM COBS TO CASSEROLES SPRING AND SUMMER ALLOW CORN, ONE OF CHEFS’ FAVORITE INGREDIENTS, TO SHINE IN A VARIETY OF DISHES. BY JENNIFER BRADLEY FRANKLIN SEASONAL FLAVORS it can be made into fabric, fuel or fodder, but the reason so many people celebrate this crop during the spring and summer seasons is more appetizing. Corn is an ingredient that’s both nutritious and diverse in its delicious uses. It’s the plant credited with sustaining our country’s early settlers; the Creek, Cherokee and Hopi Native Americans considered maize a gift of divine origin. It is now the most widely grown crop in America. Corn is actually a grass (similar to wheat, rice, barley and oats), but because it is naturally gluten-free, it’s a popular grain alternative for those with a gluten intolerance. Also called maize or “Zea mays,” corn has a wide range of tastes that allow for its use in dishes from the simple to the intricate—from Southern grits to Italian polenta to ice cream. During warm-weather months, the sweet and savory kernels move out of supporting roles and take top billing on plates from breakfast all the way through to dessert. Sea Island Chef de Cuisine Matthew Lafountain originally hails from Indiana, a state known for its corn production. “Corn has always been a big part of my diet, from corn on the cob to popcorn,” he explains. When sourcing ingredients for the resort’s Colt & Alison The Sea Island corn muffin, which contains creamed corn, cheddar cheese and bacon, is a comfort food classic that has been served for generations. Long & Scott Farms
SPRING/SUMMER 2015 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 11 restaurant, the product goes through especially thorough scrutiny. “It is such a versatile grain, and it’s important to me to have on the menu because I think that it brings a level of comfort to our members and guests.” In keeping with Sea Island’s efforts to use regional products when possible, Lafountain orders bicolor corn from Wilkinson-Cooper Produce out of Belle Glade, Fla. The company’s supply is sourced from farms across the state. When available, Long & Scott Farms’ sweet corn, grown in Zellwood, Fla., is another local favorite that is at its peak from the end of April through mid-June. Corn’s near-universal appeal is evident on menus throughout Sea Island, as it’s a favorite of chefs who adeptly weave it into appetizers, entrées and even desserts. At Colt & Alison at The Lodge, diners will find rich creamed corn that can accompany any main course. While the canned variety is ingrained in many a childhood memory, Colt & Alison’s version uses fresh kernels, giving the dish a bright yet familiar flavor. Other plates that highlight this adaptable ingredient include grilled corn salsa that is served with a marinated hanger steak alongside chimichurri. Corn also pairs well with seafood in one of the restaurant’s popular starters, sweet corn bisque with butterpoached crab and white sturgeon caviar. At Sea Island’s Oak Room, traditional shrimp and grits receive a sophisticated upgrade with Georgia shrimp, stone-ground sweet corn grits, tomato, garlic and chives. It’s a quintessential Southern recipe that’s elevated by artful presentation and farm-fresh ingredients. “This is an amazing, yet simple dish that will continue to be on the menu,” Lafountain says. Perhaps the greatest testament to corn’s ever-present place at Sea Island is the famous and frequently requested corn muffin. The buttery cake combines creamed corn, cheddar cheese and chopped bacon for a two-bite, sweet and savory delicacy. Available at all of Sea Island’s restaurants, the muffins have been offered at the resort “for as long as anyone can remember,” according to Executive Pastry Chef Cortney Harris. She now has a hand in making the treats in the bakeshop at The Cloister. While the recipe is frequently requested, guests and members would agree that there’s something special about the resort’s freshly baked treats. Those who want to extend the flavor experience at home may order a few—or even a few dozen—from the concierge. Because of its many uses, corn is now easily found just about everywhere; but this season, be sure it’s on your plate. m A plate of shrimp and grits is elevated with farmfresh ingredients at Sea Island’s Oak Room. Grilled corn salsa complements hanger steak with chimichurri at Colt & Alison. CORN OF A DIFFERENT COLOR Ubiquitous yellow isn’t the only color of this in-season ingredient. Corn’s different hues— from vibrant blue to deep green—signal different flavors and textures. BLUE Blue corn (sometimes called Hopi maize, for the Native Americans who cultivated it) typically has a sweet flavor and, on average, a higher level of protein than other varieties. It’s often used to make tortillas, chips or pancakes. Usually grown in the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico, hues can range from powdery gray to almost black. SWEET YELLOW, WHITE OR BICOLOR If you’re eating kernels right off the cob, it’s likely you’re taking a bite of sweet yellow, white or bicolor corn. These common varieties are best when eaten within a short time of being harvested, and are used in numerous ways, including on salads or in casseroles. PURPLE Purple corn, sometimes called yaak’a, is often used to lend its vibrant color to dishes, from raw chocolates to muffins and cakes. Some lump blue and purple corn into the same category; however, yaak’a can have kernels of other colors, like red and blue, peppered throughout the same cob. OAXACAN GREEN Originally from southern Mexico, Oaxacan green corn features kernels that are deeply dented and run the gamut of yellow-green to deep emerald. This variety is known to be very droughttolerant and grow large ears on stalks up to 10 feet tall. It is often used in Mexico to make green flour tamales.
12 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 Nic Wallace pours a Smoke on the Spey, a Macallan cocktail flavored with smoke from used oak staves. the royal families of Scotland’s past have been immortalized in history books and fables, but one Scottish king lives on: The Macallan. Founded in 1824, the Speyside distillery now widely sets the standard for Scotch whisky served around the world. Part of the current brown spirits boom, the old favorite has charmed a host of new fans with its consistent high quality. Meanwhile, loyal aficionados continue to covet classic bottles, along with more recent and limited edition releases. The Macallan also owes the craft food and drink movement for its recent growth in popularity. “We’re coming out of a long period driven by artificially flavored spirits and heavily processed foods,” explains Craig Bridger, brand ambassador for The Macallan. “People are increasingly demanding authenticity and craft in the things they eat and drink. A carefully made spirit like The Macallan single malt scotch—distilled batch by batch in pot stills, as it has been since 1824—really fulfills that desire, I think.” Authenticity and craft are in abundant supply at The Macallan distillery, which houses the smallest spirit stills in the scotch-producing region of Speyside. Out of those stills’ yield, only 16 percent makes it into the meticulously chosen oak casks, which vary in wood to lend distinct flavors and aromas to each bottle. “The amount of care and research The Macallan puts into every bottle is incredible,” says Nic Wallace, head bartender at the River Bar at Sea Island. The resort has one of the largest collections of The Macallan Scotch whisky in the Southeastern United States. “The Macallan employees have such a deep, profound love for what they do there and really put everything they have into their whiskey, and we’re proud to sell it.” Each pour of The Macallan contains complex flavors from distilling practices that have been perfected over the past couple of centuries, causing bartenders like Wallace to take great care in serving it. At the River Bar, guests can partake in a Scottish tradition with The Macallan neat or on the rocks (for which hand-carved blocks of ice are used), or play with convention in a cocktail. PHOTO BY CHRIS MONCUS PHOTOGRAPHY A SPIRIT ABOVE THE MACALLAN HAS RAISED THE BAR FOR SCOTCH WHISKY SINCE 1824. BY LINDA DOMINGO LIBATIONS
SPRING/SUMMER 2015 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 13 Sea Island’s collection of The Macallan is one of the largest in the Southeast and features rare bottles. Easter Elchies House at The Macallan estate “When you’ve got such a flavorful spirit as your base in a cocktail, it’s a shame to cover it up entirely,” Bridger says, which is why Wallace and the other Sea Island bartenders are careful to enhance The Macallan with complementing tastes. “I’d suggest simple, spirit-forward recipes, and ingredients that highlight notes already found in the whiskey. You’d be amazed what a terrific Old-Fashioned you can make with The Macallan 12, raw-sugar simple syrup, some chocolate bitters and an orange twist. Amaro works well with The Macallan, as does sherry.” Wallace recommends a Highland Toddy (a take on a hot toddy with The Macallan) as a nightcap. He’s also developed a refreshing sour ideal for warm weather, using The Macallan’s Fine Oak 10-year variety. Another of Wallace’s TOP LEFT PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MACALLAN; TOP RIGHT AND BOTTOM PHOTOS BY CHRIS MONCUS PHOTOGRAPHY drinks, the Smoke on the Spey, is made with The Macallan 12- or 18-year and gets its flavor from smoke made from roasting used oak staves, spicy ginger shrub, ginger and cinnamon syrup, Angostura bitters and Bonal (a French aperitif wine). For newcomers to the brand, however, Wallace suggests keeping things straightforward. “We always recommend drinking The Macallan neat or on the rocks the first time, because you can really get the full profile when you’re drinking it that way,” he explains. “You want to start with something a little bit lighter, like The Macallan Fine Oak collection, which has a lighter body than the Sherry Oak bottles.” After that, it’s time to explore. Bridger describes the Sherry Oak line as richer and spicier than the Fine Oak, picking up more wood smoke with age. The 25-year Sherry Oak is, to Bridger, like “an orange grove lit on fire.” Meanwhile, the distillery’s limited edition bottles continue to intrigue curious palates. River Bar receives these rare bottles, such as The Macallan Flask set, which came with an Oakley-design flask and a 22-year-old single malt all-American oak Scotch whisky. Sea Island’s guests might even catch a glimpse of a bottle of The Macallan M, an artfully designed and impeccably crafted decanter that serves as the finest in the brand’s 1824 Series. “The Macallan M display is incredible,” Wallace explains. “They take such great care and add such immaculate detail—they want to make sure it’s flawless. And we don’t want to disturb that in any way. … The Macallan is one of those things that’s a classic and will always be.” m The Highland • ¾ ounce The Macallan 12year single malt • ¾ ounce Cocchi Vermouth di Torino (or your favorite sweet vermouth) • ¾ ounce Fonseca 10-year tawny port • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice • 3 dashes Fee Brothers black walnut bitters METHOD: Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir the cocktail with a bar spoon for 10-12 seconds. Using a Hawthorne strainer, slowly strain into a coupe glass. FROM SPEYSIDE TO SEASIDE For a taste of Scotland in your own home, try this simple recipe provided by Nic Wallace, head bartender at the River Bar. “This is a delicious take on the classic Blood and Sand recipe from the 1930s that was first seen in ‘The Savoy Cocktail Book,’” he says. “It truly brings out the best flavors of The Macallan 12-year. The toffee, dried fruit and vanilla flavors are divine.”
14 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 it can be a challenge to feel chic with the sun in your eyes. Fortunately, this selection of haute hats will keep you cool and shaded from sunup to sundown while effortlessly highlighting the freshest spring and summer trends. Make a splash at the pool or turn heads at the beach by topping off your look with an abstract print or a multicolored floppy hat. Straight from the runways, designers focused on crafted design with streamlined bows, lady-like buckles, pearls and chains. Children and men can also sport the latest in fashionable headgear with colorful stripes and fun, vivid colors. m FAR FROM OLD HAT CLASSIC BRIMS GET UNMISTAKABLY STYLISH UPDATES. BY JESSICA ANDERSON SOUTHERN STYLE 3. 2. 1.
SPRING/SUMMER 2015 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 15 1. TRINA TURK CRUSHER HAT, $128 (TRINATURK.COM) 2. SAN DIEGO HAT COMPANY KIDS’ STRIPED SUN HAT IN AQUA, $24 (SEA ISLAND SURF SHOP; 912-634-3123) 3. MELISSA ODABASH DIANA HAT, $126 (SEA ISLAND SURF SHOP; 912-634-3123) 4. VIX MEDALLION HAT, $78 (SEA ISLAND SURF SHOP; 912-634-3123) 5. GOORIN BROS. FLORENCE LAKE HAT, $120 (GOORIN.COM) 6. PAUL SMITH MEN’S HAT, $150 (SAKSFIFTHAVENUE.COM) 7. TOMMY BAHAMA SPACED DYE FRINGE FLOPPY HAT, $118 (TOMMYBAHAMA.COM) 8. ERIC JAVITS SQUISHEE CAP, $190 (ERICJAVITS.COM) 9. JOHNNIE B BY BODEN KIDS’ HAT, $28 (NORDSTROM.COM) 8. 9. 7. 4. 6. 5.
16 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 ALL NATURAL OUTDOOR EXPLORATION TOURS OFFER A BACKSTAGE PASS TO SEA ISLAND’S INDIGENOUS LANDSCAPE. BY REBECCA MCCORMICK Raleigh Nyenhuis (right) works with the Sea Island Junior Naturalist Program. on the surface, Sea Island’s natural beauty adds to the aesthetics of coastal living. But the area’s varying terrain—from marshes and maritime forests to sandy beaches and pristine waters—actually provides complex ecosystems for a diverse array of plants and animals. Sea Island, with the help of a team of naturalists, fully embraces its environs with a variety of specialized tours designed to inspire and educate the whole family. Upon arrival, it’s impossible to ignore the expanse of marshlands that have inspired poetry. The marsh ecosystem is dotted with patches of bright green spartina grass, and the area is regularly filled and drained by the tides. It serves not only as a transition zone between land and ocean, but also as living quarters for a bevy of birds. “Nearly everybody enjoys our showy shorebirds and birds of prey,” says Raleigh Nyenhuis, naturalist at Sea Island. “We can see great blue herons and egrets wading underneath ospreys and bald eagles circling overhead. Further north in the salt pan upland area where it’s drier, we frequently spot fiddler crabs and snails.” An equally vibrant area, the maritime forest is populated with majestic stands of ancient live oaks, as well as other old-growth trees like red cedar, holly and pine. The canopy of interlocking branches provides a luxurious haven for wildlife, while it conserves groundwater by reducing evaporation. It also protects underbrush from forceful winds and damaging salt spray. And, of course, there’s the beach—not only the background for leisurely days of fun in the sun, but also an important part of the surroundings that’s highlighted in Sea Island’s nature tours. The beach is home to a special type of tall grass, called sea oats, for its proximity to the water and golden-brown color during the summer. The plant species helps to trap wind-blown sand and promote sand dune growth, ultimately shielding beaches and nearby property from wind, storm and tide damage. “In this area we love to show off our horseshoe crabs and sea turtles, who share shore space with gulls OUTWARD BOUND
SPRING/SUMMER 2015 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 17 Left: Kayak tours get guests and members out on the water; below: Cannon’s Point trails and brown pelicans—favorite birds for many of our guests.” To get a closer look at each of these dynamic areas, the Eco Tour is a popular activity that provides front-row seats in an arena of ecological wonders. An all-wheeldrive Jeep Wrangler pulls as many as three open-air trams, each holding up to 15 guests, as it meanders through three major ecological systems (maritime forests, marshes and the beach) on a guided excursion. “This tour is especially popular with families because the Jeep Train is an adventure in itself,” Nyenhuis says. “And two hours seem to go by really fast because there’s so much to see.” The Marsh Habitat and Wildlife Walk is a shorter tour that takes participants of all ages to explore on foot. The one-hour guided adventure leads nature enthusiasts into the heart of two major ecosystems: the marsh and the maritime forest. Participants shouldn’t forget to bring along their binoculars to catch a glimpse of the best views of the environs and important inhabitants. For another perspective on a biologically rich space, the Cannon’s Point Ecology Tour takes participants for a two- to three-hour guided exploration of Cannon’s Point, a 600acre tract of maritime forest, salt marsh and tidal creeks, located on St. Simons Island. The geological preserve has been transformed into a living laboratory for nature-lovers of all ages, where plantation-era ruins stand as a reminder of the area’s history. If aquatic exploration is appealing, tours via boat or kayak get nature enthusiasts gliding through the marshes and along the shore, bringing coastal zoology and beach biology to life. Although there is a minimum weight limit to participate in the kayak tour, guests and members will appreciate this creative combination of a medium-intensity workout with an outdoor nature learning experience. Binoculars can help participants who want to catch a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins playing in the ocean. Finally, a hands-on interactive experience for younger adventurers, the Sea Island Junior Naturalist Program (JNP) is new for 2015. “Together with a naturalist, kids between the ages of 7 and 14 will explore the beach and marsh ecology,” explains Anne Harvey, activities manager at Sea Island. “They will also experience ocean seining, crabbing, soil sampling, plankton discoveries under the microscopes and much more.” Additional activities include up-close-andpersonal encounters with native species in a recently opened 220-gallon touch tank. “A program like the JNP is a perfect outlet for inspiring future naturalists,” Nyenhuis adds. “As a child, the term ‘naturalist’ may not be easily understood. We hope to instill a passion for the natural world in the kids who join the program—not only to help them enjoy the area while they’re here, but also to take the passion home with them and share it with their friends and family.” Nyenhuis and Harvey believe that the more kids learn about the natural world, the better chance they have to truly appreciate it. “Our dream is that some of the young explorers in our JNP program will choose to work in the field as adults,” Nyenhuis explains. “The more future naturalists we can inspire, the better.” At Sea Island, nature is not just a backdrop for activity. No matter how you get around— on foot, in kayaks or Jeeps, alone or with a group—you will likely learn more than botanical and zoological details. You may discover, as others have, the vibrant nurturing power of nature. m H20 CREATIVE GROUP
18 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 hitting a golf ball takes less than five seconds. That hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. Fewer than 10 minutes per round is spent in an act of pure athleticism—swinging a club and striking the ball. Yet, the crux of what differentiates modern golfers from their predecessors is what goes into the other 23 hours and 50 minutes of the day. Today’s player can move from a gym for golf-specific workouts, to a range equipped with a launch monitor that precisely quantifies the performance of their equipment, to a facility with a 3-D motion-capture system that shows them a computer-generated avatar of their swing—all before lunch. “Two things come to mind immediately when comparing golfers of previous generations to my own,” says Zach Johnson, 11-time PGA TOUR winner and 2007 Masters champion. “The first would be the increase of information and resources in the game. And the second is the overall fitness aspect, which has changed dramatically.” Initially prompted by aging athletes’ desire to increase longevity, the golf fitness revolution has since been embraced by all golfers looking to improve. Randy Myers, director of fitness at the Sea Island Golf Performance Center, notes that most of the breakdowns in golfers toward the end of the 20th century were a result of asymmetrical muscular makeup in problem areas such as the back, neck and shoulders. Johnson, who turned pro in 1998, rode that same wave of enlightenment. “When I first got on tour in 2004, not a lot of people were working out,” he explains. “I had always worked out, but nothing like I do today. … I had no real plan, no goals and no real guidance. Today, I have some of the top people involved overseeing that aspect of my career. To be my best, I have to put in time in the gym. To sustain a career and have longevity in this game, I have to keep that as a focus.” The advancement of fitness information and increased dedication to keeping top physical form led to an arms race in equipment technology as well as instruction. “Better athletes demand better equipment,” Myers says. “As the equipment got better and the athletes were able to work longer, harder and more efficiently, the instruction improved.” The information available at all levels allows a player to diagnose, fix and improve each aspect of their game. “Technology, education, information—call it what you will—there are more people involved in so many different aspects giving us information to improve all parts of our game that prior generations didn’t have,” Johnson says. “The game has evolved and no stone has been left unturned.” m Athletes stay equipped and in shape with the help of the Sea Island Golf Performance Center and its staff. A WHOLE NEW GAME BETTER TECHNOLOGY, BETTER INSTRUCTION AND BETTER ATHLETES HAVE CHANGED THE WAY GOLF IS PLAYED AT ALL LEVELS. SECTION BY CHRIS CHANEY IN THE SWING
SPRING/SUMMER 2015 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 19 ANATOMY OF THE MODERN GOLFER IN ORDER TO STAY COMPETITIVE, TODAY’S ATHLETES ANALYZE THEIR PERFORMANCE FROM HEAD TO TOE. ANDY LYONS/STAFF
20 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 a few minutes spent observing the Sea Island Jensen Brothers Tennis Academy will immediately open eyes to a new side of the centuries-old sport. With an experienced staff working with young players to improve their game at a variety of levels, it isn’t difficult to believe the studies that have shown tennis participation to improve brain function. The young athletes move across the courts displaying agility, balance and strength, and, perhaps most importantly, they are having some serious fun. The Academy’s lessons and clinics align with the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) recent emphasis on junior play for fun as well as for high-performance player development. This makes the sport an engaging activity for young athletes that parents can get behind. A Big Serve St. Simons Island resident David Murray often watches his daughter, Sarah, play and practice in the Academy. He joins other parents whose children hone their skills at Sea Island and says that the sport has given his daughter more confidence: “[The staff] gives her so much more than just tennis lessons. Sarah has achieved things she didn’t think she would ever achieve.” Those achievements have been shown to transcend the court. The USTA points out that tennis can help kids learn sportsmanship, discipline and work ethic, as well as give them healthy avenues for social interaction. Additionally, the International Tennis Federation lists teamwork, strategy and stress management among skills learned from the sport that can be applied to other areas of life. David Hopkins, USTA Southern’s 10-andunder tennis coordinator, applauds the Sea Island Jensen Brothers Tennis Academy staff for “helping build a system and a platform so that kids can enjoy the game of a lifetime.” For him, a teaching pro’s emphasis has to be on “keeping tennis fun and adapting tennis to fit [kids’] needs … and parents’ as well.” CAUSING A RACKET TENNIS TEACHES YOUNG ATHLETES VALUABLE SKILLS, GETS THEM ACTIVE, AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, IS A LOT OF FUN. BY KENT OSWALD FAMILY FIRST Young tennis players learn agility and balance at the Sea Island Jensen Brothers Tennis Academy.
SPRING/SUMMER 2015 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 21 Different Strokes That focus on fun and fitting participants’ needs is evident in each of the Academy’s programs, which are helmed by the legendary Murphy and Luke Jensen, known for capturing the 1993 French Open doubles title as an unseeded team. The brothers’ arrival in 2012 marked a sea of change: “The tennis program has been totally re-energized under Murphy and Luke,” explains Esther Farnham, who, along with her husband, recently purchased a house on Sea Island, in no small part because of the opportunities for a “tennis family” like hers. While Farnham enjoys the lessons, clinics and play herself, she is an even bigger fan of the fact that her daughter and two sons have taken up the sport. Murray adds, “[They] do an incredible job of setting very high expectations and then seeing that players meet those.” In addition to the rock ’n’ roll energy that’s been contagious among Sea Island’s tennis players young and old, the seasoned Jensen brothers also bring their coaching expertise. Luke was most recently the head coach of women’s tennis at Syracuse University, leading the team to its most successful season in the program’s history in 2009-2010. Murphy continues as the three-time Coach of the Year for the Washington Kastles, winners of five of the last six Mylan World TeamTennis championships. Those connections are how young players can find themselves hitting on courts alongside tennis celebrities like Kastles player Martina Hingis, touring pros taking a few days from the grind to retool their game, and top college athletes and prospects. The Jensens’ joint vision brings together high-level coaching with enjoyable play for every child—an experience that reflects the brothers’ own tennis training. “Despite the suffering it takes to do anything great, [beginning early with dad’s teaching] tennis was a blast,” Murphy remembers. “It was so much fun. … Enthusiasm is the game changer.” Courting Success While the Jensens are the marquee names at the Academy, the program’s staff, including head tennis pro Frank Solana, brings individual strengths so that young players get comprehensive training. “We cater to every THE RIGHT FIT Clinics designed especially with young athletes in mind teach children while they have fun. The Wilson Pro Staff line (left) and Wilson Juice line (right) kid,” explains Solana, who has hopes of the program molding a future grand slam champion or two. The 50 to 100 children attending the Academy during a typical summer week are broken into the general groups of “tykes,” “rising stars” and “elite” players. Lesson plans accommodate players ages 4 through 18, with special attention to a new USTA initiative that provides guidelines for kids under the age of 10. Created to help turn young participants into lifelong fans, the initiative dictates that these children play on smaller courts with smaller rackets and balls of different densities to encourage more rallies. “There are very few places with such skilled professionals with such diverse backgrounds,” Farnham says of Sea Island’s tennis program. In particular, she admires the emphasis placed on junior clinics offering a 1-6 ratio (or better) of teachers to students, giving all kids the attention they need and deserve. Farnham’s children have learned about both swing and footwork, and enjoy staying mobile during sessions—rather than standing and waiting to practice, as can be the case in any program for kids aiming to learn a new skill. “The focus isn’t on most points won or best forehand, but on ‘intangibles,’ ” Farnham continues. “You always hear coaches yelling, and it’s always something positive, [encouraging] camaraderie and excitement the whole time. … Kids are motivated in session and also for the next time.” All of these factors are crucial in fostering interest and the desire to continue—not to mention, a memorable and fun experience for all young athletes. ❍ Sea Island’s Lifestyle and Tennis Boutique has all the essentials for those looking to hit the courts. For young tennis players in particular, equipment manufacturer Wilson offers a full line of outstanding rackets to fit all levels, including a wide range in junior sizes. Generally, a racket that spans the distance from the fingertip to the ground while the child stands upright is the right size. The boutique’s staff can help with these measurements and any other details that will maximize your young athlete’s experience. Highlights among Wilson’s line of high-performance junior rackets are those in the Juice series (the choice of former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka) at 22, 25 and 26 inches of length; and junior versions of the Pro Staff line (of which Roger Federer is a known fan), at both 25 and 26 inches.
22 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 FAST FOOD GET THE MEAL-PLANNING TOOLS YOU NEED FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, EVEN ON THE GO. BY KATARINA KOVACEVIC with work schedules filled to the brim and even leisure time planned to the minute, being busy is no longer a choice; it’s a given. So skipping a breakfast here or a lunch there has become a common occurrence—but can affect your well-being a lot more than you may think. Even one missed meal means not only missing out on the nutrients that give the body the energy it needs for everyday productivity, but it can also lead to slower metabolism and destructive habits like binge eating. Fortunately, there are easy ways to make healthful eating a part of an on-the-go lifestyle. At Sea Island, nutritionist Joyce Mattox helps guests make better food choices at home and when they’re outside their own kitchens. From leading cooking classes to one-on-one consultations, her goal is “to teach healthy eating for life,” she says. “I allow room for flexibility. It’s not so much about counting calories and grams as it is about being mindful.” She starts every session with a few helpful and easy tips on living and eating well. Although a complete overhaul of your normal diet may seem daunting, Mattox helps guests understand that they can make small adjustments to help them use food to their advantage. “What you eat can make you feel better and think smarter,” she says. “It’s all about finding a beautiful balance of healthy eating for you.” Because everyone’s needs are different, each individual can design a meal plan that addresses specific issues— from weight gain to fatigue—in order to take back his or her own life. “Another big thing we teach is smart planning,” she adds. Taking into account a busy lifestyle, Mattox shows clients how to conveniently seek out “real food”— This includes making smarter decisions in readymade dinners, using ingredients that are already in the refrigerator, and cooking simple, wholesome meals that can be frozen. “I show them what a plate should look like,” she says. The magical mix: half fruits and vegetables, and a quarter each protein and complex carbs like potatoes or whole grains. Besides her nutritional counseling, guests can also benefit by taking Mattox’s class, titled What’s Cooking? Designed around a particular theme, each session features a good-for-you entrée made in a single dish. Students leave with a list of meals and side dishes to try, along with some light homework: Mattox encourages them to take small, effective steps at home such as making their own salad dressing. Little changes, she explains, can reap big rewards. m Get your plate in shape with a balanced mix of protein, fruits and vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. MIND + BODY PHOTO BY CHRIS MONCUS PHOTOGRAPHY
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24 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 THE WATER’S FINE IMPROVE STRENGTH, BALANCE AND FLEXIBILITY WITH AQUA CARDIO WORKOUTS. BY KATARINA KOVACEVIC Water workouts allow for a wider range of motion and less chance of injury. session, the class is approximately 35 minutes of walking and running in the water, followed by moves that work the upper body—including triceps, biceps and shoulders. Shallow Water Aerobics is all about the pool toys: webbed gloves for added resistance, foam buoys for bicep curls, and even pool noodles for stretching and strengthening. It all takes place in the resort’s state-of-the-art 65,000-square-foot spa and fitness center. Sea Island’s water workout classes are a healthy option for every family member at any fitness level. “Even people who are nonswimmers can do water aerobics,” Choate says. “They’re especially comfortable in the deep water because the belt keeps them safe. So many of us don’t get the flexibility and relaxation that we need, and that’s something that the water offers.” m during the spring and summer months, being drawn to the water is only natural—whether it’s for lounging on the beach or splashing around in a pool. The warm-weather necessity is also a useful workout tool; with a little guidance, active bodies can burn calories and build strength while taking a dip. “Working out in the water gives your body the ability to move with a wide range of motion,” says M.J. Choate, one of Sea Island’s fitness instructors. “We should all be in the water more often.” It’s true— in the pool we can bend in ways that aren’t always possible on land. But, that’s just the beginning. Water-based exercise can decrease the risk of chronic illness, advance the use of ailing joints, and even improve mental health and mood. You can also exercise longer in the water with less worry of associated muscle pain or soreness. At Sea Island, water workout classes take place five days a week. In the 45-minute Aqua Fit session, participants use special belts that keep them buoyant while working core muscles. There’s a strong focus on purposeful movement, moving slower, stretching and really getting the extension needed to strengthen key body parts. With the blue Georgia sky up above, the deep-water class takes place in Sea Island’s 25-meter outdoor pool and is an effective combination of cardio, endurance and flexibility. Those who are ready to amp up their routine can sign up for a private water workout with a trainer or try Sea Island’s Shallow Water Aerobics class, where they’ll use the pool floor to work and push harder. More of a pure cardio GET FIT PHOTO BY JOHNSON PICTURES INC.
FASHION Dries Van Noten • Marni Eres • Moncler • The Row Ter Et Bantine • Rick Owens Adam Lippes • Sofie D’Hoore Stella McCartney CUISINE Lunch: Tues-Sat 11:30 Dinner: Thurs-Sat 6:00 Live Piano •Full Bar Garden Dining • Cottage to Go HOME American Cottage Vintage French Kitchen/Garden Dining John Robshaw Bedding Original Art Bridal Registry Open Tues-Sat 11:00 - 5:00
26 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2015 DID YOU KNOW? DISCOVER FUN FACTS AND STORIES ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE ISLAND. BY VICKI HOGUE-DAVIES SCOTT HOPKINS PHOTOGRAPHY Sea Turtle Talk May through October is sea turtle nesting and hatching season on Sea Island. Last year, there were 41 nests, down from 86 in 2013 and 102 in 2012, but as Sea Island naturalist Raleigh Nyenhuis explains, 2014 was a very low nesting season for the entire Georgia coast and it is believed the lower nest count was due to a natural trend. Female sea turtles lay approximately 100 eggs up to four times during the season and will nest beginning at 30 years old up to 90-plus years. Last summer Georgia saw three generations nesting on its beaches. Ninety-nine percent of nesting female turtles at Sea Island are loggerheads, which, like all seven species of sea turtles, are listed as threatened. “Two years ago, Sea Island had one green sea turtle nest, and last year we had one leatherback nest,” Nyenhuis says, adding that the leatherback is the largest of the species. Leatherbacks, which survive only on jellyfish, can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh as much as 1,500 pounds. Sea Island’s nesting leatherback measured approximately 4 feet, 6 inches. Wedding Tidbits The Sea Island wedding team facilitates approximately 60 weddings a year. Here, the team shares some fun facts about Sea Island nuptials: • White Wedding and Sea Island Salted Turtle are the most popular cake flavor choices for weddings on the Island. • Many bridal party ladies let off some steam at the Sea Island Shooting School before bridal luncheons and activities. • Sea Island pastry chefs recreate the top tiers of wedding cakes for returning brides and grooms’ anniversaries. • Many engaged couples come to Sea Island exactly one month before their weddings to bury a bottle of bourbon upside down; this brings good luck that it will not rain on the big day. For information about hosting your own celebration at the resort, please contact the Sea Island wedding team. (seaislandwedding.com; 912-634-4422) ON THE ISLE
SPRING/SUMMER 2015 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 27 80 The number of pounds of bananas in a 100-foot-long banana split built by Sea Island’s culinary team with the help of Jerry Greenfield from Ben & Jerry’s. It also contained 30 gallons of ice cream, 3 gallons each of chocolate, pineapple and strawberry sauce, 1 gallon of cherries and 20 cans of whipped cream. It took 20 chefs less than five minutes to assemble ... and 10 minutes for the kids to eat it! MEMBER BROOKE SUMERFORD Brooke Sumerford and her husband, Rees, have been Sea Island members since the mid1970s. The couple visited Sea Island for their honeymoon in 1972, fell in love with it and decided to move to the area, where they raised their two children. HER FAVORITE … SOUND AT SEA ISLAND: Children laughing and playing at the Beach Club SWEET TREAT: A Gold Brick Sundae SEA ISLAND ACTIVITY: Zumba classes in the Fitness Center COCKTAIL: Vodka soda with a splash of cranberry at any of the restaurants SEA ISLAND MEMORY: Coming home from church, changing into swimsuits and heading to the Beach Club with the children for the Sunday kids’ pool activities WAY TO GET CLOSE TO NATURE ON THE ISLAND: Walking on the beach EARLY MORNING START: Taking in the view of the marsh from her back porch MEMBER CARL SZCZESNIAK, M.D. Carl Szczesniak, M.D., and his wife, Katherine, first stayed at Sea Island for their honeymoon in 1996—and they have returned frequently to vacation. They visited as a couple, and then with their children, Preston and Aynsley. Two years ago, they became members and purchased property in the place that has played such a big role in so many memories. HIS FAVORITE … OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES: Fishing off the docks with Preston and Aynsley and walking on the beach with Katherine during sunset MEAL: Thanksgiving brunch in The Cloister Ballroom, which Szczesniak describes as “an elegant experience” TIME OF YEAR: Spring, when he’s able to “see the azaleas in bloom and enjoy the warming temperatures” SPOT FOR RELAXING: On one of the indoor pool lounge chairs at The Spa at Sea Island and Fitness Center SUMMER MEMORY: Building sandcastles with his children on the beach; each year they get more creative and complex WAY TO END THE DAY: A trip to Wonderland for ice cream with the kids SMELL ON SEA ISLAND: A pizza or pasta dish from Tavola, but “everything there is exceptional,” he adds ❍ STAYING CONNECTED What would you like to see in Sea Island Life? Tweet story ideas to us on Twitter using the hashtag #SILifeMag. Also, check out photos on the Sea Island Instagram account and let us know where your favorite Instagram-worthy spot is on the Island. Keep in touch with the following social media sites: Favorite Things Zumba Pizza is a favorite at Tavola on Sea Island. twitter.com/seaislandresort instagram.com/sea_island pinterest.com/seaislandresort youtube.com/user/seaisland facebook.com/seaisland