Like the massive flock of vacationers descending to South Carolina each summer, legions of satiny-feathered guests are drawn to the Capital City/Lake Murray Country region. The sky gets dark and millions of Purple Martins fill the predawn and evening skies each day, establishing seasonal digs at Lunch (Bomb) Island in the middle of Lake Murray.
Lunch Island, once a practice bombing range for World War II plane crews, is the perfect spot for the birds to roost. By day they disperse for many miles to feed, at night they settle onto the island. Over a period of weeks, their numbers grow dramatically. There are about three-quarters of a million birds and the numbers are still increasing.
You can view this “natural phenomenon,” the thousands of Purple Martins on Lake Murray, the largest, natural, roosting sanctuary in North America when you visit the region during July and August. Come board a boat for an evening cruise and see this unique attraction. Hurry here! By September, the Purple Martins will be off to South America for winter hibernation.
Southern Patriot Tour Boat Cruises
Tours run every Sunday and Monday nights in July and August. The Patriot serves a light supper and the cost is $29.00 for adults, $14.50 for children 5 to 12 and anyone under 5 is free.
The Southern Patriot leaves at 7:30pm during the month of July and 7pm in August. The cruise is approximately 2 1/2 hours long and on the way back everyone enjoys music, dancing or just enjoying the lake lights and breeze.
July 19 (26 is sold out)
August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
July 13, 20 (27 is sold out)
August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
For more information, call (803) 749-8594 or visit http://www.lakemurraytours.com.
Spirit of Lake Murray Cruises
The cruise is 21/2 hours and a snack supper is included. All this aboard the Spirit of Lake Murray costs $39.95 + tax per person (children ages 2-12, $14.75 + tax).
Cruise only option: $24 per person; children 2-12 are $12
Friday, July 17 at 7pm
Friday, August 7 at 7pm
Friday, August 21 at 7pm