From the Sea to Callawassie | Callawassie Island

Coming to Callawassie – Idaho & the Global Sailing Community

We Followed the Sun…From the Sea to Callawassie

Sam & Erika Grubbs weren’t entirely sure they liked the idea of a gated community having come from Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Living in a log home surrounded by a rugged and regal setting, decision was made for a change of scenery as they set sail for the seven seas to live full time on their boat. When things began to change on land between their daughter at Georgetown and a worldwide pandemic, they looked for a place to come home to. They found it in a beautiful way, just across the causeway.

“You drive over that causeway,” says Erika Grubbs, “and it’s stunning, like living in a resort, with the natural beauty and kayak docks and boat ramps. You don’t find the gated life stereotype. You find a diverse community that’s incredibly close and surrounded by beauty and opportunity.”

There are keywords in that sentiment you often hear attributed to the balanced, nuanced existence that is life on Callawassie, but Erika and her husband Sam string them together in a unique illustration from the perspective of their recent travels that paints a beautiful comparison between the bond and blessing of island life and that of their life at sea:

“Callawassie is not unlike the sailing community where a wider array of people from a range of economic, career, age, and ethnic backgrounds come together with a common thread in a welcoming, warm, vibrant environment. All these different histories, the beauty, and the ties with your neighbors are so reminiscent of the very different life of living on a sailboat where you’re all there for each other because you’re there with each other through shared experiences. At sundown, no matter whether the boat next to you is a five-million-dollar yacht or a five-thousand-dollar vessel Band-Aided together to get you south of the border, there’s a common equalizer of having chosen sailing as a way of life. Similarly, here at Callawassie we’ve experienced that easy comfort and organic connection that is the great equalizer of neighbor to neighbor – all things we had sailing and wanted in life, things we had in each port, and things we thrive in here in our more permanent home.”

The Grubbs describe being immediately hooked, finding a rental on the marsh and the support provided by Callawassie staff, as they found a place to stay in the midst of their search for a homestead. “They made it easy, with flexible arrangements so that if a property came up, we could shift.” They didn’t need to be accommodated for long as they “grabbed the first house and moved the beginning of July, closing in October, just five months from having dropped anchor.”

The list of distinctions that set Callawassie apart are consistent no matter where you’ve come from or who you are. The amenities are constantly being developed and designed to serve and reflect the individuals who make up their residents. But beyond the obvious and traditional, there is, as Erika describes, “a beauty, security, and solitude you just don’t find anywhere else. People are so welcoming, and it didn’t take long to develop great friends in our little surrounding area. Our neighbors brought over an Irish Soda Bread they made from a family recipe and a Callawassie candle. People here go out of their way to welcome you not just into a neighborhood, but into a sense of community.”

“For us, transitioning from our water home to land, living on an island, and immersing into a tidal flow,” Erika says with a warm appreciation, “had so much in common with sailing life, living here where the tides keep you tethered to nature, in and out twice a day, grounding you with a reminder of that connection. We weren’t quite ready to leave the water life we’d come to know and love. With the way of Callawassie, we didn’t really have to.”