In the drowsy, sun-kissed town of North Myrtle Beach, where the waves gently whisper secrets from days gone by, a group of seasoned beachgoers, more seasoned than grandma’s cast-iron skillet, gathered each year to relish the sea, the sun, and the occasional shenanigan.
This particular summer, our tale focuses on Old Man Jenkins, a wiry fellow with a twinkle in his eye and a story for every occasion. He was as much a part of the beach as the tides, and his tales were as tall as the tales of Blackbeard’s ghost wandering these shores.
One evening, as the group gathered cozily under a canopy of twinkling string lights on the beach, Old Man Jenkins leaned in, his voice dropping to a conspiratorial whisper. “Folks,” he said, “I reckon it’s time you knew about the legend of the Sunken Still.” You see, back in the days of Prohibition, North Myrtle Beach wasn’t just sunbathing and sandcastles. It was a hotbed for moonshiners, with more hidden stills than a squirrel has nuts for the winter. Legend had it that the most coveted of these stills didn’t sit in the backwoods but was hidden at the bottom of the ocean, right off our very beach.
“It was said to be run by Cap’n Zeke, a moonshiner so crafty, he could make a batch of hooch that’d make you see visions of mermaids,” Jenkins continued, his eyes gleaming like the light of a small fire.
The gang, always up for an adventure, decided they’d find this legendary still. Armed with nothing but snorkels, a rusty metal detector, and an unshakeable sense of curiosity, they set out at the crack of dawn.
What followed was a comedy of errors. Bob, who fancied himself a diver, got tangled in seaweed and emerged looking like a swamp monster. Martha, who swore she had the nose of a bloodhound, followed a scent that led her to a bewildered group of beachgoers cooking hotdogs.
Just when they were about to give up, thinking it was just another of Jenkins’s tall tales, the metal detector beeped frantically. Digging through the sand, they unearthed not a still, but an old, barnacled chest. Inside, they found a collection of Prohibition-era moonshine jars, still sealed and a note that read, “Drink up, ye merry souls – Cap’n Zeke.”
The discovery was the talk of the town, with folks speculating about secret underwater moonshine operations and Cap’n Zeke’s ghost guarding his stash. The local paper even ran a story titled, “Sunken Treasure or Jenkins’s Joke?”
As for Old Man Jenkins, he just winked whenever asked if the story was true. “Some secrets,” he’d say, “are as deep as the ocean and as mysterious as the moonshine that Cap’n Zeke brewed.”
And so, the legend of the Sunken Still became another colorful thread in the tapestry of North Myrtle Beach’s history, a story that blended fact with fiction, much like the moonshine that once flowed like water in these parts. So if you ever find yourself walking the shores of North Myrtle Beach, keep an eye out for lost treasures – and maybe, just maybe, the ghost of Cap’n Zeke, still guarding his oceanic still.