David and I packed some coolers and a tent. We parked the truck at a marina on Pine Island and took the Tropic Star Ferry over to Cayo Costa State Park.
Upon arrival, a manatee was in the water near the dock. I felt like he came by to welcome us to our adventure. The first night we heard rustling of an animal. Either a raccoon or rat managed to get into a food wrapper we obviously did not secure. We also heard an owl, saw a snake, watched the birds feed at dusk.
When the sun went down, it became cold fast! It was colder than I anticipated. Our air mattress deflated in the night. (which made us even colder). But then the sun came up and warmed us up. By mid day, it was hot and probably 70+ degrees. Thankfully, it never rained. There is no hot water for showers. BUT there are flush toilets.
We spent three days being connected to beauty, nature, simplicity and each other. I thoroughly enjoyed being remote and having miles of beaches to ourselves. We frolicked like teenagers during the day and the hobbled like grandparents at night 😉 LOL
What an adventure. Hiking trails and miles of beaches kept us busy. We calculated that in 3 days we walked over 25 miles. I have my little stash of shells. I found a sand dollar with lace-like edges. It’s amazing.
If you’re ok with remote simplicity, this barrier island might need to make it onto your must-see list. There’s also an option to boat over for the day to enjoy shelling if you’re not into rustic camping.
While on our family vacation, Bethany, Natalie and I decided to take advantage of low tide to get to the north end of Kiawah Island. (This trip was a plan B since hurricane Irma squelched our Edisto Island plans). To be honest, I was a little disappointed that the Kiawah Island beach didn’t have shark teeth. I heard that there may be an opportunity to find one on the north end. We had baby Lennon with us, so we weren’t sure how far we could go. She was a little trooper!
We noticed as we journeyed north, there were no other humans. We encountered flocks of seagulls and pelicans. Then Natalie spotted a whole sand dollar. We grabbed a photo to commemorate the find. Little did we know that we would find over 100 sand dollars as we continued to walk!!!As we neared the point, I even found a shark tooth and we saw dolphins playing. It was one of those walks that can’t be explained. Memory upon memory. Magic was in the air and drifting to shore. A Ranger drove in a truck made sure we knew high tide was a’ comin! We had about an hour before the inlet would be flooded. We raced back with the jewels.
side note: we found out that if sand dollars are still in the shallow water, the best thing to do is gently put them back into a little deeper water on the ocean floor. They are alive until they are on the shore for a few minutes. You will be able to see a little movement in the slits on the dollar when they are alive and see that they are a little fuzzy. Only take the ones that have landed and been on shore without water. Here’s a great article to read about the differences between them being dead or alive. http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2015/03/25/how-to-identify-differences-between-live-and-dead-sand-dollars/