Happy Little Cottages By The Sea

Cottage Charm, Coastal Calm

The last Sunday of the Summer Season and Starfish watching

The summer season is wrapping up this weekend and after a wonderfully long spring and summer, I’ve finally been able to visit the beach on a Sunday afternoon without feeling guilty! There are two beaches I go to, each one unique and different and very special. I love to get on my bike and depending on the tide, head east or south. The 13th Street beach is on the main beach and the “front beach”. Even with high tide, there still is enought beach to enjoy ( thank goodness the beach re nourishment project starts this fall….). I camp out right in front of the sea turtle nest in between 12th and 13th Street with my bike and towel. The front beach is where you can watch the cargo ships come in and out of the Savannah River and port, being lead in and out by the pilot ships. Such a sight to see, these huge ships from ports all over the world, if they are big from the beach, impagine how big they are up close! You can also see dolphins right off shore feeding and swimming. And of course the little sand piper birds and pelicans flying over head.

The South End of the island is where I go for low tides. Here’s what http://www.sherpaguides.com/ says about the south end for beaching. ( I couldn’t say it better myself!)

“South Beach is probably the best easily accessible public beach in Georgia. As sand has drifted southward on the island, it was trapped here by now-buried jetties and groins. Notice how the beach is working its way up the steps of the boardwalks over the dunes. The snow fences were established a few years ago, and now the dunes are forming around them. Pioneer dune plants are starting to take hold, including morning glory, recognized by the yellow and white flower. Sea oats, important for their beach-holding character with their 30-foot-long roots, have not yet colonized these new dunes, so the dunes’ futures are uncertain.
The beach is broad and flat, so tides move quickly up and down the beach. Twice a day, the water moves 6 to 9 feet vertically, and up to 300 feet horizontally. Tybee Island rookies set up their umbrellas and chairs, only to move them back in five minutes, then move them again five minutes later with irritation.
At low tide, where South Beach wraps around to the Back River area, sand bars or shoals become exposed, stretching southward toward Little Tybee. From the far end, it looks like an easy swim to Little Tybee, but don’t try it. Every year someone drowns in the attempt, underestimating the outgoing tides and currents. Where longshore currents meet outgoing and incoming tides in the sounds, tremendous turbulence is created, making for dangerous conditions.
These sand bars are the best places to go beachcombing in the South Beach area, especially at low tide. Here you will find Van Hyning’s cockle, a large, pretty shell that resembles a heart when two halves are closed together. Other sea life you will find here are pen and scallop shells; sand dollars; hermit, blue, and spider crabs; starfish; knobbed whelks; and oyster drills. Shorebirds prowl the rills and sloughs looking for trapped fish and other meals. Keep a watchful eye on incoming tides so you don’t become trapped on a quickly disappearing sand bar. “
What they don’t tell you is the craters left behind in low tide is full of Starfish!!! I laid in “my Crater” for over an hour today in the warm water watching three starfish walking. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a starfish walk. But these little guys literally working walking in the shallow water! Watch this wonderful video from http://www.youtube.com/ and you can see how the move ! What a fun, fun afternoon!

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