Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Smyrna & Apollo Beaches, Florida

If you dislike the beach, you might not want to keep reading! Ed & I are making up for having NO beach time during our busy summer. We are visiting beaches every chance we get and spending a week at New Smyrna Beach Campground. New Smyrna Beach is located just south of the better-known and busier Daytona Beach, across Ponce de Leon Linlet. From behind a dune at New Smyrna, you can see the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and the high rises of Daytona in the background.

At New Smyrna Beach, as at Daytona, you can drive your car on the beach for miles. Here's the Protech Mobile RV Service & Repair van making a "beach" call!!!

As you drive south down Rt. A1A from New Smyrna Beach, you come to a protected area, the northern side of the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. We relished the unspoiled tranquility of Apollo Beach. Ed learned the names of the various seashore birds, sanderlings and ruddy turnstones, from reading the boardwalk signs.

This ruddy turnstone, named for it's reddish colored legs, was very busy working for its dinner at the edge of the waves.

How refreshing to stand on the boardwalk as our shadows lengthened, listening to the roar of the surf.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island, GA

In May of 2007, Georgia Sea Turtle Center opened in its brand new location - the renovated power company building in the Historic District on Jekyll Island. It is a hospital and rehab facility for sick and injured turtles. This is Macaroni, half under a towel on the exam table. He was hit by a car, was left with a hind leg dangling that had to be amputated, and the vet techs are cleaning the wound.

This plaster cast of a prehistoric turtle skeleton greets you in the lobby/gift shop. Adults weigh hundreds of pounds and take 35 years to reach maturity.

Exhibits are appropriate for both children and adults to learn about the life cycle of the giant sea turtle. The nesting season runs from May-August. During that time, residents are asked to keep their lights out. As the hatchlings emerge from their nests on the beach, they instinctively head for the brightest light, which should be the horizon over the sea, where they need to get to. They can get confused by artificial light.

Volunteers routinely check nests after the hatchlings have emerged. They count the egg shells and sometimes find stragglers. Nine years ago, they found two such stragglers and brought them to the Center, and named them Bob and Dylan. Dylan was kept as a mascot to be used for educational purposes. Bob was released. Now, the Center is preparing to release Dylan, probably next spring. In the interim, he is being prepared to live on his own, getting his own food, etc., to be able to survive without humans. Here he is coming to the surface to take a breath.

He will have a chance to live the life he was meant to live and will be tracked by a satellite transponder. Track other turtles and even adopt one at

Monday, November 05, 2007

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA

I love the beach. Who doesn't? But there are some beaches that are special because they are unspoiled - no hotels or condos, no T-shirt shops, no crowds - just natural beauty. Neyes Provincial Park in Canada, Kalaloch in Washington state, and Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island are a few of my favorites. There aren't many places that Ed & I like to visit again and again, we are generally into seeing new places, but we never tire of Jekyll.

Duncan enjoyed barking at the waves and jumping over them.

Roxie, on the other hand, hates water in any form. She stayed back with her daddy on the shore.

Time for Miss Roxie's close-up!

You can stroll for miles or even ride horseback along Driftwood Beach.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Jekyll Island, Georgia

We FINALLY made it to Jekyll Island yesterday. But instead of the week we had planned, we'll only have three nights and two days. Beofre we checked in at the campground, we spent a couple of hours parked at the shoreline. There was plenty of room to park the motorhome, even with Ed's van still attached. Very few people were around because it's off-season.

It was high tide and the beach had disappeared. The water was right up to the sea wall at this section of the island coastline. By law, only 65% of Jekyll Island may be developed. These dunes will remain protected.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Folly Beach, Charleston, SC

Ed & I have been to Charleston several times and there's lots of interesting things to do and places to visit. We've spent time wandering the streets of the historic waterfront district, we've visited plantations, toured the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, and taken the boat to Ft. Sumter, site of the opening shots of the Civil War. But this time we're lazy, burnt out and just want to sit around and do nothing. Well, next best thing to doing nothing is going out for a seafood lunch and strolling on the beach. So that's we did today!

The beaches in North Carolina are dog-friendly, much to our delight. So we headed out to Folly Beach State Park.

Of course, when we had this great idea around noontime, it was all blue skies, sunshine, not a cloud in the sky. By the time we got to the beach after lunch, it had clouded over but Duncan, Roxie and I had a great time dashing in and out of the water. Well, it was mostly Duncan doing that!

And of course, around 4:00 as we were driving back to our campground, all the clouds blew away and the sun came out. But I can definitely say this - a "bad" day at the beach still beats a good day at work!