Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Captain Sam's Spit

There are a few places I've been in the world that stir my soul.  Big Meadows.  Hunting Island. And now I can add a new place ~ Captain Sam's Spit.  (What does it say about me that all of these places have almost NO people!?!?) 

A spit is a narrow point of land projecting into the sea.  My girls didn't know this and would dissolve into giggles each time I mentioned Captain Sam's Spit.  So this glorious place is located right where the Kiawah River empties out into the Atlantic.  The little piece of land is undeveloped and wild.  To get there one must take a boat down the river, or walk or bike the beach.  Since we had Clara in tow, we decided to bike the beach.  

The ride was approximately a mile and a half.  We lucked out on the way there with a downwind.....I didn't even need to pedal and the wind would carry me down the beach.  When we arrived, we were amazed.  

We'd planned our trip at just before low tide so there were small shallow pools all over the beach.  It was an explorer's dream-come-true to wander around and see what creatures one could find.


There were flocks of birds on every available spot of sand.  We were clearly in their place (which is such a nice change from every day life).  Every so often they'd all take off at the same time and that was so magical.  A photo could never do it justice!

It was a little chilly and really windy.  Clara had on my scarf and wrapped herself in a beach towel.

A bald eagle was flying over us when we arrived (only the second one I've ever seen) but I didn't get to my camera in time.  While we were exploring, the most GORGEOUS bird kept flying over.  I managed to get a few shots of it and only later that night found out that it was an osprey. Oh man was I excited!  I'm not sure if that was my first osprey (likely not) but it's definitely the first I've photographed.

There were so many fun things to find....

The dolphins come to Captain Sam's Spit to feed at low tide.  If my online research proves correct, the dolphins below are "Hook" and "Scratch"....two members of the family that reside in this area. I have a bunch of dolphin pictures but, since they're so hard to photograph, none of the pictures are very good.  But they were there, swimming by every couple minutes.

There were a number of dead sting rays washed up on the sand.  This one was MASSIVE and had two gigantic bites taken out of each fin.

The birds were eating some of the smaller dead sting rays.  It's rare but I like when my girls get to see the circle of life in action.....

Yep, I still have a thing for pelicans.

As usual for this area, there were tons of cannonball jellyfish in the water and dead on the shore.

After almost two hours of exploring, the girls were cold and tired.  We cozied up behind the bike cart to shield ourselves from the wind, covered ourselves in beach towels to get warm and ate some snacks.  These pictures give you some idea of how large the beach is.....the next two were taken at low tide just before the water starting moving back in.

Alain & I both agree that this place is something really special.  We enjoyed our visit immensely.  Wild places, like Captain Sam's Spit, seem hard to come by these days.  

As you may have guessed, the bike ride back was HELL.  I could walk my bike faster than I could ride it.  The wind just beat us into pulps.  If you ask me, it was still worth it to get to visit such a magical place!  Sophie may or may not agree.  What I do know for sure is we all ate well that night and then slept like babies!


  1. Such a fun post, Audrey. I love the photos you've shared, and when I read how easy the bike ride was getting there, I thought, "Uh-oh...they still need to get back..." LOL. I love those untouched places where nature is abundant - kind of like our rides through the desert, minus the water. It really feeds my soul. It's no surprise that Taurus is an earth sign!

    1. I'm still just excited, and not at all surprised, that you're a Taurus yourself!!! :-)

  2. Oh Audrey, what a wonderful post! This would be my kind of place too, Richard and I need to go there right now!!
    We also saw an osprey...only once at the lake beside Arabia Mountain, and it was a magnificent sight!
    Captain's Sam Spit...I will remember it! Thank you, you are my daughter, you MUST be!!

    1. Of course! How cool that you guys saw an Osprey near Arabia. They really are quite magnificent! You and Richard should visit CSS. It's not too, too far!

  3. What a gorgeous post, Audrey.
    CSS is wildly beautiful! I have never seen a horseshoe crab live. And the birds! I never feel more alive than when I'm roaming on a cool, windy shore with sparkling water. My soul would be dead if I couldn't get into wild areas.

    So I'm sure you are aware of this. I googled CSS because I was curious ~ I am fascinated with landscapes and maps. So, of course, I wanted to see where it was and what it looked like geographically.

    And what do I discover? Some development company wants to build 50 homes (mansions) on 20 acres on the high spot on the spit with a 120 acres conservation easement. Plus they want to build a seawall and access road along the narrowest part of the spit to "stabilize" it. Then they would leave, and the residents and taxpayers would be holding the bag for any environmental damage. The Carolina Geological Society considers the proposed road a "high risk."

    Kiawah Development Partners is the development group. I don't have time to look into it more right now, because Terry is almost home from work and I've got to make supper. But seeing your gorgeous post, and then discovering this made me want to throw up! Can anything natural stand up to money?

    This is a link to the most recent info I found on my google 3/18/2013. I looked at a couple of others, but this was the most recent.

    I do hope this isn't news to you, because I am sure you would be really upset.
    I'm so glad that you took your girls out to see CSS's beauty. The next generation has to do better than we have!

    *Big Hugs!*

    1. Stay tuned......been working on that post longer than this one! :-) This is why I love and adore you, Louise!!!

  4. WOWWWW!!!! What an AWESOME place!!!! I would so love to go there. I'd go there every day after school!

    1. Hi Rebecca, thanks so much for visiting. I'd go there every day too, if I could! Thanks for your comment.

  5. Each picture is a delight and a discovery. Like that first one with both of you pedaling.

    1. HI Haddock, thanks for your visit and your comment ~ I look forward to checking out your blog....

  6. This really does look like an amazing place. Those pictures are awesome! Looks like a beautiful and tranquil place. I love the starfish. And I love that shot of the pelican soaring over the water's surface :)

    1. Hi Keith! Tranquil is a good word to describe CSS. It most certainly is! kentucky isn't too far from there, you know!!! :-)


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