This week our host Patti has challenged us to capture a quiet moment.
My favorite thing to do on a hot summer day is hop in our 17 foot boat and go for a ride in the salt water creeks and rivers near our home. Getting out on the water is always soothing and sometimes we can enjoy some quiet moments as we go along.
This week we took a scenic ride through narrow, twisting creeks through the salt marsh.
We found some quiet moments as we slowly made our way through the twists and turns. Except for when we met a boat going the other way we were the only humans in the area. As we were treated to sightings of snowy egrets, herons, and wood storks the only sounds were those of nature and our quiet engine. Even the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins surfacing for a breath of air made little noise. I was too busy enjoying the moment to get any photos of the wildlife.
For this weeks challenge, Ann-Christine has asked us to showcase a special spot. My special spot is a sandy beach.
I tried to pick a specific beach but couldn’t narrow it down to just one. Instead, I chose a few shots from some beaches here in my own home state of Georgia.
There are 15 barrier islands off the Georgia coast. Only four can be reached by road – Tybee Island, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, and Jekyll Island. The rest can only be reached by boat. Some of them are undeveloped, some are managed by the state of Georgia, and one is a National Seashore.
Sapelo Island is one of the barrier islands that is owned and managed by the state of Georgia. The island is accessible by ferry from Darien. You can see more photos from our visit there at Weekend Getaway on the Georgia Coast.
I can’t mention the Georgia barrier islands without including Cumberland Island, the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia.We spent a day there about 40 years ago but unfortunately, I don’t have photos from that visit. Cumberland Island is a National Seashore and can be reached by ferry from St. Marys. We’re hoping to make a return trip to the island this spring.
Of the eight large barrier islands off the coast of Georgia, only four can be accessed by a bridge. Sapelo Island is one of the islands can only be reached by water and visiting it has been on my bucket list for years.
Sapelo is the fourth largest Georgia barrier island. Most of the island is owned by the state of Georgia. The state owned portion of Sapelo is home to the RJ Reynolds Wildlife Management area on the north end of the island, the University of Georgia’s Marine Institute, and the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve.
The remaining 434 acres is the privately owned community of Hog Hammock. Many of the 70 residents there are descendants of former African-American slaves. Today, some property owners live elsewhere and a few of the houses are managed as vacation rentals.
We spent Friday night in Darien so we wouldn’t have far to go for our early Saturday morning Saturday ferry. We enjoyed a delicious fried shrimp and crab cake dinner Friday night at Skippers Fish Camp on the Darien waterfront. During our after dinner walk beside the water we spied 3 baby alligators on the banks of the river and a manatee behind a shrimp boat.
On Saturday morning, it didn’t take long to get to Sapelo Visitors Center from Darien. After purchasing our tickets for the Sapelo Ferry we learned a little about the history of the island from the interpretive displays and enjoyed the views from the deck.
The ferry departed at 9:00, right on schedule. Pelicans were busy diving for fish as we made our way to the island.
Our guide Yvonne Grovner took us around the island in a small air conditioned van. Yvonne grew up on Sapelo in the Hog Hammock community and told us many interesting facts about the island. We went from paved roads to narrow dirt trails as we traveled around the island.
We climbed the 77 steps to the top of the Sapelo Lighthouse.
Our last stop before returning to the mainland was Nanny Goat Beach. It was a Saturday and there were a few people enjoying the white sandy beach. Our guide told us sometimes on weekdays there is no one else there.
If you are planning a visit to Sapelo Island, you must make reservations for the ferry in advance. Reservations are also needed to take the tour. If you would rather explore on your own, golf carts and bicycles are available for rent. A few homes are available for rent and group camping is available. Reynolds Mansion can also be rented by groups.