Thursday, 22 October 2009

South Carolina PART 2

Heather, Madalynn, Jennavieve and I had a great time on Hilton Head. I already told you how cool Mindy and Dustin were, and about their day a bit (see below). Now for a little about our trip

I was blown away by the nature down there. you had Savannah oaks, with Spanish moss hanging down. Alligators at every other pond. All kinds of birds. We saw dolphins jumping nearly every day. And 2 worthwhile experiences to relay.

One - while Heather and I were eating dinner, at an ocean view cafe one night, just before dusk the dolphins started jumping. Probably a dozen, here and there. I had a feeling they were going to get more energetic and get their last hurrahs in, before the sun retired for the night. Just as we were watching them, one (with 2 others close by) jumped clear out the water, and then ended up doing a back flip! Very cool to see. I've never really seen them in their natural environment acting so playful.

The second really memory etching experience, was when Madalynn and I were at the beach. The life guard had run down and whistled us all out of the water. Said he had seen sharks. I ask the early 20's blond hair, tanned bod, tough guy life guard, if he saw sharks. "Yep", was his nonchalant reply. "....Sand Sharks."

"Are they aggressive?" I ask.

Ok, I could see I wasn't going to get much out of him. So, he leaves. I guess the life guards clock out at 5. He didn't post a sign, nor tell people to stay out, or stick around. So either it wasn't that big of a deal, or he just didn't care.

About a 1/2 hour later, Madalynn and I are playing at the waters edge, as I and some other beach goers, begin to witness, hundreds of fish (literally), popping out of the water like corn kernels popping, all in a confined spot. Then, you begin to see dorsal fins. Not the concave-curved friendly appearing fins of dolphins, but angular, seemingly razor sharp fins you think of sharks. 3, 4, eventually 6-10 of them. Then some thrashing at the water. It becomes clear the fish were being rounded up and now are being munched for dinner. then one jumps CLEAR out of the water. Probably 3-4' out, with a size of about 5-6ft.

The dolphins join in the fun, and for 15-20 minutes you see sharks and dolphins alike gorging themselves on this feast.

This all occurred about 300ft from the beach, and knowing that I was swimming at least 100 ft out, if not a bit further, it makes you second guess what you were swimming with.

Sorry, no pics of that, as I only had my point and shoot. That wasn't going to do much at 300 ft away, and needing the timing of a professional athlete to capture it (and the camera lag time of a pre school soccer game).

Here are some other photos around the island to enjoy. Hope you enjoyed my story :) I enjoyed witnessing it!

Oh yeah, I went parasailing with Madalynn. Had a BLAST! never done that before, but it was very cool. I'd love to try that over a clear blue ocaen sometime. The atlantic is a little murky, and nutrient rich, hence, all the wildlife.

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