Turtle experiences, such as a turtle release on Jekyll Island, create lasting, happy, joyful memories. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC) is an active hospital with a primary goal of treating turtles and releasing them back into the wild. An injured turtle might be cold-stunned from the Atlantic coastal waters, a boat may have hit it, or it might have so many barnacles covering it that it can no longer move. Visit the Turtle Center to see these animals recovering. You can view turtle surgeries, attend turtle feedings, or watch the turtles swimming in their temporary homes.
Seining refers to a method of fishing. Imagine a 4 foot by 20 foot net, attached to poles on either end. The bottom edge is weighted so that it sits just above the ground. Two people each take a pole and pull the net through the water, catching fish, shrimp, crabs, and other ocean animals in the process. People have used this method of fishing for thousands of years. The length of the nets varies, and you can also seine using boats.
Although it’s not uncommon to encounter turtle nests on the island, baby turtle hatchings are a rare sight. The southern end of Jekyll Island provides a remote and protected stretch of beach where sea turtles lay eggs every year. A walk from St. Andrews Picnic Area toward the sunken shrimp boat provides a glimpse of many sights of nature. Here you can see nests that have been marked and roped off by Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC) patrols.
Sandpipers are a number of species in the large family of shore birds known scientifically as Scolopacidae. Since different species of sandpipers can have different bill lengths, they don’t tend to compete for the same food. So they can coexist in the same areas. Nerve receptors in the tips of their bills let many sandpipers find their prey through touch, odor, and pressure changes and gives them the ability to hunt at night. You can frequently find them at the water’s edge, pecking for a meal.
The following are some species of sandpipers that are common to Jekyll Island.
What could be more romantic than a moonlit horseback ride along the beach? And you can do just that courtesy of Three Oaks Farm. Head to the north end of Jekyll Island and turn onto Camp Creek Road, just across from the campground. Very shortly you’ll come to the Three Oaks horse paddock staging area on your left. Once you’re outfitted and ready to go, you’ll ride into the marsh just east of the road and head for the beach for an hour or more of fun. When you reach the water, you’ll probably see the St. Simons Lighthouse blinking its warning to the north. If it’s still light enough, you might see pelicans flying by or diving for fish. If you’re lucky, you might even see dolphins swimming in the ocean.
St. Andrews Beach
Walking from the St. Andrews Beach parking lot to the southernmost point of Jekyll is one of our favorite hikes on the island. On this walk you’ll see Little Cumberland Island, gorgeous stretches of Georgia beach, the mast of a buried shrimp boat, and you’ll likely see many shore birds. The round trip from the parking lot along the beach to the shipwreck and back is a little over a mile. But you might want to increase the distance of the hike by walking further along beach.
The St. Andrews Picnic Area parking lot is located off of Riverview Dr. on the southwest side of the island. Our usual route has us heading to the beach and turning left or south. Follow the coast until you see mast of the sunken shrimp boat. You can also take a short detour north from the parking lot to a lookout tower that provides a nice view.
Sunrise Biking on the Beach
There was a thunderstorm offshore this morning. It made for a beautiful sunrise. Snapped this shot from the beach right by our house. Folks were just standing and staring at the horizon. Shrimp boats plying the local waters and a dolphin looking for breakfast. What a wonderful way to start my morning!
We spent a week on Jekyll this summer visiting my parents and my sister’s family. Two boys attended Turtle Camp at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Here are some of our day-to-day activities.
Great beach day. Sunny skies with a few white fluffy clouds. Waves are the right size for us to use boogie boards, with folks using paddle boards just a little further out, while the pelicans are diving for lunch.
Those dots are our kites. Great day too fly them, with the breeze blowing of the water they lifted into the air right out of our hands.