This day was planned to be a short one driving to Edisto Island, another part of the Low Country and not far from Charleston. Took our time packing up and wandering down the back roads to our new digs at the Beach State Park. This place turned out to be our most favorite of the trip, at least thus far. The campground is right on the beach, with our campsite just over the dunes and within ear shot of the waves.
Stopped at the grocery store to get groceries for a spaghetti and salad dinner and decided to eat the salad for lunch and the spaghetti for dinner later. Perfect plan and easy to manage in our small kitchen space. The temperatures were still warm and balmy so we set up the chairs and table outside and relaxed a bit to the sounds of the sea. Perfect. After some relaxing time we took off walking the beach hunting for shells and letting Abby swim. I even relaxed enough to read my book and enjoy a quiet supper and a little local tv.
Friday December 14
This morning I got up early enough to watch the sunrise over the beach and see the flocks of pelicans and pods of dolphins swimming south along the shore as if they were going to town to work. We skipped breakfast and went to town to talk to the local kayak shop about local kayaking areas. I can’t believe that I never thought about the tide part of estuary kayaking, but I am sure glad that someone mentioned it. We found out the tides were just right for what we wanted to do if we left quickly, so we headed for the Live Oak dock on Big Oak Creek and turned uptide towards the refuge areas. At first the ride seemed a bit boring, without much variety in the views, but as we continued, things started to become more interesting. It’s as though it takes a bit of time to settle into a new area, and feel what it has to offer. There were a lot of birds, egrets, herons of several kinds, terns, and others that I didn’t recognize. Along the waterways are big southern low country houses with boathouses as big as cabins and big sailboats moored. I bought a waterways map so had a bit of an idea of which way to go and found a place called “the Neck” which turned out to be a very exclusive neighborhood off huge homes along the waterfront. It was fun wandering around in there for a time before the tide turned and it was time to head back down. For once, the kayaking was downhill both ways instead of the usual uphill hill where we are either fighting current or wind. This time there was a bit of wind, but the tide was stronger and the paddling was fast and smooth. Both of us were getting a bit tired, though, and ready to be home when suddenly a dolphin surfaced in front of me. Talk about highlight, kayaking with dolphins is really something. They are so graceful and beautiful and very fast. Of course, there’s a bit of apprehension that accompanies the excitement because who knows if they will bump your boat or something!! One particular dolphin stayed with us a long way, surfacing and diving sometimes within 20 feet of us, but most of the time he was a few hundred feet on the right.
It was the final delight in a lovely day that was marred a few moments later by a nasty fall as Mo tried to get out of her kayak at the landing and slipped and fell on the cemented oyster shells along the rocks. She was cut in several places and bruised or broke a rib, blood falling everywhere into the water and that sick sick feeling when you don’t know how bad it is and if you need a doctor or not. We had laundry in the car so tore up a towel for bandages and managed to stop the bleeding but it was scary for a time thinking she might need some stitches. I did the classic thing that my daughters will remember clearly. Someone gets injured I get sick, really sick, to the point of throwing up. Now that’s really helpful! We managed to get to the park headquarters only to find out that the nearest emergency care was 50 miles away in Charleston. Maybe there was a doctor on the island, but who knows if we could have found her if necessary. After lots of soaking in salt water and a drive back to the campground, we found the first aid kit, cleaned it all up, and decided that butterfly bandages for the cut would be all the doctor would do anyway, and a broken rib is one of those things that you just deal with as well, so we nixed the need for a doctor.
Mo is so incredibly stoic in these kinds of situations, and just plodded along dealing with it. After I got over being sick, I did ok as well, and all turned out ok in the end, except Mo is pretty sore from the fall and banged up a bit here and there. Her finger seems to be closing up just fine, however, and I’m grateful for that.
Ended another day with a long walk on the beach after eggs and potatoes for an early supper. All in all, a good day, in spite of the moment of scariness. It did make me think of how scary it can be to deal with that kind of thing sometimes, especially if it’s really bad. I’m so glad it wasn’t.