Friday, December 5, 2008

Day 84 (ok im warning you now this is the longest post ever!!)

We were suppose to head out today but we wanted to visit Cumberland Island.

This morning we headed up to a little boat.. trade.. thing lol it was like a garage sale. On the way back Grama and I checked out what time the ferry was heading over to the island and signed up for the 11:45 ferry. They tell you to get there at 11 and they do an orientation about the island and rules they have for visitors.

We were there on time and sat through the presentation. Part of the orientation was about the few roads and the 2 docks they had, one on each side of the island. You could be picked up on either dock at the appointed time. I thought it was hilarious when the ranger said that under no circumstances were you to attempt to touch or ride any of the animals on the island…who would be stupid enough to try to get close to a wild horse? And even if they tried there’s no way you could get that close to a wild horse.

We got to the island and again had a presentation about rules and some tips about where you can find different animals, and to make sure you keep an eye out to for shark teeth because they use the dredging from the river to maintain their roads.

We walked the beaten path towards the ocean. Since the 4:45pm return ferry was full we needed to be back in time for the 2:45 ferry so we needed to boogie. I doubted whether or not we’d see any of the horses in that time but I was determined to get to the ocean. Maybe 100 feet from where we started we heard some rustling coming from behind some trees. We kinda stopped for a moment to look and right there coming closer from the trees was a horse! He came so close and looked so calm around us he almost seemed domesticated. A moment later another came around the trees.

After watching for a while we decided to carry on. We headed up to the Dungeness ruins. Dungeness was a huge rich home…as in castle HUGE lol.



From there I noticed a few horses back in through the marsh a ways away. It was beautiful and kinda how I pictured seeing them. The one up close just seemed like a bonus lol. We kept moving and when we made it to the washrooms we saw a pregnant dun that didn’t seem to even notice how close we were.

We were starting to worry about the time because if you miss the ferry and there is no room on the last one you’re stuck there for the night…I kinda laughed at that and you probably will too but OMG they’re serious! They will not allow one passenger over there limit, rightly so, and therefore you are stuck. We picked up the pace a bit and it was like just suddenly the scenery changed and we were surrounded by pure white sand dunes and between them on the horizon you could just catch glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean.







We took off our shoes and enjoyed feeling the warm sand between our toes… but we quickly realized you couldn’t stray from the path because of some very sharp burrs lol. Eventually we came to a boardwalk that wound through the dunes and eventually led to the ocean. When we finally reached it I was so excited I didn’t even get any pics lmao.

It was the first beach that we’ve been able to walk along and stick our toes in the water… Ok maybe this trip isn’t going to be that bad after all :P lol. Papa was way behind us and Grama looked at some shells while I went to wade into the ocean. It was sooo cold but after a moment you were numb and it felt nice.

All my family must be amazed because I hate cold water lmao but this was nice. The ocean was soo calm and flat and was accompanied by a sky that was so blue and clear it was hard to tell where the ocean ended and the sky began. I just stood in the water with the smell of the salty ocean, the slightest breeze that unlike most ocean breezes was cool but warm enough for shorts and the only sound was the trickling waves. The small waves from the tide coming in were hitting the parts of my legs that weren’t numb yet and were in a way the only reminder that this was real… I think we’re on vacation now =]. I didn’t want to turn around to see Grama motioning for me to get going but I knew we had to go.

I was surprised when I just caught a glimps of Grama’s back disappearing around a dune and Papa walking towards me. I thought he was just coming to grab me but he walked straight past me without saying anything. He quickly took his shoes off and did exactly what I did…just stood in the ocean taking it all in.

We headed back to catch up with Grama and met up with a park ranger. In our chat with him we asked if there was an opening on the 4:45 ferry and he called another ranger and sure enough there was =].

We walked past the washrooms and past some of the old houses and still we couldn’t even see Grama. It wasn’t until we passed the gates of Dungeness did we see her and still she didn’t stop walking back to the dock.

Finally we got her attention, caught up to her and explained that we now had another 2hours on the island. She was kinda disappointed that we couldn’t have spent more time walking along the beach but we decided to check out the small museum by the first dock and then walk the ‘sea camp’ dock on the other side of the island.

We slowed down the pace as we were walking and kinda kept an eye on the ground for a sharks tooth lol but by now we had pretty much decided that we weren’t going to find one. It was funny because about 20 seconds after I had said that I noticed something on the ground that was pure black and not the usual white or multi coloured shell shards. I picked it up and it was a smooth sharks tooth! From there we had our eyes almost glued to the ground haha.

About a min later there was some rustling in the leaves on the ground next to the path and when you looked it was an armadillo! None of us have ever seen one out in the wild and it was actually kinda cute haha.




By then we were nearing the first dock and there they have a big opening with a few palm trees. And there were half a dozen horses right there! A little closer to us was a colt and he eyed us for a while but let us pretty close to him =].






The museum was interesting but something that’s only a 5min brows through. Grama and I left papa in the museum and continued to walk towards the ‘sea camp dock’. On the way we lingered by the horses waiting for papa to catch up.

The trail to the Sea Camp dock was very pretty, with thick oak trees with vines and Spanish moss (which they remind you all the time that it isn’t Spanish nor is it moss; it’s an air plant related to the pineapple). You can’t see more than a few meters into the woods beside the path because it’s so over grown with untamed ferns and grasses. The sky is impossible to see through the canopy of the oaks and the vines and ferns growing on their branches. But this was our least favourite part of the island. We have now been walking for about 4 hours and are starving because we didn’t pack lunches thinking we’d only be gone 2 hours. The road was straight and continued for what seemed like eternity! We kept walking…and walking… and then we walked some more! We watched and strained trying to see the end of the road where we would be at the sea camp dock but we never saw an end to the road. Eventually we came to a small path off the road and it had a sign “SEA CAMP DOCK ->”.




It was just before 4 when we reached the dock and at 4 the rangers put on a daily even. Today’s was a movie on the history of the island. Well everyone who knows me knows I am by no means a history buff, but it was really interesting watching the movie and hearing about the tribes, the countries who fought over it and the families that shaped the island.

About ¾ of the way through the movie the ferry arrived to head back to St. Marys. The one ranger told us that the 4:45 ferry was their sunset cruise and it was. I can’t believe how quickly the sun disappears after it starts to set. It doesn’t linger on the horizon for more than a second before it’s gone. While on the ferry we saw several dolphins. A bunch decided to play and swim right under the bow! In this video we are traveling 12 knots (faster than our boat can go!) and the dolphins can easily out run the ferry!

video






Your now probably thinking this is the end of the day, right? Well, yes technically the day is over the sun has set and we’ve just made it back to land. But our nights just beginning :P.

As soon as our feet hit land we took off trying to find the nearest restaurant to grab a bowl of chowder. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet but yesterday Maria met a young girl named Haley and they quickly became friends. Her and her father joined us for the thanksgiving dinner and we made plans for us to all go out for dinner tonight.

Once we had a bit to eat we went back to the boat to quickly wash up. We weren’t on the boat very long before we were called to head up to the restaurant. Since there were 9 of us we couldn’t fit in a van or anything so Ed (the dad) got us a limo xD.






We went to a little tiki bar for supper and one of the ppl that met us there ordered Gator Bites lol... so i guess i can add alligator to the list of different things I’ve tried on this trip.
Well as you can imagine as soon as we got back to the boat we sprawled out in bed and immediately passed out. All in all not a bad day =D

Niki

2 comments:

Lorraine said...

Long posts are good! Sounds like Cumberland Island is a great place to visit. Glad that you had such a nice day and evening.

Sammeh said...

jen is over and wants to say

OMG NIKI YOU ATE ALLIGATOR?! THAT'S CRAZY. ily.

^ obviously from jen x]

anyways, that was long D:
make me read a shit load. SO have you left yet? huhuhuh?
and that armadillo is sick, can you bring him back for me? :D
just ignore the laws, pretend he's dead. :]
and you are totally not a history buff I agree, you math geek :D