Come see what Kiawah is all about!

Miles of beautiful beach and nearly nobody else in sight!

 

 

 

 

One of South Carolina’s best-kept secrets is beautiful little island 20 miles south of Charleston. Kiawah Island is one of the best places to book beach property rentals because it offers vacationers to relax in a place of quiet tranquility at a secluded, private beachfront community.

Kiawah Island, (pronounced “KEE-a-wah”) is a resort community 20 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. One of the happiest seaside towns in America, it offers 10 miles of pristine white, and warm beaches. With so much space to spread out and so few properties on the island you’ll never have to see another vacationer if you don’t want to. Kiawah is the perfect destination for honeymooning couples or families with small children.

Bike trails galore for the adventurer in us all

For those who want to do more than rest on the beach, Kiawah Island offers 20 miles of paved bike trails meandering through wildlife and nature reserves where anyone can see the local species Kiawah is designed to protect. Stop by the Kiawah Island Nature Center to sign up for one of its nature programs which include kayak and canoe rentals, guided paddling excursions, outdoor walking tours, ocean tours, an alligator adventure, island birding, nature photography, wetland tours, fishingand motorboat excursions, sunset cruises, and so much more. Learning to ride a bike? The white-sand beaches during low-tide are a beautiful and safe place to improve your skills or get your little ones going.

Kiawah Island oceanside vacationers love the outdoors and enjoy playing tennis at one of the many tennis courts, rollerblading around the island, and at one of the island’s many exclusive golf courses. The Ocean Course at Kiawah’s Island Golf Resort will be hosting the 2012 PGA championships.

 

What a beautiful place to play!

Freshfield Village, just outside Kiawah, features exclusive shopping, art shows, live music, outdoor movies, a farmers market and lots of other events. And if you are craving even more culture just make an excursion to Charleston which is a short car ride away. It’s the cultural heart of the South with lots of historic sites, art galleries, concerts, cafes and restaurants to explore.

Vacationers on Kiawah Island  can enjoy all the benefits of a modern, well-furnished beach home with exclusive beachfront access year round. Since many homes are in private or gated communities a vacationer can enjoy perfect privacy right between a boundless nature preserve and a beautiful beach.

Want to come and see what Kiawah is all about? Book now before it’s too late!

Guest Blog – Loggerhead Turtles of North Captiva Island

On my most recent trip to North Captiva Island, I had the opportunity to go on a turtle walk with a conservationist volunteer who is responsible for reporting on sea turtle nests. It was a fascinating fact finding experience. We started before sunrise and walked for approximately 3 hours investigating turtle nests and crawls. This is what I learned.

Each summer from May through August, something wondrous happens along our beaches: An ancient mariner, the loggerhead sea turtle, leaves the water during the night and crawls ashore in North Captiva Island to lay her eggs in a sandy nest.

The task of excavating a nest may take her over an hour to accomplish. The turtle – weighing several hundred pounds – laboriously digs a nest cavity with her rear flippers.

turtle1

Turtle nest

She then deposits approximately 100 pliable ping-pong ball sized eggs into the chamber, covers them with sand and returns to the sea.

After roughly a two-month incubation period, a cluster of tiny hatchlings emerges from the sand and scrambles to the Gulf. Unfortunately, their sea-finding ability can be disrupted by lights from buildings and streets. Confused, the hatchlings wander inland and are crushed by vehicles or die from heat exhaustion in the sunlight.

 

 

 

 

Loggerhead Turtle Facts:

  • Loggerheads are air-breathing reptiles, scientific name Caretta caretta
  • The common name refers to the turtle?s large head
  • Loggerheads are the most common sea turtles in Florida.
  • Weighing 250 – 400 pounds, adults can grow to more than three feet in length.
  • Hatchlings are two inches long.
  • Nesting occurs from May through August. Hatching may extend through October.
  • The nest cavity is 18 – 22 inches in depth.
  • Incubation period of the eggs in their sandy nest is 55 – 65 days.

 

turtle tracks

turtle tracks

Danger of Extingtion
Most adult loggerhead turtles nest every other year or every third year, laying several clutches of eggs during a nesting season. Only a small percentage of hatchlings survive to maturity! Loggerhead turtles have existed on Earth for millions of years with little serious threat to their survival – until recently. Pollution, lighted beaches, loss of nesting habitat, drowning in shrimp nets and other fishing gear have contributed to the drastic decline of these and other sea turtles.

The Galapagos Islands – Spotlight: Isabella

First made famous by the great naturalist, Charles Darwin, the diverse assortment of mammals, birds, reptiles and marine life found on the Galapagos Islands make for an unparalleled look at what happens when nature is left unspoiled by the footprint of the modern way of life.

And while the Galapagos Islands have become mystified over the years, visitors shouldn’t expect to encounter freaky hybrid animals.  There are no iguana-mingos or sea-boobies, but there are plenty of marine iguanas, pink flamingos, sea lions and blue-footed boobies, as well as penguins, dolphins, whales, the famed Alcedo tortoises, and many, many other animals including Darwin’s finches.

What is a bit unique (though still far more cool than freaky) is that, besides figuring out some kind of harmonious and symbiotic relationship among themselves, these animals seem to tolerate if not welcome human presence.  There are countless stories of dolphins “dancing” in the water or mimicking tourists as they swim, or finches perching on peoples hands to grab a quick snack of seeds.

New York Times writer, Josephine Humphrey, wrote this of her experience:

“I met up with a blue-footed booby standing smack in the middle of the footpath. It made no offer to step aside and let me pass. Looking into its birdy eye, I saw . . . nothing at all. No fear, but also no aggression. No anxiety, affection, hope, recognition. Its indifference was profound, as if I were invisible, although I’d been told that if I did step too close it might jab at me with its beak. This strange fearlessness can’t be explained by any local history of kindness on the part of man. Even Darwin killed birds and ate tortoises. The blue-footed booby wasn’t afraid of me, but the name for this is not tameness. It’s genetic innocence. Since the animals evolved in the absence of man, their innocence exists at a molecular level. I saw it again in the eye of an albatross just before it turned to begin its mating dance; I saw it in the stare of a sea lion nursing her pup on the beach. The animals felt nothing for people one way or the other, yet all around them were people, including me, in love with the animals.”

Isabella is the largest of the archipelagos that make up the Galapagos Islands, which were formed right smack on the equator over a million years ago when a series of volcanoes merged.  Not many tourists visit this Island, which has the largest colony of Galapagos tortoises and picturesque beaches complete with coconut palms.

Sidenote – because of the flourishing animal life on the Islands, it is the general assumption that the plant life is just as abundant.  The Galapagos is not a lush Gilligan’s Island type place.  The Islands tend to me more barren and rocky and, in some areas, are devoid of vegetation entirely, mostly due to the recent volcanic activity.

Puerto Villamil is the main “hub” of Isabella and thrives mostly on fishing, tourism and agricultural activities.  With its sandy streets it is a welcomed escape from the more touristy Islands of the Galapagos.  There are very few motor vehicles and the whole town seems to adapt to the slow pace of the local tortoises.  Villamil has friendly (mostly Spanish-speaking) locals who are happy to point you in the direction of the nearest great place to find a hammock and relax, swim and snorkel – all within walking distance from the main drag.  The town has a good selection of accommodations and small seafood restaurants.  In Isabella there are no banks, so remember to bring enough cash to last you your entire stay.

But before you book your flight to Isabella, stay tuned for upcoming articles exploring the other Islands of the Galapagos…