Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Day One at Hunting Island

Monday November 19, 2012
Site 59 Hunting Island State Park
Hunting Island, South Carolina


We’re up and out on the beach just after sunrise.  Granted, these days, sunrise is not all that early.

Carrie and I head for the path to the ocean just steps from our front door.   SO SWEET!!


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (1)


It’s a cloudy day but this natural beach front with so few people is just perfect in my eyes.


 Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (2)


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (3)


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (11)


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (12)


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (13)


After a nice brisk walk on the ocean front, it’s back to Winnona to have some oatmeal pecan pancakes.  Oh my, SO GOOD!  But the dishwasher is going to have a real job cleaning up after this messy cook.

Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (20)


We meet Nancy and Bill at the Fishing pier at 1:30 and follow our leaders over bridges and along marshes to take in more of the natural beauty of this wonderful park.


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (28)


 Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (21)



 Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (41)


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (51)


I’m still trying to get that illusive Kingfisher picture.  He gave me his opinion of my efforts.

 Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (44)


Those who are lucky enough to go hiking or paddling with Nancy know that she is a super scout.  She has amazing eyes.

And today was no exception.  While we are standing on the bridge she spotted what we think is an osprey but then we see the white tail.


Across the bridge and into the woods … we find him? her?

 Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (54)


And then TWO.  Two eagles.  WOW!

Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (59)


After we ooohhed and ahhhhhed and took hundreds of pictures while they just sat around relaxing, we went on to the shoreline where there had once been a road and a dozen cabins.  We were here about this time in 2010 and 3 or 4 of the houses were in the water on their stilts.  This year only one remained.


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (61)


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (62)


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (65)


Mother Nature still has the upper hand whether we wish to accept it or not.


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (66)



Hmmm, what does she know?  What makes David smile?  Is Bill in awe??

Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (67)


We return through the woods back to the bridge and have to stop to take more pictures of this gorgeous bird.


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (69)


Crossing the bridge this time Nancy decides she wants to see a dolphin she had noticed earlier swimming up the lagoon.  She thinks it would be about right if s/he would just come on back down now.  So she calls him.  SERIOUSLY.  She calls him and our jaws drop.

Here he comes.



Carrie coined the term DPSW since Nancy wasn’t sure what she’d seen earlier and referred to it as a “Dolphin/porpoise/small whale”.
We were all sure it wasn’t a small whale and I was pretty sure it was a dolphin.  While writing the blog I asked the great google about the difference between dolphins and porpoise.
NOAA.gov gave me the following information.

All the large marine mammals belong to the order Cetacea (from the Greek work ketos, “large sea creature). The orca, or killer whale is actually the largest member of the dolphin family.

The main reason I was pretty sure we are seeing a dolphin is that Dolphins are by far more prevalent than porpoises. Most scientists agree that there are 32 dolphin species (plus five closely related species of river dolphin) and only six porpoise species.

So what is the difference? It comes down to their faces (who can forget Flipper’s famous “grin”?), their fins, and their figures. But who gets a look that close unless you are at Marineland??

Dolphins tend to have prominent, elongated “beaks” and cone-shaped teeth, while porpoises have smaller mouths and spade-shaped teeth. The dolphin’s hooked or curved dorsal fin (the one in the middle of the animal’s back) also differs from the porpoise’s triangular dorsal fin. Generally speaking, dolphin bodies are leaner, and porpoises’ are portly.

Dolphins are also more talkative than porpoises. Dolphins make whistling sounds through their blowholes to communicate with one another underwater. Scientists are pretty sure that porpoises do not do this, and some think this may be due to structural differences in the porpoise’s blowhole.

Dolphins and porpoises have many similarities, one of which is their extreme intelligence. Both have large, complex brains and a structure in their foreheads, called the melon, with which they generate sonar (sound waves) to navigate their underwater world.


And a guy in Scotland had a cool chart I’ve incorporated.  Thanks to
http://thewesternisles.co.uk/differencedolphinporpoise.htm  for the following:


Dolphin Characteristic
Difference in a Porpoise

The nose

Dolphin diifference to porpoise - snoutA dolphin usually has a pointed snout

Porpoise difference to dolphin - snoutA porpoise snout is short and blunt like a cartoon fish sketch
(never strongly pointed)


The fin

(Some species of both have no fin on their back)

Dolphin fin differenceThe leading edge of the fin on a dolphin's back is shaped like a curling wave
(Called the dorsal fin)

The lPorpoise fin differenceeading edge of a porpoise's back fin is straight.
The porpoise's fin is also triangular like a shark's


The teeth

(The difference in teeth between dolphins and porpoises reflects the difference in the fish that they catch)

Dolphin teeth differenceDolphins have pointed cone-shaped teeth

Porpoise teeth differencePorpoise teeth are flat, spade shaped, with upper edges that are long and sharp


Dolphins grow up to 12 feet long
Porpoises are usually less than 7 feet long

Dophin shape differenceDolphins are longer and sleeker in shape
Porpoise shape differencePorpoises are shorter and more compact


Dolphins produce sounds we can hear (and are talkative!)
Porpoise sounds are inaudible to us

Dolphins have much less fear of humans - will ride the waves alongside boats
Porpoises are shy - you are much less likely to see one - wild or captive.
Rarely seen at surface unless up to breathe.

Dolphins live in large groups
Porpoises live in pods of 2 - 4

Dolphins can live for more than 50 years
Porpoises do not live long past the age of 15


If there is reincarnation, this may be my choice.  But I’d also like to be a pelican or an otter.  Maybe I can get reincarnated three times.





We stop at the lighthouse …

which was AGAIN closed for maintenance.  Apparently November isn’t the time of year to come if you want to actually go inside the lighthouse.  .  In 2010 in November they were doing outside maintenance and this time it’s painting the inside.  SO we’ll have to try again maybe next year.
 YY  I do LOVE hunting island.  YY


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (26)  


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (25)


Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (31)



We stop at the boardwalk on the way to the lighthouse.  This is a great spot to watch the sunset.




Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (35)

Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (40)

Hunting Island with Nancy & Bill (74)


Thanks Nancy and Bill for a great day and spectacular sightings!


  1. I can't tell you how thrilled I am when I see an eagle in the wild. There's a magnificence about them that leaves no question as to why they were chosen as a symbol of our great country.

    A women's camping group that I belong to (wonderful women) have adopted the dolphin as a sort of "mascot" because of a passage from a Frank Delaney novel. "We do well to remember dolphins. If a dolphin ails, then others come alongside and nudge him gently through the waters; because a dolphin must keep moving in order to keep breathing. We all have need of our dolphins alongside us from time to time"

    I suspect if reincarnation does exist, Sherry, you wil surely reappear as a dolphin. :)

  2. I must say those were awesome pics of the eagles... Every year I go to a great migration spot during Christmas time along Coeur d'alene Lake in Northern Idaho. While the numbers are great, I have never got a pic as beautiful as you got that day. Good job!!

  3. What I want to know is where the Pancake Chef got that cool hat!! I'd do dishes for some of those pancake;o))

    It was a great day and nature sure was good to us:o))

  4. Well done post - since I was there, I know :) I learned SO much about dolphins! Also, I recognize some of my pictures - nice to see me in the blog too. Hunting Island is such a special place and those animal sightings were top-notch. Lucky you to still be there!!

  5. Ah, the beach...everyone is fully clothed, so must be a tad cooler, no ocean swimming :)

  6. If it were warmer, I bet you would have been swimming with that dolphin! :)

  7. It is great to be camped near the beach. Your pictures of the park are terrific!

  8. One of the BEST posts ever! Beach side, pecan pancakes, eagles, friends and family, and MORE.....can it get any better! So happy for you and that sweet man of yours!!!

  9. Hunting Island seems like a great place to be sure ... and quiet, too ... at least this time of the year. When we went to AK in 2001, they told us we would be sick of seeing eagles and by the end of the trip we wouldn't even stop to look at them when we had an encounter. They were oh so wrong ... I always stop; and I always take a zillion photos.

  10. Looks like you had a great time with Nancy and Bill, they are a hoot to hang around with.

    I know how much you love the ocean, how come you didn't take a dip? That way you could have check out the DPSW's teethe to determine if it was a D or a P.

    Nice picture of the bald eagle, I noticed they resemble Rick Doyle with his locks and beard, don't you agree? ;c)

    1. Hey, Paul! How do you figure I look like a BALD Eagle?? I'm no where near bald!

    2. Sherry, it looks like you and I are really good 'Eagle Scouts' - nice pics of the Bald Eagle and all the other photos too - great blog!

  11. reincarnate me as the eagle...

  12. Great photos! Those pancakes sound delish :)

  13. great blog, great shots, great critters, and a great day...who could ask for more.:)

  14. Hmmm...I would guess I have a porpoise shape :))))
    I just love the Eagle. So proud he is sitting in the tree. I have never had pecan pancakes, but they sound wonderful. Nice post of the differences between dolphins and porpoises, I learned a lot.

  15. Wow, such a delightful day. Nice park. I love the idea of calling in the dolphins. And seeing the eagles too.

  16. We absolutely loved the time we spent at Hunting Island in Summer 2011. . .I wrote about climbing the lighthouse and gorgeous pics of the beach. We were there right when Hurricane Irene was threatening. . .so the ocean was rather rough. . .but still beautiful.

    I'm jealous that you saw eagles. . .so majestic. . .and I laughed at your attempt to photograph the kingfisher. . .I've been attempting to get a shot of one for a couple of weeks now. I call him a "little devil." He is so quick. . .I wrote about it a couple of days ago. . .and showed my best attempt. . .I'm determined to win!

    I follow your blog in my Google Reader. . .and enjoy your posts!

    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog

  17. I want to go exploring with Nancy if DPSWs actually come to her when she calls them! How cool is that?! Nice picture of the four of you.


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