Saturday, November 5, 2011

Camping at Hunting Island

I took the older girls and friends camping to Hunting Island (well, we camped nearby). We left Saturday (Oct. 15th) and returned the next day. The girls should have planned it more, but because we were having difficulties all being in the same place on the same day, it mostly fell to me and my friend Angela. We decided to go check out Hunting Island State Park, and spent most of the day there. We went down to the boneyard area (because HONTESTLY, it is the most beautiful place in the world) and the girls had a ball climbing around the "fallen warrior" trees.
Here, they all crossed a fallen tree to climb up and see the ocean.
Group picture
Then we headed over to the main beach. I talked to them about the erosion and efforts to slow it on this barrier island, caught a ghost crab, moved upwind from a dead horseshoe crab, and looked for shells and shark teeth.
After the beach we crossed the street (and drove about a mile) to the marsh access. We ate a quick, tailgating lunch, and walked the boardwalk out to the hammock. As always, the fiddler crabs were delightful (although not as many were out due to the tide).If you're able to watch the video, you can hear the sound they make scurrying along.
video to come
As always, the best way to view fiddler crabs is on your stomach.
We raced back to the campgound, paid, and then immediately left to meet up with Angela's sister Kristen. She and her husband offered to take the girls crabbing and shrimping. We drove out to a tidal creek in their neighborhood, and were soon catching crabs. It was essentially a giant safety pin on a string, with a chunk of chicken on the end. When you felt the crabs tugging you carefully pulled them up and scooped them up in the net.
I think everyone ended up catching at least one, because as a group, we caught around 21.
After crab fishing for a bit, the girls learned to throw a shrimp net. We would only catch one or two at a time because we weren't really in the right place, but the girls had a great time trying. I think they had the best time daring each other to pop off the heads and tails...... then wipe their hands on each other.
After catching crabs, you have to cook them (they were champs at dropping the blue crab into boiling water), and peel them. We were very thankful to have Tab show them which parts to eat and which to toss. They all jumped in, and quickly realized how much work it is for just a little bit of crabmeat.
Then back to the campground, set up your own tents, make fettucini to go with the crab and shrimp, and then jump into tents to chat for a bit (after smores and banana boats of course)
BUT beware the dreaded green caterpillar that stings two folks for sitting on them (note to self.... those anti-sting wipes made a world of difference between the welts of the two victims - one who used the wipe, and one who waited). Someday the caterpillar will be a beautiful IO moth, but on that night it was NOT well received.

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