A fun week comes to an end when all of the Escapees hitch up and leave Jekyll Island for all points on the compass. With the exception of the Trolley tour of St. Simons Island on Monday morning and the visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Rescue Center on Tuesday morning, we spent most of our time exploring the tidal creeks and bays inland of Jekyll Island. We went trawling aboard the shrimp boat, Lady Jane, and learned what inhabits the waters of the Golden Isles of Georgia by sorting through what we caught in the 20 ft. experimental trawl. This wasn't the first time at this activity for me. As a young fisheries biologist right out of graduate school, I hauled a lot of trawls this size in by hand. This trip we the job was much easier with the aid of a winch and davits to lift the net to empty it. Big Georgia white shrimp, butterfly rays, southern kingfish, a lookdown, a tonguefish, hogchoker, a few squid, some jelly fish and even a small bonnethead shark were dumped on the sorting table for everyone to examine and pick up if they wanted. I was surprised Sue picked up the shark. After sorting through the catch, we were treated to a Low Country Boil (shrimp, andouille sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob) for dinner. On Wednesday morning, half of the group, me included, went back out on the Lady Jane to try our luck at bottom fishing. Fishing was a little slow, but the second place we tried, I caught 4 average size southern kingfish (whiting). Other than a small stingray, it was pretty slim picking for the 10 or 12 fishermen on board. Today, we went on a dolphin tour. We didn't see any until just before we started to head back to the dock. We ran across a pod of 4 or 5 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins fishing in the shallows of one of the tidal creeks. We followed them around a while before heading home.
This was our second HOP. They are a lot of fun and are a good way to meet people from all over the country with similar interests in the RV lifestyle. We're hoping to be able to attend the Guns and Ammo HOP in Tuscon next spring after the Escapade in Tucson. We'll be hitching up tomorrow morning and starting to head north. We're hoping to be able to spend a couple of days on the Outer Banks, but the weather next week doesn't look good and with Hurricane Matthew brewing in the Caribbean and expected to head north in 3 or 4 days, the weather forecast is a little unsettled. We don't want another TS Bill experience. Stay tuned.