Saturday, January 15, 2011

Waties Island: Time Off the Usual Path

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Grand Strand Beautiful, Waties Island

Need a day away from the beach crowds of North Myrtle Beach and Cherry Grove? Would you like to find that perfect spot in the sand where you’re not smacked in the face by a frisbee or stumbled upon by a passerby? Believe it or not, there is a place down the strand where you can set up your beach headquarters, away from the invasion of other sun worshippers. Waties Island is a gem that is a wonderful stretch of beach to spend the day.

Waties Island is an undeveloped barrier island that straddles the border between North Carolina and South Carolina. An inlet separates the island off the northern tip of Cherry Grove Beach. Students from Coastal Carolina University primarily use it as a marine biology research location because of its pristine, untouched environment. It’s a beautiful place that can be a high point in your trip to North Myrtle Beach. Lots of wildlife can be found here, from sea turtles and crabs to various species of birds.

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Stranded on The Island

A couple years ago, I found myself stranded overnight on Waties Island with friends. What originally was planned as a day trip, turned into an overnight stay. We enjoyed uninterrupted sun bathing, kayaking, and swimming the entire day before eating supper on the beach while watching a gorgeous sunset. By night time, high tide came and the inlet became too aggressive to cross in the canoe and kayaks that we used earlier. Our only option was to make a camp with the canoe, kayaks, and beach towels and stay the night. Morning brought a calmer low tide and we were able to cross back to the “main land” of Cherry Grove beach.

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Leave Only Your Footprints

If you decide to have a Waties Island adventure yourself, remember to study the tide charts and cross the inlet at low tide. I’d suggest crossing in a canoe or kayak instead of swimming – fighting the strong currents of the ocean that are frequent there. Sharp oyster shells can be found on the bottom of the inlet. At the end of your visit, please remember to take all your trash and equipment with you, and to leave the island how you found it - beautiful and unpolluted.

For more information, follow this link.

Written By: Jake Foutz - Director of Marketing, Ocean Drive Beach Rentals

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