One of our guests just got back from a day at the beach and brought a most impressive collection of shells. There are a couple of reasons why the shelling could be so good right now.
The St. Mary’s River runs north of the island and the submarines use the river to get in and out of King’s Bay Naval Submarine Base. The channel was recently dredged to keep it deep enough for the subs and all of the dredgings bring up shells and shark’s teeth from the bottom of the river. The dredgings are placed on Amelia Island’s beaches as a beach restoration and protection project. The opportunity to find shark’s teeth right after a beach replenishment project is pretty good.
Another way that shells find their way to the surface is through the churning wave action of storms. Tropical Storm Fay just rolled through here a week ago and the surf was pounding. That would have really brought any buried shells to the surface. As a side note, to all of you who cancelled your reservations due to the storm, you really missed a show. We had some rain and wind for a couple of days but nothing too bad. The great part was going to the beach and watching the waves. We sat inside at the bar in Sandy Bottoms and watched through their big picture windows. The surf was high with 12 foot waves not only close to the shore but breaking further out as well.
Anyway, back to the shells that our guest found. Here is a picture of them. She identified a Lightning Whelk, Knobbed Whelk, Urchin, Scallop, Sand Dollar, Lettered Olive, Giant Atlantic Cockle, Angle Wings, Jackknife and a Dark Cerith. The biggest whelk she found was about 10 inches long.
For those of you who aren’t into shelling, the Addison also provides beach chairs and beach umbrellas for lazing a day away at the beach. Don’t forget to take a towel!