Day Three on Dog Island

Walking the Dog Island Beach, Imagining Yesterday

A good breakfast of shredded wheat and milk was just what we needed for our long walk the next day, down to the tip of the island where Gulf and bay become one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I could feel the sand scrubbing the dead skin away, smoothing, detoxifying.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We saw our first human today. He was walking back to the round house on stilts, a book in his hand. Looked like a journal, maybe a Bible? He waved at us, we waved at him, and it seemed enough. Paw prints, footprints, and bird’s feet in the sand were dead giveaways that someone had walked the beach before us that morning, but we did not see a soul in any direction. Holes in the sand hinted at a mollusk presence underfoot.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The beach butterflies were everywhere, charming us as they flitted around our bodies as we walked. They seemed to be searching in the seaweed for something; we knew not what. Later we would learn the island is in the path of the Monarch butterfly migration, and they arrive, like snowbirds, for winter in the south. Frightened ghost crabs scurried away at our approach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We gathered shells and sponges and driftwood. There were loads of scallop shells, but they didn’t have the variety of shells that we do here on the southwest coast. No Scotch Bonnets, no Cat’s Paws.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We watched a school of dolphin feed off smaller fish in the water as pelicans rode the waves.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Completely alone, we sat at the tip of the island and wondered if that spit of mainland was St. Mark’s.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
As we turned back in our walk, made heavy now with our burden of seashells and driftwood, I followed in my husband’s footsteps, seeking firmer ground. “This is the way the Indian couples did it long before us,” I think as my mind’s eye imagines that ancient man and woman walking the beach, scavenging what they seek. I marveled again at how little mankind changes over the generations. Man. Woman. Survival.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A lunch of Gouda cheese and crackers and sliced summer sausage and dried cranberries tasted wonderful and we sat, side by side, watching the waves that mesmerized, a strange combination of rhythm broken by the unexpected. The waves roll in with regularity but they crest and break in different places.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I took a pillow and comforter down to the low swing for a nap just as the air was turning. The comforter, folded twice, was just enough cushion to make things comfortable and the pillow was soft. A taller person might not have found it as agreeable, but it made a perfect cradle for me, the movement as gentle as the breeze that came in on a whisper, soft on my skin. The sun peeked in and out and the sky turned cloudy and spit a bit of rain at us, but not enough to persuade us to move.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of course, there is another side (the bay side) of this island, and plenty of time for exploring on another day.

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Day Three on Dog Island

  1. Richard Posner

    It looks and sounds austerely beautiful and I’d probably enjoy spending a couple of hours there, exploring. Any longer on a deserted beach and I’d begin to lose my sanity.

  2. suzanne

    this description is so much what i do on Anegada and on Barbuda, altho’ i usually am walking by myself because i just need to. Jeff will usually do one walk a day w/me, but i’m up early and out walking Definitely MY kind of vacation!

  3. Susan R

    Reading this makes me feel as if I am right there with you! I can hear the waves and feel the warm, moist air and the damp sand beneath my feet.

Leave a Reply