In the fall of most years, my husband and I, with one sister-in-law, spend a week at the beach, specifically a house right on the ocean front at Edisto Island. It’s a wonderfully calm beach in many ways. The small town is fairly isolated, and the main attraction is the beach itself. There are no amusement parks, big shopping districts, casinos, or theaters.
It’s a good time for reading, relaxation, and writing, and I try to do a lot of all of them. This year I had several good writing sessions, resulting in about 8,000 words on a new novel.
For a while, though, we weren’t sure we’d get to go because of Hurricane Ian, which threatened the area right before we were due to arrive. Fortunately, the storm actually made its second land fall (after screaming across Florida) farther north on the South Carolina coast, which meant the impact to the island was minimal. It hit on Friday and we were told on Saturday that the island was okay enough for us to come the next day.
The effects of the storm were very noticeable, however. The first indication of problems was walking out the front door of the house and over the dune to the beach. Only…the dune now ended in a five-foot-high sand cliff, where the storm surge had wiped out the entire front half of it. Getting down to the beach level now involved a risky slide down the cliff or walking a few houses down behind the dune to the spot where a groin had minimized the wash-out.
Walking up and down the beach made it clear that the storm had washed out a great bit of the beach. Several years ago the town had undertaken a major replenishment project that transferred enormous amounts of sand from an offshore sandbar back to the beach. A lot of that was now washed away again.
At least in this part of the beach, the tide levels are noticeably different from the last time we were there in May. Aside from the washed out dunes, we noted that high tides came up higher, nearly to the base of what remained of the dunes and low tides were lower, with that water barely covering the far ends of the groins at the lowest point.
Perhaps the saddest sight were several areas marked with stakes and tape showing turtles’ nests. Many of those were now buried in feet of new sand. It’s hard to imagine the fragile eggs survived the weight. Fortunately it’s late in what was—by reports I’ve seen—a good season for baby turtles.
But the houses seem to have survived mostly intact and the surge didn’t get to most of them.
So we got to take long walks on a lightly populated beach, enjoy the sun, surf, and sound of the waves. Have a break from the routine. Refill the bucket and also get some writing done.
I was able to get some pretty nice pictures as well: