It rained pretty hard last night but by this morning it had blown through and was replaced by a thick fog. Cali and I wandered around through the trees in the ethereal mist. Moisture dripped from the hanging Spanish moss landing in a drumming pattern on the forest floor as we walked through a lightly inhabited area of the park. I tried to take some pictures but they don’t do this amazing oak and palmetto forest justice. Interspersed among the oaks and palmettos are occasional magnolias and sycamores. We sat at a quiet bench by the lake and watched the egrets take flight to start their day.
PJ and I did a little quiet reflection before getting our day rolling. The fog was lifting and the wind was light as noon approached so we thought we would take advantage and spend our last full day at Hanna stand up paddling. We loaded up our gear and headed over to boardwalk #11. The beach had quite a few campers roaming around, some kids even braving the cold water to get in a little boogie boarding. The sun would peek out from behind the clouds every now and then but the temperature was mild hanging in the low seventies. I went out for a session first while PJ combed the beach for teeth and shells. I paddled down as far as the main pavilion by the picnic area then turned back and returned south down the coast. I caught a small wave and rode it in then turned the board over to PJ. I grabbed the boogie board and followed her out then caught some fun little beach break waves while she honed her skills paddling along the shore. When she’d had enough paddling, we both rode a bunch of snappy little waves on our body boards. We had a blast. Every day we are so grateful not to be sitting at a desk or preparing for some meeting. We got pounded until we were good and tired then went in for a little break.
We had already found a couple of shark teeth while walking down to the water so we decided to prowl the waterline and see if there were any more. It is a form of walking meditation focusing on picking out the distinct outline of the different shaped teeth from among the busy chatter of the stacks of shells and pieces of shells that they are hidden among. It’s funny how we’ve come up with our own ways of finding them. The wrack line up high has already been picked by a host of other beach combers so we like to haunt the shallow zone where the water is actively pushing everything up towards the dry sand. For me, it’s easier to spot the form of the teeth when they are moving by the way they bounce against the bottom as the wave slowly recedes back into the sea. Another group was working an area near us and I have to laugh at myself when I feel a tinge of territorialism when people venture too near. Today, we set a new high, finding eleven teeth between the two of us. We had a thoroughly enjoyable day working our bodies enough to feel the tiredness and a bit of soreness from all of the activity in the water. A light rain began to fall around 4:00, so we packed it up and headed back to camp to start putting things in order for tomorrow’s move down to St. Augustine. We laid our collection of teeth on the table and we might have enough to make an entire shark if we keep this up. We are going to miss Hanna Park, a true hidden gem.