By Vicki Hogue-Davies
Sea Turtle Talk
May through October is sea turtle nesting and hatching season on Sea Island. Last year, there were 41 nests, down from 86 in 2013 and 102 in 2012, but as Sea Island naturalist Raleigh Nyenhuis explains, 2014 was a very low nesting season for the entire Georgia coast and it is believed the lower nest count was due to a natural trend.
Female sea turtles lay approximately 100 eggs up to four times during the season and will nest beginning at 30 years old up to 90-plus years. Last summer Georgia saw three generations nesting on its beaches.
Ninety-nine percent of nesting female turtles at Sea Island are loggerheads, which, like all seven species of sea turtles, are listed as threatened.
“Two years ago, Sea Island had one green sea turtle nest, and last year we had one leatherback nest,” Nyenhuis says, adding that the leatherback is the largest of the species. Leatherbacks, which survive only on jellyfish, can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh as much as 1,500 pounds. Sea Island’s nesting leatherback measured approximately 4 feet, 6 inches.
The Sea Island wedding team facilitates approximately 60 weddings a year. Here, the team shares some fun facts about Sea Island nuptials:
For information about hosting your own celebration at the resort, please contact the Sea Island wedding team. (seaislandwedding.com; 912-634-4422)
The number of pounds of bananas in a 100-foot-long banana split built by Sea Island’s culinary team with the help of Jerry Greenfield from Ben & Jerry’s. It also contained 30 gallons of ice cream, 3 gallons each of chocolate, pineapple and strawberry sauce, 1 gallon of cherries and 20 cans of whipped cream. It took 20 chefs less than five minutes to assemble … and 10 minutes for the kids to eat it!
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Member Brooke Sumerford
Brooke Sumerford and her husband, Rees, have been Sea Island members since the mid-1970s. The couple visited Sea Island for their honeymoon in 1972, fell in love with it and decided to move to the area, where they raised their two children.
Her favorite …
Sound at Sea Island: Children laughing and playing at the Beach Club
Sweet treat: A Gold Brick Sundae
Sea Island activity: Zumba classes in the Fitness Center
Cocktail: Vodka soda with a splash of cranberry at any of the restaurants
Sea Island memory: Coming home from church, changing into swimsuits and heading to the Beach Club with the children for the Sunday kids’ pool activities
Way to get close to nature on the island: Walking on the beach
Early morning start: Taking in the view of the marsh from her back porch
Member Carl Szczesniak, M.D.
Carl Szczesniak, M.D., and his wife, Katherine, first stayed at Sea Island for their honeymoon in 1996—and they have returned frequently to vacation. They visited as a couple, and then with their children, Preston and Aynsley. Two years ago, they became members and purchased property in the place that has played such a big role in so many memories.
His favorite …
Outdoor activities: Fishing off the docks with Preston and Aynsley and walking on the beach with Katherine during sunset
Meal: Thanksgiving brunch in The Cloister Ballroom, which Szczesniak describes as “an elegant experience”
Time of year: Spring, when he’s able to “see the azaleas in bloom and enjoy the warming temperatures”
Spot for relaxing: On one of the indoor pool lounge chairs at The Spa at Sea Island and Fitness Center
Summer Memory: Building sandcastles with his children on the beach; each year they get more creative and complex
Way to end the day: A trip to Wonderland for ice cream with the kids
Smell on Sea Island: A pizza or pasta dish from Tavola, but “everything there is exceptional,” he adds