Sunset on South Beach – Charleston, SC

At this point in my trip I had seen alligators and I would have been content if not for my parents talking about the dolphins that they seemed to see every time that they walked South Beach at sunset.  It was cold – not cold for us New Englands who had left 20 degree Winter behind us as we flew South – but 40-50 degrees is a bit cold for my version of  walk on the beach.  Still – dolphins!  Sure I’ve been to the Boston Aquarium, but I’ve never seen dolphins in the wild before.  So off we went.

There is really little else better (photographically at least) than the Golden Hour on a beach.

sunlight-on-beach.jpg

But I wasn’t there for golden sands, or even really for the setting sun (though it was magnificent) – I wanted to photograph the dolphins.  We headed towards the end of the beach were a river met the sea – this, we had been told, is where the dolphins liked to feed.

birds-warning-dolphins

We spooked the birds first – they had been feeding on the edge of the beach and didn’t enjoy us encroaching on their grounds.  As they flew out, they seemed to call to the pod of dolphins that we could just barely see on the other side of the water.  Then, in a moment, everything changed.  The dolphins swam straight for us!

dolphins3

There are moments like this in life – when nothing could be more perfect.  Time and again the pod breached and surfaced and swarmed – we couldn’t see what they were hunting and it made their display seem meant for us as they moved (seemingly in time with us) back down the beach.  Here you can see the droplets of water turn red from the light of the setting sun.

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The sun sank lower and lower towards the horizon as the dolphins fed until finally they crossed the very line of reflection of the setting sun in the water.

silhouettes on the beach watching dolphins

My brother, husband and I taking in the majesty.   (This last photograph is by my Sister-in-Law and not mine, obviously.)

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