“Come here, Carol! What’s this?!”
This phrase was uttered quite a bit by me, my boys, my husband and father-in-law on Sunday.
We were exploring the tides with “Coastal Carol” of Coast Encounters in Wells. Carol takes small groups out for intertidal excursions on the rocky coast of Maine. It’s an experience worth seeking out if you are ever in my beautiful state.
As the summer comes to an end, the trip to the tidal pools near Moody Beach was our last hurrah. The weather was perfect, and the sea creatures were active.
Good thing because Labor Day was a complete washout.
We met Carol at her house on the beach and were introduced to some of the intertidal animals in her tank. The boys were particularly excited to pick up the sea stars (formerly known as starfish, as we learned).
We then drove down the road about a mile and found a great spot with lots of tidal pools.
Carol instructed us to first walk over the rocks and seaweed “high and dry” and then “low and slow,” as the terrain became more slippery the closer we got to the water’s edge.
We scoped the area and were told to start exploring. Turning over rocks (and then turning them back over when we were done) was encouraged. We even had a net for the things we couldn’t quite get with our hands.
Carol was there to answer questions, tell us about what we were seeing and identify all the sea creatures. She even noted a few kinds of seaweed we could eat. (G and I found them to be salty. Go figure.)
Biz named this crab “Sharky.” We found him with his girlfriend, “Hutch.” Let’s just say they were somewhat involved when we overturned the rock that was over them. We later put them back under the rock and let them get back to their business. (Side note: I learned that female crabs mate after they molt. I also can now tell the difference between a male and female crab.)
G and my husband lingered a bit in the tide pools. It was hard to leave.
How did you spend your Labor Day weekend?
Full disclosure: I wrote Carol’s website and received a complimentary intertidal excursion, though the post was not required for the exchange. I wrote about it because I wanted to and it was an awesome experience. The words are my own.