I knew how this cruise would go. We would meander around, see the backs of a couple of dolphins, everyone would ooh and aah, and we would head back to the dock. But first we would stay out way longer than anyone was actually interested, just long enough to get incredibly bored.
I have had this experience many times.
I could not have been more wrong in this case.
We were visiting the beautiful King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on charming St. Simons Island, Georgia for a girlfriends getaway and they had offered us a shrimping excursion aboard the Lady Jane one afternoon. Even though I thought I knew exactly what to expect, I’m a travel writer always open to new experiences, so I agreed.
We headed over to Brunswick where the Lady Jane is docked, just a few minutes away from the resort. The Lady Jane is a Coast Guard certified passenger steel shrimping vessel which was used for years by the shrimping industry. With an air conditioned cabin, restroom, and a large, covered deck with plenty of room to walk around, it’s a comfortable ship to cruise on and provides a great family experience. The cruise takes place on the calm waters of St. Simon Sound, so you don’t have to worry about getting seasick on this adventure.
The three of us boarded, along with a couple of families with kids, and settled down as we cruised away from the dock. I worried about those kids, thinking they were probably going to be bored on this two hour cruise.
Again, I was totally wrong.
The boat had a large white table with sides set up and I wondered about that and about the net hanging out the back – were they going to catch something? My question was soon answered when one of the crew who was a biologist explained that they would be catching a variety of things from the sound and show them to us.
I was immediately intrigued, as was everyone else.
Once we got underway, the biologist showed us the net and explained how it worked.
He then sent the net overboard and let it troll behind the boat for a while.
After a few minutes, he brought the net back onboard. The birds in the area were pros at this and knew exactly what would happen next. They hung out on the boat, followed behind in the water, and flew around. All waiting for the tidbits that might fall out of that net.
He brought up the net and swung it over the table, then proceeded to untie it.
Out of the net poured dozens of fish, crabs, stingrays, jellyfish – it was amazing!
He had previously filled a plastic bin with water and, as he talked about the various creatures, he placed them in the water so everyone could see and touch them.
Before he placed them in the container, he held them up and talked about each one, explaining what they ate and other details. We were all fascinated.
He had a mishap with one of the local blue crabs which was astonishingly hostile and leaped, quite literally, 12 inches in the air to latch onto one of his fingers. He was amazing calm as the damn thing drew blood, merely asking for help from a crew member to get it detached. He went on talking with a paper towel wrapped around his finger to staunch the blood. Remind me to give crabs a wide berth on the beach!
I didn’t realize horseshoe crabs were in the area but these neanderthal looking creatures are all around, apparently.
Stingrays are also in the water although they are not dangerous.
Of course, the most common and popular creature found in this area is the shrimp.
They actually lowered and raised the net full of interesting creatures a total of three times and each time different creatures appeared. They have even caught small sharks in the net in the past, although we didn’t see any on this trip.
Every single minute of the trip was interesting and the kids onboard were completely entertained the whole time – but so were the adults! It’s a perfect family outing and I absolutely recommend it if you are in the area. Check the cruise schedule here; tickets are $39.95 for adults and $35.00 for kids under 6.
Full disclosure: Our experience was provided by the Credles Adventures , but as always, I will share my honest opinion about any travel experiences I have.Pin It