Not to be confused with Tybee Island, little Tybee is an entirely different entity. You can do a quick google search and find out lots about it, but it is only accessible by Kayak or Canoe. There’s nothing at all on Little Tybee but wildlife and nature. It’s open for public camping and lots of people take day trips by Kayak to stroll the undisturbed beaches. We took our canoes, and Jango, Shannon’s 10 month old Feist puppy. We paddled over and set up camp and stayed for 4 glorious nights, from September 16-20, 2021. Here’s a good link to info about Little Tybee Island. We’d heard that parking was difficult since we brought our own canoes and had a truck and a boat trailer to park for 4 nights. We launched from 3 Alley Street. You can park there, but must pay. It’s $3.50/hour from 8am to 8pm per spot, and you need one spot for the boat trailer, and one spot for the truck. That’s about $42/day/spot. Shannon found a parking lot at the public boat launch at the Lazaretto Creek Boat Ramp where we could park for free. He dropped me and the boats off at the launch, and took an $11 Uber from his truck back to the launch. When we got back over 4 days later I Ubered back and got the truck for another $11. A Whoppin $22 for our parking vs the $336 we’d have spent if we’d parked at the launch.
It’s only about a mile paddle across to Little Tybee Island from Tybee Island, and many sites have claimed that it’s an “easy paddle”. That wasn’t the case for us. It was a bit windy, and tippy out in the open water. On the paddle over, I ended up stepping out of my boat onto an ankle deep sandbar to pull my boat along for awhile as the paddle was tough. On the way back, we were against the tide, trying to beat a rainstorm (we did), and into the wind, which made for a struggle as well. At one point on the return trip, in the midst of this scenario, Jango decided to jump out of the boat and swim for shore. Shannon had to paddle sideways to retrieve her…. neither of them were happy about it.
Once across, Shannon set up an amazing camp! We took one of his larger tents, and a tarp, as rain was forecasted. Thankfully we only saw 5 minutes of rain the whole time. He made a separate A- frame shelter with the tarp and pulled it as tight as possible to prevent rain from getting in. This proved to be nice for extra shade as well. There are trees, but they’re bare, too tall to provide much shade, and spread out. We arrived at low tide, and he’d had to survey the shoreline to figure out how far back to set it up when the tide was all the way in. He chose well, and we stayed dry the whole time. While he was setting up the camp, I was trying to be helpful by staying out of the way. There was a large plot of pluff mud that extended out from the shore at low tide, that was covered in Whelk shells. . It was slick, and a bit like walking on ice, but I couldn’t resist scavenging for shells. Most of the ones I found were occupied by either hermit crabs or snails.
We dug for clams, which not having done before, I assumed it would be a snap. It was not. After the tide went out, the mud was slick and the clams were hiding in nooks and crannies in the creeks. I dug 1 or 2 and gave up. Shannon got a couple dozen. We cooked the clams and the blue crab in some version of a Calilou stew. Ours was coconut milk, white wine, garlic and butter with clams, crab, chicken, potatoes, corn and spinach. I thought it was the best thing I’d ever eaten. Shannon said it tasted “too healthy”.
We fished a good bit. Got some bull minnows in the casting net (instead of the shrimp we’d hoped for). Shannon caught a flounder and something else that took his line (It was either a shark or a tarpon – he was fishing with mullet). When the tide was coming in one evening, we stood on the shore and watched a bunch of tarpon jumping up out of the water as they were feeding. It was really something to see.
We’d heard that we’d have phone service on Little Tybee, and we did. Shannon worked hard to figure out a system to keep our phones and his go pro and other things charged up. ALSO Saturday night was the Alabama vs Florida game and I didn’t want to miss it. He got a lawn mower battery and attached it to a USB port and we had plenty of juice to keep everything charged up and running!
Part 2 of our Little Tybee Island trip, up next!