Must Sea TV

marinebiologist.jpg

Recently, we got to spend a few days on the ocean in South Carolina. The weather was perfect, the beach was spectacular, and Cait and I enjoyed a game we’ve been known to play for hours at a time. We’ve dubbed it “Must Sea TV.” It’s a simple game, really. You just bend over –or, better yet, get down on your knees (Cait’s demonstrating the proper pose for you above)– and investigate all the sea life the tides reveal.

Because this beach was part of a barrier island, the sea life was particularly abundant. Cait got to see her beloved dolphins swim by several times. We watched dozens of pelicans dive-bomb the water. And we saw all kinds of creatures we’d never seen before. But mostly we watched our Sea TV.

I know this isn’t nearly as cool as seeing it live, but watch as the bivalves we’ve uncovered disappear by burying themselves back in the sand. (If you were seeing it live, they’re amazingly fast– 1-2-3-gone.)

kiawah-015.jpg
kiawah-016.jpg

kiawah-017.jpg

kiawah-018.jpg

Here’s a close up of one little guy gettin’ out of town.

kiawah-041.jpg kiawah-042.jpg kiawah-044.jpg

Going… Going… Gone!

And, sadly, that’s how fast our time there went.

11 thoughts on “Must Sea TV”

  1. We just got back from a couple of days at the beach. Next time, we will definitely do “Must Sea TV”, my girls will love it. The disappearing bi-valve photo is great.

  2. I just love South Carolina. Love, love, love it. Your pictures (and your trip!) look beautiful and I’m sorry for you that the trip had to end. *Sigh*

  3. Yes, Sunshine, they’re little clam-like shells. I’m trying to find the name for them.

    You didn’t send readers off-course. We saw lots of crabs too!

  4. Now I know what your’re talking about, I missed it the first time. Your talking about what look like very minature clam shells. We do get those on the Pacific but usually we see them washed up on shore open after the little guys have died. I have however, enjoyed them alive as “Must Sea – TV” on a couple very rare occasions as a child. Sorry for sending some of your readers off course here. My appologies!!

  5. Yes, we saw lots of sand crabs too. The thing that was so cool about the bivalves was that if you stuck your hand in the hole where you dug, the sand would be vibrating from their movements. It was cool and weird.

  6. Cool pictures. I could spend hours at the ocean. It’s the Pacific we visit here, until the dogs find a dead seal or something.

  7. Ohhh!! I used to do that with my brother. We would put them in a plastic cup with sand and watch them bury themselves, and then we would let them go.

    My favorite thing to do at the beach is watch the pelicans. They’re such amazing creatures… Thanks for sharing!

  8. I used to love digging up “sand crabs”. I would fill a big bucket with wet sand to temporarily transfer them to so I could watch them a little longer. Then after several minutes I would release them back into the sea. Thanks for bringing back a great memory.

  9. Karen,

    You so vividly and beautifully captured on film, and in words, one of my favorite childhood memories. Growing up on the beach we spent hours with “Must Sea – TV”, only we didn’t have the cute name for it.

    Thanks for the awesome pictures!! Those little critters do move very fast. As a child I knew them as “sand crabs”. I remember how they could tickled if you scooped them out of the dripping wet sand. As the sand washed through your fingers those little guys could tickle like no other as they scurried off your fingers and dropped down to the sand. They seemed to vanish below the surface as if into quick sand, the moment they touched the ground. Yet, you had to work to scoop them back up again, proving just how hard they were actually working to dissappear so quickly.

    Your right, vacations don’t ever last long enough. We’re head back to Mendocino ourselves in the next month. Perhaps I’ll treasure every moment more for you having shared this precious wisdom!!

    Thanks – I always love your writing!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top