Shark Days

July 24 - 29, 2018

The third annual Shark Days on Little St. Simons Island begins on Tuesday, July 24th for five nights!  

Join us with special guest experts, Captain Brooks Good, Dr. Eric Reyier, Dr. Bryan Franks and Dr. Jim Gelsleichter to learn more about, and interact with, these fascinating creatures.

 Shark Tagging

Highlights of Shark Days Include: 

  • Kickoff presentation by Captain Brooks Good, focusing on catching, identifying and releasing the various species of sharks found in nearby waters.
  • Charter fishing excursion where all participants will get to go out on Captain Brooks’ fleet of fishing boats to catch and release sharks in local waters.  Dr. Jim Gelsleichter will join us to tag the sharks, collect data and teach us before releasing the animal.
  • Surf fishing and shark tagging from Little St. Simons Island’s beach with our staff naturalists and Drs. Reyer and Franks. 
  • Learn about and observe Dr. Reyier’s research project on Little St. Simons Island, evaluating the potential for the Island’s creeks to be vital pupping ground for newborn lemon sharks.
  • Dr. Jim Gelsleichter will teach us about shark reproduction and life cycle, featuring exciting topics like oophagy and intrauterine cannibalism!  

FIVE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,725**  (Special Offer:  Save $500 when booked by 6/1/18)

~Arrive July 24th and depart July 29th.

THREE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $1,575**

~Arrive July 24th and depart July 27th. 

TWO-NIGHT WEEKENDER ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $1,300**

~Arrive July 27th and depart July 29th.

Package rate includes lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.

In addition to the typical inclusions, this special event includes:

  • Two spots on the charter fishing trip 
  • Presentations by special guest experts
  • Scientific data collection and observation with special guests

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

**Charter fishing trip is subject to weather.

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

Captain Brooks Good

Brooks GoodIn addition to having over 25 years’ experience fishing around the Golden Isles, Captain Brooks worked as a state biologist for over a decade.  His scientist-sportsman perspective is both fun and enlightening.  Brooks and his crew at Coastal Outdoor Adventures catch and release thousands of sharks each summer. (Below: Capt. Brooks demonstrating fish size exaggeration technique.)

 

Dr. Eric Reyier

Dr. Eric ReyierEric Reyier works as a fisheries biologist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida. Originally from Seattle, he fell in love with sunshine and is now on year seventeen of a planned two year Florida adventure where he has studied everything from tiny larval fishes to adult sharks.

His current research focuses on using acoustic telemetry and other emerging technologies to resolve the habitat preferences, seasonal migrations, and spawning locations of estuarine and coastal fishes in east Florida and throughout the southeastern United States.

 

Dr. Jim Gelsleichter

Dr. Jim GelsleichterDr. Gelsleichter has conducted research on sharks and their relatives for more than 20 years.   He is currently an associate professor of Biology at the University of North Florida (UNF) where he teaches courses in shark biology, endocrinology, and toxicology.  Jim also manages the UNF Shark Biology Program which recently took over shark surveys in southeast Georgia. 

 

Dr. Bryan Franks

Bryan FranksDr. Franks is the Assistant Professor of Marine Biology at Jacksonville University.  Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Franks has lived in Florida and the Caribbean since 2002.  He completed his doctoral research over a 3 year period at the Bimini Biological Field Station (Shark Lab), studying juvenile lemon sharks. After earning his PhD, he served an additional 3.5 years as the managing director of the station. 

His research over the last 15 years has mainly focused on aspects of the biology and ecology of coastal shark species including movements, diet, behavior, and population dynamics


Turtle Days

July 30 - August 19, 2018

Loggerhead sea turtles were federally listed as a threatened species in 1978 as the result of significant declines in nesting populations.  Federal and state agencies developed and implemented a recovery plan for sea turtles in the early 1980's.  

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Since then GA DNR Non-Game Conservation Section of the Wildlife Resources Division began a coast-wide monitoring project to determine nesting success on all Georgia beaches and to ensure conservation efforts through education, law enforcement and research.  Now, decades later, the number of nests in Georgia suggest that these long term efforts are proving fruitful.  Shattering all previous records, 2016's nesting season gave us 223 nests - nearly 100 more than the previous year's record count!

Elise with Sea Turtle Eggs

Come celebrate the success of sea turtles on Little St. Simons Island.  Turtles begin laying eggs in May, and by July and August, many of these nests will hatch.  In addition to our regular naturalist-led activities such as birding, fishing, hiking and kayaking, we will be offering special sea turtle focused activities and educational opportunities July 30 - August 19, with the anticipation that the bulk of our nests will hatch during this time frame.   

 During this time, you may have the opportunity to:

  • Experience sea turtle monitoring techniques
  • Participate in a post -hatch nest excavation and data collection
  • Learn about sea turtle nesting and conservation efforts to restore populations in evening presentations

There may also be the chance to:

  • View sets of tiny turtle tracks from a nest to the ocean
  • See a hatchling making his way out of a nest to the ocean

Baby sea turtle

 

 

What you should know: Wildlife-based events cannot be guaranteed, as they are dependent on location, weather and timing of the hatch.  Staying more nights increases your odds of seeing a hatch and nest excavation.  While we have a two-night minimum, we advise those particularly interested in witnessing a turtle event to book five to seven nights.

Because of conservation initiatives, Little St. Simons Island does not permit motorized vehicles on our beach. Therefore, getting to and from nests will be on foot or bicycle.  This can be a terrific workout!

To make reservations, call 888.733.5774 between 9:00a and 5:00p EST, or click on the "Book Now" tab at the top of the screen.


Fall Birding Days

September 28 - October 4, 2018

Celebrate the fall migration on Little St. Simons Island! Guest ornithologists join our staff naturalists on excursions highlighting the abundance of species that flock here during this special time. 

 

SEVEN-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $4,625**

~Arrive September 28th and depart October 5th

FOUR-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,500**

~Arrive October 1st and depart October 5th

THREE-NIGHT WEEKENDER ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2125**

~Arrive September 28th and depart October 1st.

Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

Guest Ornithologists: Georgann Schmalz

Georgann SchmalzGeorgann Schmalz has been sharing her passion for birds in one way or another her entire career.  After receiving her graduate degree from Clemson University, she began teaching at Fernbank Science Center in DeKalb County, Georgia for almost 30 years.  Her role at Fernbank included teaching ornithology, ecology and animal behavior to grades K-12 along with numerous adult workshops.

In addition to teaching, Georgann has written over 45 articles for the Fernbank Quarterly and The Oriole, the journal of the Georgia Ornithological Society.  She began and operated a  MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station in Fernbank Forest, conducted schoolyard wildlife habitat workshops for the staff and students for DeKalb County Schools, and is a certified instructor-trainer of ProjectWild, Project Learning Tree and Project Wet.

Georgann is a three time Past-President of the Atlanta Audubon Society, creating an Audubon Master Birder Program and an annual Wildlife Sanctuary Tour of gardens in the Atlanta area.  In addition, she has written a bird and forest curriculum for Our Shared Forests, a joint program between the Maquipucuna Foundation of Ecuador and the State Botanic Gardens and UGA.

Georgann began her own business, Birding Adventures, Inc., and has continued teaching workshops, conducting local field trips, wildlife consulting, and leading birding trips across the United States, Central and South America.

Georgann has produced Bird Songs of Georgia. The 4 CD set includes an instructional narration for each species` voice and examines its physiographic location in Georgia, its habitat and voice mnemonics. The fourth CD contains 18 habitat tracks that make a great learning aid for helping the listener hear and recognize each song. 

Guest Ornithologists: Adam Betuel

Adam BetuelAdam Betuel was introduced to the world of birds and birding at the age of 16 and has never looked back. Shortly after he began his studies at Ohio State University, where he earned a degree in Zoology, Adam was lucky enough to take a position at the university’s museum of biological diversity. While there, Adam met graduate students who introduced him to the exciting world of field ornithology. Adam went on to conduct avian research on marsh birds in Florida, Purple Martins in North Carolina, Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows in Ohio, and spent a summer in Paraguay cataloguing the country’s bird diversity. After a few years of field research, Adam spent five years studying the White-throated Sparrow in Upstate New York and Indiana while a graduate student at Indiana State University.

After leaving Indiana State, Adam became the first conservation director for Atlanta Audubon. In this role, he manages multiple conservation programs, including bird banding projects and Project Safe Flight Atlanta that focuses on the issues of bird-building collisions. Adam also teaches workshops, oversees multiple citizen science programs, leads birding tours in the southeast and internationally, and dedicates time to many other projects designed to make Atlanta a place where birds and people thrive.

Adam has been published multiple times in scientific journals and featured on various media outlets. He particularly enjoys participating in citizen science programs and leading field trips for birders of all levels. He is an admitted sparrow lover and eBird fanatic and is very interested in full-life cycle conservation and breeding behavior. Adam has long had an interest in the birds of the Neotropics and currently serves on the board for Para La Tierra, a conservation and environmental education organization in Paraguay. During the rare occasion he is not birding, Adam is a craft beer nerd and busy being a new dad to his daughter Cora Teal (yes, she had to have a bird name!)   

Possible Sightings Include:

black-crowned night heron
reddish egret
Caspian tern
royal tern
long-billed curlew
piping plover
black-bellied plover
glossy ibis
marbled godwit
black-necked stilt
American oystercatcher
Northern harrier
red knot
American bittern
marsh wren
great black-backed gull
nighthawk
osprey
brown thrasher
ruby throated hummingbird
yellow warbler
American redstart
Eastern kingbird
blue-winged teal
bald eagle
anhinga
and many, many more!

 

Fall Birding Days

Likely Sightings Include:

 

 

Photo by Pete Oxford

Photo by Pete Oxford

Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Brad Winn

Photo by Ian Davies

Photo by Ian Davies

Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Ian Davies


Marine Debris Cleanup

December 2 - 5, 2018 & January 13 - 16, 2019

Little St. Simons Island’s many treasures include our seven-mile stretch of undeveloped beach and thousands of acres of marsh. More than just a beautiful landscape, these are prime habitats for a variety of species of wildlife. Although mostly pristine, it is not uncommon to find manmade debris on our island.

Because of the connectedness of the seas, marine debris is a widespread issue facing the world’s oceans and coastal ecosystems.  Last year alone, we removed over two thousand pounds of debris from our beaches and marshes. In cooperation with the Ocean Conservancy and Rivers Alive of Georgia, we have not only been cleaning up our beach, but documenting every piece of marine debris that we remove. This information is submitted to a database of debris collected from beaches around the world. By documenting the debris we collect, we are contributing to a debris profile of our oceans.  In addition to removing potential hazards to wildlife, this data helps us create more effective solutions.

Continuing with this effort, we would like to invite you to participate in a comprehensive sweep of our beaches. With your help, we can cover a greater distance making a more significant impact on the beach.  To show our gratitude for your participation, we’re offering a third night free.  Arrive on Sunday 12/02/18 or 01/13/19 and participate in the cleanup on Monday 12/03/18 or 01/14/19.

Marine debris has been documented affecting at least 267 species worldwide. This includes 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species, and 43% of all marine mammal species.

Entanglement and ingestion of plastic are two of the main dangers that debris poses to wildlife, and unfortunately we have seen examples of both pretty close to home. A couple years ago, a pygmy sperm whale stranded on Jekyll Island, and the necropsy revealed two large pieces of black plastic sheeting in its gut. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center has also admitted several patients suffering wounds from entanglement, and found small pieces of plastic and strands of monofilament in the digestive tracts of their patients. 

Now is a critical time for debris removal. Beginning in the spring, our beach becomes feeding and nesting grounds for several species of birds including red knots, Wilson’s plovers, and American oystercatchers. We’ll also see female sea turtles feeding in the coastal waters and nesting on our beaches. In order to minimize disturbance of wildlife, marine debris cleanup is best preformed during the winter.

We would like anyone interested in learning more about marine debris issues and solutions to take advantage of this special event.  In addition to everything you expect from a stay on Little St. Simons Island, there will be an evening “Trash Talk” presentation, discussions, and a chance to make a difference for wildlife. On the second day of your stay, we will spend a few hours on the beach surveying and removing debris.  While the workload will be light, it will have a great impact.

 As a special thank you for your hard work, participants will receive their third night free. The island is limited to 32 overnight guests, so call today to reserve your room, or click on the "Book Now" button at the top of this page.   Lodge@LittleSSI.com 912.638.7472.

 


Painting Workshop

December 9th - 11th

Join us for a three-night plein air painting workshop on Little St. Simons Island, hosted by local artist Peggy Everett.  A highly-respected artist and instructor, Peggy is known as a great teacher for all skill levels.  Peggy will teach color mixing, composition, value changes, and techniques used in Plein Air to achieve a successful painting.

Peggy tells us, "I have been teaching plein air for 25 years.  The more the student knows about what they are painting along with how to portray it, the better the painting.  Also, I may note that "never ever" painters are the most successful."

Don't miss this opportunity to connect with nature on a pristine barrier island.  Not only will you and your companions have access to the eco lodge's facilities and naturalist-led activities, but you'll also have the opportunity to learn to capture it's beauty to take home with you.  Non-painting spouses and friends are welcome and, rather than paint, will be able to enjoy the island's many naturalist-led activities like kayaking, fishing, birding, beach combing and hiking.  

 

 THREE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $1,425**

~Arrive December 9th and depart December 12th.

Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.

Workshop Fee - $400 per participant.

Peggy invites all skill levels, from participants who have never held a paintbrush to those who paint professionally.  Peggy will provide a list of materials for participants to bring. 

 

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

 

Peggy Everett

Peggy is a resident of nearby Valona, Georgia, and has spent years capturing coastal landscapes and sharing her knowledge and well-honed techniques with others.  She also cares deeply about these landscapes, as her paintings have raised over $650,000 for wildlife and conservation organizations.

She sold her first painting at age fifteen, and embarked on an artist's life which included time at New York Studio School where she studied under Graham Nickson and Joseph Santore.  She has also been associated with New York Art Students League, Denver Art Students League and Florence Academy of Fine Art in Italy, in additon to being artist-in-residence at Roaring Fork Club, Woods Lake Resort in Colorado and Contentment Bluff in Georgia.  Peggy has learned much by studying under Marc Chatov, Bob Kuhn, Russell Chatham, Scott Christensen, Clyde Asp and others.  She shares this experience in the Plein Air workshops she teaches.


Saltwater Fly Fishing Clinic

December 14th - 17th, 2018

Are you interested in saltwater fly fishing?  Have you ever wanted to tie your own flies?  Whether you're a freshwater fly fisherman looking to test new waters, or a spinning reel fisherman looking to learn a new method, there is no better opportunity than this! 

 In addition to the typical inclusions, this special event includes the following for one participant:

  • Fly fishing instruction
  • Fly tying instruction
  • Two days of guided saltwater fly fishing trips
  • If you don't have your own gear, we will supply fly rod, reel and flies at no additional charge. 

THREE-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $1675**

~ Arrive Friday December 14th and depart Monday December 17th.

Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.

Both guests in a room may participate in the fly fishing clinic, or just one.  A second participant is an additional $250.  If you do not participate in the fly fishing clinic, you are welcome to join our naturalists on other guided activities such as: birding, kayaking, hiking, beachcombing and truck safaris.  

 **All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

Space is limited to only 8 participants, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

 

Robert Ramsay

For ten years, Robert Ramsay managed to be wherever the fishing was in season by bouncing between three continents. He has guided in Montana, Alaska, Russia and Argentina. Robert is former president of the American Fly Fishing Association, and is the current president of the Georgia Conservancy.

Kenny Dodd 

Captain Kenny Dodd is a US Coast Guard-licensed and International Game Fish Association-certified, guide.  He operates Sapelo Light Charters and ties flies out of his McIntosh County home. Kenny specializes in quality flies for trout, redfish, tripletail, flounder, tarpon, bonefish and largemouth bass and sells them to local guides and their customers. His instruction caters to all ages and skill levels. Captain Dodd loves nothing more than turning a fisherman on to saltwater fly fishing.

He attributes his love for fly fishing to his mentor, Captain Larry Kennedy, Jr. His first fly fish outing with Kennedy was 25 years ago on Little St. Simons Island. Kenny believes strongly of being a good steward of our rich marine environment.


Photography Workshop

January 25 & 26, 2019

Come join local photographer Ben Galland for this two day workshop and capture the beauty of Little St. Simons Island's landscapes and wildlife through photography.

The workshop is limBen Galland Photoited to eight participants who will have the opportunity to join Ben on excursions around the island to photograph exquisite shots like these shown here that Ben took on a recent visit.  Participants of all skill levels will receive guidance and instruction while photographing the spectacular island views including the marsh, maritime forest, beach, birds and wildlife.  In addition, there will be photography discussions and processing tutorials.

 

 Participants may also take part in any of our daily naturalist-led activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, birding and truck based tours.

 

Friday:

  • Meet and Greet
  • Discuss weekend and review itinerary
  • Afternoon excursion

Saturday:

  • Pre-Breakfast excursion
  • Morning excursion
  • Afternoon excursion and/or optional processing tutorial
  • Post-dinner discussion with show-n-tell and/or night photography

Sunday:

  • Pre-Breakfast excursion
  • Departure after breakfast

 

Two-night package:  $1090

Arrive on Friday and depart on Sunday.

All packages are priced per couple, double-occupancy.  All meals (including beer & wine), naturalist-led activities, use of the island's equipment (kayaks, fishing tackle, bicycles, etc.) and boat transportation to/from the island are included.  Taxes and 18% service charge are applied to all packages.  Rates for Tom House and Michael Cottage are higher.

Ben Galland

A native of St. Simons Island, Benjamin Galland grew up photographing the pristine and unparalleled beauty of the Golden Isles. After graduating from Berry College with a degree in visual arts, Galland moved back home to the Isles and co-founded h2o creative group, an advertising and marketing firm in Brunswick, Georgia. As the agency’s in-house photographer, Galland has spent the past 15 years honing his skills in a variety of techniques and genres. He has also had three books published by the University of Georgia Press: Island Times: An Illustrated History of St. Simons Island, GA (2013), Island Passages: An Illustrated History of Jekyll Island, GA (2016) and Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island (Spring 2017). Galland is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys kayaking, fly-fishing, biking and exploring. He loves spending time with his wife, 7-year-old son, and baby daughter.


Spring Birding Days

April 28 - May 4, 2019

Celebrate the spring migration on Little St. Simons Island! Guest ornithologists join our staff naturalists on excursions highlighting the abundance of species that flock here during this special time. 

SEVEN-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $4,900**

~Arrive April 28th and depart May 5th.

FOUR-NIGHT ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,750**

~Arrive April 28th and depart May 2nd. 

THREE-NIGHT WEEKENDER ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: $2,300**

~Arrive May 2nd and depart May 5th.

 

Package rates include lodging, three meals daily prepared by our chefs, beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine, all Island activities including guided Naturalist excursions and use of recreation gear as well as boat transfers to and from the island.

**All rates are for double occupancy in The Hunting Lodge, River Lodge, Cedar House or Helen House. The Tom House and Michael Cottage rates are higher.  An additional adult in the same room is $200 per night and children under 12 are $100 per night. An 18% service charge plus applicable taxes will be added to the above rates. 

Availability is limited, so call 888-733-5774 between 9:00am and 5:00pm ET daily or click "Book Now" at the top of this page for availability and reservations.

Guest Ornithologists:  TBD

 Possible Sightings Include:

  • black-crowned night heron
  • reddish egret
  • Caspian tern
  • royal tern
  • long-billed curlew
  • piping plover
  • black-bellied plover
  • glossy ibis
  • marbled godwit
  • black-necked stilt
  • American oystercatcher
  • Northern harrier
  • red knot
  • American bittern
  • marsh wren
  • great black-backed gull
  • nighthawk
  • osprey
  • brown thrasher
  • ruby throated hummingbird
  • yellow warbler
  • American redstart
  • Eastern kingbird
  • blue-winged teal
  • bald eagle
  • anhinga
  • and many, many more!

    Photo by Ian Davies

Spring Birding Days

Likely Sightings Include:

 

 Photo by Pete Oxford

  Photo by Pete Oxford

Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Brad Winn

Photo by Ian Davies

Photo by Ian Davies

 Photo by Tom Johnson

Photo by Tom Johnson

 Photo by Ian Davies