Travel, US Travel

Dolphin Strand Feeding: Seabrook Island, SC

Everyone has a happy place and Seabrook Island, SC, is mine. The lesser-known sister to Kiawah, Seabrook Island is a 7 square-mile barrier island just south of Charleston. Teeming with wildlife, its most famous residents are its dolphins.  Though dolphin sightings are common in many U.S. costal communities, it is only in South Carolina and Georgia that you will experience the amazing ritual of dolphin strand feeding: and Seabrook Island is the strand feeding mecca.

During strand feeding, a group of dolphins use their echolocation in shallow, murky waters to locate a school of fish. They then work as a group to surround their prey and push them closer and closer to the inlet bank. In one swift move, they charge the bank together, causing a wave that throws the fish up into the air. The dolphins also ride the wave ashore, landing on their right side with their mouths open wide to scoop up their dinner. No one knows why, but even in Mexico and Portugal–the only two other locations in the world where dolphins are known to strand feed–it is always on their right side!

A stroll to the tip of Seabrook Island’s North Beach will land you at the inlet between Kiawah and Seabrook. Here, each day at low tide, visitors can witness this incredible event. I was lucky enough to be there when National Geographic was filming its strand feeding documentary. Check out their video here. A great tip the photographer gave me–look for the birds. Amazingly the pelicans are in this feeding frenzy too! They have learned to predict where the fish (and dolphin) will be coming ashore and are right there waiting to snatch up the extras! Don’t wait–your Seabrook Island rental awaits!

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