1773 - It's A Long, Long Road to Tybee Island's Day Mark / Light Station

by J. R. Beatty

TYBEE ISLAND DAY MARK / LIGHT STATION
TYBEE ISLAND DAY MARK / LIGHT STATION
Yep! On this day trip "photo safari", that is exactly what I found out. On the drive up I-95, I diverted on GA US 80 to drive East, down many slow speed city streets, past lots of homes and stores after stores. When at last I reached the island beach area, the sights were quite interesting. There were some unexpected, rather ugly, old, decaying concrete and steel fortifications along portions of the Atlantic beach-side.

But the historic highlight was the Tybee Island Day Mark / Light Station first ordered by General James Oglethorpe, Governor in 1732! Against the bright blue sky and wispy white clouds. (Click on photos)

Today's light built in 1773 is a spectacular, tall structure - painted horizontally black and white and easily seen out in the Atlantic Ocean as intended. Various associated, out-buildings crowded around the light. A nearby lone palmetto tree was an interesting physical, photographic counterpoise.


Tybee Island Light Station Keeper's House
Tybee Island Light Station Keeper's House
The dual chimney, two story, Light Keeper's House was also attractive, well maintained, and roomier than some others I had visited.

A covered front porch and steps beckoned visitors in. A white picket fence was running all around the station's yard. That set off and connected the entire scene nicely!


Tybee Island Beach Strollers
Tybee Island Beach Strollers
The Tybee Island Beach itself was very scenic with low splashing waves, white sea sand dunes, and wild sea oats galore.

Two young men were seen walking along the shoreline. Several other couples came along from time to time. My wife enjoyed her stroll along the beach sticking her toes in the lapping waves. It was definitely NOT crowded that day. But you had to pay for non-local, visitor parking on the honor system. And there were not many spaces available at the last beach access lot where I parked!


Sea Oats/Phantom Cargo Ship Off Tybee Island
Sea Oats/Phantom Cargo Ship Off Tybee Island
Through the ubiquitous sea oats I saw several large, top-heavy, over-loaded-looking cargo ships passing mistily by, well offshore on their way to Northern ports.

Several smaller fishing and ocean sporting vessels came much closer to shore.


Tybee Island Beach Saltwater Flats Seabirds
Tybee Island Beach Saltwater Flats Seabirds
Off the beach inlet shore line were saltwater flats. Many large, wild sea birds gathered there to partake in the abundant food available underwater in this shallow sandbar area.

Then further out across the inlet, there was a large island covered with driftwood, big green trees, and thick brush to explore. I am told that these near-shore areas are great for kayakers and other water recreation practitioners.

But not surprising at the end of the day, the ride back to I-95 seemed almost as long as the one coming in.
A stop midway at a nice local shop for a strawberry ice cream shake hit the spot. The Tybee Island Beach, scenic seaside sights, cold creamy confections, and photographic results made this day trip a fun memory! A longer stay to fully enjoy the water features might be even better. Give it a try and let me know your results.