And they're not getting on a ship. They're hiding out a lighthouse. Long enough to give me time to hold forth on the details of the landscape. They would notice both rock and plant.
And considering that I live only an hour from the sea, I've been there surprisingly rarely. Going to have to do some research.
Though I am going to remember tides. I've known a woman who grew up by the sea complain about how seashore books never remember tides, even though they dominate everything by the shore.