Beach blogging

Cape Lookout lighthouse

Cape Lookout lighthouse

Right now I am in Atlantic Beach, on the North Carolina coast. I am sitting on the deck of a friend’s beach house with a drink, waiting for the last load of laundry and the dish washer to get done, so I can pack our stuff and head back to Durham. I can hear the waves and see the Atlantic between the ocean-front houses; it’s warm, a  bit humid, overcast and almost windstill.

My Dad and his wife spent a few days with us – first in Durham, then we headed out to the beach for a couple of days. The last two days the weather was gorgeous and so yesterday we took the 30 Minute boat ride from Harker’s Island to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. The skipper took us right along Shackleford Bank, where we saw the famous wild Mustangs that have lived there for a couple of centuries.

Wild horses grazing in the sound

Wild horses grazing in the sound

It was the calmest I have ever seen this area. Just a gentle easterly breeze put a slight ripple on the calm waters of the sound. A large school of Dolphins was feeding in the sound. The locals said that the Dolphins had just arrived a few days ago, and they often stay around for a long time in the fall.

This is a fairly quiet time at the beach. Few of the rental houses here are occupied. The summer-long constant rattle and humm of the air conditioners has subsided. Often it is replaced by a saw here and an nail gun there, as the houses are readied for the winter.

Everyone here is happy to see tourists this time of year, and especially as the economy has tanked so badly. They had a relatively slow summer – many Northerners have stayed North this year, as the gas prices are so high. The NC shore is usually very popular among folks from the North East of the US. But when travelling gets expensive, they tend to stay away. And there are just not that many North Carolinians to fill all the beach houses here. So folks are really happy to see tourists and to make them feel really welcome. Our skipper (Harker’s Island Fishing Center) was super-nice and very knowledgeable about the sound. He stopped the boat several times to give us a chance to take some photos and take in the sights and sounds of this extraordinary corner of the NC Shore.

Yesterday evening, on the way back to Atlantic Beach, there was problem with the draw bridge in Beaufort. So we just stopped at the waterfront and ended up having dinner at the Dockside Restaurant on the second-floor deck overlooking the harbor. While we had some shrimps and fried oysters and some beers, the boats started coming in for the night, and several beautiful sail yachts moored right in front of the restaurant. That got us day-dreaming about picking up sailing again …

Anyway – the laundry is done. Time to pack it in and head home.

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