Sunday, July 5, 2009

day trip to Ocracoke

I had to fly down to Ocracoke yesterday.  I've been spending a lot of time in the air lately.  Thursday and Friday I was up in helicopters, yesterday it was a trip in a fixed wing aircraft.  Maybe I'll be a pilot when I grow up.
Whenever I climb in to a small airplane I smile and think of George Carlin's observation that "fixed wing aircraft" was an interesting phrase.  Just a slight pause and a little more emphasis on the word "fixed" and he conjured up all sorts of funny and frightening images.  That's all he said, all he needed to say.  At Carlin's best, he proved the point that sometimes what was left unsaid was funnier, more interesting and more thought provoking than what was said. 
We vacationed down in Ocracoke each year for fourteen years in a row, I really love that place.  We stayed in a cottage called Carolina Winds.  It was on a canal with a nice dock, perfect for Spartina.  I would be up before dawn sailing on the sound inside of Howard's reef as the sun came up.  Early afternoon I would be out sailing again as the girls went off in search of snow cones, ice cream or tee shirts.  After dinner we would all sail together.  Above you can see my wife and youngest daughter as we anchored for a swim during a sunset sail.
The beaches are some of the best (and least crowded) on the east coast.  We did a lot of swimming and fishing out there.  We fixed most of our own meals, both because we enjoyed it and it saved money.  But we always had time for a nice dinner at The Back Porch.    (Yesterday I only had time for a quick crab cake sandwich at Howard's Pub, a thriving local institution - pretty good!)
These days the daughters are too busy for week-long trips to Ocracoke.  Maybe we can sneak in a long weekend this fall.
Flying back north we got a good look at the tortured shoals of Hatteras Inlet, that's the northern tip of Ocracoke on the right. ( That is the stretch of water where Bruce or I  -  we never figured out who  -  took those sunset photos on the ferry ride home from our '07 Cedar Island trip.)  I could also see some of our other cruising grounds across Pamlico Sound - Wysocking Bay and the Long Shoal River.  I did pick out some nice anchorages at the south end of Roanoke Island.  There could easily be a nice two or three day trip from Engelhard north to the Roanoke Marshes.  Might be a nice trip for Labor Day weekend.


1 comment:

Thomas Armstrong said...

Steve, I grew up in Kentucky, and therefore love both ocra and coke, without the peanuts, but I also love peanuts.The best ocra, or is it okra? no matter, was fried in cornmeal with potatoes. I have never been able to duplicate this dish to my satisfaction. Coke, of course is ubiquitous.