Monday, November 2, 2015

More Friends - Ocracoke

We had another great week on the Outer Banks with another visit from friends and a day trip to Ocracoke.  I did a bit of fishing but the catching slowed down.  I'm hoping for a couple more good fishing days before we hit the road.
When we stopped to see Richard and Valerie in Charlottesville in July we talked about them visiting us while we were in Hatteras.  We got to share some of our favorite places, played some games and learned all about the new place they moved into shortly after our July visit.
We took the free ferry to Ocracoke.  The trip that used to take 40 minutes now takes an hour because of the shifting sand at the inlet.  It was an overcast day but warm enough to be outside to enjoy the cruise.
The ferry that runs from Hatteras village to Ocracoke must follow the channel marked by buoys in a zigzagged crossing.  We talked to a local who told us the shifting sand has made it difficult for the fishing charters to get out to the Gulf Stream, really hurting the local economy. 
The first twelve miles of Highway 12 on Ocracoke Island is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  There are ponies on the island that are descendants from the ones that came ashore from old ship wrecks.  Unlike the ponies on the Northern Outer Banks, these are kept in a fenced pasture.
Much of the little village is built around Silver Lake Harbor, a popular stop with boaters.  Ocracoke has to be one of the most isolated places on the East Coast.  From Nags Head it is a 60 mile drive down Highway 12 and then a one hour ferry crossing and 12 more miles to the village.  From the south it is a two and a half hour pay ferry trip from the mainland.
The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest, built in 1823, and shortest, 75 feet, of the three along the national seashore.  It is not open for visitors to climb.  The lighthouse is located in the village, an easy walk through interesting neighborhoods.
The British Cemetery marks the graves of four sailors who died when their trawler, Bedfordshire, was sunk by a German u-boat off Ocracoke in 1942.  The rest of the crew was lost at sea.  Ocracoke is a neat little village that is very walker friendly, especially in October.  From all the golf carts, scooters and bikes that are for rent it may be a bit crazy in the high season.
Check back a couple of blogs ago to see another picture at the same spot.  We offered Richard and Valerie our master suite but they decided to stay at the Outer Banks Motel where Tom and Georgie stayed earlier in the month.
Here we are at the same spot.  The Atlantic was real rough that day.
Richard and Valerie wanted to take a walk on the beach where we would not find any footprints.  Not a problem on Hatteras Island in October.  It was overcast and a little windy, but the temps were great for strolling on the beach.  We only saw one other person during a couple hours' walk.
Because of the rough water Valerie wanted to find something washed up on the beach.  We aim to please and found this buoy on the beach.  It was much too big to carry home.
The waves were high and the water was very rough but it was a great day walking on the beach.  We had a great visit with Richard and Valerie and as we always say, making and seeing friends as we travel is the best thing about our lifestyle.

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