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Showing posts from June, 2010

A Peaceful Hatteras/ Ocracoke Ferry Ride

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Memorial Day weekend was a huge weekend for travel all over the state. But here in the Outer Banks, travel was a little different for some. Many people fly or drive to their vacation destination but I had the privilege to travel with the North Carolina Ferry System. I left Buxton in the early hours of the morning on Saturday to make the Hatteras to Ocracoke ferry by 5am. As I made my reservations for the ferry from Ocracoke to Cedar Island they warned me that I should be there thirty minutes before my reservation time. I decided it would be a good idea to do the same for the Hatteras to Ocracoke ferry as well. Arriving to the ferry dock in Hatteras at 4:30am, it was still dark outside and there were very few people around. As I went inside the welcome center to grab my $1 cup of coffee before they loaded the ferry, I was surprised at how friendly and awake the ferry employees were. Each person I passed made a point to say “good morning” and smile. While I waited in line, you could see…

An Evening at Breakwater Restaurant

After a day at the beach with friends, take a shower and clean up. Throw on something casual but nice, still adorning the flip flops, and head to Hatteras. The Breakwater Restaurant & Bar located at Oden’s Dock is a superb place to relax with a glass of wine and have a delicious meal. With the tables situated facing directly out toward the sound, the sunsets here are breathtaking and you don’t even have to leave your seat. The atmosphere is casual and relaxing and the dinner menu has an eclectic local mix of options. My favorites include the Carolina Shrimp with a creole remoulade dip, Scallops al Greco with feta and oregano, and the Filet Oscar with bĂ©arnaise sauce. It will make your mouth water! The dining area is donned with tables of white tablecloths and the "L" shaped bar is a comfortable place to grab a drink. If you have a large party of ten, you may be eligible to utilize the private dining area upstairs. If you want the view, however, you may want to forgo the …

Offshore Fishing Day Trip

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It was a cool ride with choppy seas at 6am as we headed out of the Hatteras Inlet to the north east to catch some dolphin (mahi mahi). My father and I have always spent quality time on the boat together. Today was no different. The slamming of the boats bow kept me from sitting for about the first hour of the ride. With camera in hand I waited for the sky to clear and finally took a seat at the back of the boat. When the sun finally came through I closed my eyes as the warmth took away my goose-bumps. That is always the best part of the day- until the first hook up! Fish on! It’s always exciting to hear the first yell of the day while everyone scrambles to grab the rod and start cranking. We had caught seven dolphin within the first hour of lines in the water. A bull gaffer was caught first then a smaller cow as I slung her into the boat. After trolling for what seemed like forever we came across a beautiful sight. A mother whale and her calf were strolling on by just as peaceful as ca…

Will the Oil Spill Reach Hatteras Island?

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Concern along the coast is growing for fear that the oil leaking from the well in the Gulf of Mexico will reach the Carolinas. This concern, while understandable, is unnecessary. The chance of the oil spreading to our coast is minimal, less than 1 percent according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which is the lead agency in oil spill response in coastal waters. Most oil spill experts say any oil carried by the Loop Current would be more dispersed and highly weathered by the time it even gets to the Florida Keys, which is some 500 miles from the spill site (the Outer Banks is roughly another 1,000 miles from the Keys). For the oil to reach our coast it would first need to get out of the Gulf, riding the loop current. Loop Current is a clockwise warm water current that carries water from the Yucatan to the Gulf of Mexico then east and loops back down off the Florida west coast and into the Gulf Stream. If the Loop intercepted the oil and carried it to the Gulf Stream it would be well diluted an…

Hatteras Island Surfing

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With miles and miles of untamed beaches and a raw ocean, Hatteras Island is said to have some of the most radical and challenging waves on the East Coast.Growing up, I knew that a trip to Hatteras Island meant a week of non –stop surf and sun, followed by sore muscles, sun kissed skin, and great tales of epic sessions playing in blue-green waves.Whether you are looking to score big glassy barrels or long easy rides, the island’s curving coastline allows conditions for all levels of surfers. The surfers who live and vacation here become spoiled by the un-crowded breaks and a friendly local crowd, two things that are often never found in popular surf destinations.Famous spots like S-Turns, the Lighthouse and the Frisco Pier become “crowded” in Hatteras terms, but there are always enough waves for everyone.When these spots are really working, the beach becomes lined with spectators and photographers, hypnotized by the gigantic swell.
The heavy swell season on the island begins in late Augu…

Hatteras Landing Marina Has it All

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Next to the ferry docks in Hatteras Village is a large shopping center filled with shops and restaurants but tucked in the corner, on the far end, is the Hatteras Landing Marina. There is so much to do in this one little shop there is no need to go anywhere else. As you enter the store you are greeted with a great selection of t-shirts and other apparel. Their t-shirt wall features shirts from Bimini Bay Outfitters, Calcutta and more. They also offer Custom Ts and embroidered clothing for those of you who want something a little more personal. As you continue through the store you reach the snack bar where you can find cold beverages and premade sandwiches. Just beyond the snack bar, the back doors open to the deck which overlooks the marina. This is one of the stores greatest features. It is a great place to sit and relax after a long day of fishing or just a long day of shopping. There is plenty of seating available where you can sit and enjoy your lunch while watching the boats com…

Kiteboarding Spots on Hatteras Island

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Our Pamlico Sound has a really wide fetch, or the wind travels a long distance undisturbed over the water, making for steady and often very strong winds. This combined with the fact that the sound is between ankle and waist deep for the most part make it one of the best places on earth for kite surfing. Numerous places are available to rig and launch: the very popular Kite Point is just south of the Haul Over parking lot or “Canadian Hole” on the sound side which was made popular by windsurfers. Across Highway 12 are the ocean waves of Avon with Buxton which have an ever changing sand bar for kite surfing in waves. LighthouseBeach is a few miles south of there with its three jetties known for steep and fast waves. Kiters, windsurfers and surfers alike will all be out at this spot if conditions are just right. “The Cove” is what the waters just south of Buxton’s well known Point are called, and an east or southeast wind here gives the kiters and windsurfers a “point break” which can mak…

Kinnakeet Sound Safari Adventure

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The Kinnakeet Sound Safari is something that I recommend parents bring their children to while vacationing on the Outer Banks. Speaking as an elementary teacher, I feel it is very beneficial for children to receive this social interaction, even when on vacation. After the fun safari ride to the sound we show the kids how to use nets to catch all types of crabs, shrimp, fish, scallops and more. This helps kids understand the marine environment of Hatteras Island that they hear about while vacationing here. They can then take these educational yet fun experiences back to school with them to share with their peers and teachers. After our time at the sound we head back to the pool for a day of fun in the sun with snack time!Socially, the possibilities are endless. It is a great opportunity for kids to mingle and spend time playing with other kids at the pool, sound and during slip-n-slide. It is also a perfect time for parents to take advantage of the numerous activities that the Island o…