Have you ever woken up in the morning when your sides just ache from having laughed too much the night before?? - if so, now you know how I feel right now!! I'm sitting at the Manteo Waterfront Marina on Roanoke Island (famous for the Lost Colony of Roanoke - the first settlement in the new world) watching the rain come down as the pelicans ride by on the gentle tide and I can't help laughing just remembering last night which we spent on our new friends Penny and Dave Stormont's boat Stormy...more later.
The other day we left Ocracoke and headed up to the quaint little town of Manteo on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina - we had some steerage problems right out of Ocracoke which we (that's the royal we by the way - it was all Doug!) managed to fix while underway - he's turning into a real gearhead (with a huge, lush ponytail I might add which has become quite the conversation piece as he hasn't cut his hair in nearly two years!!) We settled in for a quiet steam across Pamlico Sound as it was a really calm day - the Pamlico because of how shallow it is can become very nasty on a windy day but we had a beautiful weather window. All we saw for miles and miles were shrimp boats - tons of them!!! Our radar screen looked like it had the measles there were so many dots!!
We pulled into Manteo's waterfront marina that afternoon and were greeted by our friends' boat Stormy (we had met them this past week in Ocracoke and gone clamming one afternoon) which was alongside one of the t-head docks as well as pirate ships,
In search of food, we found Ortega'z Grill which is a great little place with paella and mexican food - just what the doctor ordered as we relaxed over cold beers, glasses of wine and homemade chips and salsa - YUM!! So far the only real flaw I have found in Manteo is that you can only buy beer and wine - no real drinks (sorry Bob that means no Captain and cokes for you!) even in restaurants - now I ask you what is up with that????? I'm sure there is a rationale but for the life of me, I can't figure it out!!
Yesterday we set out in our friend Dave's car - he was wonderful enough to let us borrow it for the day while he relaxed after a night of shrimping out in the Sound - thanks tons Dave!!! Not to waste a minute of our precious time with a car, we headed out in the morning for Nags Head and the obligatory stop at West Marine - we had a fender that had seen better days (feel free to read into this that it had seen one particularly tough dock in lots of current and wind towards the beginning of our trip - but heh that's what they are there for!!) and Bob had told us that the particular company replaces such fenders without question. Cool - the guy at West Marine sure enough just told us to go get another comparable one off the rack and we were good to go!!! Of course that wasn't all we needed, but....
Next it was on to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, which was formerly part of the town of Kitty Hawk, which commemorates the first manned, mechanized flight. Can I tell you how cool this place is - I truly had goosebumps just hearing about it and walking around!!! Flight is something we all so take for granted nowadays but back then it was such a novel concept!! We first went into the visitor center, walked through the displays and heard a talk by one of the local volunteers - we got to see replicas of the 1902 glider that was the final experiment for the brothers before designing and building their 1903 flyer, the original of which now sits in the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
The Memorial is a fantastic place that I encourage everyone to make a point of seeing if you are down this way - a large boulder commemorates the point of lift off for each of the flights
After such an amazing morning/afternoon, we needed sustenance and found a great little pizza joint in Nags Head. We of course had to scope out the beach on the way back - Nags Head is known for its beautiful, long beach and we were not disappointed - in fact we were inspired!!! We stopped at one of the several thousand (I'm really not kidding!) beach stores along the main drag in Nag's Head and Bob and Doug picked up their own boogy boards (of course they had to get the higher end, bigger, super dooper, coated bottom ones all in an attempt to give themselves an advantage in the upcoming boogy board-off!!!) As if that will help - bring on the waves!! On the way back to the boats, we saw the coolest sight - hang gliders shooting out off the side of a massive sand dune - so of course we had to go investigate. It was awesome - you head up to the top of a very large dune and just step off with a glider out into the fresh breeze that consistently blows around here!! While we were rapidly running out of time for that day, we definitely all want to give this a try before we head on!!
We got back to the boats after a wonderful day only to have Dave give us each several bags of fresh shrimp that he had caught the night before out on the Sound - very cool - thanks yet again Dave!! But wait - the evening and Dave's hospitality had just begun. At 6:00 pm we descended on Stormy where we finally got to meet his amazing wife of 34 years Penny (they have known each other since they were 2 and really still like each other!!!) - she is every bit as warm, fun and generous as Dave!! We knew we were in for an evening of great food, great friends (new and old as several of Dave and Penny's friends - let's see if I can get this right Diane and Don, and Betty and Butch joined us for the evening of frivolity) and lots of laughs. In fact, I'm not sure I have laughed that much ever - and that's saying something as we live a pretty fun life!! We had such a great time and an outsider looking in the window would have sworn that we had all known each other for 20 years or so - by the end of the evening (although it really didn't take a ton of convincing) Penny and Dave had committed to going to the Exumas next winter on Stormy (remember the attorney heard it so it must be so!) Although dinner in town had been planned, by 10:00 pm that idea was out the window and the party still wasn't breaking up - we had a nervous moment when there was a knock on the boat - we thought we might have been too loud for the rest of the fairly mellow marina...how fun is that at our age? But it was only after eating Dave and Penny out of house and home (or boat) that we all finally headed back to our boats - poor Betty had an 8:00 meeting this morning - ouch!! Meeting such wonderful people and enjoying a great night like we did last night is one of the parts of this cruising life that is so unbelievable - we are truly lucky to have such an opportunity and can't wait to see these guys out on the water again, hopefully in the Exumas next time!!! Thank you both for such a wonderful evening and all your generous hospitality - we look forward to checking out the massage table....oops, better leave that one alone...... Note that these pictures were taken early in the evening - by agreement of all parties no pictures taken later in the night are allowed on blogs, uTube or any other public forums to protect the not so innocent!!!
Today once the weather breaks we plan on exploring something...we just don't know what yet! There is so much to do in this town and on this island and while it doesn't look like a beach day, there is plenty of stuff to keep us busy - who knows we may even learn something!!!
Happy Birthday, Dee Dee!!!
3 days ago