Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Manteo Here We Come

Seems like every morning in Ocracoke was overcast but by about 11:00 or 12:00 it would start to clear out - OK so we took care of some boat chores in the morning and went out to play in the afternoon - we're nothing if not flexible!! The other day we headed back to the beach on our bikes, but this time I figured out how to bring my boogie board - my bike was a little unsteady from being so loaded down and I looked like a pack mule, but it was well worth the effort. When we got to the beach the waves were hopping although not quite as big as the day before but still not bad! About 5 minutes later I was in the water, boogie board in hand and riding the waves!!! It only takes one or two dunkings as the waves tumble you for a huge smile to appear on your face and you remember why being a kid was so much fun!!!

We all took turns playing in the waves on the boogie board - what a great time! A big bluefish was out nipping at Doug and a crab bit into my foot, but nothing was going to spoil our day of fun in the sun and the waves - how come no sea creature attacked Bob??? The laughing gulls and sandpipers just stood on the sand looking on in amazement as these three crazy humans got dunked and waterlogged by the waves laughing all the way!!

We wore ourselves out in the waves - usually we tire the dogs out playing in the water but that night we all knew it would be us crashing early and hard!! But not before a little sustenance on the way back to the boats - what, we had to pass right by Howard's and would you really expect us to pass by without stopping in? Of course not - well we didn't disappoint you! But after a couple pitchers of cold Yuengling and several more plastic Howard's Pub cups (we now have a formal place setting of 12), it was back to the boats for a nice evening and a good night's sleep.

We had decided to stay one more day in Ocracoke and knowing it's always overcast in the morning, we actually slept in (to 7:00 am!!) Once the storms ripped through around 11:00 pm, our anchorage calmed down so we were all able to relax and get a good night's sleep. The next morning was - you guessed it - overcast again and we could see a storm cell coming through on our radar but we decided to brave the weather rather than miss out on a day of exploration. We set off on our bikes to see the rest of the island - we first went out towards the ferry terminal and saw the civil war memorial commemorating Fort Ocracoke - not that it seemed to play a major role in the Civil War but it's always fun to learn the history of places you are visiting.

We stopped in at the David Williams House which the Ocracoke Preservation Society has turned into a museum - one room was dedicated to a grand lady of Ocracoke who had lived until she was 104 - from the video of her 100th bday party that was playing, it seemed like she was a wonderfully fun lady - her party was at our favorite bar Howard's Pub - how could we not love her? The museum also had rooms dedicated to the marine life of Ocracoke - one of the first life saving stations (the precursor to the Coast Guard) was located here and fishing (clamming, shrimping, whaling and fishing) has played a major role in the life of the island. The period bedroom and kitchen with their antiques and implements of the times were fun to see since they brought to life some of the stories my grandmother had told me of life back in the early 1900s!! We love finding these hidden treats!

As we left the museum for the visitor center, we encountered a canadian goose who seemed oblivious to her surrounding habitat as she was cleaning herself in the middle of the road - we said hello but left her still ruffling her feathers trying to avoid the rain drops that had started to fall!

We headed back towards town to the British Cemetery and couldn't pass up stopping in Candyland, a little hole in the wall candy store offering free samples of fudge. While it was false advertising as we found no free samples, we did have fun marveling at all the confectionary wonders - Bob and Stephanie couldn't resist a little treat (sustenance for all the biking we intended to do.....)

We took care of a couple errands and suddenly found ourselves across the street from Howard's at 2:00 pm - lunch time - wonder how that happened!!! We stopped in for a couple burgers and coldies knowing it would be our last time to enjoy the local atmosphere and the 200 plus beer selection.... We took a back road through town back to the boats, stopping at several little craft and gourmet food stores along the way - places that in our prior life we could have done lots of damage - now though we live on a boat and really don't have much room for trinkets! We passed this colorful horse along the way in someone's front yard and a family of ducks that were too cute!!

Back at the boats we had to stow the bikes, hoist the dinghy and stow everything we had been lax about all week so we could head out to sea early the next morning. That evening we watched as a squall line ripped through the anchorage complete with a serious waterspout which luckily petered out by the time it reached us - what a scary sight that is though!!!!

This morning we got under way by 7:00 am only to lose all of our steering right outside of the harbor in the channel - UGH!!! Luckily we were able to use the engines to pull to the side of the channel and Doug was not only able to figure out what was wrong (the hydraulic pump that connects to our rudders had somehow disconnected - how do these things happen?? gremlins??) but he was able to fix it!!!! Forty five minutes later (and only one ferry passing us in the channel), we were underway again good as new (at least we hope so!!!) We'll let you know when we get to Manteo.....

1 comment:

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