Missing North Carolina...
A friend just emailed me a couple of photos she took when I was back in Oriental on Alizee. I'm filled with nostalgia. What a wonderful three weeks I spent there, soaking in the new surroundings, getting to know my boat, and getting to know her and some other folks back there.
One day I drove the length of the Bogue Banks, from her house in Emerald Isle toward the western end of the banks to historic Fort Macon on the eastern end (the location of the photo of me). This is really the lower end of the North Carolina outer banks, which extend northward from Cape Lookout past Ocracoke Island to Cape Hatteras, thence further north to Rodanthe (perhaps you saw the just-released movie Nights in Rodanthe, based on Nicholas Sparks novel) and on up to Kitty Hawk (of Wright Brothers flying fame) to the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, after which the banks stretch into Virginia. We had a good time going through the fort - it was my history fix - and then we crossed over the bridge to the mainland and Beaufort, for a walk down the quay. This was just three days before tropical storm Hanna reached Oriental, but you would have never guessed a storm was coming.
On another day, my friend joined me for a spin in my new Walker Bay dinghy out and explored the waterways around Oriental, up Smith Creek and Green Creek and then along the Neuse River a bit to Whittaker Creek. Up Whittaker Creek there are several little branches that wind through Oriental's residential area, where houses have secluded deep water docks right at the back yard. It's truly a lovely spot.
So North Carolina is calling me. Karl and Lucy Lichty told me over and over that the Pamlico Sound and eastern North Carolina was paradise, and I think they pretty much got it right. I'm looking forward to returning.