Enter Hurricane Earl that thankfully began to fall apart and eventually took a seaward course away from the Island. Having been in Charleston two days after Hugo and seen what 140mph+ winds can do to a place, and living through the devastation caused in York County Va. during Isabel, I decided to scoot. I should have stayed but "better safe than sorry" made sense at the time.
Earl on the way.
After spending what felt like an eternity wondering how my abode and it's contents had fared the storm, Dare County announced that Highway 12 would open South of the Bonner Bridge at 7am Saturday morning. I woke at 2am and was on the road at 3:15 heading HOME. Anyone that knows me well is aware that it just about takes an act of God to get me to leave the Island to begin with, and I can never get back to soon. Arriving at the bridge at about 6:15 I spent the wait with friends I've known for years which made it kinda fun though we all wondered how things were, and what we would find when we arrived.
Parked before the bridge.
What I didn't realize as I was sitting there talking to everybody was that my brake hose had just come undone and the result, of course, was that I essentially had no brakes for the ride home, stress city. I made it though, and all was well. Thankfully my friend Ed was coming to town and Sunday morning he was able to get a temporary fix in order so I could remain mobile. This island first takes your heart, then your money, and then your truck.
I made it back out on the sand Sunday afternoon after helping repair damage to a friends trailer (post brake work) and wet a line without much success, but, such is the norm after a good blow. I did get the pleasure of some great company and a chance to talk to Kim Mosher about the newly released video "Piping Mad" which has since gone "viral" on the net and has fired up a lot of people about the travesty and impact of the absurd management policies in place here now, and proposed for the future; all in violation of federal law. She, her husband, and the Greystone Project, funded by a generous gift from Rob Schonk have done one heck of a job of exploring some of the issues that plague us and deny the people of this nation access to their public lands without the use of sound science, or the weight of law.
What I didn't like about the experience was being accused by someone else of having published the video before it was ready for release which I did not do.
After the weekend wound down, I ended up out on the sand again and took some pics which I thought I'd share.
The first one says it all. I was out on the Point at about 6:15am the other day and set up to put out a bait with some friends. Not long after I arrived, a truck pulled up and a feller and his (probably 8yr old) son got out and proceeded to toss lures for bluefish or spanish mackerel. Well after a bit, that young feller hooked up on a right big bluefish and immediately gained the attention of everybody. Unfortunately, in spite of fighting it for all he was worth, the fish bit his line and he lost it. I think every soul on the sand that morning said "awwww, bummer", or some variation on that theme.
Later that morning the dad hooked up on a nice yearling drum and managed to land it while his son watched excitedly. That little feller was so proud of his dad it put a smile on everyone's face. And as I watched this scene unfold, all I could think of was, that's what this place is all about: that's why Congress created this Seashore.
I cant count the number of times I've seen this exact scenario out there on the sand as its bound to be in the hundreds if not thousands. The picture says it all.
Of course, one of the really neat things about being on the Point is the sunrise and sunset. What's even more fun is that it's possible to stand in one spot and watch both in a single day. If you've never experienced that, I highly recommend it. Anyway, a sunrise.
Another neat thing about this place is that it gives the opportunity to reflect with just the sound of the surf and the birds.
We also spend a lot of time watching the water while we're on the sand as it often betrays bottom structure that will hold fish. Being 35 miles out in the ocean where the Labrador Current and Gulf Stream collide can produce some spectacular wave action capable of throwing water five or six stories into the air though usually only about half that.
I've talked before about the "Point Community" which makes up folks from all walks of life and from all across the country. It's always fun to fish with these good friends and make new ones as well.
This pic has all the elements, good friends and some nice wave action.
Ed and Grumpy at the Point.
It saddens me that pictures like these and the people shown in them are the true endangered species found on these beaches. If the "dark side" gets there way, never again will photos like these be published because no one will be allowed here to take them.
Please take the time to watch the video "Piping Mad" and help any way you can. One place to watch can be found at http://www.preservebeachaccess.org/
Supporting the fight for access can be accomplished by donating to a variety of organizations including The Outer Banks Preservation Association, http://www.obpa.org/ The North Carolina Beach Buggy Association, http://www.ncbba.org/ and others. We cant fight this fight alone and need your help. Again, this is a national, not a local issue. Thanks!