Friday, October 30, 2009
Outer Banks Road Trip
Coming to the end of Mike Tavares' and my east coast vacation, we decided to head to the outer banks for the last week. First stop was Cape Lookout! After arriving late and crashing in the visitor center parking area, the next morning we were ready to check it out in day light. After finding out the price of a ferry ride to the lighthouse was 15 dollars. We stuck to the original plan of paddling out the 4 1/2 miles and get a workout. We got some advice from the park ranger that we should leave the island after 3:45pm to come back with the tide. We were stoked that we had all day to play.
Arriving at the island we got some great up close views of the lighthouse. We then headed to the beach to find great surf!! The waves were 3ft to over head, breaking in deep enough water.
The water was clear and you could see tons of mackerel swimming in with the surf. Some of the fish were bigger then I would have liked to seen. I have a small case of the deep sea creeps. After surfing for hours, we took a break and walked on the beach to find a dead stingray that Mike the marine biologist inspected for the cause of death. Realizing it was 2:30pm we packed up and carried our boats to the sound side of the island.
Already tired from the paddle out and surfing, we were ready to get back. Pushing off a little earlier than directed from the ranger, the tide seemed really low and much more challenging to paddle across the boat channel. We felt that if we paddled closer to the islands it make it easier. Comically if you stopped paddling you would drift back to were you started. Realizing that it was almost 4pm we kept hoping the tide would come back in. Unfortunately the ranger was wrong and the tide was going OUT at that time we left to paddle back in. Even though our muscles burned every paddle stroke for 4 1/2 miles, we saw a bunch of jelly fish and shells. We also paddled passed an island that has wild horse that were out grazing.
Completely ecstatic to see the white lighting, we did the final push to the car. The paddle back took 3 hours and it was similar to attaining on a big volume river. Once we loading up the car, we stopped at the first restaurant on Harkers Island. It happened to be the Fish Hook. After having the biggest shrimp burger we have ever seen and more deep fried food, we felt much better about the 9 mile flat water paddle half against the tide and surf kayaking for hours.
Leaving Harkers Island we headed up the coast taking car ferries and island hopping. Okracoke Island was a chill town and beautiful. We continued on to Cape Hatteras and watch some surfers at dusk catch some waves. We camped in the parking lot since most of the camp grounds were closed for the season. The next morning we were awoken by a ranger beating on the window. After talking him out of a ticket, we got a warning that we can't camp illegal again on the outer banks. Once the jerk ranger left we checked the surf and were disappointed that it was flat. Blowing that popsicle stand we finished driving up the coast and stopping to surf and check out the sights.
We finished our trip at Mike's cousin's house in Kill Devil Hills and with no surf and wishing we had Stand up Paddle board, we headed back to Mike's Mom's house in Apex, NC to pack for the next trip. Were Leaving Nov.1, on a 6 week tour of Costa Rica. Check back for a blog about the rivers and beaches of Costa Rica. Hasta Luego!