I’m headed southward to meet up with my sister Margaret for a little ocean time. John can’t go, so I plan to indulge myself in the kind of thing that I love but bores him silly; i.e., nature walks, looking for shells, birdwatching and the like. Fortunately, Margaret enjoys similar outings.
We’ll be on what’s known as the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, which is a set of barrier islands further south than the better- known Outer Banks (click on the map for a better view). We started coming here a couple of years ago because Margaret has a friend who owns a house in the area, and we get a great deal on the place. It’s not the snazziest of abodes, but it’s comfortable, clean and a two-minute walk to the beach.
I like the area because it’s quiet. It’s not as built up as the Outer Banks have gotten; there are fewer restaurants, very little nightlife, only two putt-putt golf courses and thus far, no water parks (I always question why one needs a water park at the beach). It’s an area conducive to puttering on the beach, which is what I like to do when I go to the beach (I get bored lying around getting a tan – any tanning I do is incidental to puttering).
To expand on beach-puttering, I’ve arranged for a half-day trek out to Shackleford Banks, which is a barrier island accessible only by boat. The field trip is sponsored by the North Carolina Maritime Museum, so we’ll have someone to tell us about the history and wildlife. We’re also taking a night beach walk courtesy of the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knolls, in the hopes that we might see a little loggerhead turtle action. Both trips should provide much-needed fodder for this blog.
In the meanwhile, I’m gathering up all the bits and pieces that I’ll need, which ends up being a lot of stuff. I’ve got a kickin’ pair of snazzy new beach shoes to facilitate the puttering. I’ve got a beach umbrella, a beach chair, a beach towel and a beach bag. I’ve got sunglasses, sun block and insect repellent. I’ve got a camera and binoculars. I’ve got books about birds, books about shells and a book about hurricanes. I’ve got magazines. I’ve got bed linens and bath towels. I’ve got shorts, hiking pants, tank tops, capris and a swimsuit. I’ve got a cooler. I’ve got granola and bottles of wine and seltzer and limes. I’ve got a knapsack and a first aid kit and collecting bags for shells.
I think I’m ready. See you guys next week.