Darlene and Herb's Adventure travel blog

First Morning at Ocean Waves Campground, we were invited to a pancake...

Surf-fishing with may faithful fish retriever

Lots of little bluefish

One keeper meets the reaper - Sea trout for supper

Surf-dogs checking for sandpipers and shrimp

Must have been a good place to fish - a thousand locals...

Hatteras Light, maybe the most famous on the east coast

Coast Guard Patrol of the beaches

Lots of history here as well

There are over 600 recorded shipwrecks along this coast

Pirates, especially Blackbeard, are well represented here

Dead men tell no tales, they say, and this guy wasn't talking

There are hundreds - maybe thousands - of these 3-4 unit vacation...

Houses on stilts to avoid the strom tides, but the hurricanes are...

Like Darlene says, there is something magical about the ocean

Hatteras Jacks fishing tackle and tips. Jack is about as quaint as...

The Bodie Island Light, north of Hatteras near Oregon Inlet which is...

Wright Brothers museum - this was very interesting and surprisingly moving

This rock marks where the first powered, manned, flights took off

These rocks mark the first 3 flights - 125,175, and 250 feet,...

This monument on big Kill Devil Hill marks where the Wright Bros...

November 11-14, Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras: On Sunday morning, 11/11 - Veteran's Day - we hooked up and pulled out of Williamsburg headed for the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Cape Hatteras. If you look at a map of the U.S., Cape Hatteras is the easternmost point along the east coast between Cape Cod and Florida. The Outer Banks are a series of sand islands that stretch more than 200 miles from Virginia Beach, VA southward nearly to South Carolina. The islands are long and skinny - Hatteras Island is about 50 miles long and most of it is less than ΒΌ mile wide. This is the point where the Gulf Stream, coming up from the south, and the Labrador Current coming down from the North meet and sweep offshore. The currents have piled up large areas of shallow water and the combination of currents and shoals has made this area famous for shipwrecks. This same combination makes for very good and varied fishing opportunities.

A lot of this area is National Seashore or National Wildlife Refuge and there are long stretches of undeveloped beaches and marshes, but about every 10 miles there is an overdeveloped village with tourist traps and vacation condos. It appears that there are many more time-shares, condos, and rental developments than actual individual residences or summer homes.

Our camp site is 'Ocean Waves Campground' at the village of Waves, NC about half way down Hatteras Island. This campground was recommended to us by some folks we met in Freeport, Maine, and we found it to be as advertised. Friendly, nice camp sites, and right on the beach. The down-side is that there is no heat in the shower rooms and the Wi-Fi only works near the office. Those have been common problems on this trip. At least half of the camps that advertise 'Free Wi-Fi', or 'Internet Friendly' or something similar have very limited systems which require you to be in the office, during office hours, or may even only be a dial-up. Because the majority of campers are in bigger and fancier rigs, most people don't worry about showers and most campgrounds don't put themselves out to provide clean and convenient showers, and unheated shower rooms seem to be the standard.

Almost everybody is here to fish. From the looks of the vacation condos and beach wear shops, this is a very busy place in the summer. However, in October and November it is legal to drive on the beaches, the summer crowd goes away, and the fishing gets good. About half of the vehicles you meet on the only highway are bristling with surf rods that are carried in bumper racks. This campground is full of retirees who are here to fish for a month or more. So, I talked to some of the old timers, Went down to "Hatteras Jacks's Tackle Shack" and got a license, some gear, and some fishing tips, borrowed a mullet for cut bait, and tried surf fishing on the outer banks! Actually, fishing was sort of slow. I caught a bunch of little bluefish (20 or 30 fish, 8 to 12 inches long) in the several hours that I fished and only one keeper - a 15 or 16 inch speckled sea trout that was big enough to keep and made a really good meal.

We toured the lighthouses on the banks, visited the Wright Brothers museum and Memorial at Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills, and ate some good sea food. The best seafood we ate was the sea trout that I caught, and some clams, shrimp, scallops, and soft-shell crabs that we bought at Billie's Right-off-the-boat Seafood.

We had a really good time here, but I don't think I would enjoy it in the summer. There are thousands of vacation rental condos clustered in the formerly quaint little villages along the outer banks. There are several places, like the town of Nags Head that remind me of Seaside, Oregon where every store is a t-shirt shop or surf shop or phony island bar with parrots and Corona Beer signs. It is now mid-November, and a lot of the stores and restaurants are closed for the season

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