OBX = Outer Banks, the long, skinny stretch of islands along the Atlantic coastline of North Carolina. You’re hearing about the damage Hurricane Irene has done there… and it’s especially hard to look at the images because we were just there in late July, a few weeks before Irene came ashore. Here are some pre-Irene impressions.

We were amazed at the number of closed businesses as we travelled south out of Virginia and toward the OBX. Restaurants, motels, gift shops — everything seemed to be affected in some way.

Then we crossed the bridge on Route 158…

…and saw that Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nag’s Head were all doing a thriving tourist business. Now we hoped that the crowds would thin as we drove south.

We passed the Bodie Lighthouse…

…and crossed the bridge over the Oregon Inlet…

…onto Hatteras Island, where the ocean roared to our left, the Pamlico Sound lay to the right, and sand bordered us on both sides.

We had entered the world of Laughing Gulls…


…fishing of all sorts…

…including “drum fishing,” which we’d never heard of and — we found out — uses (what else?!?) a drum for catching little fish, usually for bait:

As you’d expect, much of the island’s economy is based on fishing, including charter excursions. The boats are harbored in every community along the OBX, but this boat in particular caught our eye (maybe it’s the name…):

So what do you do if you do a lot of surf fishing, with those very long poles that have to be carried somehow on your vehicle?!? Well, that’s easy:

Front or back, doesn’t matter… pole holders work either way!

So all of this fishing meant Ellen had to try every type of fish she could while here (when in Maine, eat lobster; when in North Carolina, eat the fish, right?!?). She tried grouper, flounder, blue fish, cobe, black-tipped shark (shown here)…

… and mahi mahi (or “mahi”), which (close your eyes if you don’t want to know what you’re really eating when you order this) is actually a type of dolphin. It’s smaller than the bottlenose dolphin we usually imagine when we think of “dolphin” (here a charter boat crewman filets one)…

…and this painted wood carving on the wall of the Dolphin Den in Avon shows how beautiful this fish is:

Of course, no visit to the OBX is complete without a stroll (or two or three or more) along the beach, whether it’s on the ocean side…

…or along Pamlico Sound:

Each has its own personality, attracts its own visitors, and is worthy of a post all its own, so the next posts will focus on each.

Till then, here’s a one last image, the roly-poly Avon Pier (yes, it really is as wavy as it looks!):


About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in Attractions, Birds, Cool Experience, Food and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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