Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Bald Head Island
We are moving our boat this weekend to Oriental for a couple of months or so. For the past six years our home port has been Wrightsville Beach, and we've occupied the same front-row slip at Wrightsville Marina. But the slip has been sold and we are being asked to move so the new owner can use it. I'm excited about the prospect of being homeless boat people for a while. From Oriental, we will have easy access to Cape Lookout, which is one of the most beautiful places in North Carolina; Beaufort and Morehead City; and Okracoke. We've spent quality vacation time at all of these places. A couple who are our dearest friends have moved to Oriental, and I'm looking forward to spending time with them. I've found their new group of friends and acquaintances very interesting to be around.
But ultimately, I want to move the boat to Bald Head Island. We've spent many weekends there and I feel a pull to go back for an extended stay. Some of my finest photographs are taken there and I find new beauty every time I go. There's no cable at the part of the dock where we stay, and while we eat breakfast or dinner we listen to music or NPR or watch old Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock shows, trying to identify the very young but familiar faces we see.
For those of you who have never been, there are no cars (well, mostly no cars - you can't build houses without a truck or two). We bought a couple of bikes - the old fashioned kind that you turn backwards to stop - and now that I've quit smoking I can make it from one part of the island to the other without feeling like I'm going to pass out. The restaurants aren't all that good, so we mostly forage around for something good to cook on the grill or in the toaster oven or on the two-burner stove. For shopping there is the grocery store, the hardware store, and a couple of women's boutiques - perfect! Oh yeah, and Turtle Central where you can buy any kind of turtle toy and T-shirt your heart desires, with all profit going to the Conservancy (for turtles!).
It took a while for the dockmaster to warm up to us, but now he loves for us to come and is very welcoming and accommodating. I think he'll be glad to have us as nesters at the marina.
It is so peaceful and beautiful there. With a few detours, I know we'll end up parking the Coatimundi on F Dock and spend our nights looking for Dick Van Dyke to peek around a dark corner in the Twilight Zone.