“Part of the OBX’s charm is the remoteness of the area. Since it’s accessible only by ferry or by driving over one of the bridges that connects it to the mainland, once you’re here, you fell far removed from the rest of the world. It’s not really far. And in recent years, with an ever-growing tourism industry, goods services have come to us. It’s fascinating to hear locals tell of long drives to stores on the mainland to buy groceries or to receive medical care back in the old days. The “old days”, however, were less than two decades ago. Those o us who live here year-round still make excursions to nearby cities for specific services, shopping, and cultural events, but we wouldn’t trade island life or anything. Living here is a trade-off that is heavily weighed towards the good life; we’re blessed, and we know it.”
From the first paragraph of the Insider’s Guide: The North Carolina Outer Banks (26th ed.). Reading passages from the guide book in the car on the maritime forests, pristine wildlife refuges, and island life, has me very excited for what is in store for us on this OBX adventure. It’s life changing, having the opportunity to help the locals of the Outer Banks preserve their coastal home, all while helping to raise awareness on the unique properties that make this area so special (the sargassum habitat home to over 81 species, the high diversity and abundance of marine mammals, and the high nutrient load of the 3 converging currents in the area).
On the five hour ride north on route 17 from Wilmington, the 4 of us have had the opportunity to get to know each other and learn what brings us on this adventure (our passion for saving our oceans!). For many of us this is our first time experiencing the OBX and we are beyond astatic for what this vibrant wild place has in store!
We've arrived! Driving across the intracoastal waterway was breathtaking, knowing we were headed to one of the most beautiful places on the East Coast. And the OBX did not disappoint as we drove through Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and into Kitty Hawk.
Once arriving at our house (shout out to the good folks at the Sea Kove motel!) right in front of the ocean! After unpacking, we headed out onto the beach immediately and we found hundreds of skate and whelk egg cases - new to many in the group. We also began finding small plastics, biomedia, and other synthetic materials. But holding as much plastic as we could fit in our hands and looking out over what will soon be our Hope Spot, we knew this is where we were meant to come make a change.
Plans for tonight: family dinner with the group, moonlit beach walk, and UNO!