We woke up to a chilly, yet cloudless day. The sun was shining, and we had all grown accustom to rising early that we were all up by seven, eating breakfast, and doing a beach sweep by nine. While waiting for our ferry to depart from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island, we decided to walk over to the beach and do a small beach sweep. It really is mind-blowing how many little things we continuously find. Sadly, it seems that our environment is ever slowly becoming just another medium for waste. After enjoying some fun in the sun, we hopped onboard the ferry, crossing yet another town off of our lists, Ocracoke!
We immediately got out of cars and went up to the passenger area to feel the chilly wind burn against our cheeks, eventually leading us into the indoor passenger area...Some read, some admired the birds, and some simply enjoyed the view. We were lucky enough to spot some nearby dolphins as they surfaced for short moments at a time...It's always comforting to know that we're not alone-that there are so many other creatures living on this earth with us. Let us not forget this simple fact.
We found our way off of the ferry and on to another long narrow road by the coast...The view never did get old, I assure you! We stopped along the way, getting out to visit some furry friends (ponies) and engaging in a beach sweep. Entering the small town of Ocracoke, we stopped by the Magic Bean coffee shop to be surprised by an atmosphere filled with walls of art, and mason jars hanging from trees... We were pressed for time, so we swiftly filled up our coffee cups and headed on our merry way.
The four hour ferry ride from Ocracoke Island to Cedar Island was just as enjoyable as the first one. Spending some more time reading and napping in our cars, we noticed a distinctive amount of seaspray accumulating on all of our windows making it impossible to see out of once back on the road. Thank goodness for wind wiper fluid!
It didn't feel like our trip was coming to an end as we still enjoyed our view along the island, music flowing through ours ears and out the windows. Growing hungry, we stopped at a small shack called George's, their headliner being "lasagna, burgers, and salads," so of course we were sold...
The sky was kissed pink as we drove through Emerald Isle; to be honest, it couldn't have been a more perfect ending to the trip. We all stopped to admire the sun as it set on the horizon, leaving the sky in layers of blue, yellow, and orange.
We chased daylight heading home. It felt as if mama duck was dropping all of her little ducklings off to re-assimilate to the world we so speedily departed from. The Outer Banks brought not only a better understanding to us about this specific environment, but it helped form new, long-lasting relationships that will linger with each of us for a while.
I hope that this blog, whomever you are as a reader, has brought to your attention the many qualities the Outer Banks has to offer. Not only is its location so unique, it has been the source of many memories for families and friends over such a long length of time. As a group, we had never visited the Outer Banks, and for it to have given us such a vibrant and meaningful experience, it simply goes to show not only its biological and ecological value, but its pure human value.
The saying, "there's no place like home," is one very overused phrase, I am sure.
Thanks for diving into our journey through the Outer Banks with us, and stay tuned for our individual reflections coming soon!
UNCW Plastic Ocean Project