Kayaking/Island Exploring in the Outer Banks

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Hey A-trossers,

I just got back from a little R and R in the Outer Banks. Two highlights: sea-kayaking the Roanoke Sound and visiting the ghost town of Portsmouth Island.

Since I'm the sort of person who can't sit still for too long, I decided to do a brief sea-kayak trip with some other hapless types in the Roanoke Sound (about two blocks and a neighborhood down from the Outer Banks). While the promise of seeing dolphins was alluring, the real fun was paddling in the waves and sneaking around in some saltwater marshes. No casualites to report, but some middle-aged Yankee took a swim while trying to retrieve his camera. Pretty entertaining. Oh! and yes, a few dolphins were sighted.

Portsmouth Island was an earlier in the week excursion. It's a small Island just south of Ocracoke Island. The island was at one time, the largest seaport in NC (we're talking 18th century "one time") and abandoned only in 1971, the island boasts a ghost town of about 7-10 buildings.

It also boasts soccer-ball sized mosquitoes who actually enjoy the aroma of "Off". Other cool things to do on the island include marching across a wide expanse of a tidal flat (think desert expanse ala Mad Max films) and shelling along pristine sandy beaches. The bodysurfing is also pretty kickin, and you don't get gnarled and spat out like you do at Nags Head.

Anyway, it's a great little day trip, and for anyone who might take the time to go to Ocracoke, I recommend it.

If you're in the area, the guy to call is Rudy Austin in Ocracoke (for the ferry). You get dropped off about 10:00 a.m. and rendevous about 2 p.m. Take plenty of insect repellant, and large beach towel for the bugs, as well as water. Also, be ready to wade "up to your thighs" for about an eighth of a mile from island to island [on sections of Portsmouth Island] at the end of the trip.



-- Pat Kelley (Pkelley@rti.org), September 01, 1997


Outer Banks boating

Sounds like a blast. I always wanted to get over to Portsmouth but never had the time.

A couple of years ago, before Carol and I got so overwhelmed with kids, we sailed our LITTLE 19' O'Day Mariner all the way from Swan Quarter out to Ocracoke. About 9-10 hours, with the boat getting smaller and smaller the whole way!

We didn't get to see any dolphins on that trip, but on a trip along the Dare County shore (still Pamlico Sound) with my brother in-law (Tim) and Sammy (was at Soltesz this summer) we had the pleasure of being nearly capsized by a group of about 5 (the Mariner has very little freeboard). There is nothing more inspiring - almost makes the mosquitos worth it!

If you've got any pictures of your trip, send 'em in and I'll post 'em on the site. I'd personally love to see Portsmouth.

-- Dale (dale.swanson@usa.net), September 01, 1997.

Portsmouth Island

So, it was pretty cool, huh? I've been wanting to get out there sometime. I'd like to check out the old village. Maybe Casey and I could get some friends to come along? Speaking of which, we were at Ocracoke over the 15th, and wondered if others might be interested in renting a cottage at Ocracoke for a long weekend (or more). Any takers?


-- Freddy (freddyj@mindspring.com), September 01, 1997.


Hey, Freddy. Andrew and I have talked about renting a place. I have the info on houses. There pretty cheap.

-- floyd (floydwells@www.hotmail.com), September 16, 1997.


That sounds like fun! Count me in. Are they open off season?

-- Joanne (kempen@rti.org), October 13, 1997.

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