Today, our last full day of vacation, we decided to go to Cape Lookout, and we did it by way of Harkers Island. I picked a ferry at a place called Calico Jacks Inn & Marina. Harkers Island is a quiet little island nestled in the Back Sound behind Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks. We took our time getting ready as we had made no ferry reservations, and weren't sure who was going with us, etc. As it turned out, Bill and Lin joined myself, Emily, Adrienne, and Erin. Thanks to the GPS, we took some shortcuts that cut our drive time to Harkers Island to about an hour and 20, and we arrived at the marina right about 12:15 - just in time for the 12:15 ferry. But we hadn't eaten lunch, and the marina really only had snack food, so they recommended a restaurant about 2 miles down the road called The Fish Hook Grill where we could go get some carry out and maybe make it back for the 12:45 ferry. They were busy but got our food together pretty quickly but we didn't make it back to the marina until about 12:50 so we missed the boat and would have to wait until the 1:15 ferry. So we hung out and ate our lunch on the front porch of the marina.
The ferry arrived and took us over to the island, dropping us off at a dock near the lighthouse. We signed up for the 4pm return ferry so we had about 2-1/2 hours to hang around.
A nice boardwalk ran from the doc to the bathhouse and gift shop, then to the lighthouse and keepers quarters and all the way across the island to the beach on the ocean side. After checking out the gift shop and hitting the bathrooms we wandered over to the ocean beach for some shell hunting and some fun. The waves were gigantic (some as high as 8 feet) and there were some surfers out in the water. I never went in deeper than about waist deep, though yes, the occasional 8 foot wave did tower over me! But since Emily couldn't go into the rough surf, we shortly headed back over to the sound beach for a swim (just me and Emily). The rest of the gang went to check out the lighthouse and keepers quarters.
The water in the sound was WARM. Very shallow, and a good 10 degrees warmer than the ocean... the top 2 feet of water must've been between 85 ad 90, it was very warm. Emily and I had our goggles so we did some pseudo-snorkeling, looking for shells. Of course there aren't a lot of shells in the sound but Emily did manage to find a "kitten's paw". After about a half hour of tooling around the waters of the sound, we headed back to the ocean. I wanted to get some time in the waves.
I managed to convince Emily to stay up on shore where the waves had already broken and just washed around her feet mostly, while Erin and I played in the waves and the rest of the gang hunted for shells. They actually found quite a few cool ones.
However, the coolest shell was "found" by Emily. A shell hunter in the water tossed a big whelk near her. She didn't seem him toss it, but she did discover the shell laying there, and she thought she'd "found" it herself. Who are we to tell her otherwise? the guy who tossed it up near her had obviously found plenty of his own otherwise I suspect he would've walked it up and put it with the rest of his shells.
I wish we could've stayed another hour, as 4 o'clock rolled around pretty quickly, and we headed back to the docks for our return ferry trip.
Nothing else interesting to report. Bob returned this evening. We got home around 6:00. It was Bill's birthday, so to celebrate we ordered take-out again from the Hurricane Restaurant.