Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shackleford Banks

This morning we caught the 9 o'clock ferry to Shackleford Banks. As soon as we stepped off, sunscreened ourselves, and stashed our belongings, we headed left to search out the ponies.

We saw the horses, sometime called Banker horses or Banker ponies, in the distance as our ferry approached the shore. We walked about twenty or thirty minutes along the water and across the island and came up on a group of seven ponies. They let us get pretty close but we were mindful not to get too close. We didn't want to startle them and cause them to run off or charge at us. We got (I hope) a lot of great pictures before the tour group arrived.

Then we headed back to gather our belongings and to begin our trek to the other (ocean) side of the island where we planned to set up camp for swimming and shell collecting. We walked around the point of the island and beyond all of the other groups that had arrived before us. Later we would discover a path that would take us across the island to the ferry pick up point.

David and I took off almost immediately for a walk down the beach. We had gone about 15 minutes when David caught sight of something in the water. He ran over and reached down, bringing up a beautiful whelk. As we walked on, we found another whelk just sitting up on the sand, and later another in the surf. We also found a ton of olive shells and a starfish/seastar. After an hour of walking, we headed back. We spent the remainder of the day relaxing and watching the kids play. We dodged a storm...found a message in a bottle (really!) ...listened to the ocean...hunted shells...

We got to the ferry stop at 3, and David and Caroline wandered off to search the surf for more treasures. They found a whole sand dollar! Our ferry came back for us at 3:20 and we welcomed the cool breeze on the ride back to Beaufort. We were able to catch the last open hour of the local maritime museum, where we learned about ships, sharks, and Blackbeard!

We opted for some ice cream before heading back to our cute green beach house for some really awesome leftovers. Our plan to eat out was scrapped when we realized just how sandy and tired we were going to be at the end of the day! It was so nice to come home to a cool house and a warm shower!


Anonymous David said...

What a great day!

12:37 AM  

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