Until only recently, nearly every summer vacation of my entire adult life was spent on the beaches of North Carolina. I first began going when I was 20 years old -- my boyfriend’s parents had rented an oceanfront house at Hatteras, just outside Hatteras Village. I fell madly in love with the wildness of the area, and I remember going to Ocracoke Island on a ferry and having this feeling . . . it felt like I was coming home.
I ended up marrying the boyfriend and family vacations continued on Hatteras every year until we decided to begin taking our own, just our little family, rather than going with the entire group. One year, we waited too long to choose a rental house and ended up staying on Ocracoke.
We never stayed in Hatteras again.
I took these photos around Thanksgiving, 2006 with a little Sony Cybershot, my first digital camera. I love the reflection of the clouds on the harbor here. Ocracoke Village lies at the end of a 16-mile long island and there is not one house that was built on the beach. The homes are all around the village and the sound side. In the photo above, you can see the old coast guard station on the right and the inlet where the Swan Quarter and Cedar Island ferries come in.
The little house that you see on the left is one that we rented when our children were very young. It was one of my favorite memories on the island. It was fall, the crowds had gone home, and we had the beach all to ourselves.
I have no idea how I found the house because back then, there was no internet. The house sits on Windmill Point and has been renovated since we stayed there in the late 80’s. It’s old-fashioned and I love it. Rental info: [Windmill Point Cottage].
But that’s not where we stayed in 2006.
In 2006 we stayed here, at [The Pirate’s Quay], on the 2nd floor. We didn’t have a dog at the time, so we won’t be going back there anytime soon. It has a wonderful view of the harbor and I highly recommend the place, if you’re not traveling with pets. It operates sort of like a hotel, with daily maid service.
This was the view from our deck. If you look just to the left of the coast guard station, you can see a ferry coming in. Or maybe it’s going out.
In November, the weather is absolutely gorgeous on the Outer Banks. And every evening, just before sunset, we’d pack a bottle of wine, and maybe some cheese & crackers and head to our secret place. There’s a cottage right along Teach’s Hole that we’ve always loved for its simplicity. And often, when we were vacationing, it wasn’t rented. It didn’t have air conditioning, and I don’t think it had heat either. We were breaking the law by trespassing, but it only made it all the more thrilling.
We called it the sunset cottage and enjoyed just quietly sitting on the deck with our drinks while we watched the most beautiful sunsets.
For those who don’t know, Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, was killed here at Teach’s Hole on an early November morning in the year 1718. There’s a lot of pirate lore on the island and it’s quite fun for the children.
This is the view from the deck of the little cottage that we so brazenly visited. Checking the realty company's website, I see it’s no longer for rent on the island.
~ : ~ ~ : ~ ~ : ~ ~ : ~ ~ : ~ ~ : ~ ~ : ~
And you thought I only loved Maine, didn’t you?
Until tomorrow, my friends . . .