Since we have a week or so to kill, and Ocracoke’s only a day’s run, we decided to head over while we’re waiting for our windshield. With our National Park Senior Pass, we can dock for only 60 cents/ft, quite a bargain! Besides, it’s one of our favorite places, lots of good memories there since we’ve been going there since the 70’s. Yeah, you already knew we’re old, so what?

This was the weekend of the Pirate Jamboree, but it was a victim of Matthew. We suspected there might be a problem with access, but some checking around revealed there was no problem with boater access, although visitors via the ferries were just being allowed back a few days prior. So we made the run, a great cruise day, very calm, bright sunshine and temps in the high 60’s-low 70’s. Beautiful fall cruising! Ocracoke is changing but it’s limited by a number of factors, the most influential one being acccess. It’s still only accessible by water. No bridges, so there’s an inherent limit to the number of visitors it can accept. We learned from local sources that the ferry bottleneck is at once a problem and salvation, since it limits transient population and development at the same time, forcing the island to retain its laid back charm, which is what draws folks there in the first place. Change is inevitable, but it’s still Ocracoke as we remember it in many ways. We still enjoy biking around the island, remembering what used to be, and wondering how things will change in the future.

One thing we saw that we’ve never seen there before was some wildlife in a mink that was wandering around the docks! He was very interested in what was in the recesses where the pilings come through the dock, and eventually made his way across the grassy section and across toward the Berkley Manor. We were really surprised to see it! The docks are just next to the ferry terminal, so there’s always a lot of activity, even this late in the season. The 1st ferry leaves at 0700, its horn is a wakeup call if the clunk-clunk of vehicles crossing the loading ramp isn’t enough to rouse! There’s a sort of rhythm marked by the comings and goings of the ferries and the accompanying traffic that just adds to the feeling of Ocracoke!

We met up with Mark & Cheryl whom we met at the MTOA event for dinner at Dajio’s along the main drag, had an enjoyable dinner, and encouraged them to do some biking around the island. We also made a few stops at the Watermen’s Co-op store for some fresh fish. We had wahoo, red drum, black drum, and some little neck clams. All very fresh and really delicious! We’ve become somewhat spoiled by the availability of fresh fish where we travel. Even dining out provides opportunity to have fresh caught on the menu, and it’s just so much better! On one of our bike rides, we came across a ballfield we hadn’t seen before, it’s on the edge of the developed area adjacent to the National Seashore boundary. Quite a nice field. There are still new structures going up, the old Island Inn is for sale and in disrepair, so I’m sure there’ll be more changes there. Progress!

One Response to “Ocracoke”

  1. Peggy Bjarno on 18 Nov 2016 at 11:28 AM #

    A MINK???? Where on earth do you suppose it came from?

    There is a farm next to my sister’s house in Montgomery County, Maryland, where they used to raise mink for the fur. When Agnes went through in the 70s, the mink all escaped. You can still see them wild in the area occasionally.

    But in Ocracoke?? Yikes!