Friday, August 05, 2011

Greetings from Cape Hatteras

On Thursday, after a morning on the beach with bigger waves than we'd seen thus far on the trip -- plus more seabirds, various kinds of crabs, and several dolphins -- we drove through Cape Hatteras National Seashore, stopping at the Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouses and visiting the various exhibits (Civil War and World War II displays at Cape Hatteras, a boardwalk to a marsh filled with egrets, herons, and crabs, plus snakes that we didn't see but signs warned us that we might). The park police had closed the Cape Hatteras lighthouse to climbers just before we arrived due to extreme heat inside the structure, but I think the heat outside might have been enough to deter me even if we had been allowed to climb the 248 iron spiral steps to the top.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Bodie Island Lighthouse

In addition to the dunes and inlets, where we spotted more egrets, nesting pelicans, a rabbit, and many kinds of shore birds, we drove through Avon and Rodanthe and saw the UFO house in Frisco (which is apparently only one of many in the world). We didn't stop at the British cemetery in Buxton where sailors who died on the H.M.S. Bedfordshire and merchant ship San Delfino were buried after German U-Boats destroyed the vessels in 1942, but we saw it from the road. When we got back to Kill Devil Hills, we went to the beach again, where the waves were even bigger than in the morning -- seagulls were diving at the little jumping fish who leap in swarms in the surf. Like our first evening, the water was warmer than the air. We had a very late dinner in our hotel room and watched the Moby Dick episode of Futurama, which seemed only appropriate. And for the second night in a row, people are setting off fireworks on the beach, which is lovely of them.

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