It stormed on and off all day Wednesday, curtailing our time on the beach in the morning and evening, but we managed to get a lot done in drizzle and in between showers, driving to Cape Hatteras National Seashore with a picnic that we ended up eating in the van:
My family went surfing on boogie boards in the morning at the beach at Kill Devil Hills.
We visited Bodie Island Lighthouse, which is under full scaffolding, then walked on the wetlands boardwalk behind it to see the crabs and egrets in the marsh.
We also visited Oregon Inlet, where the propeller of the Daedalus rests to mark its sinking as a reef. There were people pulling up crabs on strings right out of the water and many fishing boats -- the osprey in the nest beside this one, which had chicks, squawked when this boat came too close.
At Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, we saw Canada geese, red-winged blackbirds, snapping and slider turtles, egrets, and lots of other wildlife including these nutria picking up seeds that had fallen from bird feeders. On the Atlantic side, we saw killdeer and piping plovers as well as the remains of the boiler of the steamer Oriental, still visible offshore.
This is how the Laura Barnes shipwreck looked in 2002 (scroll down, you can see Bodie Island Lighthouse without scaffolding here too). Ten years later it is all but buried in the dune.
We stopped for ice cream late in the afternoon and took another walk on the beach, then Cheryl had to go home to Virginia. My family ate Indian food we had brought from home for a late dinner while we watched the women's gymnastics and track events at the Olympics.