Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shackleford Banks

A friend came to visit last weekend, and on Saturday we ventured into the breezy bracing day to explore Shackleford Banks. We drove to Beaufort and took a water taxi over to the island. She's horse crazy, so a significant reason to go was the herd of wild horses that live on the island.

We didn't have to wander far to find them - there were several right over the dunes from where we unloaded.

Eventually we decided that we'd tried their patience enough so we cut across the middle of the island to reach the Atlantic side of the island. I love the ocean. I can spend happy hours just staring at the waves.

But there were dunes to explore and shells to collect and mysteries to contemplate...

What do you suppose happened to him?

Is there a lost and found for mermaid purses?

I thought that boat was pointed the other way when we were on the way here?

Pardon me, sir, but which way to the boat home? As the gull flies is fine - there really isn't a trail anyway.

A different group of horses was kind enough to lead us in the right direction back to the pick up point. (Hint: Don't head for the Fort. That would be the wrong way. Point yourself roughly between the hotel and the water tower.)

And see that we continued on our way.

We returned to the mainland tired, hungry and sunburned but well content with our respective treasure troves of shells - which took both of us to haul back across the island. They don't seem heavy when you find them, but it adds up fast!

These are mine. (I collected enough last time that I felt I could afford to be choosy this time. Also, I gave my friend her choice of our finds.) The one I am happiest about is the Scotch Bonnet (top row, fourth from your left) - it's the North Carolina state shell, the critter involved lives in deep water and I'm told it's rare to find an intact one of any size.

These are hers. She was very happy about the whelk shells. We found a good selection.

All in all, a lovely day!

1 comment:

Floridacracker said...

Great pictures! Sounds like a beautiful, fun day.