Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wild Ride

Amy had a dental appointment yesterday (in Nags Head), and she asked me if I'd like to ride along. I did, which helps explain why I didn't post on the journal yesterday. We left at 7:30 a.m. and arrived back home at 9:00 p.m.

I didn't realize that the tide was so high. The ocean was washing over the road a mile or so before we got to Hatteras Inlet. Strong winds added to the effect, which made the morning ferry ride quite an adventure! After we left the protection of the basin, almost immediately small choppy waves began splashing up over the bow of the vessel. Salt spray was driven onto the cars on the starboard side of the boat.

In the inlet the situation got more exciting. We plowed through rough seas that sent seawater climbing over the bow, cascading across the open deck, and washing out through the scuppers. Several large waves sent frothing, foaming spray as high as five feet over the tops of the webbed barrier at the bow of the boat. What a sight!

There was no danger. The ferry hardly rolled at all. It was simply the direction of the wind, the flow of the tide, and the course of the vessel that combined to create the excitement.

The return was so different. The setting sun set the western horizon ablaze in color. The sound was placid. The ferry ride, calm and serene. It was good to be back home.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of an article Philip wrote about sailing aboard the historic two-masted schooner, Mary E. It was originally published in the Washington Post in 1976. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous12:50 PM

    I LOVE THE FERRY!! As soon as I'm on it headed for Ocracoke, it feels like I'm on my way home! I wish I could have seen the waves.

  2. Anonymous12:51 PM

    I was on the Swan Quarter ferry Sunday morning and it to was very rough!