13 March 2015

A day at the beach

Yesterday the fog lifted and a brisk northeast wind started blowing. That brought sunny, clear weather, and cooler temperatures that I welcomed. I drove five miles over to the beach at about 9:00 yesterday morning and took a walk, taking some pictures. By the way, I have a new camera and I'm trying to figure out how to set it up to get the best results I can get.


The barrier island across the sound from Morehead City is 25 miles (40 km) long and is called Bogue Banks. It runs east-west, so that when you are on the beach looking at the ocean, you are looking south toward the Bahamas, which are 700 or 800 miles distant. Most people are surprised to learn that there are south-facing beaches on the U.S. east coast, but there are, both in North Carolina and New York (Long Island). Here, we've always been used to seeing the noon sun shining out over the sea.


Morehead City is 500 miles south of New York City, and 500 miles east of Atlanta. The island of Bermuda is about 600 miles to the east, out in the Atlantic. Morehead's people are southern, but they are part of a cultural and linguistic zone that stretches south down the coast from New Jersey through Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. They have always been seafarers, not plantation owners.


The local accent here in Carteret County, N.C., isn't a Southern drawl (as in South Carolina) but a coastal brogue that sounds like Old English to Americans from other regions. Most of the people here came from England via Boston and New England. They were fishermen and whalers who migrated down the coast over several generations. By the way, the first English colony in North America was established on the North Carolina coast in 1585. It was a failure and disappeared mysteriously off the face of the continent — the colonists were never heard from again.


The warm Gulf Steam ocean current flows north just 30 miles offshore from Morehead City, which used to have "Fisherman's Paradise" as its official motto. Maybe it still does. The climate is mild, since the prevailing winds come from the southwest (Florida and the Gulf of Mexico). That said, it is also true that the N.C. coastline juts pretty far out into the Atlantic Ocean, in the path of passing hurricanes. Those storms can bring some very rough weather in late summer and through autumn.

22 comments:

  1. I do believe that you and your camera are becoming friends - nice shots Ken

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  2. Replies
    1. Forgot to ask: Is it another Lumix?

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    2. Yes, it is another Lumix, with a longer zoom. I'm still experimenting with the settings.

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  3. These are excellent shots....The ocean is beautiful.

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  4. Holy cow, that is really interesting about the first English settlement having been in NC, and so early.
    I never have known much about N.C. (before learning from you), but never thought of it as southern, the way I think of Mississippi or Georgia or Alabama as southern... thanks for the explanation of its people's roots :)

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    1. The 1585 colony was England's first attempt, under Elizabeth I, to settle people in America. It's known as "the lost colony" because of the way the settlers just vanished after Sir Walter Raleigh returned to England to get and bring back more supplies shortly after the colony was established. He never found the colonists, and nobody else ever did either. The first English baby ever born in American was born there, probably on Roanoke Island (though nobody knows for sure; it could have been on a different island along the coast as there were no reliable maps back then), and named Virginia Dare. It was 20 years later, in 1607, that the first successful English colony was established at Jamestown in Virginia, not very far north.

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  5. The coastal region of the Carolinas and Georgia is one of
    my favorite parts of the US. Hope the weather behaves and
    you can make a visit to Beaufort.

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    1. We went to Beaufort yesterday. It's only 5 miles east. But I didn't take any photos there yet this year.

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  6. look at that sunshine!! agreeing with the others - dat last shot is a wow!

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    1. Hi OFG, we talked about driving up to Kinston to eat at that restaurant you sent the link for, but it's only open for dinner and we don't want to drive back late at night. Too bad. I have seen the PBS show and enjoyed it. Maybe one day...

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  7. wow from me, too. hi to your fam.

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    1. Hi Cheryl, I will transmit the greetings. Having a good time.

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  8. I'd say you've got that new camera figured out. Excellent shots!

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  9. Love the broiling foam in the last pic...
    and wonderfully sharp, too.
    Like yesterday's piers pic, the colours are very natural...

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  10. I really like these photos! Enjoy your new camera. Greetings from Monument Valley Utah/Arizona- I could have used your camera today! There were blue skies here, also.

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    1. Didn't know you were going to Monument Valley! It must be gorgeous and I'm sure those Parisians got their eyes knocked out by the beauty of it all.

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  11. Forgot to mention that I spoke quelques mots to some Parisians today- they love it here. There were also some hardy souls (soles?) running 50 miles through the valley as well.

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  12. I bet when you return to the coast you wonder how you could ever have left that paradise! (I know---we grow up and want to experience other things... and earn a living! - At least those were a couple of my reasons (!) )

    Someday I hope to hear that "coastal brogue" as you identified it! So glad you got some sunshine so early in your trip! We're having a rainy weekend here.

    Mary in Oregon

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    1. Rain is pouring down here this afternoon!

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