17 March 2015

Another day at the beach

The photos below will attest to the kind of weather we had yesterday and are supposed to have again today. The temperature a little ways inland may hit 80ºF / 27ºC, but on the beach it will be slightly cooler because the ocean water is still cold after a frigid winter.


My sister Joanna and I drove over to the beach for a late lunch of some steamed "peeler" shrimp on the deck of a restaurant that faces the ocean. We were surprised to see people in bathing suits out playing on the sand. Children and teenagers mainly, I admit — they seem to be especially hot-blooded. However, we were sitting outside in the sun and it was pleasantly warm despite the breeze.


This is the beach we used to call "the main beach." It's always been a public beach and is the place closest to the bridge where you can spread a towel or blanket on the sand, sunbathe, and take a swim. I can guarantee that the beach will be more crowded in a month or two and all through the summer. There used to be a bowling alley here, but it burned down decades ago, and there was a sort of nightclub with a big dance floor called The Pavillion where you could dance the shag to Carolina beach music. Now they are building tall "summer cottages" and condominiums at the main beach.


Sitting out on the restaurant's oceanfront deck, I looked east and noticed that at a certain point the perfectly flat horizon was broken by two bumps that were too large to be waves. Oh, it must be the dunes on Shackleford Banks, I thought to myself. Just at the moment when I spotted the Cape Lookout lighthouse. I was surprised to be able to see it with the naked eye, because the lighthouse is 12 or 13 miles — entre 18 et 20 kilomètres — distant. My (old) camera, at full image size and full zoom, caught the shot above. It's "noisy" as photos go but it definitely shows the far-away lighthouse.


I still can't get used to these huge condominium complexes that have sprung up all along Bogue Banks (in Carteret County), which is known as "The Crystal Coast." Traffic in summer must be horrendous on the single two-lane road that runs the length of the barrier island, parallel to the beach. I haven't visited The Crystal Coast in summertime since the early 1990s. It's too hot and too crowded for me. ("Nobody goes there anymore," as they say, "because it's too crowded.")

11 comments:

Tim said...

""Nobody goes there anymore," as they say, "because it's too crowded.""....
that must be along same lines as....
"We don't stock that line anymore, there's no call for it. You're the third person whose been looking for one this morning!"

Looks like there was some heat haze over the water in that long shot of the dunes and lighthouse, too...
I had the same problem here yesterday trying to focus the binos on a bird over near our neighbours...
there is warmth in the sun again, folks! Hurrah!!

chm said...

Are the girls feeding the gulls?

Ken Broadhurst said...

I took that photo of the girls and the gulls with a very long zoom. I wasn't close enough to be able to see whether they were really feeding the gulls or just playing and teasing them. While Joanna and I were at the restaurant, on the deck, the woman sitting at the next table got up and went inside, leaving her food on the table for a minute or two. The gulls swooped down and one of them actually landed on the woman's chair, hoping to steal some food, before a waitress chased them away.

ladybird said...

On the Belgian coast the gulls are a dangerous pest. In some places there is a real war going on between the gulls and people trying to eat al fresco. The gulls are very aggressive and even attack children. There are strict rules about NOT feeding them deliberately. Several initiatives have been taken to deter them: from firing blanks to setting trained birds of prey on them, but nothing seems to work. So unlike Jonathan Livingstone Seagull ;)!

Carolyn said...

Ken, any old photos of you dancing the shag?

Evelyn said...

I was wondering about those shag days, too. I'm glad the weather has improved. It must have been very clear to see the lighthouse from afar.

Ken Broadhurst said...

No, no pix. Sorry. I did dance the "shag" -- we actually called it the bop back then -- when I was a teenager, but not since.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Exceptionally clear. MA said she never knew that you could see Cape Lookout lighthouse from the main beach. I don't think I did either, but you can certainly see it on certain days from Fort Macon (we went there together last year), which is a little bit farther east. We saw the lighthouse from Harkers Island last year.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I don't think the gulls are considered to be a real pest around here, but you do have to be careful about standing under them when they fly over. Bird droppings, you know. Once a gull dropped a big clam on my car windshield and cracked it badly. The gull was aiming for the roadway -- that's how they open the clams, by dropping them on a hard surface like pavement -- but I happened to get in the way.

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

Wow, you sure take some great photos, Ken. This is just great to see :)

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