Father’s Day weekend and the forecast for Saturday is excellent for doing something. The question is what to? What are my options:
- Motorcycle ride to the coast
- Sailing on the Neuse River
- Kayaking at the coast
- A day trip to Cape Lookout
Too many options and choices. First I need to verify what the rest of the family is planning. The boys are staying in the Raleigh area. Daniel is working Saturday (what a bummer). Ray is visiting a friend who is coming home from Ohio (what a bummer). Michele is open as long as it does includes the dogs (which is nice way of saying that she doesn’t want to sailing). Well, that narrow down the list of activity to do.
We decided to go to Ocracoke Island for a day. The cost is $30 roundtrip (2 people a car) from the Cedar Island terminal, which is 64 miles from my house. Google maps states 1 1/2 drive, but actually it was more like 1 hour and 10 minutes. We made reservation for the first ferry boat, which departed at 07:00 AM. There wasn’t any traffic on US 70 and NC Route 12 during that time in the morning. I think I saw one car on the road, so I was surprise when I saw a line of cars at the terminal. I was hoping to catch a sunrise, but there wasn’t any places to pull over on NC Route 12. The ferry boat ride was 2 hours and 15 minutes. We made reservations for the 7 AM ferry to Ocracoke and 4 PM ferry ferry back to Cedar Island. Cedar Island is an island and a small coastal unincorporated community in eastern North Carolina. It is located in Carteret County. It was populated with local Native Americans prior to the arrival of European settlers. It is so far off the grid Google Maps or Waze doesn’t work when you are out there.
The winds were out of East at 7 knots, so the sound was nice (maybe a 1 foot swell). The sky were clear and high in the mid 80’s. It doesn’t get any better than that. I was hoping to catch some ZZs on the ride over, but that didn’t happen. My dogs kept me busy.
The first stop on Ocracoke was the beach. The beaches on Ocracoke is rate on the top beaches in the country. It’s known as the Pearl of Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island has miles of wild, secluded beaches.
The next, food and spirit. There were many places on the island that are dog friendly, we just have to find the right one. Most of them had a deck without any shade. We narrow down to Gaffer’s Sports Pub. Their special were great and plenty of shade for my dogs.
Next, scene seeing. Ocracoke lighthouse is a most. The parking lot only hold 4 cars and you can only park there for 15 minutes, but that is enough to walk ups the lighthouse and take some pictures. Silver Lake isn’t actually a lake, it’s lagoon-like section of saltwater, and lined by a semi-circle of docks, restaurants, shops, marinas and motels. Ocracoke Harbor, was always a popular destination for travelers of all genres. the biggest attraction of Ocracoke Harbor and Silver Lake occurs every night. The daily sunsets over the harbor are simply stunning and on my to-do list.
Next, more spirits at “1718 Brewing” on the island. The brewery had been open for only 8 months, and the beer was good. What more can you ask, good food, good spirits, and all around good time. The dogs were tired. They slept on the way back. I think the whole family took a nap on the way back. I know I did.