I made it to Cedar Island at 10 AM with only minutes to spare--Halcyon II was the last vehicle to board the ferry for the 2-1/2 hour trip to Ocracoke Island. At the last minute I learned the fee was $15 if the vehicle was under 20' or $30 if it was over 20'--and with the bicycle and spare tire I measured out to 20' and 4 inches! Quickly I offered to remove the bike and put it inside the RV but, after a minutes deliberation, the ticket gal waved me through for $15. All in all, for a 2 1/2 hour boat ride I think $15 was a bargain.
It wasn't very long before I learned that the ice chest just ahead of me was full of beer, wine and Tequila and meant for Harley's Hawgs, Hells Angels, Road Warriors and who knows what all....
The Outer Banks were about to be invaded by a veritable army of bikers. It was the Annual Spring Biker's Rally on the Outer Banks--I couldn't believe how lucky I was! (Yes, that is sarcasm you hear.)
It was an easy crossing with the only interruption to the peaceful surroundings of water swishing along the hull and the steady rumbling of the motor was the revelry from the Biker Bunch. I decided not to join them but took a nap instead.
The first stop I made as I disembarked and headed toward Cape Hatteras was to have lunch alongside this small herd of wild horses. These diminutive beauties are direct descendants from the Spanish exploration in the 1500's. I learned that this bit of knowledge is verified by the study of DNA that links the horses back to Spain with no connection whatsoever to those horses found on the mainland.
The horses are small in stature with shorter necks than most breeds and almost look like ponies. And this little group was very frisky but still wild. They are penned away from the highway to protect them from the traffic but their enclosure covers quite a few acres.
Still I wish they could run free along the beach like their ancestors from generations past.
Well, I was going to have some trouble running free along the beach as well. The wind was picking up and now blowing at gale-force and the sand kept getting in my eyes. My sight-seeing was going to be from inside the vehicle for awhile.
I was even starting to worry that Halcyon II was being sand-blasted.
By late afternoon I was ready for my next ferry ride from Ocracoke to Hatteras. This one was less than an hour but the wind was getting worse and it was a smaller boat.
Once on board I climbed the stairs to the upper deck and got a good look at Halcyon II's roof for the first time. I was relieved to see that she still had her paint.
I took this picture through the window but the spray made it fuzzy. All the same I got the meaning.
As we came into the harbor the wind died a little but there was still a chop on the water. I got the first real glimpse of the types of houses I would see all along the coast. These are huge--almost like hotels and many (or most) are rentals--by the floor.
I looked at the cost of real estate on some of the islands and a 'fixer-upper' starts at about a million. Not in my budget--besides I could never do all those stairs.
As the ferry came into the harbor I started the engine then looked up at the GPS. When there is water nearby Elizabeth shows it in blue--my screen was almost entirely blue.
One last drive along the shore while looking at all the pastel-colored summer homes before I found a very expensive, grungy little RV park for the night. Where's a Cracker Barrel when you need one? There was a biker party going on the other side of the park but they didn't disturb my sleep.