Family Vacation 2011 has officially come to an end. Another year at Oak Island, NC is in the books. I’m anxiously awaiting January so we can book next years trip. We headed back home a day early due to Hurricane Irene, but despite missing the coast terribly, we are happy to be home. We had showers or thunderstorms everyday, at no fault of Irene. On Monday, after dinner with the hubs and getting caught in one heck of a storm, I was lucky enough to see not one end of the rainbow, but both! I actually caught a shot on my iPhone from the car of a double rainbow just before getting back to the house and taking these…
This was the north end of the rainbow, taken from our back deck.
And this was the south end of the rainbow, dropping down into the Atlantic. (Oak Island is a south facing island.)
You can see that the surf has been hard on the beach here. Erosion and flooding are a problem on the island (thus our being evacuated for Irene) and the road was flooded in multiple places from the thunderstorm we had Wednesday night that wasn’t even related to Irene.
The rain leaves a beautiful texture on the undisturbed sand.
It also made a wonderful canvas for me to make my mark.
Here’s another shot of the dunes, what little is left of them, and the houses that line the west end of the Oak Island. This is all pre-Irene. I’m not sure how much erosion there was when Irene came through.
The west end of the island is fairly narrow. Our house was on the second row and we were lucky enough to have views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway (seen above).
The Intercoastal Waterway has just as many beautiful homes lining it as the ocean does. A second bridge onto the island opened last winter, cutting about 20 minutes off of our drive in. The bridge had been scheduled to open earlier, but sadly there was a death during the construction of the bridge and the construction had to be delayed.
The Ocean Crest Pier was just up the road from where we stayed. The kids enjoyed the long walk to the end, but weren’t very interested in standing around to look for sea life. In the few brief moments we spent on the pier, I saw 2 jellyfish and several stingrays.
Oak Island is situated just south of Wilmington and Kure Beach. You can drive up, but there is also a ferry you can drive onto and take a more scenic route. At $5 a car, it is much more cost effective than driving too. I love seeing the little undisturbed pieces of land that pop up here and there.
Once you get of the ferry, you’re at the south end of Kure Beach and at the historic Fort Fisher. The beach is beautiful there, but the current is dangerous. The kids get upset because I won’t let them get out in the water beyond their ankles. Well, the girl gets upset. Boy Wonder is still a little freaked out by the ocean.
You can see from the rocks that have been brought in, erosion is a serious issue and there are places where there is no beach left at all. Where there is sand, there’s a good 2 feet drop between the dry sand and where high tide hits.
Everywhere you look along the NC coast, there’s something beautiful to see.
Whether in Maine, Florida, California or North Carolina – Be kind to your beaches. Make sure that there’s something left for those who follow to enjoy.