North Core Banks – A bit of a different tour for NC Touring this past spring. We loaded up the subarus, threw the kayaks on the roof and boarded a private ferry to the North Core Banks. We were gifted four nights at one of the NPS cabins on the narrow strip of land. The views were fabulous and we could see the sunrise on the ocean from our balcony, and then in the evening, from the same spot, we could watch the sun set. We were also blessed with a full moon, so we got to see that come up as the sun set behind us.
The area is known for mosquitos and biting flies, that become busier than a Crackerbarrel next to a Chick-Fil-A. The mornings are the time to explore, as the cooler temperatures keep the critters at bay. We launched our kayaks on the sound side of the island, and explored the area. The bay is very shallow, averaging around 2-3 feet, so you could see the sea floor. It made for very confident edging and bracing with the kayak, with little to no possibility of capsize. Because of the shallow depths, wind can wreak havoc on the water, making it really choppy if it blows. Make sure you check your weather before venturing out.
We did not make it up to Portsmouth Island this trip, but plan to repeat the itinerary in 2018. It was also a blast driving the Subaru Outbacks on the beach, but there is also a beach road that runs the length of the island (22 miles). With that length of beach, and only about 60 people there at one time, it is easy to find your own secluded section of land. The breezes picked up in the afternoon, which also kept the flying kamikaze insects at bay. We were able to enjoy some surf fishing and lounging in the sun.
We had a blast, and expect a larger report and more photos when we return in 2018.