|Buxton, NC to Leland, NC|
|Date: June 5, 2014 tb|
Today was a Ferry day.
There is a free ferry that runs between Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Island. I left the motel at 8:16 and arrived at the ferry terminal at 8:44. There were no tie-downs for a motorcycle, so the ferry master asked me to stand on the deck with the bike. The ferry ride seemed uneventful, UNTIL, wave splashes began coming over the side of the guardrail wall. Of course this happened right where the bike and I were. I got doused, and I scrambled to get a large plastic bag over my gear. I got sopping wet but got my luggage protected. Then, the wind changed and all was fine again.
I got to Ocracoke Island at 10:04 AM and started riding the 14 miles to the town of Ocracoke where the second ferry terminal is located. The road had been recently covered with tar and gravel so I was riding cautiously and not close to any other vehicle. The weather was very windy, with substantial gusts coming left-to-right from the ocean.
Remote Ocracoke Island was not permanently settled until 1750, being a pirate haven at times before then. It was a favorite anchorage of Edward Teach, better known as the pirate Blackbeard, until he was killed in November 1718. Today the entire island is owned by the Park Service, except for a small village. Tiny Ocracoke was once extremely isolated, allowing for the development of a unique dialect. A characteristic phrase is "high tide," pronounced somewhat like "hoi toid", and locals are referred to as high tiders or hoi toiders. With the influx of tourists, the brogue is fading.
After securing a reservation for the 1:00 PM ferry to Cedar Island, I went to the Pony Island Restaurant for breakfast. Then I drove to the Ocracoke lighthouse (see below). The next ferry started loading at 1:02 PM, and we left shortly after that. There were only 17 vehicles on the boat, about half capacity. Once we got out into calm water I worked on yesterday's web page. This ferry trip was MUCH less exciting, and I was able to dry out from the earlier dousing experience.
Riding time: 12 hours 32 minutes
Today = 174 miles, plus Ferry Ride of 37 miles,
Total = 730 miles
Average Miles/Gallon for trip: 39.8
Average Price/Gallon for day: $4.06 (Premium Grade)
Gas Used to Date: $70.37
|8:44 - Arrived at the Ferry Terminal and got into the queue. Ferries leave every half hour during the summer and there were more than enough cars waiting to fill the 9am boat. Fortunately, I was on a motorcycle and they got me on with no hassles. Finally, a tangible benefit for riding a bike.|
|9:02 - Off we go leaving Hatteras toward Ocracoke Island.
||There were many gulls catching a free ride in the air currents above the ferry, including this handsome Laughing Gull in summer/breeding colors.
|9:26 AM - Top speed for the ferry.
||9:46 AM - A sister ship making the return transit.
|It was built in 1823, and stands 75 ft tall. There's a boardwalk to it, but climbing is generally prohibited.
|Leaving Ocracoke on the Ferry to Cedar Island
My ride, nicely tucked in the center of the boat.
Arrived at Cedar Island at 3:23 PM
About 5:30 PM - The horizon looks bleak. I stop to get out my rain gear and cover my baggage in a plastic bag. This photo was taken as I looked toward Jacksonville, NC where I had to bypass Camp Legune Marine Base. I spend the next 1-1/2 hours riding in traffic, very heavy rain and lightning. Finally at around 7 pm I got past the storm and stopped at a McDonalds for coffee and to remove the rain gear.
The gear works fairly well at keeping me warm at speed, but there are a few areas which really resist staying dry. For example, my lower legs and around my neck. All in all, it was tolerable but tiring running at 100% awareness for the duration. Fortunately, other drivers were well behaved. I suspect that even the cell phone & texting drivers were needing a little extra attention to driving in the storm.
At 8:14 PM I stopped for gas in Leland, NC. While fueling, I saw a Holiday Inn Express next door. I called home to consult with Mission Control, and we decided that it would be prudent to quit for the day and dry out.