Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Kill Devil Hills: Charley Brown's Christmas tree--beach version

        We arrived at Kill Devil Hills just before sunset Sunday after spending an enjoyable Christmas with Carol’s family near Charlotte.  We are in the same ocean front condo complex we stayed in last June, but on the second rather than the first floor.  
        After dark that evening we shared a bottle of wine on the balcony watching an almost full moon rise, white lines of surf form and vanish in darkness, the running lights of a ship heading south.  A small cluster of blue and white lights on the beach were inexplicable until the next morning when we walked on the beach and found that someone has stuck the above in the sand.  Two small waterproof battery packs power LEDs.
        Temperatures here have been setting records.  Today was in the high 70sF/mid 20sC, light wind.  Shorts and t-shirts weather.  Perfect.
        I read online that the Outer Banks have about 60,000 permanent residents and 6,000,000 annual visitors, the vast majority in the summer.  There are other people around now, more even than I expected, but the beaches and roads are much less crowded.
        There is an immediate experience of the sea in this condo.  I’m writing at 8 p.m. and can hear the sound of surf and feel and smell a light sea breeze through the open balcony door.  I like being out here on an island on the edge of the continent.  We are on and off the balcony a dozen times a day, watching waves, sea birds—pelicans, gulls, and all the cormorants in the world, or so it seemed, flew past yesterday in a single file line hundreds long, dolphin swimming just beyond the surf line.  It is beautiful and wonderful.