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Boating: Dateline Nags Head, N.C.

October 17, 2012
By boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Just a little side trip during a business trip. One of the best fishing spots besides Florida. Left the Dead End Canal on Saturday morning early and made it to Santee, S.C. in the afternoon. Watched college football until we (Mrs. boatguy) fell asleep. Left early and headed to New Bern, NC. Once we were off I-95, it was a slog through rural North Carolina.

To amuse ourselves and pass the time we counted churches. We stopped after we hit a hundred and started to classify them. Brick and mortar with paved parking lots, brick and mortar w/o paved parking lots, mobile home/churches. Trailer churches and revival tents. I missed several turns because we were deep in discussion about the classifications.

New Bern is a wonderful place that is seeking industrial development. It is a beautiful town on a point right on the Neuse River. We didn't know there would be a seafood/boating festival going on so most of the streets were blocked off. A helpful native directed us to Bridgeton where the industrial area was. Not much industry but the entire infrastructure is there and ready to go.

We decided to rest a while on the outer banks (OBX) which was a short three hours away. The run was pretty straight except the new roads weren't on my old GPS so we switched to our smart phones. We arrived at Nags Head and went straight to our favorite place, Sam and Omie's. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and they're right.

I remembered S &O's as the old place back in the 1970s when the banks were sparsely populated and everyone was glad to see you. Or even in the late 1980s when the population had boomed but still nothing like today. "What can I get for you," was as pleasant as we could get from the bartender.

The redeeming quality was the memories and the Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap. The male bartender had been there for quite some time. We didn't expect him to remember us from our visits during the early part of this century but we when we tried to make small talk, he cozied up with his fellow workers. Even an attempt of the old boatguy's world famous sense of humor fell flat.

"How much PBR can I get with a trade for a passel full of fish. I'm fishing the beach tomorrow," I said. Without missing a beat he went into a lecture about fishing product licenses and how they couldn't trade or buy fish without me having that license. Even Mrs. boatguy, who doesn't usually get my sense of humor thought the joke was silly sort of funny.

Could it be that off-season doesn't require friendliness? I hope he got the point when I only left him a 15 percent tip. It took a long walk on the beach and a few more PBR's to get the sour taste out of my mouth. I will go back because I'm one stubborn dude but if I don't get a better attitude, I'm going to knock the tip all the way down to 10 percent.

Monday morning was gorgeous. Not much of a sunrise but soft gentle breezes. Not like the blow-your-hat-off wind that is coming with a cold front. Nags Head is always breezy. That's why the Wright Brothers left Ohio to fly their kites there and finally achieved manned controlled flight. Like anyone needs an excuse to leave Ohio?

The OBX was settled by an English logging firm way back before the revolution. When the trees were all gone, the workers stayed and tried to make a living without much success. They were soon forced to become land pirates who wrecked passing ships by displaying lanterns from the necks of old nags and walking them up and down the beach. The ships would steer too close to the shore thinking other ships were in closer.

The government hired these Pirates for life-saving stations and their descendants were the ones that steadied the wings on Orville and Wilbur's 'Kitty Hawk!'

As soon as I'm done writing this column we will go down (staying on the sixth floor of the Nags Head Comfort Inn) to the swimming pool and eventually dunk our tootsies in the ocean. I'll bet the ocean is much warmer than the pool. The Gulf Stream comes past just a few miles offshore and the water stays warm into the early winter.

This afternoon I'm going to fish off the Jeannette Pier or possibly the beach after I do my homework. I was hoping the "blues" were running early because of the colder than usual Fall weather. We are going to get some of that Tuesday and Wednesday when a cold front comes through. Highs in the low sixties might force me to go shopping one afternoon.

Staying in a hotel has its drawbacks and benefits. We're up nice and high and we have an elevator but we don't have a stove so cooking all the fish I catch will have to be done by cooperating restaurants. More later!

Boatguy Ed is a past Commodore of the Dead End Canal Yacht Club, a manufacturer of marine products especially Super Shipbottom Anti-fouling bottom paint (www.supershipbottom.com) and an avid boater. Send comments to boatguied@aol.com. Don't ever try to buy him a drink.

By boatguy Ed

Boating: Dateline Nags Head, N.C.

Just a little side trip during a business trip. One of the best fishing spots besides Florida. Left the Dead End Canal on Saturday morning early and made it to Santee, S.C. in the afternoon. Watched college football until we (Mrs. boatguy) fell asleep. Left early and headed to New Bern, NC. Once we were off I-95, it was a slog through rural North Carolina.

To amuse ourselves and pass the time we counted churches. We stopped after we hit a hundred and started to classify them. Brick and mortar with paved parking lots, brick and mortar w/o paved parking lots, mobile home/churches. Trailer churches and revival tents. I missed several turns because we were deep in discussion about the classifications.

New Bern is a wonderful place that is seeking industrial development. It is a beautiful town on a point right on the Neuse River. We didn't know there would be a seafood/boating festival going on so most of the streets were blocked off. A helpful native directed us to Bridgeton where the industrial area was. Not much industry but the entire infrastructure is there and ready to go.

We decided to rest a while on the outer banks (OBX) which was a short three hours away. The run was pretty straight except the new roads weren't on my old GPS so we switched to our smart phones. We arrived at Nags Head and went straight to our favorite place, Sam and Omie's. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and they're right.

I remembered S &O's as the old place back in the 1970s when the banks were sparsely populated and everyone was glad to see you. Or even in the late 1980s when the population had boomed but still nothing like today. "What can I get for you," was as pleasant as we could get from the bartender.

The redeeming quality was the memories and the Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap. The male bartender had been there for quite some time. We didn't expect him to remember us from our visits during the early part of this century but we when we tried to make small talk, he cozied up with his fellow workers. Even an attempt of the old boatguy's world famous sense of humor fell flat.

"How much PBR can I get with a trade for a passel full of fish. I'm fishing the beach tomorrow," I said. Without missing a beat he went into a lecture about fishing product licenses and how they couldn't trade or buy fish without me having that license. Even Mrs. boatguy, who doesn't usually get my sense of humor thought the joke was silly sort of funny.

Could it be that off-season doesn't require friendliness? I hope he got the point when I only left him a 15 percent tip. It took a long walk on the beach and a few more PBR's to get the sour taste out of my mouth. I will go back because I'm one stubborn dude but if I don't get a better attitude, I'm going to knock the tip all the way down to 10 percent.

Monday morning was gorgeous. Not much of a sunrise but soft gentle breezes. Not like the blow-your-hat-off wind that is coming with a cold front. Nags Head is always breezy. That's why the Wright Brothers left Ohio to fly their kites there and finally achieved manned controlled flight. Like anyone needs an excuse to leave Ohio?

The OBX was settled by an English logging firm way back before the revolution. When the trees were all gone, the workers stayed and tried to make a living without much success. They were soon forced to become land pirates who wrecked passing ships by displaying lanterns from the necks of old nags and walking them up and down the beach. The ships would steer too close to the shore thinking other ships were in closer.

The government hired these Pirates for life-saving stations and their descendants were the ones that steadied the wings on Orville and Wilbur's 'Kitty Hawk!'

As soon as I'm done writing this column we will go down (staying on the sixth floor of the Nags Head Comfort Inn) to the swimming pool and eventually dunk our tootsies in the ocean. I'll bet the ocean is much warmer than the pool. The Gulf Stream comes past just a few miles offshore and the water stays warm into the early winter.

This afternoon I'm going to fish off the Jeannette Pier or possibly the beach after I do my homework. I was hoping the "blues" were running early because of the colder than usual Fall weather. We are going to get some of that Tuesday and Wednesday when a cold front comes through. Highs in the low sixties might force me to go shopping one afternoon.

Staying in a hotel has its drawbacks and benefits. We're up nice and high and we have an elevator but we don't have a stove so cooking all the fish I catch will have to be done by cooperating restaurants. More later!

Boatguy Ed is a past Commodore of the Dead End Canal Yacht Club, a manufacturer of marine products especially Super Shipbottom Anti-fouling bottom paint (www.supershipbottom.com) and an avid boater. Send comments to boatguied@aol.com. Don't ever try to buy him a drink.

 
 

 

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