26 May 2006 ... and thereabouts ...
Before we left North Carolina, we simply had to visit the Outer Banks ... with all its history, light-houses and fun :)
Our initial plans of visiting the place with friends fell thru ven Arvind and Preethu had to suddenly leave for Japan and then we panicked about packing ... long story short - t'was just D and I at the outer banks.
The Wright Memorial ... on a windy , sunny and wonderful day we visited the site of the Wright brothers - where they played, worked and on one particular day - flew a plane! Very well documented place ... and a must visit for any plane buff!
This memorial is on top of the hill where they tested their theories of flight. The story says that they moved from Virginia to Outer Banks in NC because the of the soft sand here - ideal cushion for all the tumbling and falling!
My mug shots with the brothers ... guess which one is who (the one on the right is me!)
Now this intersting rope-a-majig is a firemans rope - or at least how they carried rope which could be launched towards junta in trouble ... no entangling here! neat eh?
The outer banks is also the land of the lighthouses ... Lots of stories ... one of which is that of Blackbeard (the pirate) was beheaded here! But even better is the story of this lighthouse - the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
OK brace yourself ... "Due to the erosion of the shore, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse was moved from its original location at the edge of the ocean to safer ground 1600 feet inland. Despite some opposition, work progressed and the move was completed between 1999 and 2000 in a massive operation." (courtesy Wiki)
Can you believe it!!! This giant Lighthouse was MOVED! I could not believe it even after I climbed the million steps inside to reach the top :P - from where I could see the path of the move! Unbelievable ... things that we do. More info on this
Well after all the history, geography, engineering and aviation lessons it was time to party -besides flying kites by the beach and walking on sand-dunes we went jet-skiing. I must tell you this - as much as it is fun, it is really hard to maneuver the jet-ski at 40 miles/hour - esp in choppy waters ... my arms were aching after an hour of riding - but the experience was awesome - would jump at the next chance.
And oh, out here they call the creek (khadi) as "sounds"! Don't ask me why ... but all the watersports happen in the sounds and not in the ocean. This one time I was thrown off the jet and I was hoping at having the experience of swimming in the ocean ... visuals from many movies flashed everywhere ... music too ... heroic swimming ... turbulent waters ... some sharks in the distance ... a couple of jellyfish being chased by an ugly octopus ... the sound of giant whirlpools sucking in large boats ... men screaming kayaka kayaka ... glimpses of a mermaid ...
Heck no! the sounds is basically an inlet with 4 feet deep water! I was soooooo disappointed ... swamked back (pretentious swimming in shallow waters)to the jet and tried to forget the incident!