Flight: NC Outer Banks: Portsmouth Island

The record has been broken! Five consecutive days of flying, the most in over 15 years of having a pilots license. The sun finally came out at 2:30PM, the front having cleared, and a brilliant, 100% Carolina Blue sky behind it, in an instant. That is one thing I love about the South – the front blows through, and the whole dreary thing is over. Up north, that would take a week to clear out, providing an obligatory 4 hours of pleasantness, before the next batch of misery arrived.

I flew down toward Ophelia Inlet, what is now my favorite inlet in all of the Outer Banks. It is shallow, colorful, and full of surprises. As I passed Ocracoke Inlet along the way, it was dismally brown, a product of what appears to be the Pamlico Sound draining out extra water from the heavy South winds that would have driven more water in. With the high outward flow, sand gets all stirred up, and the visibility drops as it’s like an underwater sandstorm. I predict by Saturday, it will calm down and be stunningly clear. The locals indicate that 3 days after a storm, the inlets get amazingly colorful.

As I approached New Drum Inlet, my camera stopped working. Battery out. Battery In. On. Nothing. Repeat. Nothing. Lens off. Lens on. On. Nothing. Damn it! I whack the camera body with my hand, and she turns on! Phew! Disaster averted. The Nikon is coming back from a warranty service, so if the Canon went, I’d be hosed.

In the air, the lighting didn’t seem to be all that spectacular. I wasn’t expecting much, and when I downloaded the photos, I was proven wrong. Apparently, the contrast and lighting was ideal for how I was handling it, as the camera showed a lot of sky reflection on the surface, and the images seem to have not picked it up. This was a pleasant surprise.

After the flight, we played a bit more in the tide pools, though the water was murkier, and the variety of sea life was not to be found. We’ll see what tomorrow washes up. It looks a little silly watching two fools wade in the ocean with swim shorts on and winter coats.

Oh, and the sunset was pretty, and so was the moonset 4 hours later. One day, I will get better equipment to capture when the moon pierces the horizon.

1-Sound Waterway
Pamlico Sound, Portsmouth Island – Fractal Pattern

2-Beach to Sound Waterway
Pamlico Sound, Portsmouth Island, Beach-Sound Connection

3-New Drum Inlet
New Drum Inlet

4-Ophelia Inlet
Ophelia Inlet

5-Ophelia Inlet
Ophelia Inlet

6-Ophelia Inlet
Ophelia Inlet

7-Ophelia Inlet
Ophelia Inlet, Tidal Flow

8-Ophelia Inlet
Ophelia Inlet, Tidal Flow Maelstroms

9-Ocracoke Inlet
Ocracoke Inlet

Shell in Tide Pool

Something Lives Under There

Ocracoke Inlet Sunset

Ocracoke Inlet Moonset