Ocracoke okay

We have some reasonable internet again - so a short catch-up is in order, one thinks. But first. A photo competition ! Yes. How exciting, right? You are the judges (please leave a brief comment below with your vote)…  and the competition is, naturally - since there's nobody here but us chickens - Sarah and I. It's time to settle this thing….

Pierless

Pretty good-ish

Okay. That seems entirely fair. Remember; vote via the comments please for 'Pierless' or 'Pretty good-ish'.

(This is Sarah's opinion of my fair competition:

I do hate a bad loser.)

Besides that, we left you in Waves, NC. Or rather, you left us in Waves, NC. Although, it probably matters little. Let's just agree that we left each other in Waves, okay? Yes - Waves, North Carolina. Thank you Miss Fusspot.

We were going out for dinner… …which we did, by way of a 300$ mishap. We kind of got stuck up to the axles in the soft sand of the restaurant car park (btw - a car park which even said 'RV car park'). Had to phone for a tow!

We made it out of the soft stuff. No harm, no foul. We still got our dinner; at the Oceanas Bistro (la-di-bloody-da) in Avon (is everywhere called Avon? Obviously not. That was cynical rhetoric. Jeez). It was actually pretty good - surf and turf, with the shrimps 'black', meaning highly spiced with cayenne pepper. Lovely. Even Sarah managed to get a decent veggie meal, so hurrah for the Oceanas.

[Have you voted yet? Have you? Have you voted the right way?]

Rather reluctantly, we decided the next morning to move on from our seafront site, and try out the rest of Hatteras Seashore. We read a lot about the little community on the next island down, called Ocracoke. Likely completely nuts, but fun. I phoned ahead to a campsite in the town of Ocracoke (none of the other campsites on this tiny island were open), and it seemed that we were in luck.

An hour's ferry crossing brings us from Hatteras to Ocracoke;

We found the campsite easily enough - behind a general store in the centre of the village. Let's say it's a little home-spun, as they might say in these here parts. Nevertheless, the site was adjacent to a sports bar, and we had the urge to play pool. We pitched up, and headed to Gaffers, next door.

Spicy chicken, battered mushrooms, two pool tables, umpteen simultaneous 'football' broadcasts and a rock band. The band were called Adrien and Company; and we watched them tuning and talking on cell phones for the best part of two hours. Their bass guitarist had failed to turn up! Eventually, someone trawled up a local to fill in. Without a clue of the song list, it was quite amazing to watch him get into it, and the set list was not easy. Mostly blues influenced rock and soul. Beautiful; Ben E King, The Drifters, Ray Charles, CCR, Cameo. The lead singer must have been 250 kg if he was an ounce; could he sing? Yessirree. I particularly liked the fact that during short interval, he mocked the audience for all being white! Great fun. Sarah participated fully, with a bucket of Jack and coke; we slept well that night.

In the morning, as we are still winterised, I headed to the showers. Oh dear. Despite being a little desperate for a shower, I just couldn't face it. I've seen greenhouses with less dirt, and less things growing in them.

The band was due to play another night - and we had intended to stay, but we couldn't stomach it. Without another campsite option, we had to move on. One thing that we just had to do though before we left Ocracoke was find the British cemetery. The site is dedicated to those thirty-plus men on the HMT

Bedfordshire 

who lost their lives whilst leant by the Royal Navy to the USA, protecting the east coast of the states in 1942 - described at the cemetery as 'the early stages of the war'. I don't think so, dear cousins, but that's another topic. Their converted trawler was sunk by a German U-boat, and only four bodies were recovered, washed up on the beach, and interred here at the Ocracoke British cemetery. Sarah made a gift to leave for our 'home county' ship;

The captain of the

Bedfordshire

 was 27. Makes you think, right? Born in a war, died in a war.

The Ocracoke to Cedar Island ferry route - linking Ocracoke to the mainland (Cedar Island is a peninsula, accessible via long swamp-topping causeways) - is 2hr 15min. I slept for most of it!

On the other side, we pushed on. A large chunk of the coast is inaccessible because of a USMC base at Camp Lejeune. We tracked inland, around, and then back to the coast.

Welcome to Wilmington, NC.