Posted by: zhak39 | September 2, 2010

The Sound and The Fury

A long weekend on an Atlantic coastal island.

Barrier islands are long thin strips of land, some right off the coast, some feeling like a cork in the middle of the ocean.  This particular island boasted ten miles of beach and about 400 yards of depth.  We were guests in a cottage on a private rode running perpendicular to the beach.  A hop to the ocean, a skip to the sound.

Behind the front row, gingergbread houses on stilts with names like You-N-Sea and Gimme Shell-ter live thick thatches of salt myrtle wind sheared to perfect 15 foot hedges and live oaks with trunks growing parallel to the ground.  Tucked behind these natural windbreaks are the older houses, some cinderblock boxes that survived Hazel, some newer cedar shingled bungalows.  We stayed in a home with walls displaying original watercolors and family photos with handwritten dates.  From wall to wall and room to room I watched this stranger family grow, marry, welcome babies, babies that became toddlers then teenagers then parents.

The second day I carried my kayak down to the sound.  It’s a bitty way across, in the middle, a couple of islands large enough to boast a tree or three, long thin islands of marsh grass.  It’s a maze, it’s amazing.  Tall egrets standing atop dead tree limbs, bright shining skittery fish flying across the water’s surface like skipping rocks.  Oyster beds scraping the bottom of the boat, traps in sheltered inlets.  Quiet, above all, quiet, calm, peaceful.  Sun, hazy blue skies.  Sunshine.  Cool, gentle breezes.

Just 400 yards away rip currents make the surf interesting with blue-green-shodows in the water.  Few beach combers, a couple body surfers, broken shells, sea glass, smooth pebbles.  I loaded this on my iPod and brought it to a friend.  She held the little device up to her ear, listened smiled.

“To think once upon a time we used to use shells to do this.”


  1. Video’s not working. Something about a private video and having to answer a friend request.

    Just so you know.

  2. Dang. It was working on my other computer. I need to adjust my YouTube account settings. Thank you for telling me; I’ll get it fixed by tomorrow.

    Just so you know–10 minutes of North Carolina beach in the interim between hurricanes.

  3. Wild weather down your way. Hopefully you’re not getting hit too hard. Earl is sprinkling on us now. Heading to the shore tomorrow. I love going to the beach right after a storm!

  4. I’m far enough inland that we just got the benefit of clear air and beautiful color. We didn’t even get any rain. Friends that stayed at Tops’l said that they had some wind and rain, just enough to feel snug.

    I would love to be at the beach in the aftermath. I hope you find something interesting.

    Oh, and I still haven’t figured out how to make the YouTube page public. Another new thing to learn.

  5. The video works now, thank you.

    I’m one of those guys that metal detect at the beach. Long Island Sound, being somewhat protected from the Atlantic, is normally pretty tame. We had three and four feet waves hitting the shore today. Not big by ocean standards, but pretty big for around here.

    While the water is still warm enough to swim in, I confined my search to about knee high. There was just enough surf to pull the sand out from under your feet. Kind of weird to feel the earth dissolve under you. There are sections of the beach that have baseball size rocks that move every time a wave came in, creating this neat crunching sound that sounds like a giant bowl of Rice Krispies.

    The wind was strong enough to leave a salty residue on my glasses and to keep the gulls hovering in one spot, but too strong for kite flying.

    After a hot, humid, and windless summer, this was such a nice place to escape to.

    You should repost the video in the winter when a lot of us get snow bound.

  6. Hmm, I can re-post or… maybe I should just head back and make more videos. That might be a plan.

    • Oh man, more videos., I’m ready,just swing that Prius on over and pick me up..!still moving slow, I’ll email you my videos such as they are!!!

  7. Hi D- I have a YouTube channel to post videos through. Let me know what you got.

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