July 15, 2011

Beach Week 2011

We went back to Duck, NC, which we first visited two years ago. We found a modest 2 BR house right on the sound, and it turned out to be a great deal. We spent a fair amount of time on our little pier, fishing (poorly), crabbing (better), and generally hanging out. Catherine in particular really enjoyed catching crabs, and she even ate some (Elizabeth was horrified by this idea). During our biggest crabbing session, we probably had 15 in our bucket when we were done. After sizing, we had a half-dozen we could keep, and we steamed those crabbies up with Old Bay right proper. I quite enjoyed eating something we'd caught ourselves.

My own resolution to catch a fish, cook it and eat it went unfulfilled, however. I caught a couple of fish that were too small (though in hindsight I should have kept the catfish, which wasn't that small, and it's a catfish for crying out loud, who cares). Every evening near sunset, good-sized fish would jump from the sound as if to taunt me, but I never snagged one. My saddest story: at one point, I had a line out, and the light was such that I could see right to the bottom close to the pier. Suddenly not ten feet from the pier I saw a school of seven or eight foot-long fish (mullet? speckled trout? not sure). I tried to troll my line back through them, but as it got close I saw a crab was attached to my bait. So I reeled him in, shook him off, then tried to cast back out but managed to plunk my sinker directly into the school, prompting them to swim off. Then I tangled my line and spent twenty minutes fixing it. New fisherman, here.

The surf was not terribly rough, and this was a banner year in that Elizabeth is now a confident enough swimmer that she actually came out in the ocean with me, rather than just splashing about on the shore. It brought back fond memories of swimming at the beach with my dad. We even got Catherine out beyond the breakers for a while (with her inflatable swim ring). We heartily endorse the Sport-Brella for the beach, rather than crappy flimsy $10 umbrellas from the beach-junk store.
Dining: I still love me some Outer Banks Brewing Station. I suggested to Kristin that next year we find a beach house within walking distance. We also went to Jimmy's Seafood Buffet in Kitty Hawk, because it's the beach and going to the big salty seafood buffet is what you do, but... not to go all food snob, but I'm finally over these places. We paid so much more for our meal than at OBBS, and enjoyed it so much less. It was crowded and hectic, and as usual many of the dishes might have been OK if they were fresh, but after sitting on the steam table for an hour, no. Really, why bother? We had one breakfast out at Stack 'Em High, which was good, but a long wait for a table and for food. We cooked at the house quite a bit, and I recommend Tommy's Gourmet Market for stocking quality provisions and having friendly and helpful staff.

Our only real day trip was to Corolla to visit the Currituck lighthouse. We passed on climbing to the top, but enjoyed the area and the arty shops in that part of Corolla.

I find myself toying with the idea of a Beach Week II later in the summer. Or at least a weekend.

Posted by Carl at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)