Friday, September 23, 2011


The fresh breeze, the salt air, the sounds of the waves lapping the shore - who could not love this place called the ocean.   You can look out over the waves and see limitless water - water that doesn't stop until it blends in with the sky.

As much as I love the view of the ocean and the sandy beaches, I love the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway) even more. For those of you who don't know what the ICW is, it's a 3000 mile inside protected waterway running down the Atlantic coastline starting in New Jersey and rounding Florida into the Gulf Coast.  It was created in the early 1900's to make navigation along the Eastern Seaboard less dangerous.   The stretch that runs through the Brunswick Islands in the lower Eastern corner of North Carolina offers some breathtaking views. It mostly consists of natural inlets, salt-water rivers, and bays and teems with wildlife.
The photo below shows the Intercoastal Waterway in the center of the photo and the water that you see to the left of the water tower is the ocean.

The waterway is down the center of the picture. The ocean is to the left of the water tower. The long strip of land to the left of the waterway is Holden Beach Island.  The land to the right is the mainland.

One place we especially love to go to is one of the seafood houses that has a dock where several of the shrimp boats in the area dock their boats.   It's on the mainland side of the waterway.  We have become friends with the owners and they let us fish off the dock and take in all the sights, smells (some not so pleasant) and the comraderie of the locals that hang around places like that.

Photo taken off the dock looking at Holden Beach Island

   Today we took our chairs and whiled away the whole afternoon there.  Hubby was fishing mostly for fish that didn't bite.  Me....I sat there with my fishing rod - long after my bait was lost to a stone crab - feeling connected to the water and being one with the current as it carried the weight of the world out with the tide.  And watching the shrimp boats as they reached their masts up into the sky.
My catch of the day - a stone crab - I threw him back

Carolina blue sky

If you look really hard, you will see a white osprey lifting his neck up in the marsh grass.

Hubby sitting on the dock fishing.  Shrimp boats in background.
I would love to spend the summer in this old dockhouse - except it does have a few rotten boards.

As I sat in this weightless time and space with the mind-numbing beauty of the water running under the dock beneath me, I halfway imagined that a large Manta Ray or a sea serpent would rise from the surface of the water and invite me to swim on its back.  Or a mermaid would pull herself up on the dock and say, "Come on in - the water's warm".   Then this little fellow below broke the spell and almost made me fall off the dock when he swam out from under it and jumped up right beside me.  The second picture is him holding out his wings to dry them.  I'm not sure what the correct name for this duck is, but the locals call him a Dye Diver Duck.
I made a friend

Drying his wings - this bird really put on a show.
Not the type of fantasy creature that I imagined, but he'll do!  He kept me sittin' on the dock of the bay...lettin' the time slip away - and I can't remember a day in a long while that I've just done nothing - and enjoyed doing it so much.  We all need days like that. 


  1. Holden Beach...Holden Beach...Holden Beach...if I click my ruby slippers I'll be there...nowhere like it in the world...

  2. Nothing like sitting on the water to lull away the hours.
    I remember years ago fishing on the fresh water canals of southern Florida. Everything calm and silent. Then, from nowhere, a manatee breaks the surface and blows. Scare the crap out of you.

  3. What a lovely time you had just sitting on the dock of the bay, and, my, you must have nearly had a heart attack when that duck jumped up from underneath!! Eeeek! What a truly lovely place to spend some time. It must have been so relaxing, and just look at that wonderful blue sky. :)


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