This Week at the Outer Banks

By Anne Mead

Outer Banks Expeditioners have had a very full week and are wrapping up their session, which ends on Saturday.

Monday’s cool breeze and partly cloudy skies made for a perfect paddling day. The group traveled through the sound and to an island, set up their campsite, and enjoyed a refreshing swim in the ocean where they saw dolphins swim by! They enjoyed a great quesadilla dinner while watching another exceptional sunset.

Tuesday, they woke up and paddled some more, saw some sting rays and a bunch of wild horses from their kayaks, arrived at their destination, and set up camp at a spot along the sound surrounded by pine trees. At the end of the day, yet another beautiful sunset was the backdrop for dinner and a positivity circle.

Wednesday morning, they had sweet sticky rice for breakfast, climbed to the top of a lighthouse, and saw a shark on a sandbar from their vantage point leaving one Grand Slaminal left to be seen. Expeditioners taught the group their planned lessons which ranged from how to spell and say their names in Japanese, yoga, palm readings, and shark facts. From there, they went to the beach, made sand castles, swam, and had some peaceful solo sits. They ended Wednesday with, you guessed it, another jaw dropping sunset and some fishing.

Thursday morning, they got up and timed their paddle perfectly with the tides, making for a speedy trip. On the way, Lawton and three expeditioners saw a Loggerhead turtle, which then popped its head up to investigate them. This encounter completed the crew’s Grand Slam! The osprey had been seen at base camp, dolphins swam along side them in the ocean during their kayak camping trip, a Blacktip shark was spotted from the top of the lighthouse (and verified by lighthouse staff with binoculars), and the sea turtle was spotted while paddling back in the sound. That means Outer Banks Expeditioners enjoyed ice cream tonight after relaxing, unpacking, and showering.

Tomorrow, they are going to wrap up the amazing two weeks with some cleaning of gear, solo sits, and a Talking Shell ceremony, which is a space for Outer Banks Expeditioners to share their thoughts, goals achieved, and any closing thoughts that they have.

It’s always hard to part from a group after experiencing and growing so much together, but the lessons and friendships formed through Expeditions carry over into life away from camp. Thank you so much, OBXers, for spending part of your summer seeking the joy outside with us! -Karin Perk, Climbing Coordinator and Expeditions Intern