Monday, July 27, 2015

The Lost Colony and the Wright Brothers

From Coinjock we headed to the Southeast side of Albemarle Sound with the Outer Banks to our east to Manteo, NC.  The Manteo Waterfront Marina is peaceful, well protected and full of sites and helpful folks.  There are a few warnings about the approach to Manteo Harbor and there is a very helpful instructional video on youtube.  We watched it and took notes before we left Coinjock.  When we called the Marina to secure a spot, Carl, the dock master, reiterated the instructions.  I told him I had seen a video that was very clear and it turns out he made the video.  He said if someone had seen the video, they'd have to be a monkey to run aground.   Just what I needed another challenge!  But we made it safely to the dock.  I think I might have pushed the boat of the shoal, if we had run aground.

Manteo is the site of the famous, Lost Colony. And every summer since 1937, they run a play about the colonists from England who came to this area.  By the end of the Anglo Spanish War, when more supply ships arrived, the colony was empty of its over 100 inhabitants, including Virginia Dare, the first Anglo child born on these lands.  The play is run in the evening, in an outdoor setting in the woods.  The Albemarle sound is part of the back drop with a pleasant breeze off the water.
Many actors have had roles in this play over the years, but most notably Andy Griffith played Sir Walter Raleigh.  It was a fine performance with historical significance and a great history lesson.  Loved this t-shirt about asking the locals for directions.

The Manteo Waterfront Ares is lovely.  The Waterfront had been renovated and restored.  They took out an ugly old oil tank and where that was put in an picturesque replica of the destroyed Manteo Marsh Light House. 
They added a mile long boardwalk with play grounds and parks and the sailing club.   A replica of the Elizabeth, that brought the lost colonists, sits across from the Marina in Festival Park. 
There is a cross to the rebuilding after the Revolutionary War.
Lots of local art and shops and homemade ice cream.  There are lots of activities including using jet packs and jet boards on the water.  We came back from lunch to see this jet boarder high above the water.  It looked amazing.  We did not try it.

Today was busy as we took a cab to the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hills.  A couple of weeks ago, I finished David McCullough's book on the Wright Brothers.  The Memorial is set up so you see where the first four flights took off and how little they actually flew. 
The longest is only about a football field.  The Memorial sits atop the dune where they learned to steer and glide.
It is striking that happened in 1903 and that the world adopted flight so quickly.  By 1927, Lindburgh flew across the Atlantic and  today, Christine makes sure the astronauts continue to circle the earth on the Space Station!  John had his picture taken with Orville and Wilbur.

Back in Manteo, we took a tour of the Outer Banks Distillery.  It is a relatively new small batch distiller of Kill Devil Rum. The owners were so enthusiastic!    Their motto is "From Molasses to Glasses".
The tour started with huge tubs of molasses.  Of course, it is all chemistry and John was comfortable among the vats and distillation tubes. 
My favorite part was the molasses and rum tasting.  This being North Carolina, they can't sell you a bottle though because spirits must go through the ABC stores.  I will buy a bottle when we get back to Wilmington.

We plan to head back south tomorrow.  So much more to see.

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