About thirty minutes before sunset, we turn out of Hewitt’s Creek and head south taking the waterway through Masonboro Sound. My brother is at the helm, and I stand next to him, holding on the center console. The smooth water allows us to open the throttle. He turns his cap around and I tighten the adjustable band on my hat. The wind feels pleasant, the early October air still being warm. To our west, homes, condos and piers dot the landscape. But to the east lay Masonboro Island, a nine-mile long nature preserve. About the time we pass Whiskey Creek, the sun drops below a cloud and the marsh grass lining the waterway suddenly becomes golden. Gulls take flight, in search of a last meal before dark. An occasional crane is spotted along the water’s edge, searching for food. A couple of pelicans fly north while others sit on the pilings of piers. In John’s Creek, a lone heron hunts. A pair of porpoise gracefully rise in front of the boat, only to dive and come up for air on the port side. We pass a few sailboats, on their winter migration south, anchored for the evening in creeks and cuts safely away from the waterway. As we cross Snow’s Cut, where the waterway turns west and heads toward the river, the sun sets; it’s rays gradually disappearing as the water turned gray. By the time the boat is secured at the marina, it's dark. Although we didn't catch any fish, it’d been a wonderful day that ended perfectly.
This was the first day since I arrived that it didn't rain! This place has received 14 inches of rain since Wednesday. I did a lot of reading. Cape Lookout will have to wait till Christmas--time for trout and stripper fishing. The water is all brown and the fishing terrible, but my brother and I had a pleasant afternoon out on the water. Tomorrow I'm heading to Pinehurst to visit my grandmother. I fly back north on Tuesday.