by Diane Buccheri
Due to excruciatingly high temperatures on the North Carolina mainland this summer, a thermal effect with hot winds over cooler seas has developed off the coast of a small island with a moving lighthouse. A chain of islands called the Outer Banks lies in the Atlantic ocean fifty miles east of the North Carolina mainland. The ocean breaks onto the eastern side of these islands while a body of water referred to as the Sound gently laps the western side of the island. The Sound stretches fifty miles to the mainland. Basically, the Outer Banks act as a barrier, protecting the mainland from the powerful Atlantic waves. Just off the ocean side of one of these islands named Cape Hatteras Island is a compilation of shoals which has wrecked many a ship. Hence, the area s nickname, Graveyard of the Atlantic.
Nearly one hundred and thirty years ago a lighthouse was erected near the ocean s shore to warn ships and sailors of these dangerous shoals. However, due to the remorselessly pounding waves and ripping currents, the huge, proudly standing, hard working lighthouse will soon have its sand ripped out from underneath it as Cape Hatteras Island experiences further shoreline erosion.
Rather than have this precious, lifesaving monument who has been a true guide and friend to countless seafarers lose its ground and fall into the Atlantic to its own death, officials are determined to move this lighthouse. The move, it was decided, would be done in warm weather. However, tourists flock to Cape Hatteras to gawk at this most special lighthouse during the warm weather season. Now they ooh and aah at the miraculous feat of ant-like looking humans pushing and pulling at the monstrous tower in an effort to save it from the near-collapsing shoreline. This summer, the last of the millennium, will see the lighthouse take up a new home to shine its light from. The 4,800 ton structure will be slowly, gradually, carefully, paraded down the beach road, further inland. Will the seafarers still see it? Oh yes, that far reaching light of solidity will shine, shine, shine, for those in need of its guidance.
Meanwhile, amongst all this activity of pushing and pulling, gawking, ooh-ing and aah-ing, severely windy conditions first began, and presently persist. Sand blows everywhere on the island of Cape Hatteras, when it is windy, hitting the victimized beach goers skin like pins and needles. So the eager tourists have suffered enough on the beach and are wretchedly scurrying into the homes they have rented for their week s vacation. Oh my! To be on the island and not be able to enjoy the beach! What a shame. What a waste. At least they caught a glimpse of the lighthouse and can buy an “I Saw It Being Moved” t-shirt (available at all the island s stores). The ones who brave the pins and needles of flying sand quickly dive into the ocean for relief. Fortunately the usually numerous jelly fish don t have a chance to sting, the strong winds and consequently fast moving currents are hurrying them by so quickly, they have no chance to whip out those tentacles and zap some poison onto the innocent swimmers. A few tourists, therefore, are able to enjoy the surf a bit.
The Other Side of the Island
The other side of the island, the Sound side, has a whole other scene going on. As a result of these incessant winds, the usually flat and tranquil summer waters of Pamlico Sound off Cape Hatteras Island have become wicked and wild. In one secret section of this wind blown shore, a place referred to as Benny s Landing in the quaint village of Kinnakeet inhabited by some hootin’ and hollerin’ inbred rednecks, is one lone sailor.
She is a windsurfing transplant to the island, having come to this place of wind, water, and sand, to windsurf her heart out. And that she is doing. Her neighbors are mostly long time island residents. Many of them have never left the island and most of them have stayed in their little old village and reproduced, generation after generation. They get to know one another very well. Some of the reproduction efforts have resulted in some very strange people. Crazies, in fact. They are wryly referred to as Kinnakeeters, the wild ones.
This one lone sailor pretty much keeps quiet in her little house on a small spot of land surrounded by docks at Benny s Landing. The Kinnakeet fishing harbor is nearby though, and from there emerge all the hootin , hollerin , inbred rednecks who fish for a living. They scour the Sound for their day s catch and often shout a thing or two to the otherwise lone sailor when she is crossing their path, or more likely, they are crossing hers, on the water while she windsurfs from her backyard s beach. Ah, what to do? Stay out of the thickness of things, she supposes.
With all this incessant wind, she found herself thrown into the wildness of things. Otherwise quiet and unobtrusive, the lone sailor has come into different circumstances, quite unexpectedly.
She is now known to give “cheek shows”. Previously, her harness, which she wears to help her hold the sail during heavy winds, was a seat harness which she stepped into and wrapped around her seat, thighs, and hips. It protected her under bottom but her new waist harness which only wraps around her waist allows the now wickedly wild Kinnakeet waters to swipe her bikini bottom from one side to the other as she races across the Sound on her windsurf board.
At times, such as today, she catapulted so violently from her board while remaining harnessed to her sail that she was seen giving a real-to-goodness “boob show”. Evidently, her bikini top was tossed up to her neck with the violent expulsion of the fall.
Now, though that blue-black tattoo may be enticing, don t be fooled. She s not that kind of a girl. It s a fin bruise from the bottom of her board. How her bottom came in contact with the board s bottom and was pierced with the fin, is unknown. A good view of her otherwise unexposed rump can be attained when she, with her board and sail, gets launched about eight feet into the forty knot winds off a high wall of fast rushing white water chop. But alas, she lands her board quickly enough, still holding her sail and her forward speed across the frothing water is accelerated past the point of any onlooker s vision.
Her boyfriend, Steve Midgett, Jr., or otherwise known as “Buddy”, was last viewed throwing a fishing line in her direction in a fruitless attempt to hook her and reel her in off the waters. He should not have been on the waters himself in the flimsy boat he recently purchased without first test driving. Though the boat s seaworthiness is highly questionable, he claims real fishermen are undaunted by wind and water, right? Shouldn’t they be able to handle any conditions if people can windsurf in them? No wimps here. Why can t they fish in precarious conditions? A real man is not fearful and comes home with his daily bread. Besides, she s too busy chop-hopping to go grocery shopping so someone s got to catch dinner!
Just at sunset as the lone sailor finally came off the Sound, thighs quivering from the stressful performance, she was quoted as saying, “I wonder what the neighbors saw?” Evidently, other real men fishermen remained fearless of the howling winds and rough seas and were crashing about, spraying white water everywhere, hootin’ and hollerin’ , catchin’ their day s catch. Well, who cares about the neighbors anyway!