Let the celebration begin!
by Karl Bates -- May 7th, 2010
Tours and activities start this afternoon
I’m not going to make it down from Durham in time to catch Orrin Pilkey’s tour of the Shackelford Banks this afternoon aboard the R/V Susan Hudson, but it sounds like a very refreshing start to a wonderful weekend.
Shackelford is one of the barrier islands that protects Pivers Island from the open ocean’s occasional furies, and is the home of many wild ponies. When she was a starving graduate student at the Marine Lab in the … well, a while back — current Marine Lab Director Cindy Van Dover actually slept in a tent on the Rachael Carson National Estuarine Sanctuary, and canoed across the sound to work at the lab each day. She distinctly remembers the sound of the ponies snorting very close to her in the dark and wondering if they’d ever step on her in her flimsy shelter.
At 9 tonight, just as darkness truly falls, a lucky group of us will be setting off to see the second shift of estuary life show up for work on the flats and islands. I’m told there’s a way to catch a sleeping flounder with your bare hands and I hope to learn it, just in case I’m ever shipwrecked and need this skill.