Get Outdoors · Home Sweet Hatteras · Horses

Father’s Day Weekend was a blast…

On Saturday we took two of the horses down to the sound to go swimming. The spot we go to, which is kind of a secret locals spot, is shallow for a long way off the beach, but has a couple spots where the horses are in up to their bellies. It’s been hot and the flies and mosquitoes are atrocious, and we thought the horses would enjoy a chance to cool off and escape the bugs.

We took Bourbon and Aaron. Bourbon is an ex-Amish kill pen rescue, and he has always been very serious and nervous about new things. I was surprised to see him enter the water with very little hesitation. He pawed at the water and soaked himself and for the first time seemed to be having fun with no reservations. It was wonderful to see.

These two teenagers (and their little brothers) are lucky to have horses and lucky to live in such a beautiful place. They don’t fully comprehend it yet, but someday they will.

On Sunday we spent the entire day at the beach. It was Father’s Day and that’s what my husband wanted to do. I paddleboarded for 3 solid hours, about half of that with my 12 year old on the board with me. We played around, jumped off the board and did flips into the water, tried unsuccessfully to surf littles waves and generally goofed off and had a blast. I have no pictures of this because I don’t take my phone onto the ocean, but picture a tan kid with blue eyes, a bluebird sky, and turquoise water.

When I finally convinced Hunter to give me the board all to myself, I paddled far off the beach (maybe 3/4 of a mile) to look for dolphins. Earlier in the day I could see them feeding on something out there. I saw a lot of splashing and saw them jumping fully out of the water. That happens when they’re on a school of fish.

I had paddled about as far out as I was comfortable going, mostly because I was tired, when two dolphins swam by about 20 feet from me. I paddled parallel to them for a while and got a good look at both. One was older and had a messed up dorsal fin, usually from sharks or boat propellers. The other was smaller and younger.

I was able to see their faces and look them in the eyes. They let me hang out for a few minutes before they ditched me. I’ve had that experience multiple times now, and let me tell you, it never gets old. They are beautiful, powerful, intelligent creatures, and seeing them in the wild where they’re allowing themselves to be seen is just about as profound an experience as I can hope to have.

One of our neighbors was fishing on the beach and let my kids have a turn. His wife showed the kids how to dig sand fleas out of the wash and which ones the fish like to eat. We all dug sand fleas and took turns fishing until the bait was gone.

Fishing and digging for fleas
It’s customary to kiss your fish.

Elle caught one sea mullet big enough to eat, and Hunter caught two little ones that we threw back.

After the beach, my brother invited me to go fishing in the sound with him and my dad. Elle caught the fishing bug and wanted to go too. I pulled up to my brother’s boat, and got a phone call that two of the horses were out. Elle went fishing and I went to catch horses and repair the fence. Our barn is very much a work in progress and we’re working on getting better fencing.

I have no pictures of the fishing trip, but they all caught stingrays, no fish. Elle had a great time though, and wants to do more fishing. She is a cook and wants to cook what she catches.

Cleaning up the boat after fishing

All in all it was a wonderful weekend spent outdoors. I know I sound like a broken record, but I love living here! I tell my kids every day that we live in the best place in the world, not for everyone, but certainly for us.

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