The number one question that we’re asked here in the shop is: “What do you do in the off season?” We thought we’d take a moment to tell everyone about our wonderful fall season on Hatteras Island.
A very common day starts off with a cool morning full of activity long before the sun even peaks into the sky. We start off heading into the shop around 5am to get the Turtle up and running so we can help the island wake up with our morning brews.
The Harbor wakes up around 4:30 am with all the fishermen heading down to warm up the boats, prep the gear, and head off to the gulf stream. Most mornings there is a gentle hum to the diesel engines as the boats leave the dock. Coasties, captains, and the ferry workers are riding through the village to start up the waterfront, while the few visitors awake this early wander around checking out all the action. The shop lights come on at 6:30 am and once the muffins are in the oven, Evan heads off for her daily run with the pups. One at a time is the way to go with two dogs, so after a few miles around town, she swings through the lot and switches out pups. The nice, cool air brings out a few more runners and bikers than the hot summer months. By 7:30am, the boats are gone off to the gulf stream one by one, and the town settles down for the start to another beautiful day on our sliver of paradise.
Believe it or not, we are not playing everyday. The locals start filling up the shop before their workday gets going. A couple teachers, the local painter, and a true Hatteras couple are the early ones, then the round table follows: a great group of winter residents that come in daily and discuss what’s new in the world. Sometimes we are joined by a captain or two lucky enough to get a day off the water. The pace is calm and the atmosphere lively, so the lucky visitors around at this time can expect to hear anything from what happened in the news to trying to figure out what super power would be better. We love our morning crew.
As the temperature rises outside, the beaches start filling up for the day. The great thing about this time of year is there is always tons of room so you can find a private section of sand to stake claim too. Shops are open all over the island and the park is full of guests from all over the world. Having a 206 ft striped lighthouse down the street will bring people a long way… we promise! If you’re looking for a lazy day, or a paddle board tour, you can find lots to do around Hatteras Village. When we can, we will sneak off to grab a quick paddle or kite session but if not, no worries, there is still plenty of light left for games. Oh yeah, did we mention temperatures in the low 80’s quite a bit?
As the sky starts to turn pink and the sun lowers down, you can really start to get the sense of peace this island brings out in everyone. Other than the die hard fisherman and the surfers catching their last rides, the beach starts to clear and the houses start to rumble. You can smell barbecues firing up, jacuzzis bubble, and that familiar hum of boats as the fleet returns to town with the daily catch. If you have never seen the boats arrive back from the gulf stream, we highly recommend it. Lots of folks swing by the shop for a smoothie or frozen mocha before going for a stroll to see what the boys brought back to the harbor.
By this time of day we are winding down in the shop. Our minds have shifted to play, the pups are ready to romp on the beach, and the excitement is palatable. Like we said, we don’t play everyday, but we do play most. As the lights turn off and the espresso machine cools down, our fun begins. Not that we don’t love our little shop, but to us it is just one piece of the puzzle that makes us happy here on Hatteras island. If you have never been down this way in the fall, we highly recommend it. The water is still warm, sunsets are plentiful, and nature is waiting for you around every corner. If you do, swing by The Dancing Turtle for some good laughs, advice on what’s happening, and… oh yeah, a great cup of java….