I’m not a world traveler. I have nothing against those who are. It’s just that I’ve never had the time or money to go very far from home. Plus, Kitty Hawk Watersports exists to ensure other travelers make the most of their travel to the Outer Banks. Still, I do sometimes enjoy a Roanoke Sound weekend adventure. One trip, in particular, comes to mind.
A Carolina Skiff in the Roanoke Sound
One particular adventure I’ll cherish is camping with my boys on a Carolina Skiff in the Roanoke Sound. It doesn’t matter if you rent a boat or own one; using them to venture out for a weekend camping trip gives you access to new places. In any event, the experience was pretty unique.
I’ve done quite a bit of camping, but I’ve never camped on a boat with my kids. Since we had a large Carolina Skiff decked out with pontoon boat seating and access to miles of protected water, we had the perfect set-up to hit the water for the weekend. By the way, I had done this once before using my Hobie 16 back in college, but that’s a story for another day.
October Camping in John’s Ditch
It was October several years ago. The weekend weather looked clear and smooth for boating. A place I was reasonably familiar with that is uninhabited is John’s Ditch—the perfect place for a Roanoke Island weekend adventure. I don’t think it has a name on any map, but all the locals know exactly what I’m talking about. For the record, this is not a campground, but I figured one night on a desolate piece of sand wouldn’t bother anyone.
Saturday morning, we launched at the ramp under the Washington Baum Bridge and immediately ducked into John’s Ditch (“ditch” is Outer Banks lingo for “canal” or “creek”). We found a small beach and made camp. My two boys and one of their friends collected firewood, and we cooked dinner right on the beach. When nightfall came, we stretched out on the large bench seats of the boat to sleep directly under the stars.
Mosquitoes, Shooting Stars, and Bioluminescence
Nighttime was when things got a little interesting. Even though we liberally used bug repellent, the mosquitoes came out in full force. We wrapped up to shield them off, but they’d dive-bomb your face, repellent or not. This kept me awake for most of the night, which allowed me to study the sky. All night long, I studied shooting stars and satellites. When I looked overboard, I saw glowing bioluminescence. Despite the lack of sleep, it was spectacular.
When morning came, the mosquitoes left, and we were able to cook breakfast. Afterward, we broke camp and motored south towards Oregon Inlet, where we followed pods of dolphins swimming in the sound. After that, we stopped in at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center to look around and have hot dogs for lunch. We continued towards Bonner Bridge (currently being demolished) to find another little fishing beach.
I remember an exhausting ride home, but it was worth it. Come Monday, I’m counting the hours until the next Roanoke Sound weekend adventure.
Book an Adventure
Kitty Hawk Watersports provides rentals, such as jet skis and tiki boats, as well as tours and activities. If you’re planning a trip to the Outer Banks and want to do some watersports, call us at (252) 441-2756. Or, easily book online right now. Adventure awaits!