Good Morning and Welcome to my Atlantic Life in Hatteras 😊
And the sun has returned!!!!!!
Jake and I head to the beach...
It's been quite the week here in Hatteras......first we are "cut off" due to the latest Nor'easter causing some exceptionally nasty over-wash just north of Rodanthe at the usual problem spot at Mirlo Beach. WIth NC12 closed for several days, people were unable to get off or on the island. Ferries were also cancelled due to the sustained high winds, so no passable routes to or from the mainland. Thursday brought relief to many, after some incredible work by the wonderful Dept of Transport team that clear and maintain our lifeline to the mainland NC12. So, all was back to normal (well normal for barrier island life 😊).....or so we thought....
On Friday afternoon, we were yet again cut off....though this time it was not the road or the ferries - a fiber optic cable that connects all of Hatteras Island and Ocracoke's communication networks was severed by accident.
Now, for some this may not seem like that big a deal, you still have electrical power, and can still drive off the island...on the contrary, this was a huge deal - this cable carried all phone lines, both cell service and landlines, internet, and TV. In other words, we really were completely cut off from the outside world.
Nirvana you may think.....and for me, who loves to read books and write, I was absolutely fine, happy to while away the hours in peace and quiet writing (in fact, when it originally started, I was at the beach, watching the incredible cloud formations over my ocean 💗), but the consequences of no communication channels are huge!!!
With no phone service whatsoever, neither cell service nor landline, you cannot reach any of the emergency services.....just imagine, no 911 calls if you were in trouble and needed help. It's too awful to think about the implications of not having the ability to reach the police, call for an ambulance or the fire department.
If anyone needed to reach you that was not within driving distance, which let's face it, we're pretty remote out here on our sandbar islands, they had absolutely no way of getting in touch with you, and you had no way of letting them know you were unreachable.
With no internet or phone, credit cards were useless, and the businesses that could remain open, could only accept cash.....do you carry enough cash around with you to pay for a meal? a night's accommodation? or heaven forbid a tank of gas - which these days you almost need to take out a loan to pay for.....oh, that's right...the gas pumps nearly all take credit/debit cards!
For us, we even couldn't see how many people we had checking into the inn, and although we could physically check guests into their rooms, we couldn't "check them in, or out the system, or take payment, as this is all done within a software platform that depends on the internet.
These were just some of the impacts that the communication "cut" had on our island.....I'm not writing this to complain or bemoan the problem.... accidents happen - my point is rather that, it is super obvious that you will have problems when a road is blocked for any reason, like the over-wash on NC12, and we automatically calculate the challenges this may cause. If you live on our incredible island permanently, this is something you plan for.....as we all know it can happen with any storm.
But, all the implications of a communication infrastructure loss are not necessarily as evident, until it happens and we realize how dependent we have become on that one cable....
Now, I know that many of the people that have lived on our beautiful island all their lives, or for a significant part of it, are prepared for this sort of disruption. With the number of storms and hurricanes over the years that have left the island without power, or communication for days and even weeks at a time, they have learned over time, how to adapt and are particularly resilient during these times.
Communications have thankfully been restored; we are "connected" again.....but it does make me think (yes, here goes that "Crazy little lady brain" of mine)....perhaps we are a little too reliant on our fragile technological infrastructure - what an easy way to take down a society...simply cut their cable!
I'm taking several things from this experience:
Firstly - the practical ones - we will be investing in some type of radio communication device that is not reliant on cables, I'll be taking weekly "screenshots" of bookings on our reservation software, always making sure we have access to enough cash to pay for gas, food etc.
Secondly - was the reinforcement that I'm super happy with the more simple things in life, like spending time watching my ocean.... even when it's at its fiercest, reading, having a complete break from the internet, spending time with friends, having actual conversations in person, enjoying my own company, and of course, writing...💗
Thirdly - I'm pretty resilient, when "sh*t happens", I don't panic, I just try to figure out the best plan for the situation, and of course (as I always try to do 😉) try to make the best of it.
Fourthly - I love, love, love, living in my Hatteras home.....there's simply no other place I'd rather be. I chose to live on a barrier island, 30 miles out in the Atlantic, and in doing so accept the inherent risks of living here. For me, it's where my heart and soul are happy....and that's more than any "restless filly" can ask for 💕
And now, I want to share some pics I took on Friday, when the major Nor'easter had passed, but we were still experiencing the remnants of the storm - the sky over the ocean was simply incredible.....and where else would you have found me taking photos, but on my beautiful beach...
Multiple pics of the incredible skies over my Hatteras ocean...