This morning I found someone to ferry me out to the Shackleford Banks from Harker's Island. The sky was a little foreboding and the water choppy but we did see a few ponies on the banks. How these horses survive on what are literally shifting sand banks is a mystery to me. But there are about 125 ponies that inhabit Shackleford Banks, having been there since the 1600's. We sighted one lone pony on a small sand bar contentedly grazing. My guide informed me that the ponies swim out to the different sand bars to graze, and many of the crossings are shallow enough to walk. Even more amazing to me was that one of these islands was inhabited for many years until a series of hurricanes and subsequent flooding forced people to move off. Many of the dwellings were moved to neighboring islands where they can be seen today.
From Harker's Island I walked on the waterfront of Beaufort where you can see Carrot Island across the inlet. I could see a group of 8 ponies from this vantage point.
Spring has definitely sprung in this part of the world with temperatures reaching 90!