Ships Watch Amenities: Ships Watch has two unsurpassed amenities: over five hundred feet of wild beach on the Atlantic with easy access from any house, and, eye-popping views of the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound from every house that emphasize how far out in the ocean you really are. No house is more than easy walking distance to either the sea or the sound.
The beach depth varies with the tide and it is often re-arranged by storms, but even high tide, at the least, offers a broad slightly-sloping sandy incline a toddler will easily cross to play in tide pools and ocean foam.
Then there is the wind- that originally brought the Wright Brothers. Steady and reliably tropical from the south in spring, summer and fall; and gutsy, gusty from the North in winter to make the Outer Banks the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” from floundered ships in the surf and on shore.
For quieter times there are multiple balconies on each floor of each house, where you can join in conversation and play or find that quiet place alone but for the roar of the ocean waves breaking on the beach.
We have the standard amenities, of course, a twenty-five yard pool for lap swimmers attached to reportedly, the largest pool in the Outer Banks, short of a water park. Our trick is to raise pool and decks above ground for sweeping views of the sound and tropical breezes.
A pavilion serves as our activity center with Kevlar screens that can cut a gale to barely a breeze, the better to hear and see from the wide-screen TV for those can’t miss sports broadcasts and Monday night movies, complete with fresh popcorn.
The pavilion serves weekly for our famous “Welcome Back” weekly picnic to give you the chance to catch up with friends and make new ones. In summer, the pavilion is ground zero for our infamous kids (of all ages) activities, especially the tie-dying tee shirt and kite making competitions.
The tennis center needs renaming, since we have become the “Pickleball” center for the Outer Banks, complete with our mascot, “Mr. Pickle”. We have two well-appointed and maintained tennis courts and four pickleball courts for lots of social fun.
On the sound, we have a hundred yard pier jutting into Currituck Sound. The catch of the day could be stripped bass or flounder for those of a mind to wet a line and the sunsets on the pier are the true version of a Tibetan sand painting, with a new variation clouds and colors every day.
Then there is “crabbing”, by both pot and line, for the famous Blue Crab. Easy to catch, easy to cook and so devilishly hard to pick out meat sweeter than a lobster. Or, walk down our boat ramp to the grassy shallows and hand dip softshell crabs on a full moon.
We also rent golf carts for use in Ships Watch only. Talk about something the little people love! But, driving is limited to those with a state driving license.
A quarter mile down the sidewalk is famous Duck, the lost New England Village that washed up on the Outer Banks beach. The pedestrian pier stretches for two miles with Currituck Sound on one side and endless shops, stores and restaurants on the other side. Then there are the side piers that wander through the marshes, ponds and nature areas, full of wading birds, geese and, of course, all varieties of ducks.
Brevity requires that I cut off the list at Duck. But I have to mention, the more famous lighthouses, the “Lost Colony” (original site and re-creation, the wild horses and the deserted wild beaches of Corova and Pea Island. That’s why you must have five weeks a year; less is too little time.