Fly Free in NC

Fly Free in NC

– Clarissa G., marketing coordinator

Wright Brothers’s Glider Test Flight in 1902

Photo by

North Carolina is the perfect place to take flight. In 1903, the Wright Brothers took off from the sandy height of the dune at Jockey’s Ridge in Kitty Hawk in what is considered (unless you’re from Dayton, Ohio) to be the first powered flight. Two military bases and an air field just moments from the coast keep aviation in the forefront of our minds (and EARS!). Flying is a thrill that many people love. Me personally, I don’t find planes enjoyable. I’m not a terribly social person, and I don’t enjoy crowded spaces, so that probably explains my aversion to commercial flight.

This is not fun for someone with social anxiety. Or anyone else, for that matter!

But when I’m laying on the beach and watching the waves crash against the sand, I’m always wondering what it must be like to be a sea bird.  I think I would like that kind of flight… free, open and at my leisure with nothing but air around me.

Pelicans, gulls, even an egret or sandpiper. Of course all birds get to experience the view from above – but to be a sea bird must be a wonderful thing. They get to have all 3 – land, air and water. The sights they must see from above – watching the waves roll in from far out to sea and up over the sand; tiny little specks of people frolicking on the beach – HERE is where they are carefully concentrated, hoping someone will kindly toss a chip or piece of bread into the air; watching whales, dolphins and large schools of fish make their way through the salty waters.

Fly Free in NC

If I could childishly pick “anything” to be for a day, I think I would be a pelican. I love watching them soar through the air in a pack. Sometimes it’s they’re so close overhead that it feels like I could reach up and touch them. When they’re cruising out over the water and see something tasty, they swoop up and then dive bomb down into the water. They hunt and fish in packs, as well. Sometimes if there is a good school running you’ll see them diving in pairs and then floating while they enjoy their catch.

Check out this GoPro video by YouTuber “hkstrongside” of a pelican diving for food right in front of him. He got the full underwater shot, too! Note: If you have nothing pressing to do, check out the “Pelican Learns to Fly” and “Pelican Learns to Fish” clips, too. Pelican’s eye view and the most snuggly pelican ever. Seriously, his name is Big Bird and he loves his people.

Given all of this birdy background, you can imagine that when we decided to get footage for our website with a drone I was completely excited. I love that drone footage is becoming so popular. I love that we get to see what these guys have seen forever – the world from the air – so easily. In the past, we got aerial photos every few years in order to create the aerial maps you see linked to each property. That was really neat to see because some parts of the island look so different from above, and there are some parts you wouldn’t get to see any other way. But the drone footage took that to a whole other level and gave us sweeping views from the air of the coastline sweeping down from the dunes, the waves filing in to meet the sand and how majestic the line of houses looks from out over the water. Watching that type of drone footage is probably about as close as I’ll ever get to knowing what the pelicans and gulls see every day. And you know what? I think those guys have it pretty good, if it’s even half as breathtaking as this footage is. Check out what we did with the footage!