Carl White’s Life in the Carolinas

Carl White’s syndicated column features stories about his journey as a TV producer and host. Carl says “I am writing about the people I meet as I travel and the interesting places visited. They do not all end up on TV, but a lot do and everyone becomes a friends. It’s a wonderful journey”

Below you will find a sampling of Carl’s columns. To read them in a paper nearest you, please subscribe to:

Greenwood, SC: Index Journal
Cheraw, SC: The Link
Lenoir, NC: The News Topic
Wilkes County, NC: The Record
Alleghany, NC: Alleghany News
Spruce Pines, NC: Mitchell News

A boat ride to Ocracoke and talks of Blackbeard

When I started out for my third visit to the Island of Ocracoke, I remembered a friend telling me he enjoyed taking the Swan Quarter Ferry because he had less drive time and more time to relax or do a bit of writing on the ride over. I normally enjoy taking the longer way, especially when the opportunity to see something new is around the corner. Today was different. I was traveling solo and the idea of having a driver for a few hours appealed to me.

The weather was clear. However, it had been raining for days and I saw a lot of standing water in yards as I made my way closer to Swan Quarter, I also noticed the already white cotton fields were heavy with water; I was sure that would not be good for the harvest.

The line to get on the ferry was long, but moved at a comfortable pace and it looked to me as if there would be little room for additional passengers. Once onboard, I sat down on the passenger deck with iPad in hand, reflecting on my travels. I was sitting up front on the inside in a comfortable seat. The outside deck was just in front of me and looked inviting. There were four or five windblown couples sitting arm to arm with the sun warming them from the west.

About thirty minutes into the journey I decided to step out on the forward deck. When I first sat down amidst fellow travelers it was like I could hear all the conversations, but the sounds of the gentle waves soon took over, and before long they became the center of my awareness.

The waves were mild and the clouds had broken from three days of heavy rain. I loved the wind over the water. There was a fresh, sweet smell in the air and the warmth from the sun provided what I would consider a near perfect moment.

One couple was still sitting where they were when I first saw them; she now had her head on his shoulder and he seemed proud to have his love so near.  I enjoy seeing people travel to special places like Ocracoke. They seem happy and full of hope. 

I, too, was looking forward to my visit on the island. I had reservations at The Cove Bed and Breakfast, which has a good breakfast and a nice at home feel to it. It’s also within walking distance to Springer’s Point, a part of the Coastal Land Trust. It has great natural beauty and is of historic note as it was the place where Edward Teach aka Blackbeard engaged in his final battle. On a previous trip I enjoyed conversations at Springer’s Point with the charismatic Kevin Duffas, an author who has written extensively about Blackbeard.

The natural beauty and history of the island makes it the perfect type of place for me to visit.

I’m not sure how it is for you, but I am convinced that nature can be some of the best therapy if we allow it, even the birds that follow the ferry seem to drift along in an almost hypnotic flight path.

On this voyage, the things that wowed me the most was the simplicity of gentle waves, relaxed travelers, the warm sun and a few hours of tranquil thoughts.