An Ode to OBX Aquatic Life

When most of my friends think of a beach day, they instantly picture a beaming sun above a sandy beach, with daydreaming eyes under a pair of gritty sunglasses, stained with sunscreen and sweat.

I picture a beach day as something a little different.

Hailing from the distant land of Charlotte, I grew up with artificial beach days. Long summer afternoons by the pool, same sunscreen, same sweat, same sunglasses. No sand, but a nice hum from countless A/C units as electricity bills slowly climb skyward.

Those beach days lacked a crucial element for me: the living things that swim and scurry and pinch and filter and take your last shrimp clean off the hook.

I’m talking coastal fauna, in particular aquatic life.

Seahorses at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island
Seahorses at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island


In my free time during the past few weeks on the Banks, I’ve personally come into contact with more biodiversity than I have over any stretch of time back in the woody suburbs of the Queen City. I’ve been in love with the creatures and critters of nature since I was just a wee lad, and the estuaries, wetlands, sounds, and shifting shorelines of the Outer Banks have reminded me of the youthful exuberance I associated with the natural world, before things like school and the great indoors lulled me away from the outside forces of nature.

The life found in these precious waters comes in many different forms: gooey, slimy, instagram cute, and everything in between. If you can think of an adjective, there’s some aquatic critter out here that matches it nearly perfectly. Every one, no matter how bizarre, finds its niche in its ecosystem.

No matter the odds of life, nature carries on. Whether its an R or a K type organism, a broadcast spawner or a mate for life, the surprising resiliency of the species I’ve encountered on the OBX is a shining example to how nature will continue to surprise us even as we learn more about it.

The little coastal treasures hiding in the dunes and surf are what make the perfect beach day for me. Beachcombing in itself isn’t what I’m referring to, but the sheer possibility of finding a Scotch Bonnet, tropical scallop, ghost crab, or even the occasional whale, whilst walking along the crushed manifestation’s of the waves is more than enough to make my beach day.

Aquatic life isn’t the only thing that’s out here on the OBX, but I personally find it enough of a reason to make this special little place a destination for me again and again in the future.

That's right, whales do indeed wash up on the very beaches you swim at. #OBXswag
That’s right, whales do indeed wash up on the very beaches you swim at. #OBXswag


Not to forget all of the sportfishing you can do out here!


Published by

Viktor Agabekov

SOG Sch of Government