outer bank

Along the sandy ocean shore an outer bank is a sliver of land that barely rises from the water and lies much farther out to sea than other dry ground. It is quite literally the edge of the earth, the front line of battle against maritime storms. The name is most frequently applied to the thin islands off the coast of North Carolina that stretch for roughly 150 miles and include the great arcs of Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout. As Mark Richard writes in “Rolltop Mantra of the Outer Banks,” “If you could time-lapse the natural nautical clock, you would see the whole of the Outer Banks, the mons of woods, the limbs of sand, the rump of Jockeys Ridge, turning away from the ocean like an unhappy lover rolling over beneath a blanket of development. Or maybe it really is God’s Plan, and Satan really is buried beneath Jockeys Ridge, and the prevailing winds are merely making his resurrection more expedient by whisking the mountain of sand off his grave.”

Jan DeBlieu