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Outer banks (hatteras island)

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#1 Tjames66

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:30 PM

I'm heading down to Hatteras NC this Saturday for thanksgiving week and am taking my new Z8 on the trip(told the wife it is coming and it is considered essential baggage, lol) I have only had a couple times to use it here in central pa, but have been vacationing on the island for 15 years and am amazed at the dark sky views with the naked eye, so I am really pumped up to put the Z8 to the test with 360 degrees of dark skies and no light pollution :jump:

#2 Meadeball

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:51 AM

Lucky you! I get down there every chance I get. Hey, take some pics. I hear Hatteras got some of Sandy's wrath too.

Do be prepared for one thing I've experienced going down there -- if you've stayed there before you've undoubtedly noticed it on your car's windows after a week at OBX -- you might get a little bit of salt-air haze on your optics. Try to stay out of the breeze if possible, and as far away from the oceanfront as you can when you observe.

Have fun! My family did Thanksgiving in Corolla a few years ago. It's a nice change.

Meade

#3 Mark Costello

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:53 AM

I'm heading down to Hatteras NC this Saturday for thanksgiving week and am taking my new Z8 on the trip(told the wife it is coming and it is considered essential baggage, lol) I have only had a couple times to use it here in central pa, but have been vacationing on the island for 15 years and am amazed at the dark sky views with the naked eye, so I am really pumped up to put the Z8 to the test with 360 degrees of dark skies and no light pollution :jump:



Hi Tjames. I was down at Cape Hatteras with my wife and two younger daughters eight years ago. Not being able to take the 4" achromat refractor I had at the time, I stowed a pair of 7X35 binoculars I had purchased for day use. Boy, the things I saw one night just with those little guys. You're going to get a treat to natural fireworks from down there.

#4 michael hester

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:15 AM

I actually asked the lighthouse staff at one point if I would be allowed to setup a telescope in the parking lot near the houses and they said ok. The areas are frequented by birders and the parks stay open for that. You can ask at the lighthouse to make sure though if they're open at this time in the season. Bodie would be an excellent spot to go to depending on how far down in the banks you're going to stay.

#5 RonUwood

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:50 AM

I think as of last saturday, the Bonner Bridge, over Oregon Inlet was closed to most vehicles. I am not sure how far down Hatteras Island you can get due to Sandy.

Ron

#6 Meadeball

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

I actually asked the lighthouse staff at one point if I would be allowed to setup a telescope in the parking lot near the houses and they said ok.


Just don't get tired and start thinking that big blinkin' thang is a huge eclipsing variable!!! :roflmao:

#7 Tjames66

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:48 PM

I think as of last saturday, the Bonner Bridge, over Oregon Inlet was closed to most vehicles. I am not sure how far down Hatteras Island you can get due to Sandy.

Ron


They opened up a 4x4 road just above Rodanthe at the s-curves, so only 4x4 traffic during daylight hours. We are staying in Avon, Semi-oceanfront. I didn't consider the ocean spray blowing in the wind getting on my optics. I will be viewing most likely from the deck on the house which is about 25' up. I guess the Z might need a cleaning when I get it back home.

#8 Meadeball

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:41 PM

Considering the scope won't be exposed to the air for an entire week like a car's windshield would, the hazing should be very minor -- but there will probably be a little of it if you do anything more than an hour or two of observing. When I got home, I found a slight amount of haze on the front corrector plate of the Meade ETX I had taken down there. I did a quick cotton-ball and very (very) mild Dawn solution on it and all was crystal clear again. (I used a soft towel lightly dampened in the same solution to wipe off the tube and other parts.) To save yourself undue hazing, bring a small Ziploc to cover your finder and keep your eyepiece capped when you're not looking through it.

Salt air is nasty stuff. My other hobby is ham radio. I have a friend who, about 15 years ago, installed a radio in his yacht (down inside the cabin) which he keeps in a marina in Mathews county; it was the same model of radio I had just purchased for home use. About five years later I had a chance to go sailing with him. The aluminum rear of the radio and the nickel-plated coax connectors on the back looked like they'd been left out in the weather for years. The painted metal cabinet had rust bubbles under the paint. (Mine, safely indoors at home, still looked brand-new.) I couldn't believe how much the salt air had aged an $1,800 piece of high-end radio gear. It's nasty stuff!

#9 Tjames66

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:39 PM

I will probably be taking the z8 in and out of one of the patio doors, so probably looking at an hour or so each night or as weather permits. So hopefully not too much will accumulate on it, I will make sure to towel off the tube and all the outside fixtures after each use also.



#10 IcecreamLtDan

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

I take my scope with me every year when we go to Nagshead. I have taken it to Bodie Island lighthouse several times for viewing without any issues as long as I let the park rangers know. Like the others stated though, be careful with the scope as the salt air can accumulate on it. I don't ever leave the scope out when I'm not using it and I try to keep it covered up when I'm letting it cool down. Other than that, enjoy, it's a great place to view.

#11 Dave74

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:09 PM

I look forward to hear how your trip goes.

Clear skies

#12 Tjames66

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:14 PM

looking very forward to viewing the night skies in the obx, I hope the weather cooperates, I will post my observations during my trip.

#13 Shawn H

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:49 AM

Hatteras Island! That brings back memories! As a member of the Civil Air Patrol in Fayetteville, NC a few times a year I used to fly to Seymore Johnson AFB to pick up a flight safety officer and we'd fly a low level obstacle search flight over eastern NC. We'd fly out over the Outer Banks and then turn back in. Last time I did that was at least 25 years ago! :p And yes be carefull, salt is nasty for optics, paint, everything! :crazy:

#14 Meadeball

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:11 AM

http://www.surforsou...es/property/459


Looks a lot like the place we like to rent a bit north of ya!

Up On The Roof - Duck

It has a rooftop deck (hence the house's name) ...

Posted Image

And the view from up there is ... stellar!

Posted Image

#15 IcecreamLtDan

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

Hatteras Island! That brings back memories! As a member of the Civil Air Patrol in Fayetteville, NC a few times a year I used to fly to Seymore Johnson AFB to pick up a flight safety officer and we'd fly a low level obstacle search flight over eastern NC. We'd fly out over the Outer Banks and then turn back in. Last time I did that was at least 25 years ago! :p And yes be carefull, salt is nasty for optics, paint, everything! :crazy:


Interesting, I grew up in Fayetteville and was stationed at Seymour Johnson, or "Shady J" as we called it, from 85 to 95. I worked on the KC-10's when they were there if you remember that. Now I work at the electronics shop at MCB Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville.

#16 Tjames66

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:23 PM

Change of plans, the current conditions to access Hatteras Island have turned complicated, we are taking the long way around(swan quarter ferry) and therefore are going to change the packing to arrange for more water/food for our 8 hour trip turning into a 15+ trip. I am packing the 4.5 reflector/eq. up to save room and due to the so/so weather. hope I have a few good nights to observe with this versus the z8 (was alittle paranoid to expose my new scope to the salty wind/air anyways)

#17 Meadeball

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:16 AM

Oh man, you'll love that ferry. It may take a while to get to, but the last 10 miles of the drive are through a coastal marsh and you'll start to think you're in the Everglades or something. Very picturesque. If you can and it's a nice day, give yourself some extra time for the drive. You're going to want to stop and take pictures, believe me. The ferry ride itself, IIRC, is about two hours long and you'll feel "out to sea" -- no land visible and even some minor swells -- for part of the trip. I did it once about 10 years ago and want to do it again. It's a much bigger ferry, too, than those piddly little ones that run from Hatteras to Ocracoke. You can get out of the car, walk up a flight of stairs and enjoy some outdoor seating up on the pilot house deck. It'll be a new facet of your OBX experience that you'll talk about for a long time. Have fun!

Meade

#18 Shawn H

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:55 AM

Hatteras Island! That brings back memories! As a member of the Civil Air Patrol in Fayetteville, NC a few times a year I used to fly to Seymore Johnson AFB to pick up a flight safety officer and we'd fly a low level obstacle search flight over eastern NC. We'd fly out over the Outer Banks and then turn back in. Last time I did that was at least 25 years ago! :p And yes be carefull, salt is nasty for optics, paint, everything! :crazy:


Interesting, I grew up in Fayetteville and was stationed at Seymour Johnson, or "Shady J" as we called it, from 85 to 95. I worked on the KC-10's when they were there if you remember that. Now I work at the electronics shop at MCB Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville.


Small world isn't it! I was in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg and use to visit friends in force recon at Camp Lejeune! After I lived in France for 25 years and now work in Africa. But I still have sweet memories of the Tarheel state! :rainbow:

#19 Shawn H

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:08 AM

P.S. Hows the observing conditions on the coast :question: I remember Carolina as being stormy in the summer, but pretty good conditions during winter! ;)

#20 IcecreamLtDan

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:02 PM

Not as stormy this last summer as it had been, lots of rain, just not a lot of storms. Not sure when you were here, but the weather patterns have changed quite a bit from when I was younger. We had our own version of "Monsoon" season here when I was younger, but it's much more random and less often now. Viewing conditions during the winter are still very nice, though we had quite the snowstorm here about 2 years ago. Took a drive out to Topsail island and took pictures of the snow covered beach, quite the contrast.

#21 Tjames66

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

No observing at all since I have arrived , cloudy, rainy and very windy. Thursday/friday might clear up enough to get some viewing in. Will have to wait and see.

#22 Dave74

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:48 PM

Well, at least you didn't lug the dob out there for that.

#23 IcecreamLtDan

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

Well, be sure to take a ride out to Tortuga's Lie and get some great seafood anyway.

#24 Tjames66

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:51 PM

Well I guess I am glad I didn't take the Z8 down to hatteras. I just got back and I didn't have one evening with a clear sky :( Since I got the Z8 conditions at home have not cooperated, I am beginning to think someone is trying to tell me something, lol. Hoping for some good viewing weather soon!

#25 jturie

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

How were the traveling conditions on HI? We've been going to Avon every September for the last 15 years. I heard that getting below Rodanthe on NC12 has been tough since Sandy.






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