My first full day in North Carolina, was the last day of the season that the North Carolina Estuarium would be leading their river boat tours within Pamlico Sound. Lucky me, made it on the morning cruise. The river trip was lovely, but not as birdy as I would have hoped. We did see an Osprey, Bald Eagle, Blue Heron, Cormorants, turtles, and a ton of gulls.
Pamlico Sound is the largest lagoon along the North American East Coast, extending 80 miles long and 15 to 20 miles wide. It is part of a large, interconnected network of lagoon estuaries that includes 7 different Sounds. Together, these sounds, known as the Albemarle-Pamlico sound system, comprise the second largest estuary in the US, covering over 3,000 sq. mi. of open water.(Chesapeake Bay is the largest.) The Pamlico Sound is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Outer Banks, a row of low, sandy barrier islands The Albemarle-Pamlico Sound is one of nineteen great waters recognized by the America’s Great Waters Coalition.
All these “sounds” got me thinking – Why is a sound called a sound? Google was able to help: A sound is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight, and wider than a fjord. The term sound is derived from the Anglo-Saxon or Old Norse word sund for a narrow fairway (smalt farvann).