Ocracoke Island Journal

Syndicate content
An Occasional Journal of Daily Island Life.Philiphttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01572532603071469799noreply@blogger.comBlogger3826125
Updated: 1 day 1 hour ago

Dolphins

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 05:30
Dolphins are always a delight to see. I have often seen them while sailing in Pamlico Sound (sometimes so close I could have leaned over the side of the boat and touched them), or while riding the ferries. Dolphins are most often sighted in the winter months, just beyond the breakers.













At one time, dolphins and whales were hunted in coastal North Carolina. In case you missed it, we published an article about whale and porpoise fishing on the Outer Banks in August, 2015. Click on this link to go to it: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082115.htm.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Summer Event, Mid-1950s

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 06:09
Here is another Ocracoke photo from the Charlie Jones/Mary Ruth Dickson collection. Take a close look, and answer the four question below if you can.













l. What is the event?
2. Where was the photo taken?
3. Who is astride the pony?
4. What are the three prominent houses in the background?

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Shipwreck

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 06:08
Almost 2,000 sailing vessels have wrecked off the coast of the Outer Banks. Still today, ship timbers are occasionally uncovered on the beach, especially after a storm or hurricane. This photo (from the Charlie Jones/Mary Ruth Dickson Collection) was taken sometime in the mid-1950s.


















Can any of our readers identify this ship, and tell us in what year it wrecked? If you can, please explain how you know. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Lighthouse Steps

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 05:50
Last summer Lou Ann discovered that Brook Ashley had the only photograph I am aware of that shows the original wooden stairs in the Ocracoke Lighthouse.

Compliments of Brook Ashley

















Pictured on the stairs is Dare Wright (1914-2001), model, photographer, and author of popular mid-twentieth century children's books, including The Lonely Doll, and Holiday for Edith and the Bears (set on Ocracoke Island).

According to a 1975 clipping from the Coastland Times, "The wooden stairs inside the Ocracoke Island lighthouse were replaced [in 1950] with a steel spiral stairway at a cost of about $3,000." Indications of the original stairs are still visible on the inner wall of the lighthouse.

Photo by Philip Howard












For more information about Dare Wright and her books, including Ocracoke in the Fifties (edited by Brook Ashley and John Ogilvie), visit http://www.darewright.com.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Storm Damage

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 09:44
Below is an early morning photo of a tree that cracked and broke last night during high winds. It is in the front yard of the Village Craftsmen. (Click on the photo to enlarge for a better view.)

Photo by Amy Howard

















There was also high water in areas of the village, but I haven't heard of any major damage or serious flooding.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Hovercraft

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 06:00
Here is an idea that seemed promising at the time, but never "took off." In 1970 a Raleigh business, Variety Vacations and Sports Enterprises, introduced the new idea of using hovercraft on the Outer Banks. "Able to travel on both land and water," the hovercraft was demonstrated for the curious in Roanoke Sound. Hovercraft use blowers to produce a large volume of air below the hull that is slightly above atmospheric pressure, which lifts the vessel above any flat surface.

I couldn't find a picture of a 1970 hovercraft, but located this one of a recent hovercraft in operation in Germany.

Photo by Stoaberg (Wikipedia)
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode














Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Hunting

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 06:10
Waterfowl hunting has been a tradition on the Outer Banks for hundreds of years. Here is a 1960s photo of an Ocracoke hunter. Can any of our readers identify this man?


















For information about waterfowl hunting in the 2015-2016 season, click here: http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Regs/Documents/Waterfowl-Late-Seasons.pdf.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The Big Freeze

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 05:00
Thurston Gaskill (1902-2000) remembered "The Big Freeze of 1917." In David Shears' 1989 book, Ocracoke, Its History and People, Thurston recalls that winter:

"You could walk on the ice of Pamlico Sound. You didn't try to walk all the way across because it was anybody's guess as to how thick it froze. I've no doubt that you can't solidly freeze a body of water as close to Ocraocke Inlet as we were located, at our hunting camp on little Beacon Island about three miles west of Ocracoke. One could look out and see not just a flat sheet of ice but real mounds where the ice had skidded on top. My father and I and our companion named Bill Williams spent 21` days at the camp. For heating we just had our regular supplies for the plain wood stove. Wood was all we'd got. We had no radios in those days so we just sat it out."

For more about the Big Freeze of 1917, read our 2014 post: The Winter of 1917-1918

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Another Beach Find

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 05:43
It is always interesting to find starfish on the beach. Sometimes hundreds of them wash up at the same time (is it part of their natural life cycle, the result of unusual currents, or because of some other factor?). Normally we find colorful purple and orange starfish (Astropecten articulatus), or larger gray starfish (Luidia clathrata). Every once in a while these plumper specimens, sometimes just called common sea stars, wash up.















Can any of our readers provide the full scientific name for this echinoderm?

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

19th Century Schoolhouse

Tue, 02/02/2016 - 04:45
In the late 1800s a fierce storm brought tide into the village from the ocean side. A schoolhouse located "Down Point" was badly damaged. Accounts indicate that the sea tide swirled around the building and undermined the foundation piers. As the tide rose higher the schoolhouse was lifted up and washed across the road onto a lot owned by James and Laurette Bragg (today Leroy O'Neal has a home on this lot, not far from Albert Styron's Store).

In 1894 James and Laurette Bragg sold their property to the Schoolhouse Committee since the schoolhouse was already on the land. The schoolhouse was "moved by the hand of God" according to 19th century islanders.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Photos Anyone?

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 06:01
I was recently given a box of old copies of the Ocracoke Island News. In the March 31, 1983, issue I read about a Variety Show Fund Raiser.

David Senseney was the Master of Ceremonies. There were various skits and songs performed by local entertainers and musicians. The highlight of the evening was the "Miss Ocracoke 1983" contest. The contestants were Reggie Ballance (Miss National Park Service), Jim Strickland (Miss Coast Guard), Mark Wilkinson (Miss Hog Shoal), Henry Ballinger (Miss Pit Toilet), Chester Lynn (Miss Patties Holler), and Wylie Whitehurst (Miss Cat Ridge). Danny Garrish was the Master of Ceremonies for the "beauty pageant." Kevin Cutler, Jenetta Henning, and Marion Austin were the judges.

Second runner up was Miss National Park Service.
First runner up was Miss Coast Guard.
The new Miss Ocracoke 1983 was Miss Cat Ridge.

The Variety Show raised $534.04 for the Ocracoke Fire and Rescue Squad.

If anyone has photos of this event please send copies to me. I would love to print them! And...maybe we should have a Miss Ocracoke 2016 contest sometime this winter. Another fund raiser for the Fire Department maybe??

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Rough Delivery

Fri, 01/29/2016 - 05:34
As most of our readers know, Ocracoke does not have a hospital. Island women are often asked what they do when they are about to have a baby. Usually women leave the island a week or so before their delivery date, but sometimes nature has a way of thwarting their plans. Following is a newspaper announcement from January 21, 1971:

"Mrs. Dorothy Williams [1944-2005] of Ocracoke had what could be called a very rough delivery. A 30-foot Coast Guard Boat, which had picked up Mrs. Williams to take her to Hatteras to have her baby, was immobilized in heavy seas after running onto shoals. An open 17-footer tried but was unable to get along side the boat due to heavy seas and wind. Finally, an amphibious vehicle of the Coast Guard rolled aboard the Coast Guard boat, bringing Dr. Dan Burroughs who delivered the baby in knee-deep water."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm


Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Boat Building

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 05:30
Wooden boatbuilding has long been an important cultural tradition in coastal North Carolina. But nowhere has it had more of an impact than on Harkers Island. UNCTV, North Carolina's public broadcasting station is airing a documentary on this tradition tonight at 8 pm. Click on the link above to see various ways to watch this program.


Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

On This Date, 1842

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 06:30
 From The Republican(Carthage, TN) - Friday, March 4, 1842; pg. 2; column 1:

"The bark Astoria Mitchel[l], which sailed hence on the 16th of January for New York with a cargo of molasses, flour, whiskey, etc., struck on the Round shoal of Cape Hatteras on Saturday night, January 27th, at 9 o'clock and soon after beat over the breakers and at 10 sunk. The captain, crew and passengers were all saved. 

A bark (also spelled barc or barque) is a sailing vessel with three or more masts. The foremast and mainmast are square rigged (the sails are hung from spars [or yards] that are perpendicular to the ship's keel), and the mizzen mast (the aft mast) is fore and aft rigged (the sails are rigged parallel with the line of the keel).

Below is a Wikipedia photo of a typical bark.

By Unknown (Gift; State Historical Society of Colorado; 1949)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons















The Astoria Mitchell is just one of many ships lost off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Oysters

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 05:57
In December I published a post about the annual Oyster Roast sponsored by the Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association. Unfortunately I missed this event. However, the day after I returned home I had the good fortune to join friends for oysters, beer, dip, chocolate cake, and congenial conversation.














Other than reuniting with Amy, David, & Lachlan, there is hardly a more fitting "Welcome Home" than a get-together with fresh steamed North Carolina oysters and close friends.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Ocracoke Take-Out

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 05:40
Ordering take-out food usually means dealing with Styrofoam containers and plastic knives & forks. Sitting down to eat can be more utilitarian than elegant. Not so the other day when I ordered chicken enchiladas and tropical tacos from Eduardo's.When he called me up to the window I was presented with my order artistically arranged on two beautiful hand-painted china plates. 














Amy and Lachlan were joining me for dinner (David was off the island with Molasses Creek). This feast called for a bottle of wine, pottery plates, and a candle.














What a delight to have Eduardo on the island. Excellent food even if it is presented in Styrofoam containers. Be sure to patronize Eduardo soon. You will be glad you did!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Art Auction

Fri, 01/22/2016 - 05:50
It is almost time for another Ocracoke Preservation Society Art Auction. This coming Saturday, January 23, from 5 to 7 pm, numerous original works of art by Ocracoke Island residents, friends, and visitors will be on display at the museum, and available to be auctioned. This is a silent auction, and bids start at $10. You can view photos of the offerings and read information about on-line bidding here).

Their are many items to choose from. The following three examples were created by Nancy Carlson (top), Bob Ray (middle), and Nancy Hicks (bottom):





















For detailed information and to see the art work please go to to the OPS Facebook Page.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

January Newsletter

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 06:02
We have just published our latest Ocracoke Newsletter. As most of our readers know, seafaring and fishing were major occupations for many islanders, and working on the water was often dangerous. This month we share a list of Ocracoke residents and others connected with our island who lost their lives at sea, from the early 1800s through the mid-1960s. For some we only have the briefest of information e.g. lost at sea"), for others we have newspaper accounts and family stories. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Blowfish, Puffer Fish, Sea Squab

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 06:17
I spotted this puffer fish washed up on the beach this winter.















Sometimes called blowfish or sea squab, many people refuse to eat them because of their reputation for being poisonous. However, blowfish caught in Carolina waters are generally non-toxic and delicious. According to the web site Examiner.com, puffer fish are perfectly safe to eat once the roe is discarded.

Here is a short video showing how to clean North Carolina puffer fish:


And here is a recipe. As islanders say, "they are good eatin'!!"

Breaded Blowfish

20 blowfish strips from 10 fish
½ cup flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 egg
½ cup milk
seafood seasoning
olive oil

Season blowfish with seafood seasoning. Break open egg and mix with milk, stirring until egg is beaten. Combine flour and cornmeal. Heat olive oil in a pan, just covering the bottom. Dip blowfish in milk and eggs then roll in flour and cornmeal. Sauté quickly over medium high heat until fish is golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Serves 3.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Capt. Horatio Williams and his schooner, the Paragon. You can read the story here: www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112115.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

1718 Brewing Ocracoke

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 06:17
Many of our readers were disappointed when one of the island's most popular restaurants, the Cafe Atlantic, closed its doors more than a year ago. If I remember correctly, the Cafe, owned and operated by Bob & Ruth Toth, opened in 1988. Amy recently found these photos of the building when it was brand new.



















This winter Garrick & Jacqui Kalna have been having the former Cafe Atlantic remodeled and expanded, and have plans to open a new venture there, the 1718 Ocracoke Brew Pub, in the spring.














I will publish more information about the 1718 Brew Pub as the grand opening approaches.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Capt. Horatio Williams and his schooner, the Paragon. You can read the story here: www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112115.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs