Ocracoke Island Journal

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An Occasional Journal of Daily Island Life.Philiphttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01572532603071469799noreply@blogger.comBlogger3408125
Updated: 23 hours 14 min ago

Firemen's Ball

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 05:02
The ninth annual Ocracoke Volunteer Firemen’s Ball will be held this Saturday, May 24.

The Firemen's Ball was started years ago when a couple of talented musicians who love Ocracoke gathered to play music and raise some money for a good cause. Since then the original group (The Dune Dogs) out of Raleigh, NC, with the help of local band The Ocracoke Rockers, have come together every year to make this fundraiser a huge success.

Bidding at the Auction















Not only is it a good time, it is an important fundraiser for the fire department. Thanks to the continued support of sponsors, donors and volunteers, last year’s ball was again very successful. Together it raised $76,220 – and netted after expenses over $68,000 for the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department Building Fund!

Come on out to the Community Center on Saturday, and help support our Volunteer Fire Department.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
  •  4:30-6:30 Silent Auction 
  • 5:00-6:30 Pig Pickin' Or until food runs out, which it always does - plates are $12, and include a drink. Inside, donations accepted for cold beer generously donated by City Beverage Co. 
  • 7:00 Live Auction 
  • 8:30 Live Music (Donations to get in accepted at the door)
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the curious story of Vera/Charlie Williams. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Vera....

    Wed, 05/21/2014 - 04:55
    ...or Charlie?

    In 1921 & 1922 the curious story of Charles Irvin Williams, Ocracoke Island native who was raised as a girl (for 21 years family, friends & neighbors knew him as Vera), was published in newspapers across America, including North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Jersey, and New York.

    You can read the whole story in our latest Ocracke Newsletter: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Wococon

    Tue, 05/20/2014 - 04:27
    In 1585 John White drew a map of the New World. A small island along the coast is labeled "Wococon."

    On subsequent maps, until 1706, the island was variously called Wokokon, Wococock, Wosoton, and Wocoton. Two maps, in 1672 & 1675 respectively, used the unusual spelling "Okok."

    By 1709 the "W" had been permanently dropped, resulting in Ocacok, Occacoke, Occeh, Ocreecock, Oakerccok, and a few other variations.

    The first instance of our current spelling that I am aware of, Ocracoke, dates to an 1852 map by A.D. Bache. By the end of the Civil War that spelling had become standardized. Nevertheless, native islanders can still be heard referring to our home island as O'cock or Ocreecoke.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Clam Rakes

    Mon, 05/19/2014 - 04:51
    A reader recently asked about clam rakes. When I was a youngster we used iron rakes like the one in the photo below. The tines were an eighth of an inch thick, and rusted easily. After several hours they became a burden to push.

    Old Clam Rake


















    Nowadays almost everyone uses rakes with tines fashioned from stainless steel table knife blades. They are less than half the thickness of the old tines, and are resistant to rust. The table knife blades cut through the sandy bottom almost effortlessly. Clamming is much easier now!

    New Clam Rake


















    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.

    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Oxalis

    Sun, 05/18/2014 - 05:15
    In1942 the Navy dredged Ocracoke's harbor (Cockle Creek/Silver Lake) in order to create a navigable basin for their vessels. In the process, they pumped many cubic yards of sand into adjacent yards and wetlands. This created what some of us jokingly call "nice high land."

    My yard is the farthest extent the sand was pumped toward the southeast of the harbor. As a result, I have to dig down ten or so inches to find darker, richer soil, so it is difficult to grow much in my front yard.

    Nevertheless, these hardy oxalis plants are thriving beside my fence.  















    They go to sleep every evening, then wake back up in the morning to welcome the new day.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Instructions

    Sat, 05/17/2014 - 04:39
    In 1921 the US Government Printing Office published "Instructions for United States Coast Guard Stations." The duties and responsibilities of surfmen included the following:

    "A surfman on lookout...shall not sit down, lie down, sleep, read, entertain visitors, or do anything else that will tend to interfere with the proper discharge of his duties... He shall not take into the lookout any book, paper, pamphlet, or other reading matter, or any chair, stool, bench, or other seat, nor shall he permit any such article or articles or any person not connected with the service in the lookout while he is on watch."

    US Coast Guard Station, Portsmouth Island














    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    The Atlantic

    Fri, 05/16/2014 - 05:10
    Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008, science fiction writer, past Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, a member of the Academy of Astronautics & the Royal Astronomical Society) is purported to have said, "How inappropriate to call this planet Earth, when clearly it is Ocean."

    Living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, as we do here on Ocracoke Island, does not always impress us with the true immensity of this vast body of water. Our daily lives are centered around the village, and only a few of us venture off-shore. Those who do, generally go to fishing areas in the Gulf Stream, about 25 miles from land.















    Simon Winchester, in his 2010 book, Atlantic, reminds us how "incalculably large the Atlantic happens to be."

    Winchester observes that "A big ocean -- and the Atlantic is a very big ocean indeed -- has the appearance of a settled permanence. Stand anywhere beside it, and stare across its swells toward the distant horizon, and you are swiftly lulled into the belief that it has been there forever. All who like the sea -- and surely there can be precious few who do not -- have a favored place in which to stand and stare...."

    My favored place, and perhaps yours as well, is right here on Ocracoke.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.

    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Decoys

    Thu, 05/15/2014 - 05:08
    Waterfowl hunting has been a part of island life since the arrival of the first settlers. Of course, hunting is a fall and winter activity. But even in the warmer months you can see evidence of hunting if you look closely. These decoys hang on a fence on Howard Street.














    Only waterfowl hunting is permitted within Cape Hatteras National Seashore...and only those species which are in season may be taken. For more information please click here: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/waterfowlhunting_2013b.htm.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Spider in the Shower

    Wed, 05/14/2014 - 04:08
    Lately I've had a tiny creature accompanying me in my outdoor shower. At first I didn't notice him; then when I turned to dry off I saw the web glistening in the morning light.

    Follow Directions on Right to Enlarge


















    I'm not sure how long he intends to stick around, but I'm careful not to disturb him. As long as the rest of his family doesn't move in with him I am happy to share the space.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    USLHE Line Post

    Tue, 05/13/2014 - 04:38
    On your next visit to the Ocracoke light house, keep your eyes open for the line marker.




















    The marker has the letters, US LHE carved on it. The line post is on the edge of the marshy area a short distance from the end of the boardwalk. The letters stand for United States Light House Establishment.

    The U.S. Light House Establishment was created by the First Congress in 1789 to manage the twelve colonial lighthouses that were put under the care of the federal government. The Light House Establishment was also empowered to oversee construction of new lighthouses.

    Ocracoke light house was built in 1823, and is the oldest operating light house in North Carolina.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Blue Bloods

    Mon, 05/12/2014 - 04:24
    According to Ronald G. Hellman and Janis A. Roze, in their paper, The Resilient Horseshoe Crab: Guardian of Time, "On one of his expeditions to the New World, Sir Walter Raleigh came across strange creatures on the coast of North Carolina, and named them ‘horseshoe crabs’" (http://web.gc.cuny.edu/sciart/0102/rhsc/page.htm).















    Horseshoe crabs (in spite of their name, these creatures are marine arthropods, not true crabs) spawn in the spring. According to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, "Spawning usually coincides with the high tide during the full and new moon. Breeding activity is consistently higher during the full moon than the new moon and is also greater during the night."

    Although Delaware Bay hosts the largest spawning population of horseshoe crabs in the world, North Carolina has its fair share of these "creatures from the past."

    The April 14, 2014 issue of The New Yorker has an informative article titled Blue Bloods about horseshoe crabs. The author, Ian Frazier, writes, "Horseshoe-crab blood is blue. I had never seen it before; unless the heart is pierced, the structure of the animal's anatomy generally keeps it from serious bleeding. The blue comes from hemocyanin, a copper-containing protein that transports oxygen in the blood, like the iron-containing hemoglobin in red blood."

    Fascinating creatures, these horseshoe crabs! Take a few moments to appreciate these amazing animals the next time you spy one washed up on the beach...or encounter one in Pamlico Sound.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Onions

    Sun, 05/11/2014 - 05:08
    Look at vintage photos of Ocracoke yards, and you will see well-tended gardens. Nearly every house had a garden. Many also had chickens...and several had pigs. It was the custom years ago for houses to have two fences around their property. The outer fence kept the wild horses from tromping through the yard, and the inner fence kept the chickens away from the garden.

    Nowadays there aren't quite as many vegetables grown on the island, but you will still see a number of beautiful, well kept gardens throughout the village.

    A few days ago Michael brought a fistful of fresh onions for Amy & David. The aroma was heavenly!



















    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Clamming

    Sat, 05/10/2014 - 04:09
    Spring is here...the water in the Sound is warming up...and clamming season is upon us. All you need is a clam rake, a clam basket, and access to the clam beds!



    Last month I shared information about Marcus Lawson and his new venture -- Clam Digger, Flounder Gigger Charters. Check out his web site for more information: https://www.facebook.com/clamdigger.floundergigger.

    Clamming is a great way to experience the tranquility of a few hours in Pamlico Sound...and to gather supper for you and your family.

    You can contact Marcus at clamdiggerfloundergigger@gmail.com or by phone at 252-921-0279.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Shards

    Fri, 05/09/2014 - 06:57
    Lately I have noticed certain areas of the beach covered with pieces of broken seashells.This photo may not look terribly impressive, but I find it fascinating that ocean currents deposit so many shards in one location, and, just a few steps away, hardly any.


















    If I had the time and talent, I would consider fashioning a mosaic from these shell fragments. As it is, I will simply enjoy nature's art work.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    British Cemetery

    Thu, 05/08/2014 - 05:10
    Tomorrow, May 9, at 11:00 am visitors will join island residents, representatives of the British and Canadian embassies, US Coast Guard dignitaries, Ocracoke school students, and others to remember those who gave their lives as they patrolled and protected the east coast of the United States during WWII.

    Specifically remembered will be the crew of the British armed trawler, Bedfordshire which was torpedoed May 11, 1942. Four of the crew members are buried on Ocracoke.

    British Cemetery, 1942
















    You can read more about the British Cemetery here: http://www.outerbanks.com/british-cemeteries.html.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Stone Statues?

    Wed, 05/07/2014 - 05:02
    Several days ago I shared a story from a book written in 1895, The 48th in the War, Being a Narrative of the Campaigns of the 48th Regiment, Infantry, Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, During the War of the Rebellion.

    The author, Oliver Christian Bosbyshell, describes his experiences on Hatteras Island. Below are his observations about burials on the Outer Banks.

    "Directly opposite the [Methodist] meeting house is an old graveyard, wherein reposes the dust (if it is dust) of the ancient Hatterasins ; a lonely old place, with some curious inscriptions on its tombstones.

    "Here’s one as a sample.

    "In memory of Thos. Austin.
    Died 1845. Aged 70 years.

    "Thos. Austin. Was. His. Name.
    Heaven. I. Hope. His. Station.
    Hatteras. Was. His. Dwelling. Place.
    And. Christ. Was. His. Salvation.
    Now. He. Is. Dead. And. Buried.
    All. His. Bones. Are. Rotten.
    Remember. Him. When. This. You. See.
    Least. He. Should. Be. Forgotten.

    "The author of that epitaph was not familiar with the peculiar virtues of that old burying ground. Thomas, rest in peace; your bones are not all rotten, old boy—oh, no; listen! Diehl, of Company G, was buried in this graveyard. The authorities refused permission to send his body home.

    "It is not the mere burying that makes the soldier’s funeral so inexpressibly solemn, it is the thought that there is no one near to mourn for him; none but the moaning wind and the ever roaring surf. It was a doleful funeral, tramping through the sand, up the island to this old graveyard. Digging the grave was not difficult. It was tedious to make it as deep as it should be. Two feet below the surface developed water, and the balance of the depth attained was through a constantly increasing volume of water. The coffin was lowered into the grave, and by the aid of sticks was pushed down under the water and held there until a sufficient quantity of the wet, sandy soil had been thrown upon it to prevent it from floating.

    "Diehl was buried in December. The following May his body was disinterred, placed in a lead coffin, and sent North. But what a metamorphosis had taken place in the short time it had lain in this old graveyard. Through some chemical action the work of petrifaction had begun, the forehead had already turned to stone. A longer stay in the grave would have undoubtedly completed the change. This incident causes doubt as to the 'dust' of the old Hatteras folks reposing in this out-of-the-way graveyard, probably they are all stone statues, as it were. Had it been supposed that this was the case with the bodies silently resting here it would not have been remarkable, judging from the known tendency of some of the sojourners on Hatteras for practical jokes, to have discovered, on most any bright morning, all the old worthies unearthed from their salt, sandy, wet bed, and standing up as guardians over the places so long occupied by them."

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Bare Feet

    Tue, 05/06/2014 - 04:00
    Summertime means bare feet on Ocracoke. When I was a boy I liked nothing better than running through soft sand on the island (except when the sand was so hot it scorched my feet...or where the sand was covered with sand spurs!).

    Lachlan takes his shoes off at every opportunity. When I saw him with his bare feet propped up on my porch swing a few days ago I knew I had to take this photo.















    Lachlan's feet were so dirty! They reminded me of when I was a teenager. I walked the village lanes with friends until after dark. My feet would be filthy dirty. When I returned home I was usually too tired to wash up properly (we had to fill a galvanized tub for bathing), so I just pulled on a pair of socks before I got into bed!

    I have taught Lachlan that trick, but most of the time he is responsible, and cleans his feet before turning in for the night.

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    An Unexpected Discovery

    Mon, 05/05/2014 - 04:30
    On Saturday, as I was walking along the beach, I stumbled upon a cache of seashells tossed up by King Neptune.















    The first item that caught my eye was the large, bright white sand dollar. Just a few steps away was a large area covered mostly with broken shards of seashells.

    Upon closer inspection I noticed a couple of sturdy lettered olive shells. Within a very few minutes I had gathered a dozen and a half olives and a small piece of coral, as well as the sand dollar.

    I left more shells for the next person who happened by. Keep your eyes open as you stroll along our beach (but don't ask me to tell you where I found these shells!).  

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    "Blackbeard" Costumes

    Sat, 05/03/2014 - 04:56
    Julia Howard's musical, A Tale of Blackbeard, was performed on the island 9 summers between 1974 and 1994. This well-loved play with lively action and catchy tunes (who, of those who have seen the musical, doesn't remember "Avast, Avast" & "Hey Diddle Honey"?) will be back this season. Performances are scheduled for May 15, 16, 17, & 18...and every Monday evening from June 9 to August 11.

    1987 Performance, courtesy, Amy Howard













    This Monday afternoon (May 5), from 3:30 until 5:00 the company, in cooperation with the Ocracoke Preservation Society, will have former "Blackbeard" costumes on exhibit at the museum. Pirate fare, including biscuits, beef jerky, and grog (non-alcoholic...sorry), will be served. The exhibit will remain up through the month of May.

    As a special treat, the current cast of village girls and pirates will provide a sneak preview of several of their songs!

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm


    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

    Latest News Re. Lifeguards

    Fri, 05/02/2014 - 04:59
    According to the Ocracoke Current, "The National Park Service issued a notice of intent to contract for lifeguard services on Ocracoke for five days a week (Monday – Friday) this summer." The NPS is hoping Hyde County will ante up the money to fund lifeguards on the weekends.

    Of course, islanders think it is the Park Service's responsibility to provide lifeguards seven days a week during the season.

    Click on this link to learn more about this issue, and what you can do to make your voice heard:
    http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/86888. Be sure to read the last paragraph!

    Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm. Be sure to read the last paragraph!
    Categories: Outer Banks Blogs