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Caribsea

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 02/04/2014 - 05:45
On March 11, 1942 the steam powered freighter, Caribsea, was struck by two torpedoes from a German U-boat off the coast of North Carolina. Ocracoke Native James Baughm Gaskill, one of the crew members, was killed in the attack. The ship's nameplate now hangs in the NPS Visitors Center.






From Village Craftsmen's History of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church:

"A hand-made wooden cross rests on the altar in the sanctuary of Ocracoke's united church building. The cross was constructed by Homer Howard, and painted gold by his wife, Aliph. The cross was made out of salvage from the ship on which island native, James Baughm Gaskill, served and lost his life. Jim Baughm's ship, the "Caribsea," was torpedoed and sunk offshore by a German U-boat on March 11, 1942, little more than a year before the new church was dedicated. Shortly after the sinking, Christopher Farrow, James Baughm's cousin, found his framed license cast up on the ocean beach. Later, the ship's nameplate and other debris washed up at his family's dock, at the old Pamlico Inn. The cross stands today as a memorial to James Baughm Gaskill, 3rd mate in the USS Maritime service."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The Anna R. Heidritter

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:48
In May of 1942 one of the last great coastal schooners, the four masted Anna R. Heidritter, wrecked on Ocracoke beach. Captain Bennett Coleman was the youngest of the eight crewmen. He was 63 years old!

The Anna R. Heidritter in the Breakers at Ocracoke












You can read more about the Heidritter here: http://northcarolinashipwrecks.blogspot.com/2012/05/schooner-anna-r-heidritter-3-march-1942.html.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The Gulf Stream

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 02/02/2014 - 05:30
Ben Dixon MacNeill, in his 1958 book The Hatterasman, remarks that the volume of the Gulf Stream (he calls it "the Great River"), "is equal to that of 1,000 Mississippi Rivers."

I know the Gulf Stream is a colossal body of moving water that originates at the southern tip of Florida and flows along the eastern seaboard. The Gulf Stream influences our weather here on the Outer Banks, not only regarding storms and hurricanes, but more generally. The warm waters of this "Great River" help moderate Ocracoke's temperatures. And they provide great off-shore fishing!

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I wasn't sure how accurate MacNeill's assessment of the size of the Gulf Stream was, so I did a bit of research. According to The Gulf Stream as a Graded River by R.M. Prall of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts (http://aslo.org/lo/toc/vol_11/issue_1/0060.pdf), "The gulf Stream carries a volume of water north through the Straits of Florida that is more than 70 times the combined flow of all the land rivers of the world"

I can't comprehend such large numbers (1,000 Mississippi Rivers, or 70 times the combined flow of all the land rivers), but I know it is huge...and totally awesome. What a remarkable planet we inhabit!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Slavery

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 02/01/2014 - 06:12
In September, 2011 our monthly Ocracoke Newsletter related the story of Slavery on Ocracoke.

The article points out that "[a]s on other islands of the Outer Banks and in coastal areas of the mainland, the institution of slavery on Ocracoke Island was somewhat different from slavery on large southern plantations."

David Cecelski writes authoritatively about this theme in his 2001 book The Waterman's Song, Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina. Cecelski's book is divided into two major sections, "Working on the Water" and "The Struggle for Freedom."

In his second section the author writes, "Coastal ports like Bath, Ocracoke, and even New Bern may have outwardly resembled backwater outposts on minor trade routes, but a tour of those harbor districts would have belied any notion of provincialism. There a visitor would have met black sailors from many nations, swapping the latest scuttlebutt from Boston, San Juan, and Port-au-Prince in a half dozen languages.... [B]lack sailors...kept coastal slaves informed about the political climate beyond the South and offered practical details about coastal geography, sea traffic, and sympathetic captains."

David Cecelski's book is an invaluable resource for understanding the complex issue of slavery in coastal North Carolina.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

One Million

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 05:24
Around noon yesterday our Ocracoke Journal surpassed 1,000,000 page views! Since 2004 we've been sharing news, stories, photos, poems, recipes, and other information about Ocracoke Island. Ironically, the post that garnered the most page views (Nookd with more than 68,000) wasn't even about Ocracoke. The next most popular posts were about island weather -- usually snow or hurricanes.

Nevertheless, we hope our readers enjoy the stories about island life, the brief historical accounts, and our vintage photographs.

Uncle Stanley, Philip, Uncle Marvin & Diabando, ca. 1950














We definitely enjoy sharing Ocracoke with our readers, so come back often.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Rose Emelye

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 05:39
It is the rare visitor to Ocracoke who hasn't heard the story of Blackbeard's final hours as he battled Lt. Robert Maynard just off shore and lost his head to the victorious Royal Naval officer. Books, pamphlets, articles, poems, and movies have recounted the story, some as true as possible to the actual events, others much more fanciful.



















New historical information has recently been uncovered in dusty archives in Great Britain, the Bahamas, and elsewhere. According to researcher Colin Woodard in his recent article, "The Last Days of Blackbeard," in the Smithsonian magazine, "Blackbeard, the notorious pirate, had captured two vessels [the Rose Emelye and the La Toison d’Or] more than twice the size of his own—a feat described here for the first time. He could not have known that these would be the last prizes of his career and that in just three months he and most of his crew would be dead."

You can read Woodard's excellent article here:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/last-days-blackbeard-180949440/#ixzz2rpRu3100
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Snow!

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:00
Maybe not a blizzard like in much of the rest of the country...and maybe not the 8 inches predicted (probably 2 inches), but snow on Ocracoke is still a curiosity. Enjoy these photos by Sundae Horn. She will have more posted on the Ocracoke Current later today.

Ocracoke United Methodist Church
The Bragg-Howard House
Howard Street
Ocracoke Lighthouse

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Festival Housing

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 05:40
The 2014 OcraFolk Festival will be held June 6-8. This is always a weekend filled with fabulous musicians, talented storytellers, and other outstanding performers. The Festival also features arts & crafts displays, an art auction, and a traditional Ocracoke square dance.
Bob Zentz & His Concertina

















This year the Festival Committee is looking for accommodations for some of the performers. 

 Sunday Evening Jam













The performers are all fun, talented, and creative people. If you have an Ocracoke guest bedroom or apartment that you’d be willing to share with one or more of our friends from afar, please contact Gary Mitchell at 252-928-4280 or email molassescreek@embarqmail.com

This would be great way for you to support the OcraFolk Festival.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Success!

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 06:06
Saturday night's Silent Art Auction at the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum attracted more than eighty residents and visitors. One piece of art brought a high bid of $250. The popular event netted close to $5,000 for the ongoing work of island preservation. In addition to raising needed funds, the auction provided a pleasant evening for a community gathering in the cold days of January.

You can read more about the Art Auction in our wonderful on-line "newspaper" the Ocracoke Current: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/80779.



























Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The God Article

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 01/27/2014 - 06:15
I recently came across an interesting article written by Mark Sandlin, a Presbyterian minister and contributor to the Huffington Post. Rev. Sandlin writes on his Facebook page, "One of my recent blogs ended up on BOTH Sojourners (one of the largest social-justice Christian blogs) and The Richard Dawkins Foundation (one of the largest atheist blogs). Kind of wild."

I am posting a link to his article below. This is a bit of a departure from my typical posts, but if you read to the bottom of the article, just before the comments, you will see a photo of the author. Read the next to the last sentence of his bio...and you will see what prompted me to publish this link.

Maybe Rev. Sandlin will be just as impressed that he is being referenced on the Ocracoke Journal, as on Sojourners & the Richard Dawkins Foundation! Perhaps he will even leave a comment.

http://www.thegodarticle.com/7/post/2014/01/10-things-you-cant-say-while-following-jesus.html

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Ferry Toll Issue...Again!

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 01/26/2014 - 05:44
The North Carolina Department of Transportation will hold four public meetings about proposed toll changes on its ferry routes.  Times and dates are posted here:  https://apps.ncdot.gov/NewsReleases/details.aspx?r=9270.

In 2013 the General Assembly passed SB402 which laid out a process by which new ferries will be purchased. Under the legislation the Department of Transportation must lay out a system-wide tolling methodology, and conduct public hearings in affected communities by March 1. More information is available here: http://www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/Proposed_Ferry_Toll_Rates.pdf.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Chili

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 01/25/2014 - 05:37
Cold winter days call for hot homemade chili. And the Ocracoke Child Care will be catering to that need on Sunday, February 2 (Super Bowl Sunday)!

Get ready for the 1st annual Ocracoke Child Care Chili Cook-off Fundraiser! Prepare your recipes and save the date. Prizes will be awarded in several categories, including Most Unique, Crowd Favorite, Spiciest, Best-in-Show, and Best Alternative.

For complete information visit the Ocracoke Current:  http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/80401.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Art Auction

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 01/24/2014 - 05:35
Ocracoke Preservation Society's Art Auction, "Through Your Eyes," is scheduled for tomorrow, January 25. You can place bids even if you are not on the island. OPS is accepting remote bids until 4 pm Saturday, January 25. You can see images, and read more details here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.616651635038927.1073741838.109598372410925&type=1

You can also contact Amy Howard, OPS Administrator, for information, or to place a bid, by email:
 admin@ocracokepreservation.org.

 Just a few of the canvases available:

By Trudy Austin
By Kyle Tillett

By Flavia Burton





































The Ocracok Current has published an article about the Art Auction. You can read that here: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/80433

Come out to the Museum between 5 & 7 pm tomorrow to place your bids and enjoy wine & cheese. Or place your bid remotely to own a piece of Ocracoke Island art!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Henry Pigott's Clam Chowder

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 05:58
Last month Lou Ann and I visited Portsmouth Island. In April we will be there for Homecoming, hosting at Henry Pigott's house, a tiny cottage on Doctor's Creek.














Henry, the last male to live on the island, died in 1971. After his death the last two residents, Marion Babb and Elma Dixon, moved to the mainland.

While on Portsmouth in December I discovered this recipe for Henry Pigott's clam chowder:

Ingredients: 2 quarts clams with their juice, 2 quarts water, 7 or 8 onions, 1/2 pound bacon, salt & pepper.

Instructions: Fry bacon and drain. Sautee onions in bacon grease until clear. Into a 6-8 quart pot, crumble bacon and add sauteed onions and 2 quarts of water. Simmer slowly for 5 minutes. Add clams and juice. (You may use a food grinder to mince the clams.) Cook until done. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

WW II

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 05:53
"In 1942, the United States suffered one of its worst defeats of the Second World War. Between January and July, more than 65 German U-boats waged a withering, widespread campaign against Allied merchant vessels and their military defenders. Three hundred ninety-seven ships were sunk or damaged in just half a year. Nearly 5,000 people, including many civilians, were burned to death, crushed, drowned, or vanished into the sea....

"The greatest concentration of these attacks occurred in the war zone off North Carolina's Outer Banks on the approaches to Diamond Shoals, a notorious place feared for centuries as the Graveyard of the Atlantic."  -- War Zone, World War II off the North Carolina Coast, by Kevin P. Duffus, pp 23-24.

Sinking of the Tanker Dixie Arrow Mar. 26, 1942













According to the web site, Sunken Ships of the Outer Banks:
  • Over 70 ships sank off the Carolina coast
  • 3 German U-boats were sunk
  • More than 90% of ship sinkings off the Coast during the four years of submarine attacks during WWII occurred during the first 6 months of 1942
  • During March the U-boats averaged one sinking per day 
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.

Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Drawing

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 01/21/2014 - 05:29
Visitors to Ocracoke may remember seeing this wooden skiff tied up at the Community Square dock.















This skiff was built on Ocracoke about forty years ago by my father, Lawton Howard. It now belongs to me. Unfortunately, I haven't had it in the water much lately because there have been numerous problems with the outboard motor.

The sketch above was made by my 15 year old grandson, Eakin Howard. You can see more of his artwork at http://eakinsdrawings.wordpress.com/.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm


Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Celibacy

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 01/20/2014 - 06:09
Alice Rondthaler (see our March, 2012 Newsletter) wrote these words in 1976:

"Well do I remember the years [before private telephones came to the island in 1956] when only emergency calls could be made from the Ocraocke Lifeboat Station. We put through one of these late in the 1930s to an Ocracoke summer friend who was being married in New York.

"This is how our telegram read: 'Sorry to learn that Celibacy is dying. Our profound sympathy.'

"It was a real emergency; the boy in the tower only asked, 'How do you spell the dying lady's name?'"

(From "The Story of Ocracoke Island," pages 35-36)

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Otter Trail?

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 01/19/2014 - 05:30
I know this isn't much of a picture. I took it from the viewing platform on the sound side of the Hammock Hills Nature Trail. Every time I stand there and look down I notice the mashed down marsh grass. I always assume that these are "trails" made by otters.


















River otters are relatively common in Silver Lake harbor. They are often seen in the vicinity of the NPS docks and near the Jolly Roger restaurant. I have even seen them swimming in Pamlico Sound, not far from the shore. However, I have never seen them at the end of the Nature Trail. Can any of our readers confirm that these "trails" were made by otters?

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

January Newsletter

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sat, 01/18/2014 - 05:43
We have just published our latest Ocracoke Island Newsletter. Lou Ann recounts our excursion to Portsmouth Island for the annual Christmas Bird Count last month.

Carol Pahl & Birds


















You can read our Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Fire Break

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 01/17/2014 - 05:19
Many islanders fear fire more than hurricanes. Acres of cedars and pines in the National Park, along with thick vegetation in this small village of closely spaced wood frame homes, cause many of us concern.

This past fall the National Park Service eased our fears a bit by creating a fire break at the edge of the village.

Looking North from NC12
Looking South from NC12



























We hope we will never have to see if the fire break works.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1921 letter written by a former slave, Harrison Williams, to Ocracoke native, Martha Ann Howard Wahab. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112113.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs
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