Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Audio Tours Download

Last week I introduced OcracokeNavigator.com, a free, comprehensive and interactive Ocracoke Island mobile web app for use on your smart phone, tablet, or laptop browser.

A reader commented that he wished he could download the audio tours to his tablet so he could listen and follow them even though he does not have a smart phone. Stefen Howard, creator of the app, has taken this suggestion and added another page to his app. You can now click on this link to download all of the audio files: https://www.ocracokenavigator.com/audio-tours-download/.

Now you can listen to the audio tours on your device even if you do not have a smart phone, or when no Internet service is available. 

OcracokeNavigator is a great resource for a wealth of information about Ocracoke, a thorough introduction to Ocracoke for first-timers, a handy resource for frequent visitors, and a comprehensive guide to nearly every aspect of Ocracoke Island


This month's Ocracoke Newsletter relates the story of the prohibition-era rum runner Messenger of Peace that brought much pleasure to the residents of Portsmouth. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062115.htm.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Great Hand!

I play poker every Friday night. It is just a guys' night out, and the stakes are low (nickel, dime, quarter poker), but it is great fun. We've been playing regularly, usually at my house, for about 14 years.

Last Friday night Lou Ann had planned to spend the evening with her friend Ellen who had rented a cottage for two weeks. When Lou Ann came home for a few minutes after her Ghost Walk the heavens opened up with torrential rain, thunder, and lightening. We were in the kitchen drinking beer and playing poker.

Although Friday night poker is a guys only event, everyone at the table felt sorry for Lou Ann because the storm was keeping her from going to visit her friend. We all agreed to break our rule, and let her play "just this one evening."

Here is an un-staged photo of one of Lou Ann's winning hands:















This, of course, is a king-high straight flush. There is only one other natural poker hand that will beat this one...an ace-high straight flush. Congratulations, Lou Ann! It is going to take another thunder storm for us to let a woman play again!

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter relates the story of the prohibition-era rum runner Messenger of Peace that brought much pleasure to the residents of Portsmouth. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062115.htm


Friday, June 26, 2015

Crab Pots, Again

I have often wondered why crab pots are called "pots." (See our post of two days ago for more information about crab pots.)  According to William Warner in his book, Beautiful Swimmers, very early devices for catching English shore crabs were willow and hazel stick baskets with a single funnel that looked much like a flower pot.

The modern crab pot used in America was invented in the 1930s in Virginia. It does not look like a pot at all, but still retains that name. Modern crab pots are light and airy, necessary attributes to attract and catch blue crabs that live in Pamlico Sound and the Chesapeake Bay.

According to North Carolina State University, "Currently, crab pots...are used in harvesting approximately 95% of total hard blue crabs in North Carolina. The huge jump from 30% crab pots used in the 1950s show that crab pots are more efficient and effective, and thus preferred method for the commercial fishery."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter relates the story of the prohibition-era rum runner Messenger of Peace that brought much pleasure to the residents of Portsmouth. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062115.htm.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

THE MAIL MUST GO…

Thanks to Bruce Jarvah, frequent visitor to Ocracoke from Chocowinity, NC, who sent me this poem he wrote about the mailboat Aleta:

Oh the wind can blow down the Pamlico
Yes, the wind can blow down the Pamlico
But no matter what, the mail must go
To Ocracoke, to Ocracoke.

Down by the mill In Washington
They load the boat to Ocracoke
Out on the sound the sky is gray
And the waves are high,
But the mail must go, yes the mail must go.















Each day they cross the shallow sound
To Silver Lake the boat is bound
The wind does blow, the wind does blow
But to Ocracoke the mail must go.

On Ocracoke the mail arrives
Oft people wait with misty eyes
For news from friends or family,
The mail's arrived on Ocracoke!

Oh the wind can blow, 'cross the Pamlico
Yes the wind can blow 'cross the Pamlico
But the mail’s come in, yes the mail’s come in
And all is well on Ocracoke, all is well on Ocracoke.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter relates the story of the prohibition-era rum runner Messenger of Peace that brought much pleasure to the residents of Portsmouth. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062115.htm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Crab Pots

Passengers on ferries to Ocracoke often notice small buoys floating near the channels, but they don't always know that they are tethered to crab pots. A crab pot is a cubical cage made of steel wire (like chicken wire) with a cylindrical "bait box" in the center, four conical funnels (or "throats") at the bottom edges through which crabs enter, and two wider funnels inside the pot leading to an upper chamber, the "parlor," (crabs naturally swim upwards trying to escape) where they remain contained until the fisherman returns). A "cull ring" (visible in the bottom photo) allows smaller crabs to escape.






























To learn more about crabs and crab pots, click on this link: http://cmast.ncsu.edu/cmast-sites/synergy/bluecrab/bscrab.html.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter relates the story of the prohibition-era rum runner Messenger of Peace that brought much pleasure to the residents of Portsmouth. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062115.htm.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Introducing...

...A new, comprehensive and interactive Mobile Web App: Ocracoke Navigator!

Click to Enter





This free app (no download is required; simply type the address in your smart phone, tablet, or laptop browser) is a great resource for a wealth of information about Ocracoke. (In the spirit of full disclosure, this web app was designed and produced by my son, Stefen Howard, so I admit that I am a tad biased.)

Ocracoke Navigator is a thorough introduction to Ocracoke for first-timers, a handy resource for frequent visitors, and a comprehensive guide to nearly every aspect of Ocracoke Island.


https://www.ocracokenavigator.com/ocracoke-history/
Click for Ocracoke Island History














Ocracoke Navigator includes:
As Stefen says, "It's like having an Ocracoke native in your pocket!"

Take a look at Ocracoke Navigator today...and check back often. More information (about local businesses and island history) is being added regularly.


This month's Ocracoke Newsletter relates the story of the prohibition-era rum runner Messenger of Peace that brought much pleasure to the residents of Portsmouth. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062115.htm.

Monday, June 22, 2015

June Newsletter

We have just published our latest Ocracoke Newsletter, the story of the grounding of the Prohibition-era rum runner, Messenger of Peace, at Ocracoke Inlet in August of 1921. An interview with Ocracoke native (and Portsmouth Island resident) Mattie Gilgo illustrates how delighted some folks were when this vessel fetched up here!

You can read the article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062115.htm.

Also...an additional word about my latest book, Howard Street Hauntings: The book is available from Village Craftsmen on-line (www.villagecraftsmen.com/islandbooks.htm).  To display the most economical shipping costs (USPS Media Mail) when ordering on-line, choose "More Carriers" and "USPS Media Mail."