Friday, May 26, 2017

Nets

Commercial fishing on Ocracoke blossomed after 1938 when the island got its first electric generator and an accompanying ice plant. Below is a 1960s postcard showing a fisherman's nets drying in the sun.













I took the following photo of island native Jesse Spencer just a few weeks ago as he was tending to his nets. Things haven't changed all that much in the last 50 years, although the wooden poles have been replaced by PVC pipe, and there wasn't a golf cart in the background of the 1960s photo!












Out latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Aleta, Ocracoke's mailboat from 1944-1952, compliments of the Core Sound Museum. Click on the following link for photos, text, and audio recordings about this iconic vessel: http://www.coresound.com/saltwaterconnections/portlight/aleta/

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lighthouse Outbuildings

A visit to Ocracoke is not complete without a stop at the lighthouse. Our 75 foot tower built in 1823 is probably the most-photographed structure on the island.

The site plan below, taken from the National Park Service's 2016 Cultural Landscape Report on the Ocracoke Light Station, shows the location of the light tower (bottom, left) and the keeper's quarters (top, center) as well as various outbuildings.

Lighthouse Site Plan, NPS












I recently wrote about the privy. As you can see, there are other outbuildings on the property: an oil house, a generator house, a carpenter's shop, and a store house, as well as a vegetable garden and two water cisterns.

Lighthouse with oil house (left) and generator house (right)













Carpenter's shop, privy, and store house












Out latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Aleta, Ocracoke's mailboat from 1944-1952, compliments of the Core Sound Museum. Click on the following link for photos, text, and audio recordings about this iconic vessel: http://www.coresound.com/saltwaterconnections/portlight/aleta/

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jellyfish

Not long ago I discovered this jellyfish washed up on the beach. I didn't know what species of jellyfish this was, but I thought it especially beautiful.


















According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, "Few marine creatures are as mysterious and intimidating as jellyfish. Though easily recognized, these animals are often misunderstood and feared by beach goers, even though most jellyfish in South Carolina [and North Carolina] waters are harmless." You can read more here

Out latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Aleta, Ocracoke's mailboat from 1944-1952, compliments of the Core Sound Museum. Click on the following link for photos, text, and audio recordings about this iconic vessel: http://www.coresound.com/saltwaterconnections/portlight/aleta/

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Navy Base

While spending time on Ocracoke you might hear someone mention the National Park Service docks on Silver Lake Harbor. However, if you are speaking with native islanders you will more likely hear the docks referred to as the Base Docks.

US Navy Base Docks
courtesy Ocracoke Preservation Society















A U.S. Navy Base on Ocracoke was commissioned on October 9, 1942. On January 16, 1944 it was converted to an Amphibious Training Base, and in 1945 it was converted to a Combat Information Center. At one time more than 500 Navy personnel were stationed at Ocracoke. The Base was closed in 1946.

In his book, "Ocracoke Island, It's People, the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Base During World War II" Earl O'Neal includes several photos of the Base taken in 1947 by LCDR Henning A. Rountree, Jr. USNR RET. The pictures were sent to Ocracoke residents, Wahab & Elizabeth Howard. Their daughter, Elizabeth Howard Chamberlin, submitted the photos for publication on-line. You can view them here: http://www.ocracokeisland.com/navel_base_photos.htm.

Out latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Aleta, Ocracoke's mailboat from 1944-1952, compliments of the Core Sound Museum. Click on the following link for photos, text, and audio recordings about this iconic vessel: http://www.coresound.com/saltwaterconnections/portlight/aleta/

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mailboat Aleta

This month we share with our readers a wonderful web site with photos and stories about the mailboat Aleta. You can not only read a delightful description of this iconic vessel, but you can also listen to 7 short audio recordings of interviews with Ellen Marie Cloud, daughter of one of the Aleta's captains. She relates first-hand memories of coming to Ocracoke in the early 20th century.















Click on the following link to go directly to the page: http://www.coresound.com/saltwaterconnections/portlight/aleta/

Many thanks to the folks at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center for sharing this information on the Web!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Black-bellied Plover

The black-bellied plover, also known as the grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola) breeds in the Arctic regions, but winters in southern coastal areas. I spotted this black-bellied plover (from late April through August they have a black breast and belly; they molt to grey in fall and winter) a few days ago on the ocean beach.
 
This bird is the largest plover in North America, and its distinctive markings make for a striking sight on our beaches.

















You can read more about the black-bellied plover here

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the entertaining story of Calvin Wilkerson and his Condomed Nautilus. You can read it here: https://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042117.htm

Thursday, May 18, 2017

MST in a Day

Last week I wrote about the North Carolina Mountains to the Sea Trail (MST). This 1,175 mile trail extends from the mountains to the coast. Just over 14 miles of the trail are on Ocracoke Island.

Photo by Paul Travis











On Saturday, September 9, 2017, several hundred people will tackle the entire 1,175 miles of the trail by hiking various short legs. Legs average 3-5 miles, which means that just about anybody, of any age, can hike, & can find a suitable leg (dirt trail, road, greenway, beach, flat or steep.)

If you will be on the island Saturday, September 9, please consider hiking one of the three legs of the trail on Ocracoke Island (one is 4.5 miles long; one 3.2; and one 6.6).  Of course, many other segments of the trail are available to hike. To register to hike, and for more information, please visit the MTS web site.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the entertaining story of Calvin Wilkerson and his Condomed Nautilus. You can read it here: https://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042117.htm.