Two Weeks In The Outer Banks NC

Published: April 11th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Swamp Anyone?Swamp Anyone?Swamp Anyone?

Lowcountry of North Carolina
After enjoying Wilmington NC, I was heading to the Outer Banks for a two-week visit beginning March 20, 2012. Even though MapQuest told me the actual drive to Cedar Island NC was only 3-1/2 hours, I got a relatively early start because I wanted to stop at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort NC. I had heard/read that this museum was the recent recipient of an anchor recovered from Blackbeard’s shipwreck Queen Anne's Revenge. Tuesday began as a hazy, foggy day but by the time I had stowed the gear and made ready to set sail, the sun was blazing. (Informational) Irene took me on a route through Wilmington NC I had not yet seen. No A/C, no heater, no radio – windows down all the way! The first half of the trip on US 17 and NC 24 was lined with pine forest when I wasn’t in an urban area. The end of that leg had names that brought back memories – Camp Geiger, Cherry Point, Bogue Field and Camp Lejeune. Good old USMC. I only spent about three months at Camp Lejeune before I shipped out for Vietnam and was in California after my return but the names
River, Canal or Backwater?River, Canal or Backwater?River, Canal or Backwater?

Lowcountry of North Carolina
alone sure dusted off my hard drive!

After I went through Cape Carteret NC, the lowland geography prevailed – marshes, rivers, swamps. There were a few interesting towns I saw along the way before I got to Beaufort. Irene took me right to the museum, but I believe she wanted me to park on the front porch. I went around the block a couple of times looking for parking, and she didn’t think we were there yet. That short bit of driving the side streets took me past some really neat-looking buildings. This area looks like it merits a return visit. I found a stretch of on-street parking long enough for the Ram and the Pilgrim (three parking spaces worth) and set out for the museum. The ever-faithful visitor center was right on the way. They gave me some literature and recommended a waterfront café for lunch. Great gumbo with half a shrimp sandwich (real shrimp, not shrimp salad). Heck, I can do that!

With the ‘ole stomach full, I was off to the museum. This free museum is worth a considerable drive out of the way for anybody who ever dressed as a pirate for Halloween! Even
The Bowels Of Queen Anne's RevengeThe Bowels Of Queen Anne's RevengeThe Bowels Of Queen Anne's Revenge

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
though the exhibit of recently recovered Blackbeard artifacts was the showpiece, there were exhibits chronicling sea rescue, model ship building, deep sea helmet diving, and the evolution of outboard engines as well as an active boat building shop across the street. After going through this very interesting museum, I had this “I am forgetting something” sensation. Aha, the anchor! A staff member told me that the artifact was undergoing stabilization treatment to prevent deterioration and that it might be 4-6 years before the anchor is available for public viewing.

As an aside – Double click on any picture to go to a photo viewer that will provide a bigger, more detailed photo. Try it with “The Bowels Of Queen Anne's Revenge.” Click the browser “Back Arrow” to return to the blog or look at all the photos after you’re done reading.

The earliest recorded notation of piracy comes from an inscription on a 14th century BC Egyptian clay tablet that recounts the activities of “Sea People” invading the northern coast of Egypt in the 13th and 12th centuries BC. In more modern times, records differentiate between privateers – essentially, bandits endorsed by one government to plunder vessels from
Model Of The Wreck SiteModel Of The Wreck SiteModel Of The Wreck Site

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
an adversarial country during times of war – and pirates who perform identical deeds during peacetime for personal gain without national partiality. Sir Francis Drake and Edward Thatch were British privateers; however, Drake returned to life as a legitimate mariner after the war whereas Thatch continued his life of larceny and acquired the nickname Blackbeard.

Very little is known about Blackbeard’s early life. History cannot even agree on the spelling of his last name, but Thatch is the most common surname spelling. Indeed, pirates frequently used fictitious surnames while engaged in piracy, so as not to tarnish the family name, making it unlikely that Blackbeard's true name will ever be known. His estimated age at the time of his death was between 35 and 40 years old – thus his birth in about 1680. He probably was born in Bristol, England and probably became a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) before joining Captain Benjamin Hornigold around 1716. On November 28, 1717, Thatch attacked and seized La Concorde, a French slave ship; converted her for piracy by equipping her with 40 guns; and renamed her Queen Anne's Revenge.

Shipboard life for legitimate mariners
Anatomy Of A Pirate ShipAnatomy Of A Pirate ShipAnatomy Of A Pirate Ship

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
was horrid. Cramped quarters, grueling work, rotted food and soured water was the norm on any extended voyage, and discipline was quite harsh – even for trivial offenses. Life on shore, however, was even worse. Most of Europe’s population lived in extreme poverty while a small aristocracy lived a life of plenty. Similar conditions prevailed in the New World. On a pirate ship, conditions were less dependent on the absentee merchant who owned the ship than on the captain who “owned” the ship and had to live in the environment he created. Booty was more evenly shared with the pirate captain getting only 1-1/2 to 2 times more than an ordinary crewman’s share. Notwithstanding Blackbeard’s reputation of ruthlessness, there are no verified accounts of his ever having murdered or harmed those he held captive, and he apparently was fair to his crew.

Gold, silver and jewels were not the primary target of piracy, but rather were the imports needed by the colonists to survive and the products they exported to Europe – cotton, tobacco, pine tar and turpentine. Pirated commodities could be sold to the colonists for lower prices (tariff-free) than the prices demanded by European merchants, and plundered
On The Bow Of The FerryOn The Bow Of The FerryOn The Bow Of The Ferry

Cedar Island to Okracoke Ferry NC
exports could be resold to those same merchants. Eventually, merchants demanded protection. On November 22, 1718 Blackbeard engaged Lt. Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy off the shores of Ocracoke Island. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, Blackbeard reportedly was shot no fewer than five times and cut about twenty. His beheaded corpse was thrown into the inlet while his head was suspended from the bow of Maynard's sloop to prove Blackbeard’s demise and thus to collect the reward. In about two documented years as a pirate captain, Blackbeard became one of history’s most infamous pirates.

“On the road again - Just can't wait to get on the road again.” Sing it Willie! The remainder of the trip to Driftwood Motel & Campground in Cedar Island NC was back in the marshes of the low country. The RV park was a landing spot about 300 yards from the boarding ramp for the Cedar Island to Ocracoke ferry. Ferries are a necessary fact of life along the North Carolina coast. When I made my reservation, I needed to pay for three 20’ units to accommodate the truck and travel trailer. At $15.00 per unit, the 2 hour 15 minute ferry ride
Okracoke LighthouseOkracoke LighthouseOkracoke Lighthouse

Okracoke Island NC
cost $45.00 – much more economical than a 4-1/2 hour drive and $90.00 of gasoline. This ferry was quite new and seemed to be state of the art. The passenger cabin looked much like that of an airliner except all of the seats were wide with plenty of leg room ala first class. In the bow, I met into a fella from Alabama who had retired from Caterpillar and in the stern I met a retired ER physician from Wilmington NC in his mid-fifties. The next thing I knew, we were approaching the dock.

Upon exiting the ferry, I stopped at the visitor center adjacent to the landing and then drove about ten blocks to Teeter's Campground in Ocracoke. This might be an all-time record. From campground to campground, I had added less than one mile to the truck odometer! Teeter's Campground is not a destination campground, but is perfect for what it is – a place to camp while one walks to everything in the village or drives a few miles to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

I set up the Pilgrim and, not yet knowing the proximity of the village attractions, took an orientation drive around
Sand DunesSand DunesSand Dunes

Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Okracoke Island NC
the village. As I was leaving the RV park, I noticed the British Cemetery was adjacent to the driveway – I’ll be back. After driving about eight blocks, I stumbled upon the Ocracoke Lighthouse. I already knew the tower was not open for climbing but the grounds were open – photo op! A nearby building appears to have been the lighthouse keepers quarters but now looks like a residence. I worked my way back to the highway and took a drive through the national seashore to the other end of the island.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore has lots of sandy beaches and sand dunes. That topography creates some of the draws of the Outer Banks – surf fishing, shelling, wind surfing, sunbathing. Ocracoke Island is the southernmost in a series of four islands that comprise the Outer Banks and is the only one which has no bridge access. Continuing northward the other three are Hatteras Island, Roanoke Island and Bodie Island. Over the years, the Outer Banks have been subjected to severe erosion and infrastructure damage from hurricanes. Hurricane Isabel cut a channel 2,000 feet wide and 15 feet deep through Hatteras Island on September 18, 2003. The
Submariner Victims From WWIISubmariner Victims From WWIISubmariner Victims From WWII

British Cemetery - Okracoke Island NC
damage was subsequently repaired. Once again in 2011, Hurricane Irene ripped a gash through the island. Boats provided the only access between the two halves of the island until a temporary bridge could be built.

After returning to the RV park, I walked to the British Cemetery. The British Cemetery is next to an old cemetery that is interesting in its own right. During World War II, German submarines sank nearly 400 lightly armed merchant vessels taking foodstuffs and other necessities to Great Britain from the United States. The shores of the Atlantic Coast were littered with oil slicks and other debris. Indeed, those maritime losses jeopardized the entire war effort. Great Britain assisted the US in the defense of those shipping lanes. In May 1942, British submarine HMT Bedfordshire was sunk off the North Carolina coast by German submarine U-558. The entire British crew was lost and only four bodies were recovered. Those four British bodies remain buried on Ocracoke Island.

At the end of my travel day, I found myself with my (admittedly short) attraction list completed. It actually was nice to have two full days to relax, write and walk. One afternoon, I stopped at an open-air, dockside pub and had a nice conversation with the barkeep, who hails from Baltimore, about life on the island. He told me there is not one chain store or restaurant on the island – everything is “Mom and Pop.” I found a nice boardwalk near the ferry landing that afforded a view of the western horizon over the Pamlico Sound and twice tried to capture a colorful sunset. I got nothing spectacular, but one cannot program Mother Nature. The tourist season had not yet hit Ocracoke Island but, at this time of the year, it is a great place to take a brief respite and unwind.

On Saturday, March 24, 2012, I made ready the Pilgrim, headed for the north end of Ocracoke Island and waited for the free ferry that would shuttle me to the south end of Hatteras Island. As usual, I had programmed Informational Irene (my GPS) to guide me to my next campground, and, as usual, she told me to, “Board ferry,” when I arrived at the port. It was a nice, sunny day with a gentle breeze so I sat in the truck with the windows down for most of the twenty
Corps of Engineers Dredging Sand From The ChannelCorps of Engineers Dredging Sand From The ChannelCorps of Engineers Dredging Sand From The Channel

Ocracoke Island to Hatteras Island Ferry NC
minute ride – as did the people in the car next to me. About half way across the inlet she informed me she was, “Recalculating.” Apparently, the captain was off course! We all got a hearty chuckle out of that advisory. They were travelling health care professionals and told me Salem MA would be a good base of operations while in the Boston area. Great information!

Irene took me through Hatteras, Frisco and Buxton to the Sands of Time RV Park & Campground in Avon NC. I had called for reservations at the last two RV parks as well as the Sands of Time but had been unable to get an answer at any of them – it’s still the off season. At the first two, I encountered somebody who had put me in touch with the powers to be, but there was nobody in sight near the office. I drove through the park and found, what turned out to be, the owner’s wife tending to some martin birdhouses. We agreed on a rate for three nights plus, “You read the electric meter before and after, and stop by our house out back when you’re ready to leave. We’ll
Neat BasketsNeat BasketsNeat Baskets

Frisco Native American Museum - Frisco NC
square up then.” No payment for the three nights, no deposit for the electricity. I must have an honest face!

The Frisco Native American Museum in Frisco NC is unusual in that it is only closed on Monday. Most attractions in the Bible belt that are open only six days a week are closed on Sunday. The museum is small and quite cramped but has a surprising volume and variety of artifacts from numerous tribes; however, the origins of many of the specimens are not identified. Indeed, the use or purpose of some artifacts was not described. The collection is visually awesome, the admission fee is low and I enjoyed my visit; however, I left feeling that I had missed a learning opportunity. For this reason, I must give it a B – definitely stop if you are driving by and have the time but don’t go out of your way.

On my way to the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Hatteras (which was closed on Sunday), I drove past the Frisco Native American Museum (which is closed on Mondays). Hmmm! This maritime museum, the third of the three state-operated maritime museums I wanted to visit, is located
Missing For 148 Years - 1854 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse LensMissing For 148 Years - 1854 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse LensMissing For 148 Years - 1854 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Lens

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Hatteras NC
on a part of the Outer Banks known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. This treacherous stretch of coast off Bodie and Hatteras Islands is home (graveyard to the crews) to over 600 ships which have wrecked or been wrecked since the 16th century – about 2/3 of them during WW II. The Hatteras museum appears to be the largest physically. Even though all three museums touch on a couple of the more universal themes, such as piracy and naval operations during the Civil War, each of them has at least one specialty or focus not found in the others.

Two (at least mostly) unique presentations of the Hatteras facility include submarines and their impact on ships and shipping during war and the processes of maritime artifact preservation. The pride and joy of the Hatteras museum is the original 1854 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse 1st order Fresnel lens that had been dismantled, removed and hidden by Confederate forces in 1861. The location, and even its very existence, was a great mystery to many until it was discovered in 2002. The lens housing is enormous – about 12-15 feet tall and about 4 feet wide – and the lenses themselves weigh
Spiral Day MarkerSpiral Day MarkerSpiral Day Marker

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Hatteras NC
6,000 pounds. How something that large could have been overlooked for 148 years is mind boggling. Of the three museums, Hatteras has the most information about piracy but Beaufort has the artifacts. All three are worthy of a visit.

The gift shop and NPS visitor center at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse were open, but the tower was closed to climbing for the season. Victimized by ongoing beach erosion, the 4,400 ton lighthouse was lifted by hydraulic jacks in 1999 and moved further inland to its current location. The move took 23 days and covered 2900 feet; and the project won the Outstanding Civil Engineering Award in 2000. I’m looking forward to a return visit during peak season to ascend the 248-step spiral staircase of the tallest brick lighthouse in America.

I didn’t have to catch a ferry to get to The Refuge on Roanoke Island in Wanchese NC on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. I got an early start so I could stop at the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Museum in Rodanthe NC. Again, the attraction was closed for the winter season. I then realized that this trip along the Atlantic coast to DC originally was planned for and started in
A Million Dollar ReplicaA Million Dollar ReplicaA Million Dollar Replica

Wright Brothers National Memorial - Kill Devil Hills NC
the summer of 2011 but was aborted when I developed the kidney stone in Brunswick GA and returned to FL for treatment of that little culprit. Looks like I’d better double check my hours of operation data! The remainder of my trip to the RV park was uneventful.

Wednesday morning, March 28, 2012 found me at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in nearby Kill Devil Hills NC. I have planned to visit the Outer Banks for several years, but this landmark is the magnet that caused me to plan this leg of my itinerary the way I have. I have been interested in flying and space since the Mercury program in the early 1960s. The Wright Brothers, Wilbur and Orville, are credited with building the first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903. How’s that for a list of qualifiers? Actually, there were four flights on that day, and each was progressively more successful. The first was 12 seconds and 120 feet, and the last was 59 seconds and 852 feet. Although they were not the first to fly an aircraft, the Wright Brothers were the first to invent
Avaition Wall Of HonorAvaition Wall Of HonorAvaition Wall Of Honor

Wright Brothers National Memorial - Kill Devil Hills NC
the aircraft controls that made powered fixed-wing flight possible.

Full-size, working models of the glider and the airplane they used are on display in the visitor center along with numerous artifacts and an extensive portrait gallery (with short biography) of numerous aviation pioneers. An introductory movie is interesting, and a NPS park ranger utilizes the Wright Brothers airplane model to demonstrate the application of their discoveries to the prototype. Outside there are several displays and markers. A marker erected by the National Aeronautic Association in 1928 commemorating the 25th anniversary of the first flight rests at the lift off point. On top of a sand dune that has been stabilized with grass, there is the granddaddy monument. The design was approved in 1930, and the monument was dedicated in 1932. I guess the government was awakened by the National Aeronautic Association in 1928! Although Wilbur had died of typhoid fever in 1912, Orville and Amelia Earhart attended the dedication.

On the opposite side of the large memorial from the visitor center is a full-size sculpture of the momentous slice in time when Orville lifted off on that first 12 second flight. All of the players; Wilbur, the flight
The First Moment Of FlightThe First Moment Of FlightThe First Moment Of Flight

Wright Brothers National Memorial - Kill Devil Hills NC
crew, the photographer and the plane with Orville at the controls; are represented in the positions they held at that moment. It’s pretty cool and definitely worth driving back there to explore if walking isn’t your thing. This memorial is a “must see” from an historical point of view and is highly recommended from an interest perspective.

The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is difficult to assess. The site has tremendous intrigue and import, but there is little of historical value to see - save The Lost Colony outdoor drama (only during the peak tourist season, but it does sound worthwhile). In 1585 Sir Walter Raleigh (who never stepped foot in North America) sent a 600-man expedition led by Sir Richard Greenville to Roanoke Island, including artist/mapmaker John White and a science team, to search for potential riches. After a few months, Greenville returned to England for supplies. The colonists ran low on provisions, and the natives (in the midst of a five-year drought) had none to spare. Friction between the cultures developed, and the settlers killed the Roanokes’ chief to thwart a perceived attack. When Sir Francis Drake visited the settlement in June 1586, the settlers abandoned the
Unimpressive, Reconstructed EarthworksUnimpressive, Reconstructed EarthworksUnimpressive, Reconstructed Earthworks

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site - Manteo NC
post and went back to England with Drake. Greenville found the settlement deserted when he returned with the supplies two months later. Unaware of the friction between settlers and natives, he left eleven men behind to hold the claim and departed.

Back in England, Raleigh abandoned his plans to settle Roanoke Island when he learned of the difficulties with the natives. In May 1587, he dispatched another colony of 115 settlers under the leadership of the aforementioned John White. Raleigh instructed White to stop at Roanoke Island to pick up the eleven men left by Greenville before proceeding to the Chesapeake Bay to form the new colony. When White arrived at Roanoke Island and none of the eleven men could be found, the ships’ captains refused to abandon the men and take the settlers on to the Chesapeake Bay. The colonists convinced White to return to England to report the circumstances and to obtain additional supplies and reinforcements. Reluctantly, he departed – leaving behind the colonists and his newly born granddaughter, Virginia Dare, the first child born in the Americas to English parents. White’s return to Roanoke Island was delayed for three years by England’s war with Spain. When
Monument To Virginia Dare - The First English Child Born In AmericaMonument To Virginia Dare - The First English Child Born In AmericaMonument To Virginia Dare - The First English Child Born In America

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site - Manteo NC
White finally was able to return in August 1590, he found no trace of the 100+ settlers he had left behind – the Lost Colony. It’s an intriguing story that remains a mystery.

Two “oh-and-by-the-way” stories are told at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. First is the strategic role of the island during the Civil War and the other story is that of the Freedmen’s Colony that formed during that time period. Both Union and Confederate forces understood the importance of controlling Roanoke Island and, thus, the shipping lanes of coastal North Carolina. On February 7-8, 1862, a Union force of 60 ships and 13,000 men overpowered a Confederate force of 2,500 troops. For the remainder of the war, Union forces were able to use Roanoke Island as a staging point for other operations. After the island was secured by the North, more than 1,000 runaway slaves came to the island seeking refuge. In 1863, the Union Army formed the Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony which was to be self-sustaining. Residents were allocated plots of land, were educated by Northern teachers and were trained for life as free and independent citizens. The colony boasted 3,500 people by the time
The Lost Colony AmphitheaterThe Lost Colony AmphitheaterThe Lost Colony Amphitheater

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site - Manteo NC
it was disbanded in 1867 and is commemorated with a marble monument erected by Dare County at the fort site in 2001. Now that, my friend, is an appropriate and timely memorial!

I walked to the open-air amphitheater, the Waterside Theatre, where Paul Green's play, The Lost Colony, has been performed since 1937 (with a hiatus during World War II). It appears the theater would be a good venue for an outdoor production, and I look forward to enjoying it on a return visit. Another adjacent attraction, but not part of the National Park Service, is The Elizabethan Gardens. When I learned the admission was $8.00, I hesitated because there was only 70 minutes remaining before closing. Reassured that the 5 PM hour was when admissions ceased, I paid the fiddler, errr the gardener. It appeared to me the gardens would have been unimpressive in peak form but at this time of the year were not worth the time say nothing of the money. This attraction pales when compared to most of the free public gardens I have visited. Other than the outdoor drama, I see little reason to visit Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Spend your time reading
Fire In The HoleFire In The HoleFire In The Hole

Roanoke Island Festival Park - Manteo NC
about the Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony and about the Lost Colony (before seeing the play would make sense) and save your money. Spend the $8.00 on (drum roll please)….

The Roanoke Island Festival Park is an attraction I almost missed by choice. Because of the use of the word festival in the name, I had a feeling that this attraction was geared primarily to children. There definitely is something for the kids to enjoy, but there is something for everybody – a great place for adults to have a relapse. The admission affords 2 days of entry that may or may not be needed. There are several major areas of the park. One is a Native American village. Various aspects of Algonquian life are depicted including basket weaving, storytelling and the ritual of the circle dance. A replica leader’s house is displayed where “strange” customs were introduced to the colonists. Young of years or heart can make cordage which then could be used to weave rugs or make rope.

Another major area is a replica galleon where pirates roam in period dress waiting for a chance to pounce upon the bewildered to explain the function of an artifact,
Turning A Table LegTurning A Table LegTurning A Table Leg

Roanoke Island Festival Park - Manteo NC
to explain the pirate’s lifestyle or to answer any other questions you might have. Next, I visited the colony where artisans, again in period dress, were plying blacksmithing and woodturning. Unfortunately, half of the crew had gone to lunch. No suckling pig roasting over an open fire today! The Legend of Two-Path is a well-done, 45-minute docu-drama exploring the interface between the natives and the settlers from the Indians’ perspective. Choice is the main theme of the film - embrace western culture or reject it. The choice they made, i.e., the path they chose, was instrumental in determining their fate.

The Roanoke Adventure Museum, still part of the Festival Park, explores a multitude of aspects of the past 400 years of Roanoke Island history. This interactive museum is where children can let their imagination run wild and is where parents might consider utilizing that second day of the two-day pass. A better explanation of the 1862 Battle of Roanoke Island is given than that recounted at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. There are over a dozen topics addressed in the museum in a very understandable and interesting manner. I can only imagine what this attraction is
Replica Of The 1877 Screw Pile LighthouseReplica Of The 1877 Screw Pile LighthouseReplica Of The 1877 Screw Pile Lighthouse

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse- Manteo NC
like during peak season when the cadre of actors is fortified. The Roanoke Island Festival Park is not a must see, it is a must do.

A short walk over the bridge into the harbor area of Manteo will get you to the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. This is a replica of the 1877 screw pile lighthouse that stood at the southern end of Roanoke Island near Wanchese and marked the channel between Pamlico and Croatan Sounds. The interior has a few exhibits but only merits an “I’m already here so I might as well” rating. Across the street from the lighthouse is the North Carolina Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island. This small museum is almost exclusively dedicated to boatbuilding and propulsion such as sails and outboard engines. Again, you’re here, why not? While wandering around the waterfront, I stopped in a kite shop and bought a beginner’s kite with plans to sail it at the Wright Brothers Memorial before I depart. It has been extremely windy so I’ll hope for better kite-flying weather.

My last attraction on the Outer Banks leg of my great adventure was the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. This small facility was uncrowded
Room For People And CrittersRoom For People And CrittersRoom For People And Critters

Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Outer Banks NC
during my visit and is great for kids of all ages. I previously had restrained myself because the other aquaria were busy with numerous children, but here I found the touch tank is great fun. I didn’t know that the back of a ray feels like a wet chamois! This attraction is nice if you have the time but doesn’t merit a special trip.

My trip to the Outer Banks was very productive while disappointing in one respect. I had no idea what to expect before I arrived. I learned that Ocracoke Island is the place to read a book and to get away from the “big box store” rat race. I found that the further north you go (at least as far north as Kitty Hawk) the more urbanized the panorama becomes. I learned that I need to return during the peak tourist season to fully appreciate all the Outer Banks has to offer – the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Museum, lighthouse climbing and the production of The Lost Colony. I didn’t have time to drive north to Corolla to see the wild horses, to visit the lighthouse or to stroll through what I am told is a quaint
Rescued From A Shipwreck In A Life CarRescued From A Shipwreck In A Life CarRescued From A Shipwreck In A Life Car

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
village. Now that I understand better, I might camp at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and look for (singing) “seashells by the seashore." It’s been a fun two weeks with a generous serving of relaxation. Oh yes, the disappointment – I didn’t get a chance to “go fly a kite.” Come, enjoy the sand and the sun (unless there is a hurricane)!

Additional photos below
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Wooden Model TugboatWooden Model Tugboat
Wooden Model Tugboat

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
Exploring The Depths Of The SeasExploring The Depths Of The Seas
Exploring The Depths Of The Seas

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
Boat Motors Over The YearsBoat Motors Over The Years
Boat Motors Over The Years

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
A Sample Of The ArtifactsA Sample Of The Artifacts
A Sample Of The Artifacts

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
The Skin Over Queen Anne's RevengeThe Skin Over Queen Anne's Revenge
The Skin Over Queen Anne's Revenge

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
Boat Building The Old-Fashioned WayBoat Building The Old-Fashioned Way
Boat Building The Old-Fashioned Way

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Beaufort NC
Weather Front = Wind = WavesWeather Front = Wind = Waves
Weather Front = Wind = Waves

Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Okracoke Island NC
Various CraftsVarious Crafts
Various Crafts

Frisco Native American Museum - Frisco NC
(Singing) The Lens Goes 'Round And 'Round...(Singing) The Lens Goes 'Round And 'Round...
(Singing) The Lens Goes 'Round And 'Round...

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Hatteras NC
The Pirate's LifeThe Pirate's Life
The Pirate's Life

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Hatteras NC
A Jack Hidden Beneath The ConcretionsA Jack Hidden Beneath The Concretions
A Jack Hidden Beneath The Concretions

North Carolina Maritime Museum - Hatteras NC
Interesting BaseInteresting Base
Interesting Base

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Hatteras NC
The Keepers' QuartersThe Keepers' Quarters
The Keepers' Quarters

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Hatteras NC
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In One Direction - Sand

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Hatteras NC
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In Another Direction - Swamp

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Hatteras NC
From A DistanceFrom A Distance
From A Distance

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Hatteras NC

24th April 2012

Outer Banks
Thanks for an interesting tour and great pictures of your two weeks in the outer banks. I enjoyed!!!! Love ya! Helen

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