Every now and then they let me off the island. On Tuesday I drove "up the beach," as we say, to Manteo. I had heard that the Outer Banks History Center had original copies of some of my great-grandfather's shipwreck reports from 1893 until he retired from the US Life Saving Service in 1902. I have his reports from 1883 (when the Cedar Hammock Station on the north end of Ocracoke was established) until 1894.
The History Center is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in the history of the Outer Banks. Sure enough, they had the reports I was looking for so we traded information (both scanned and photocopied reports).
I stayed overnight at a friend's home, but was concerned because all weather reports were calling for high winds and rough surf on Wednesday. I was expecting soundside flooding with overwash on NC Highway 12. Luckily I was coming back home near low tide, so all went well.
Unfortunately windly conditions along the East Coast & the Outer Banks contributed to a couple of maritime disasters. A tugboat sank in rough seas (two sailors drowned and one is missing), and I understand a crabber in eastern NC drowned in rough seas several days ago. Islanders always listen to such news with especially heavy hearts even when the victims are strangers.
The weather has cleared today, with bright sunny skies, warm temperatures, and calm conditions.
Our current monthly Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Street Names, Part II, published December 19, 2005. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news121805.htm.