Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sand & Rocks

Visitors to Ocracoke Island sometimes ask if the Outer Banks rests on an underlying bed of rock. No, it is sand, and more sand, for quite a ways down. However, now and then you will see rocks scattered about in the village -- lining flower beds, made into low rock walls, and just randomly lying about in yards. You might wonder where they came from.

Most of the rocks on Ocracoke came from 18th & 19th century sailing ships. They were used as ballast on vessels from England or from other colonies that came through Ocracoke Inlet. Before loading their holds with North Carolina goods the crews cast the ballast stones overboard, or tossed them onto the shore.

Ocracoke Island Ballast Stone

Five Ballast Stones in Another Yard

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a photo gallery of past July 4th parade photos. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous2:54 PM

    who are these people?... and to whom do they ask these questions?.....there sure are some stupid people that visit ocracoke.

  2. Anonymous5:30 PM

    Personally, I like inquisitive minds...and, no, I did not ask the question.