Wednesday, March 05, 2014


Seagulls love clams & scallops. They pluck them out of the shallows on the sound side of the island, carry them high into the air, and drop them on the hard ocean beach to break them open. Of course, gulls have learned that dropping their prizes on the road is even more effective.

If you are driving on Highway 12 watch out for broken shells. They can slice through a car tire!

Scallop Shell on the Beach

I have not heard that there will be a scallop season in 2014. But you can read about my 2002 experience scalloping here:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter documents the day telephones came to the island. The article includes images of Ocracoke's first telephone directory which lists a total of 63 subscribers. You can read the Newsletter here:


  1. Anonymous6:46 AM

    YES! We learned the hard way last time we were there. The shell pierced right through. (Luckily, it was Saturday and a tire place was open in Nags Head.) Shaking my fist at you, gulls!

  2. The 2002 scallop "adventure" sounds like something wonderful to remember. Hindsight being 20/20, I'm sure they've been different since... hopefully...

  3. Anonymous8:46 AM

    Good one.
    I love the image of the gull sauteing the scallops on your stove.

  4. Anonymous11:22 AM

    This is outrageous. Does not the County a responsibility to remove road hazards?. Where I live, there is an adopt the highway program and civic minded groups clean up trash along the roads. Is there not a concerted effort to remove the shells from the road? Or is it the tire shops salting/shelling the roads???

    1. I suppose it's possible those Nags Head tire shops are driving down here to strew broken shells on the road, but I"m pretty sure it is those pesky seagulls.

  5. Anonymous2:29 AM

    What a romp. Thanks for sharing the experience, Philip, as always.

  6. Anonymous9:40 AM

    Philip, speaking of "Nags Head tire shops," what's a motorist in distress to do on Ocracoke? Call AAA? Is there a go-to place (or places) on Ocracoke for tire repairs, leaky radiators, stalling engines, etc.? And what might a vacationing motorist expect upon calling such a place on Ocracoke?

    Here at home, in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, our go-to repair shop is one of many, and it typically takes one week's notice to book a service time, or longer if it's the end of the month and there's a crush of people whose annual car inspection stickers are due to expire.

    With so many of us Ocracoke visitors limited to "just one week" on the island at a time, what are the odds that local repair shops can get us in, get the parts they need, and get us back on the road before we have to check out of our rental properties?

    (And worse case scenario, any insight into how/where one might obtain a rental car if the circumstances of a repair turn bleak?)

    As always, thanks for indulging such questions.

    1. Jimmy's Garage is right across the street from the Pony Island Restaurant. It is a family business -- Jimmy, his wife Linda, and their son Jamie. They provide great service to islanders and visitors, and will do their best to look at your vehicle, determine what is wrong, order parts (if necessary), and get you back on the road as quickly as possible, and at a fair price. Just remember, this is an island (parts may not be immediately available), and Jimmy's Garage can't service everyone at the same time.

      I don't know anything about rental cars on the Outer Banks, but there must be some, just not on Ocracoke (except for beach vehicles).