Thursday, November 20, 2014


In 1985, Melinda Tolson and Steve Cobb, students at Cape Hatteras School, interviewed Capt. Ernal Foster (1910-1996). Capt. Foster was the Hatteras Island native who launched the Outer Banks offshore sport fishing industry in 1937. In that year he carried fishermen into the Gulf Stream in his 37' vessel, the Albatross. Today, the Albatross fleet continues to cater to sport fishermen in three boats. You can read more about the Albatross Fleet here:

In the 1985 interview, Capt. Foster tells about being stranded at the Green Island Club at Ocracoke, 3.1 miles southwest of Hatteras Inlet. The hunting club was located on a marshy island in Pamlico Sound, not far from shore.

The incident happened in 1933, when Foster was 23 years old. He and several friends were fishing in the Sound when the wind started to pick up and the water got rougher. Foster and his friends decided to seek shelter at Green Island, but the wind velocity kept increasing, and the tide rose rapidly.

In no time at all the tide rushed inside the building. When water reached their waists the men went upstairs. The hurricane winds eventually undermined one side of the house, causing the whole structure to tip over so that one side of the roof was down in the water. The men retreated to the roof, staying on the leeward side. They remained on the roof throughout the hurricane, and into the next day, until the water receded and the wind abated.

When the fishermen finally located a castaway boat (theirs was destroyed), and returned to Hatteras, they discovered widespread damage, but no injuries. Capt. Foster described his ordeal as the worst experience of his life.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here:  

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