Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Sea Hawk

Dot Salter Willis and her father, Ben B. Salter, share stories and history in their book, Portsmouth Island. On page 81 they tell of the wreck of the two-masted schooner Sea Hawk.

It was the fall of 1961 and Ben was with family and friends at their Portsmouth Island hunting lodge. Early in the morning as they were walking to check on their fishing nets, they heard a cry from someone down the beach. That's when they noticed the Sea Hawk sitting high and dry at the high water mark.

The Sea Hawk, en route from the Virgin Islands to Massachusetts on a stormy night, had sailed too close to land, and was washed ashore by the breakers.

Ben relates that "They were scared people... A man took them over to Ocracoke and they went home in a few days. Later, they got the schooner off before she sanded up....I think this was the last schooner to come ashore off Portsmouth Island...."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a reproduction of a 1960s booklet titled The Great Ocracoke Cat Hunt. You can read it here:

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