Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ghost Ship

Several days ago I missed an important date in Outer Banks history. On January 21, 1921 the five-masted schooner, Caroll A. Deering (one of the largest schooners ever built), foundered on Diamond Shoals.

When the weather finally cleared and the US Coast Guard was able to board the vessel they discovered all sails set, galley tables set with dinnerware, food in the galley stove....and not a living soul aboard the Deering -- with the exception of one cat. To this day no one knows what happened to the crew. Not a trace of any of them has ever been found.

The story goes that the cat, with six toes on each paw, was taken ashore. Before long six-toed cats started to show up on Hatteras Island, and later, on Ocracoke. Just a couple of years ago, at dusk, Amy noticed a six-toed feral cat skulking about near her house. Perhaps the crew of the Ghost Ship continues to haunt the Outer Banks.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter chronicles the story of commercial fishing on Ocracoke, and tells of the efforts of the Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association to save the island's last remeining fish house. Click here to read the entire newsletter....and learn how to make a donation.

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