Friday, July 25, 2008


Lou Ann, Lachlan, and I went on an adventure yesterday. We left home under gloomy skies, headed for the 10:30 Hatteras Inlet ferry. We were on our way to the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station in Rodanthe, hoping to see the weekly demonstration of the 19th century life saving drill.

We stopped in Buxton Woods and enjoyed a picnic lunch under the trees with a view of the Hatteras lighthouse in the distance (by then the threat of rain had passed). After a walk on the trail through the maritime forest we made our way to the lighthouse. I am always impressed with it's height (at 208 feet, so much taller than our Ocracoke lighthouse). Lou Ann wondered what it would have been like to be the keeper, climbing all of those steps several times every day. I marveled at the skill it took to move the tower in 1999. And we both stood in awe of those who built it more than 100 years ago.

Up the beach a half hour north, at the life saving station, we watched as Coast Guard crew members re-enacted the beach apparatus drill, complete with Lyle gun, hawser, & breeches buoy. I brought along my great-grandfather's original shipwreck reports (he was keeper of the Ocracoke station from 1883-1903) to share with the staff, but by then Lachlan needed to be moving, so we made arrangements to stop back in the fall.

After a stop for ice cream we drove back to the ferry, and were home by 6 o'clock (Lachlan slept most of the way back). It was a fun adventure.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Lou Ann's account of installing an old-fashioned pitcher pump. You can read it here.


  1. Anonymous1:32 PM

    Your account of your trip to Chicamacomico sounds so much like my childhood memories of the area. I fondly remember visiting those same sights when I was about Lachlan's age. He is a blessed young man to grow up there!

    Thanks for always taking the time to fill is in on your day down in Ocracoke. It is always a pleasure to read and fade away into a daydream, if only for a moment.


  2. Anonymous11:32 AM

    In case anyone else wants to go, the drill is held every Thursday at 2:00 PM – Beach Apparatus Drill Reenactment. Today's U.S. Coast Guard performs this historically accurate reenactment of the very effective rescue method utilized from the late 1800s through the mid-1950s, and commonly referred to as the “Breeches Buoy Rescue.” Best daytime show on the Outer Banks – and Chicamacomico is the only place in the world where you can witness active-duty members of the U.S. Coast Guard paying homage to their past by performing this complete Beach Apparatus Drill. The reenactment consists of a live demonstration of the rescue equipment, including firing the Lyle gun (small cannon) and “rescuing” a victim.

    Philip - Did they charge you the $4.00 rate for Senior Citizens?



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.