Thursday, May 14, 2009


When I was a child my father taught me a few basic knots -- square knot, half hitch, clove hitch, sheet bend, and bowline. He also showed me how to splice rope and make a rope boat fender (though I never mastered those skills).

This morning Lachlan and I will be spending some time together. I'm hoping I'll be able to teach him to make a bowline. I don't know what makes me think I can do this. He can't even tie his shoes yet!

I found this web site that explains how to tie a bowline: in case any of our readers are interested. The bowline is one of the most versatile knots ever created.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a history of paved roads on Ocracoke. It may not sound very exciting, but there have been dramatic changes on the island because of the construction of paved roads a half century ago. You can read the newsletter, and see some rare photos here.

To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.


  1. Anonymous12:12 PM

    OMG is that not the knot with the story. Here is the rabbit hole the rabbit (end of rope) comes out of the hole looks around hops behind the tree (well use your imagination) gets scared and hops back into the hole. you could always let him see the video link and hey make up your own story it could be a meercat those cute animals from Lion King hope this helps

  2. Almost everyone who has ever learned to tie a bowline starts by learning the story -- Here's the hole in the ground...the rabbit comes out of the hole...hops behind the tree...and jumps back into the hole.

    Captain Rob always teases folks like me by asking us if we're able to tie a bowline without moving our lips!

  3. Anonymous9:33 AM

    That's how I learned to tie a bowline back in the Boy Scouts. I used to be pretty good at the various splices also. I was pretty good with an eye, end, and short splice.

  4. Anonymous1:30 PM

    Just last night I taught my Cub Scouts the double half-hitch and square knot.... next meeting it's the bowline and sheet bend. How in the world would we ever teach knots without trees and rabbits?! (Don't forget to see the display of knots at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras)