Hi! This is Philip back with a few comments re. past posts.
Recently a reader wrote about finding an injured loon on Ocracoke's beach. Although I can't be sure, my guess is that the loon was not injured. The first time I encountered a loon out of the water I, too, thought it was injured. Loons are aquatic birds, and are spectacularly inept when moving on land. Their legs are far back on their bodies which makes movement extremely cumbersome except when swimming. Loons seldom venture far out of the water, except when nesting.
Another reader asked about the recent space shuttle launch. I did not look for it, but perhaps someone else did. I have gone out to the beach to follow previous launches. If the sky is not cloudy the shuttle is clearly visible from the beach as it races across the sky. I was surprised the first time I watched, since the shuttle appears to be traveling, not high up into the sky, but more or less parallel with the horizon. It looked like it might be headed for the Hatteras lighthouse!
Someone asked a while ago about names of the feral kitties on the island. Some may have names, but I think there are far too many of them, and few have names. But...if you'd like to adopt one you will be able to give it a creative pirate name! More information is available by following the link below.
Another reader asked about the type and wattage of the bulb in the Ocracoke lighthouse. If I remember correctly, it is a small halogen bulb (about the size of my little finger...or about the size of the flame of an oil lamp), and is 150 watts. The prisms of the Fresnel lens magnify the light so that it is visible 14 miles to sea.
Still another reader asked, some time ago, about who is the oldest person on the island. I'm not sure, but several folks are in their nineties -- both men and women...and the ones that come to mind are active, engaged with life, and impressively sharp (and that's no exaggeration!). It is not unusual to have at least one centenarian on the island, and we may have more than one in a few years.
I think I've answered all of the outstanding questions from the last few weeks. If you have more, let us know. We'll do our best to provide answers.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about "Ocracats" and was written by Pat Garber. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news031710.htm.