Passengers on ferries to Ocracoke often notice small buoys floating near the channels, but they don't always know that they are tethered to crab pots. A crab pot is a cubical cage made of steel wire (like chicken wire) with a cylindrical "bait box" in the center, four conical funnels (or "throats") at the bottom edges through which crabs enter, and two wider funnels inside the pot leading to an upper chamber, the "parlor," (crabs naturally swim upwards trying to escape) where they remain contained until the fisherman returns). A "cull ring" (visible in the bottom photo) allows smaller crabs to escape.
To learn more about crabs and crab pots, click on this link: http://cmast.ncsu.edu/cmast-sites/synergy/bluecrab/bscrab.html.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter relates the story of the prohibition-era rum runner Messenger of Peace that brought much pleasure to the residents of Portsmouth. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062115.htm.