"We found the eastern North Carolinian very likeable. They resemble somewhat the eastern shore Marylander, which is natural, as they are from the same English stock with practically no dilution in either case. They are frank and friendly in a dignified way, make no apologies and ask no favors. After having eaten too much, we left for Ocracoke at one P. M.
|Ocracoke Native Gary Bragg (1881-1954)|
"It was still rough as we emerged from Core sound into Pamlico Sound, north of Harbor Island Light. Nothing but water could be seen to the west and north, and the ocean beach or banks of Portsmouth island extended faintly into the northeast. The husky Ocracoke ploughed steadily on, and at about 4 P. M. when about 5 miles from Ocracoke, we stopped near a fish oil factory, situated on a small low island, to exchange mail sacks with the mailman from Portsmouth, the village at the north end of Portsmouth Island. Portsmouth, consisting of perhaps two score of neatly painted small cottages and the usual prim white churches, lay on the sand half a mile away. There were few trees visible. An artesian well at the fishery was discharging a constant stream of sulphur water. The deep wells on the banks all produce sulphur water, and the shallow wells, brackish water. Rain water, caught on roofs, is carefully led to cisterns or tanks and is saved for drinking water.
"A shoal lies just inside Ocracoke inlet with the deep water following close to the shores of both Portsmouth and Ocracoke Islands so we had to pass almost out to sea to get to Ocracoke; so close that we got the ground swell from outside. Shoals also lie outside and the channel in from the ocean, apparently lies between two so called interlocking bars. Although it is buoyed, it looks like a bad place for a stranger, for looking out to sea, there seemed to be breakers everywhere.
"Here I saw my first Pelican. They are ungainly looking things as they cruise clumsily through the air, and when they dive for a fish, make a splash as large as if a horse had fallen overboard…."
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is an essay by Philip Howard explaining why he decided to stay on the island as Hurricane Florence approached. You can read it here: