"At two o’clock the next day we left for Hatteras Inlet at the northernmost end of Ocracoke. As the tide was up, we could not drive the beach, but took the inland road through the sand dunes. Our chauffeur drove his hard pressed Ford with calloused bare feet. Much of the road was loose sand which must be traveled at a fairly high speed to prevent stalling. This made it necessary to charge through these bad places, which resulted in some terrible shocks and jolts to the car, as it jerked through the crooked ruts. The thousands of sand crabs seemed to have selected the wheel tracks for doorways to their underground homes and this did not improve riding conditions. As the state spends nothing on these roads, no license plates are required.
|One of just a few Island Beach Vehicles, 1940s|
"Before we discharged our jitneyman at Hatteras Inlet Coast Guard Station, we asked the Commander there if he would take us across to Hatteras, a distance of five miles. He told us he would take us over right away if we wished to go then, or at 4:30 when he went for his mail. We had no reason to go over sooner so we prowled the beach for an hour or so. After having a cup of coast guard coffee, we were taken across Hatteras inlet in a motor whaleboat. The coast guardsmen down there would delight the eye of a college football coach. They are all fine physical specimens. Most of them weigh two hundred pounds each and average six feet tall. The older men seem as fit and as active as the younger men. The channel from the ocean into the sound is similar to that at Ocracoke Inlet, in that it divides, and deep water follows close to the two islands. About 12 feet can be carried into both Ocraocke and Hatteras inlets, and from 4 to 6 feet into Origon inlet, which is south of Bodie Island light, but the channels are shifting and local knowledge is necessary to safely navigate them."
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: