Took a red-eye out from Oakland to Norfolk, Virginia. Changed planes in Atlanta for Norfolk and noted the huge size of that airport - seemed as large as San Francisco or Munich airports. Rented a 2010 Ford SUV for the drive down to Frisco near the south tip of Hatteras Island - about a 3 hour drive. Hatteras Island is a 50 mile long barrier island that starts in the Kitty Hawk, Nags Head area and goes south to Hatteras Village. Driving down HW 12 the huge Pamilco Sound is on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. It is America's first landfall coming from Europe or Africa or one can see it as the end of the USA's land mass. In Buxton and Frisco it is about 80 miles across the Pamlico Sound to reach the North Carolina mainland. You clearly get the feeling that you are out in the ocean and you are.
The Diamond Shoals off of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the site of the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" where thousands of ship wrecks lay. Among them are 6 German U-Boats sunk while they were on duty trying to sink as much allied shipping as they could. Also out there off shore is the Moniter the Civil War Iron-clad. Further down off Ocracoke Island is Blackbeards pirate ship which is currently being excavated by East Carolina University. In the town of Hatteras Village is the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" museum devoted to the study of the Diamond Shoals. Visit this museum if you are ever in the area. Hatteras Village is also where you catch the Ferry going to Ocracoke. The service is good and the ride over there is free. If you plan on going all the way over to the North Carolina Mainland it cost's $15 for your car to make the 2 hour passage.
Fishing is huge in the area especially in and around Buxton but also along the entire Hatteras National Seashore and on the sound side as well. All manner of great fish can be caught there - Tuna, Flounder, Red Drum, Sharks, Croakers all types of Atlantic fish. Serious fisherman go out in charter boats or drive to a spot along a beach with poles at the ready attached to the front of their SUV's and just cast out.
Another form of recreation available there is wind surfing and para sailing. This is done on the sound side. I saw some wind surfers pick up great speeds with the prevailing afternoon winds reaching great speeds - over 30 mph...maybe more....
Hatteras Island is also home to thousands of vacationers from other states who rent homes or condos for a week or two at a time all summer long. There are 12,000 rental homes from Nags Head to Hatteras Village - near the beach built on stilts available for those who love a sea shore vacation... Most of the rentals are large and meant for large families or groups renting together.
A visit to the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a must for anyone visiting the island or simply driving through. It is the tallest brick lighthouse in the USA. It is open for climbers during the spring and summer seasons and closes down around Columbus Day. It's light can be seen 20 miles out to sea and warns mariners to stay well clear of the Diamond Shoals. Today it is operated by the US National Park Service. The light is still serviced by the US Coast Guard. Be sure to visit the museum located in the old lightkeepers quarters and the well stocked bookstore.
There are many seafood places on the island at all price ranges - clams, oysters, shrimp and crab and all manner of fish are the main attractions. We had dinner and lunch in Buxton, Hatteras Village, Ocracoke and Avon all good...
Mosquito warning. Ten days after any good rainfall mosquito's swarm on the island. There is a mosquito abatement program in operation, but there are so many mosquito's it is hard to really stop them. When it cools down or windy they go away. Get some anti-bite spray if going outside.
Causes Ron Cabral Supports
National Wildlife Federation, California State and National Parks, Arf, Paralyzed Veterans, National Film Preservation Foundation, California Historical...