Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Our Night in Ocracoke

We said 'Goodbye' to the Lady of the Lake house in Corolla bright and early on Saturday morning (July 17) and headed south along Route 12, cruising the coastline towards Hatteras - where the road ends. There we drove the Highlander onto a ferry, destination: Ocracoke Island. There are no bridges to Ocracoke. The only ways to reach the island are by ferry, boat or plane. It was a really cool experience to be in the car, yet on a boat for the 40 minute ferry ride.We were allowed to get out of the vehicle to walk around the ferry, but because it was such a short ride, there wasn't much to do, other than sight-see and take some pictures.
When we arrived on the island, we headed straight for our hotel, the Ocracoke Harbor Inn, where we were fortunate enough to get into our room early. After settling in for a bit, we headed out to explore the island.
Ocracoke is a really neat place because it is very secluded. There are no Days Inn or Best Westerns, no McDonalds or Applebees, no Exxons or Shell stations. Many of the locals travel by bicycle or golf cart. The speed limit is 20-25 mph throughout the village.
Ocracoke is historically known for pirates - specifically, Blackbeard. (which, as you have probably guessed, was my main intention for wanting to visit there). It was there that Blackbeard lived for a while and eventually died in a battle just off the harbor. After enduring several slashes and stabbings, and multiple gun shots, his head was cut off and hung from the bow of the ship... see Wikipedia for more...
Our first stop in exploring Ocracoke Island was Teach's Hole - a museum and shop dedicated to the notorious pirate.
Surprisingly enough, Mackinzie was very excited to learn more about Blackbeard.
There wasn't a whole lot to the exhibits, just a few models and documents, but it was very cool in my opinion.
Laura described this photo on Facebook as "Bert wishes he was tiny enough to fit on Blackbeards ship" .... very true!
... and this historical marker was proof to Laura that Blackbeard actually existed - although I still can't convince her that there are still pirates around today - in the Somolian-form .
We ate lunch outdoors on the porch at the Jolly Roger, located right on Silver Lake Harbor and enjoyed some shopping at sight-seeing, specifically the Ocracoke Lighthouse - which has been in operation since 1823.
We arrived at the lighthouse just as the storm clouds were gathering.
We woke up early again to catch the 7:00am ferry departing Ocracoke for Cedar Island. This ferry ride would last two and half hours. The time went by pretty quickly, thanks to the laptop computer and the car dvd-player. This ferry was also much larger than the one we rode on the day before. There was a large lounge with tables and chairs and booths - vending machines, restrooms, etc...
Here are all three of my girls enjoying some time "out-of-the-car" on the ferry.
Ocracoke Island was a really cool place. I would definitely like to visit there again and spend more than one night - but we'll probably wait until our girls are a little bit older.
I bought this little antenna flag from the Teach's Hole gift shop. On the morning of July 18, 2010, the Jolly Roger flew again out of Ocracoke Harbor... albeit from our Toyota Highlander on a ferry...

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