Thursday, October 22, 2015

Friends in Hatteras

When we lived in a stix and brix Hatteras Island was our beach vacation go to spot.  Of course, almost all those visits were during the summer so when we went on the road we decided to make it a regular stop when we stay in the East.  We always loved it for its uncrowded beaches and laid back ways.  No Walmart, McDonald's our other big chain stores.  Being here in October does sometimes present weather challenges but, with even fewer people and better fishing, it is the best time to visit. 
This is typical of the beach crowds in October.  A few surfers, kite boarders, fishermen and even some swimmers.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest in the United States and we visit every time we are here.  We were here in 1999 when the lighthouse was moved 1900 feet to save it from the encroaching Atlantic.  It's a good thing they moved it, the top picture was taken at the spot where it used to be.  We went the last day it was supposed to be open allowing visitors to climb to the top.  Unfortunately, because of the storm off the coast and the rain they had the couple of weeks before we arrived, it had closed early.
The current lighthouse is the third one at the cape.  Years ago you could still see the foundation of the previous one, but it has since been washed away.
When we vacationed here we stayed at the Outer Banks Motel in Buxton.  Tom and Georgie stay in the motel each summer and rent one of the beach front cottages each October.  As you can see, the place gives a whole new meaning to beach front.  This picture was taken a low tide.  At high tide the waves are breaking under the deck.
These are three other cottages that were moved back several years ago.  I'm not sure how much longer they are going to last.  One big storm and they would be gone.
This is a postcard of the five cottages on the beach many years ago when we first started staying there.  There was a big dune and beach between them and the water.
We have been to Hatteras Island many times over the years, but have never visited the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.  The museum is dedicated to telling the stories of the hundreds of ships that sank nearby and of those who worked to save the lives of people from those ships.  
This is all that is left of the first order Fresnel lens that was in the old Hatteras Lighthouse.  The Fresnel lens were made with many pieces of cut glass to focus the light into a beam that could be seen by distant boats.  The first order lens is the most powerful.  
The museum has several carvings of old ships; from sailboats, to mail boats to WWII subs.
This is a statue of General Billy Mitchell who came to the Outer Banks in 1923 to demonstrate how effective air power could be in bombing battleships.  Two old ships were bombed and sunk in less than an hour during the demonstration.
Enigma machines that were developed after WWI were used to send and receive coded messages.  Enigma M2946 was recovered from German U-boat 85 that was sunk during WWII off the coast of the Outer Banks in 2001.  It was acquired by the museum from the German government in 2002.   The museum also has exhibits on the Civil War events that took place in the area including the ironclad Monitor that sank 16 miles from Hatteras.  No photos were allowed.
I hit the beach to do some surf fishing, one of my favorites things to do here in the fall.  The results varied, with only one fish one day and ten in a couple hours another.  I'm looking froward to a couple more weeks of fishing.
We played euchre a couple evenings and I'm happy to report that the guys ruled.  I don't want to say some people were sore losers but Tom and I had to take a victory selfie as the ladies would not take our pictures.
We had a great week with Tom and Georgie hanging out at the cottage, playing cards and supporting several local restaurants.  This was our last evening celebration at the Breakwater in Hatteras Village.  It's going to seem lonely after having Mike, Sherri, Tom and Georgie here for the first ten days of our stay.  Not to worry, more friends are on the way.

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