Category Archives: Ferry boats

Mirlo Beach Today

Two weeks ago I left Hatteras Island for a job in the Florida Keys. The road was washed out so Denise and I rode the ferry to Stumpy Point, a two hour transit to the mainland. It was blowing, and ferry service nearly shut down.

Goodbye Rodanthe!

View on the port side, with a Rodanthe bound ferry passing by.

Seas splash against the starboard side of the ferry.

Upon returning nine days later, we heard the 4×4 road was open, so we made our way south of Oregon Inlet, under police escort at 9 o’clock at night. With moderately brisk winds, the sea was rolling right up to our tire tracks, but we made it. I was amazed in the escalating deterioration of highway 12, compared to a few weeks earlier.

With another low pressure winding by today, I decided to have another look.

Mirlo’s broad side takes another beating.

A property owner’s defense seems fruitless.

The most photographed truck on the island lies abandoned.

The cottage on the right, Toes in the Sand, was the original house built on the oceanfront at Mirlo Beach in the late 80’s. Back then, it was called East Wind.

I just hope the electricity stays on.

Sign of Spring

On Hatteras, we have our expected signs of Spring. Snapping turtles emerge from the marsh, new plant growth sprouts, birds and fish migrating, not to mention the unstable weather changes taking place. But now as the Outer Banks becomes much more popular, another aspect has been added in the past several years…… bike week. The last one just ended this Easter.

I’m referring to motorcycles. In my formative years, motorcycles meant gangs, hell raisers, independent spirits and outcasts. I loved seeing them from our family car riding by. Something in my imagination wanted to be like Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones.

Bikers today are a completely different breed. They are more of a cross section of society. Doctors, lawyers, construction workers, and who knows what else comprise bikers of the new age. And I think some of the outcasts are even still there.

A year ago during bike week, I had a chance to ride the ferry to Ocracoke with a load of bikers, and it made for a fun photo op.

I hope you enjoyed the free ferry ride…

NCDOT to the Rescue…… again

This entry was originally posted on November 16, 2009

 Yesterday the 15th of November, one day after the storm wiped out a portion of highway 12 at the S-Curve, North Carolina Department of Transportation officials began work to reconstruct the main road coming into north Rodanthe. They are working to build back the berm that was washed away. What they are going to do about resurfacing the road is another matter. In the meantime, only 4-wheel drive traffic is allowed to transit on a temporary sand road west of the affected area. This is in effect only during daytime hours.






This morning, I looked out my upstairs window over the Pamlico Sound to see the NCDOT ferry “Stanford White” heading to Rodanthe. Once I arrived on the scene, I learned that the ferry operations would begin tomorrow carrying mainly commercial traffic and other vehicles between the Stumpy Point ferry terminal and Rodanthe. This is not an official notice, however, just what I was hearing at the time. It could be rumor. It could be fact. So far I see no notice about it on NCDOT or Dare County web sites.




The new Rodanthe ferry service has had a few test runs in the past, but never truly implemented.


Salvo native, Richie Austin seems pleased about the prospects.


Jack Cahoon, the present NCDOT Ferry Operations Director was personally on hand to help smooth out the transition. Locals here have known for some time that this day was coming. It was just a matter of when.


A Fascination for Flight


I grew up in a Navy family that traveled to new tours of duty every couple of years. Many of those stations required transportation in propeller powered military aircraft. So my fascination for flight began at an early age. I always wanted the window seat. As a nine year old, I distinctly remember flying across the Pacific Ocean to the island of Guam. How I loved peering out of the window at the ocean and islands below!

Today I still hold that same fascination for flight with aerial photography. After Hurricane Isabel in 2003, I made seven flights over Hatteras, Ocracoke and Portsmouth Islands. I wasn’t interested in the destructive power of the storm. Instead I wanted to see and document how nature constantly shapes the Outer Banks.

Last year, parts of the beaches of our National Seashore Park were closed due to bird nesting, including the Cape Point of Hatteras Island. I’ve photographed the Point from the air before, but only with off-road vehicles on it. My intention last Summer was to fly and shoot it’s more natural, pristine state, but I procrastinated and suddenly the point was opened to traffic and I missed my chance.

This year I put it off again until July 26th when I called my good friend and pilot Dwight Burrus. Dwight and his wife Debbie operate Burrus Flying Service out of Billy Mitchell Airport in Frisco. I’ve flown in his beautiful red and white 1971 Cessna on numerous occasions, and I can’t say enough about his expertise. I tell him what I’m looking for and he takes me there, every time. It’s almost as if I’m flying the plane myself. Dwight was raised on Hatteras, and knows the coast and it’s steeped history well. I highly recommend the tours of Burrus Flying Service. Call them at (252) 986-2679 or visit the web site for more information. Tell them I sent you.

Let me show you what I saw on this latest flight, looking down on the scenery below.


cp-south                      Looking out to Cape Point from the south or “the hook” side.


cpnorth                                                         Looking toward the point from the north beach.



cpsoutheast22                                                            Looking toward the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse from over the Point.


cppond                                The shoreline of the pond at Cape Point.


lighthouse2                                                          No flight is complete without a lighthouse fly-by.


isabel-inlet                       This is the site of the inlet that was cut by Hurricane Isabel.


marlin-club                          The famous Hatteras Marlin Club in Hatteras Village.


hatterasvillage                The south end of Hatteras Village at the ferry terminal to Ocracoke Island.


hattsouthpoint                   The south point of Hatteras Island at Hatteras Inlet looking to Pamlico Sound.


ocracoke-ferry                 The ferry, Chicamacomico, en route to Ocracoke from Hatteras.


uscgstation                     The north end of Ocracoke Island at the site of the former Hatteras Inlet                    Coast Guard Station. The station was destroyed in storms. All that remains                    are the pilings. This illustrates the lack of stability of barrier island systems.


oislandbackside                                       Ocracoke Island from the sound side.


island-marsh                               An island in the sound behind Ocracoke Island.


silver-lake                             Silver Lake surrounded by scenic Ocracoke Village.


springers-point                            The beautiful maritime forest at Springer’s Point on Ocracoke.


o-beach                                                       The untouched beach at Ocracoke’s South Point.


o-inlet-bar                       A sandbar where Ocracoke Inlet meets the Pamlico Sound.


o-inletbackridge                                                       An underwater sand ridge extending into Pamlico Sound from Ocracoke Inlet.


o-sandbar                            A sandbar in the Pamlico Sound near Ocracoke Inlet.


o-inletwing                              Dwight’s Cessna banking over Ocracoke Inlet for a shot at the                                                 untouched South Point.


o-inlet-mouth                    The South Point of Ocracoke in a pristine state from 1,000 feet.