island, which measures roughly a mile long depending on the tide and
weather conditions, is located just off the very tip of Cape Point, and
formed in the past two months after being first spotted as just a
“bump” in April.
being discovered, countless visitors and locals have made the trek to
see if the weeks of rumors about the island’s existence – as well as
the stories that it’s a haven for shells – are true.
The answer to both questions appears to be yes.
of pick-up truck beds that are stuffed with assorted whelks and even a
helmet conch or two have made waves on social media, and have enticed
more than one beachcomber to make a trip to the Point in the hopes of
landing similar finds.
as reported by numerous sources and media outlets, getting to the
island is not without its dangers, and the channel of water that
separates the island from the rest of the Point changes on a regular
a recent windy day at high tide, the buffer of water was swift and
deep, and the island was completely bare as most visitors opted to fish
on the Point proper, and not risk the trek to the outlaying island.
just two days later on a clear Sunday afternoon, the new “Off-Point”
island was brimming with shell-seekers, photographers, and other
curious visitors who wanted to walk on this new addition to the local
landscape for themselves.
increase in national attention certainly shines a spotlight on Hatteras
Island, and brings more attention to the unique nature of the local
shorelines, but officials and locals alike are also concerned about the
potential hazards for visitors who are unfamiliar with the area.
from decades of anglers who flock to the East Coast’s most popular surf
fishing beach can be lying at the bottom of the ocean floor, and the
swift currents that shaped the island to begin with can make reaching
the island – or getting back – nearly impossible.
Hallac, superintendent of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore,
publically cautioned visitors not to try to walk or swim to the island,
and many recent visitors agree the best way to get there is via a
kayak, paddle board, or a similar vessel that requires a bit of man
power to navigate. Even then, the currents of the sometimes 50-yard
wide channel can be challenging, (and both sharks and sting rays have
been spotted in the area), so caution – and a little experience – will
go a long way in reaching the new island.
as there was no way to predict that the island would pop up, there’s
also no way to determine how long it will stay. The island could grow
even larger in the coming months, drift further away from the Point
itself, or could even disappear altogether – it’s anyone’s guess what
for now, Hatteras Island has a new reason to be in the spotlight, and
longtime Point visitors should expect some company in the coming weeks
as word circles around the region - as well as the world - about his
new natural attraction.
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