|With love, Aleta: Remembering Ocracoke's famous mailboat|
always waited for the mailboat to come in. That was something that we
enjoyed, going and seeing the people who were on it, because it carried
some passengers and also some freight for the island people and for the
stores. We enjoyed doing it just to get away from home and see what we
would get that evening in the mailbox,” recalls Della Gaskill,
remembering when she was a girl growing up at Ocracoke.
Ocracoke’s beloved mailboat, the Aleta, lies at the bottom of the South
River in mainland North Carolina, no doubt providing a fine
habitat for fish and other marine life. She lives on, however, in
the memories of those who once peopled her decks as they traveled to
and from Ocracoke or gathered on the dock to greet her, collect their
mail, and welcome the passengers she carried. She lives on in books
that describe her short but memorable history, and now she is the focus
of a new exhibit at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras
|Arctic Seals appearance on North Carolina beaches is a puzzling....WITH VIDEO|
mix of seal species is appearing on North Carolina beaches with more
and more frequency, but no one knows why. Could it be a consequence of
a changing climate? One Duke University scientist is determined to find
|Island Living: Why I hate Valentine’s Day|
Day has always been one of my least favorite holidays, where I would
traditionally watch as all of my excited colleagues got flowers
delivered to their desks, while I jealously looked on in my
intentionally all-black work outfit. After work, I’d drink beer while
fishing or bowling with other single friends -- which is literally the
most un-Valentine's thing you can do -- or head home and watch a
documentary, horror movie, or "Deadliest Catch" marathon.
I was finally attached, I still wasn’t that big a Valentine’s Day fan,
because there’s this unspoken and universal assumption that, as a
woman, you’re supposed to make yourself look sexy -- or at least
presentable -- and go cook something awesome for your loved one. I
don’t know about you, but I am absolutely horrible at both of these
the more I think about it, the more I wonder if my distaste of the
holiday is somewhat misplaced, especially on Hatteras Island where the
environmental conditions for ogling, flirting, and even love are
arguably at their best. Read
|The Night Sky: Winter stargazing on the islands|
to the Island Free Press' newest column that will inform readers about
the night sky on Hatteras and Ocracoke. Our new columnist is Gerry
Lebing, a serious stargazer who even built a small observatory next to
his house in Waves. We enjoy the darkest night skies on the East
Coast in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Let's enjoy them!
|GeeGee Rosell talks about new community reading program in radio interview...WITH AUDIO|
Rosell, owner of Buxton Village Books, was the guest on the on the
Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point," on Sunday, Feb. 1. In
the interview, Rossell talks about the new community reading program
that she is sponsoring with Radio Hatteras. The program is called
"Hatteras Island Reads." Read
|The plasticized ocean threatens marine environment|
the coast of North Carolina lies what is known as the North Atlantic
Gyre. It’s a large system of rotating ocean currents, often driven by
strong winds, that’s centered near Bermuda. It includes the Sargasso
Sea and the Gulf Stream. Within its center, drawn in by the currents,
lies what Lisa Rider, coordinator of the N.C. Marine Debris Symposium,
describes as a plastic soup. This floating mass of plastic is not the
only area of North Carolina waters that is awash with plastic
pollution, however. The waters in our sounds and rivers are also filled
with plastic debris, she said.
The plastic pollution is a huge and ever-increasing problem threatening North Carolina’s marine environment. Read
|Ocracoke plunges into the new year|
All things considered, it wasn’t that bad. “The water was warmer than I expected,” said Whisper Meacham.
was the general consensus of the brave souls who gathered on the beach
at the airport ramp and welcomed the New Year by diving into the
Atlantic Ocean. Joelle LeBlanc, who helped publicize this
relatively unorganized event, thought there were more than 35 plungers
and perhaps an equal number of friends, family and the curious watching
from the beach. Read
|Frank Miller: The International Hatterasman|
in a booth at the Hatterasman Drive-In, eating a fried flounder
sandwich, it’s hard to imagine Frank Miller, the new owner, is a
man who has walked the halls of power in Iraq and Afghanistan.
of the talk centers on what it takes to run the drive-in, how he has
some kids who are working for him whom he really believes in, and plans
he has for the summer and beyond.
of his plans include creating a place where the Hatteras Island
veterans' community will feel comfortable coming to have a cup of
coffee and meal—and that’s part of the story that brought him to
Hatteras village. Read
|Ocracoke author's newest book stars a cat and a dog|
author Pat Garber's newest book, "Paws and Tales," is a story told by a
dog and a cat, which doesn't seem at all strange to anyone who knows
the writer -- an animal lover whose two most popular books feature the
new book features mystery, adventure, and romance all rolled into one
story that will please the young, young-at-heart, and Ocracoke lovers
|One-year check-up on Hatteras medical center is radio show's topic...WITH AUDIO|
one-year checkup on the Hatteras Village Medical Center, which is
celebrating the first anniversary of its re-opening, was the topic of
the Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point," on Sunday, Dec. 21.
guests for this week's interview were Dennis Robinson, who is
vice-president of the board of directors of the community non-profit
that runs the center, and Gail Covington, a nurse practitioner who is
the health care provider. Read
|Saving cold-stunned sea turtles is topic of "To the Point" radio show....WITH AUDIO|
men from Frisco talked about the intrepid work of a small band of
volunteers and their work to save cold-stunned sea turtles on the show
that was broadcast on Sunday, Dec. 7, on the Radio Hatteras interview
program, "To the Point."
the Point," which is hosted by Island Free Press editor Irene Nolan,
airs on the island's community radio station, FM 101.5 and FM 99.9, at
5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month. It is
repeated on the second and fourth Sunday.
guests for the interview were Lou Browning and Frank Wells, both of
Frisco. And they need your help for this very important work. Read
|Rare group of American white pelicans is wintering on Pea Island|
fall, the annual migration of birds along the coastal flyways usually
results in a rare or unusual species making an appearance, much to the
pleasure of bird watchers and nature photographers.
Hatteras Island, at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, such birds
have been hard to overlook. Anyone driving along Highway 12
through the refuge has probably noticed these enormous, plumed giants.
you won’t need to get up before the rooster crows, go crawling through
thick shrub thickets or make silly sounding bird calls to see these
feathery beauties. A group of American white pelicans have found the
refuge’s waterfowl impoundments much to their liking and have not been
shy about mixing in with their Eastern brown pelican cousins. A few
white pelicans have shown up here in the past, but the significance
this year is that close to 150 of the birds have taken up residence.
|Hatteras Community Emergency Response Team is topic of radio show...WITH AUDIO|
leaders of Hatteras Island's Community Emergency Response Team were
interviewed about the team's work on Sunday, Nov. 16, on the Radio
Hatteras interview show, "To the Point." The guests for the program
were Kenny Brite of Avon and Larry Ogden of Waves.
teams, under the direction of emergency responders, provide critical
support after disasters by giving immediate assistance to the victims,
providing damage assessment information, and organizing other
volunteers at the disaster site. The role of a CERT volunteer is to
help others until trained emergency personnel arrive.
Hatteras Island's team was formed last year and has 66 members -- but it would like your help. Read
|Archaeologists to investigate possible site of Civil War fort this week|
a painstaking study of historic maps, documents and photographs zeroed
in on the presumed site of a Civil War fort in Waves on Hatteras
Island, the actual work on the ground is set to begin this week
to prove its location.
Covey, a local history buff who grew up in Rodanthe, said that retired
East Carolina University archaeologist Larry Babits will be leading an
investigation starting on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the site of what Covey
believes is the location of Camp Live Oak, an 1861 Union outpost built
to defend against Confederates retaking Hatteras island. Read
|The day that East met West in Hatteras village....WITH SLIDE SHOW AND VIDEO|
is story -- a very funny story -- with a happy ending about the day
that a delegation of Chinese investors and government officials came to
visit Hatteras village on a whirlwind tour of Dare County.
The story was told to me by Allen Burrus of Hatteras village, vice-chairman of the county Board of Commissioners.
I sure can't spin a tale the way Burrus can, especially with his wonderful island accent. However, I am going to give it a try. Read
|Hatteras Island's out-of-this-world tourist attraction|
silver reflective surface is throwing back the rays of the sun. From
the windows that encircle the saucer shape, alien faces peer out.
Suddenly a green man appears, crouching in the doorway. Cue the opening
to a classic 1950s horror and science fiction TV show and a narrator in
the background saying, “It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”
around the alien’s home are images of other green beings and the
remnant skeletons of humans who got too close in a nearby "cemetery"
surrounded by a picket fence.
is the Flying Saucer of Frisco -- aka The Frisco Spaceship -- a place
where mystery and imagination meet the future and the past. Read