I hope that this week’s blog finds you and your love ones safe and sound. May we all find a moment to wish well to all that were affected by the severe storms over the weekend.
I write you on my way home from a stay in the Outer Banks, which is fast becoming my home away from home destination. My girlfriend thinks it is because of her that I make my way to the islands so often but, in reality, it is the beauty and the allure of the North Carolina coast and the endless photographic opportunities. But lets keep that a secret between you and I, shall we?
The Outer Banks, as I have said many times, is truly a paradise and one of the most well kept secrets to most that travel south to visit the “Redneck Riviera”. As the season approaches the beach communities come alive with all the businesses dusting off their porches and putting out the “welcome mats!” In a few more weeks the population in the communities will begin to double or triple as the tourist begin to arrive. Signs of it were visible this weekend with so many different activities taking place – a motorcycle rally, an Indian Pow-Wow, a runners 10k and an angles fishing tournament. Not forgotten are the many windsurfers, kite boarders and surfers that flocked to the coast to enjoy the wonderful winds.
One event that really caught my attention was the scheduled Homecoming for Portsmouth Island adjacent to Ocracoke. Established in 1753 by an act of the North Carolina Assembly, Portsmouth grew to be the largest settlement on the Outer Banks by 1770. In 1842, more than 1,400 vessels and two thirds of North Carolina’s exports passed through Ocracoke Inlet, and Portsmouth’s population grew to 685 residents by 1860. Unfortunately, the coming of the Civil War and the shoaling up of Ocracoke Inlet was the beginning of the eventual demise of Portsmouth’s. The population dwindled to 14 in the 1950s and to three by 1971. The last two residents finally moved, leaving behind the remnants of a once vibrant coastal community which today include a church, Life-Saving Station, post office and school. Although the weather may have precluded many from attending these weekends Homecoming, because it is only accessible by boat, it is a grand way to commemorate the history and individuals that once inhabited the thriving community.
We have made the trip, via the ferry, many times to Ocracoke and hope to one day soon find our way over to Portsmouth to take in the photographic journey. Until then I leave you with the beauty of a sunset from the Ocraccoke -Hatteras Ferry dock.
This image, like all my other North Carolina art can be found at either of two galleries that represent me on the Outer Banks. Roads End Gallery in Hatteras and Down Creek Gallery in Ocracoke. They can also be purchased through me directly.
As you might also know, if you have a photographic assignment I can assist you with I am no further away than a phone call (or email). Until then
Best regards …….