Cape Lookout is at the end of North Carolina’s outer banks. Once home to a remote whaling town called Diamond City, it has been a national seashore for decades. The 90’s park video we watched in a building next to the lighthouse featured lots of crashing waves and sunsets, but also told us that this coastline is known for its graveyard of ships, pushed ashore during hurricanes and storms. As we sailed out to Point Lookout we saw a research vessel coming in the channel, and were later told they brought up another cannon from Blackbeard’s ship Queen Anne’s Revenge that day. We also caught a flounder and bass!
Surrounded by beach and the picturesque lighthouse, we appreciated the paradise and remoteness of this spot.
Ashore, we found many abandoned and rusted cars. A very nice guy, a local working at the park told us they were left by the people living here, who were displaced when it became a park. He also said things constantly wash up ashore, that the channels are shifting, and that he would spend his childhood summers here. He wanted us to know what life was like, that the people were very isolated and that the Depression did not reach this area because the people here were already “that poor”. Other than whaling, this region up to Ocracoke would have shallow draft “Sharpie” boats that would load cargo from large ships in the ocean and sail them into port because the large ships could not get through the sounds.
On our walk along the beach Grant was quickly graced by the fishing gods, who sent him many a sinker and lure. (Recompense for those we have lost.)
Sadly, what we think is a pygmy sperm whale was also washed ashore along the beach. (Sometimes nature is not all dolphins and ponies.)
The tide was really low, so we walked far out onto the sand bar, past this clam bed. We saw some of the best shells yet, a couple of sand dollars, and Grant found a deadeye (type of old rigging).
The next day we went to the lighthouse. The weather was getting very windy, so we headed out back to the intercoastal waterway before it got any worse. Here are a couple lighthouse pictures!
The weather that was forecasted had intensified and so we wanted to leave Cape Lookout to get into the ICW and start working our way South. We decided to head back to Beaufort in the Atlantic instead of the shallower more treacherous inside route. We found we could sail close hauled the 10 miles to Beaufort Inlet, but the swell was bigger than predicted and we had quite a ride with a couple of the bigger waves washing over us (yay dodger!). We made it into the inlet and anchored in Spooners Creek, south of Moorehead. Nicely protected and snug we are going to spend Friday here resting, refueling, and going to nearby grocery stores.
Onward in the ICW!