Monday, August 6, 2007

North Carolina Lighthouses

Here's a great You Tube video of North Carolina lighthouses of the Outer Banks you might like.

North Carolina lighthouses include:

Currituck Beach
Bodie Island
Cape Hatteras
Diamond Shoals
Cape Lookout
Price's Creek Oak Island
Bald Head Island
Frying Pan Shoals

One North Carolina lighthouse is in an area of North Carolina that has a storied history. Ocracoke Lighthouse, which was first built in 1803 on Shell Castle Island not far from Blackbeard's hideout, who lost his head on Ocracoke Island during the early 1700s. Well, okay, he didn't actually lose his head, it was taken from him. Some believe his ghost still haunts the area, searching for his head. But, enough of Blackbeard. Back to the Ocracoke Lighthouse. The original was destroyed by lightning in 1818 and replaced by the current light in 1823 on the banks of the inlet near Ocracoke Village.

The Cape Lookout is interesting with its checkered design, which actually look like diamond shapes. But, the light of the lighthouse isn't the only thing guiding sailors. The black diamonds are oriented in a north-south direction and the white diamonds are oriented in an east-west direction; the white diamond side of the tower showed sailors were anchoring was safe. The Cape Lookout also had an original completed in 1812 which had problems being seen, so a new one was constructed in 1859.

The oldest continuously operating lighthouse in North Carolina is "Old Baldy" on Bald Head Island, one of North Carolina's most isolated and private barrier islands and just north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. You can reach Bald Head Island by a 20-minute ferry ride. A replica of the 1850s keeper's cottage adjacent to the lighthouse serves as the Smith Island Museum. For $3 you can visit the museum and climb "Old Baldy". Summer Hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m and Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. You should call 910-457-7481 for winter hours.