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Portsmouth Island - Cape Lookout Nat Seashore, NC (finally got the camera back)

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Offline huachuca

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Portsmouth Island is part of Cape Lookout National Seashore (just south of its more famous sister, Cape Hatteras NS) and the North Carolina Outer Banks. Lying ten miles off the coast, its approximately twentyfive miles in length and from a few hundred yards to a half mile or so in width. A village was established on the northern tip in the mid 1700's and it reached it's peak with five hundred or so residents around 1860 who fished and lightered freight across the sound from the ocean going merchant ships with too much draft to cross the shallow inlets here. Ocracoke (think Blackbeard) is the next island to the north.

I was introduced to PI by a few fishing buddies back in the late sixties and was fortunate enough to have met the last permanent residents; two elderly ladies who spent summers there until around 1971. At that time it was owned by the state but the NPS acquired the property in 1976 and, as I think Presidio would say "there went the neighborhood". Except during the fall fishing blitz or the bi-annual homecoming event, you'd be hard pressed to find a hundred people on the island at any one time but now it seems the Park Rangers and turtle/bird specialists outnumber the visitors. Currently, the ferry service is privately owned but its a given the Park Service will be acquiring that as well before the end of the year.

The Green Grass doesn't see much use now but she still capable and I'd still rather take her over to the island than the more modern Donza Lee. Hard to believe, but I've seen five vehicles packed aboard her.

We always look forward to checking ouy the Osprey nest on the way out.

Fish traps are a sign we're approaching the island

The Park Service offers eighteen cabins for rent at $80-100 bucks per night.Six bunks in each cabin with shower, john and stove.Cindy and I normally tent but this time our daughter brought her boyfriend along so we opted for the cabin on the far right in the photo

After unpacking all our gear we decided to made the seventeen mile drive up to the village.You won't see many beaches this empty on the 4th of July weekend.

Vehicles aren't allowed in the Village but its only a short walk from the parking area to the old Coast Guard station which serves a a self-guided museum these days.

The CG station cupola makes an ideal spot to view what remains of the village.The Methodist church is still the centerpiece.

Zone camping is allowed anywhere between the hightide line and the dunes except for the Village and cabin area.This guy has all you need out here.

Its not Sotol Vista but the sunset isn't too bad.

 I think the sunrise may be even better.

Except for the Pelicans out for breakfast, I pretty much had the beach to myself that morning.
To be so ungainly looking on land, these guys are real acrobats when diving for breakfast

back up for another try

View from the deck of our cabin

Ferry coming in - time to pack up

Loading onto the Donza Lee for the trip home with Capt. Rick spotting for me.

If any of you folks get back east, I'd highly recommend a few days on Portsmouth.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:13:53 PM by huachuca »



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