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Archive for the ‘Ocracoke News & Events’ Category

Drumroll, please…

April 29th, 2015 by Fred Westervelt

Quite unexpectedly,  we were pleased to learn that Ocracoke has been named fourth in the world’s top twelve beaches by AARP.   See www.ocracokeobserver.com for more details.

We think so, too! It’s delightful this time of year.

Lest We Forget… revisited

April 5th, 2015 by Fred Westervelt

During the early days of World War II the shipping lanes along our East Coast became known, sorrowfully, as “Torpedo Alley”. Unescorted, many ships carrying war materiel to Britain were the victims of German U-boats. Early on 12 May, 1942, HMT Bedfordshire, on anti-submarine patrol,  was added to this list, torpedoed and sunk with all hands.

The bodies of four seamen from Bedfordshire washed up on Ocracoke shore, and were buried in what became known as :British Cemetery, later ceded to the United Kingdom and tended by U.S. Coast Guard personnel.

Each May a memorial service, attended by representatives of The U.S., Britain, Canada and Germany. This year the ceremony will be held on  8 May. Should you be among those fortunate enough to be here, do plan to attend. You’ll never forget it.


Fun for all!

March 31st, 2015 by Fred Westervelt

This year’s Ocracoke Festival, a decades-long tradition, will take place on 5-7 June. You really should plan to be here then and enjoy a unique experience.

Story telling, music, arts and crafts, stage presentations, dancing, good things to eat and comradery

For more details, see www.ocracokealive.org


Our athletic annual event….

November 18th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

Within mere moments, astronomically speaking, Christmas will be upon us. But first, we’ll all pile into the Ocracoke School Gym for the Annual Holiday Basketball Tournament- December 12 and 13.

Four High School Boys’ and Girls teams will play it out for the championship, and Ocracoke in general should be humming. The quality of play should be high, as in past years, and the enthusiasm likewise.

Make your reservations at The Cove now, and enjoy a little pre-Christmas relaxation. Call us for details.


October 2nd, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

It’s been a peaceful summer here, and suddenly it’s Fall. Fishing has been respectable, the beach delightful, and weather (except for a very wet 10 days just ended) perfect. We should even have all the roads in the village repaved shortly

In just 4 weeks we’ll again be invaded by The Pirates and their ferocity, historical drama and fun.! On the 31st there will be goings on at our School with a costume cakewalk,  games and perhaps even a “Dunk-the Principal” (gently) for laughs,  You won’t want to miss this!

See www.piratejamboree.com  for more info.

The Pirates Are Coming!

August 5th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

We are, once again, beginning to stir our expectations toward  this year’s Pirate Jamboree, to be held here from 31 October-2 November. We at The Cove have a special pride in all this as we are close by Teach’s Hole, also known as “our minibeach” where Blackbeard met his demise.

The invasion of Ocracoke by The Pirates, whose lives are devoted to this and other re-enactments, is an exciting time, one which will satisfy the enthusiast to the fullest. That all this coincides with Hallowe’en should add unpredictable spice to the occasion.

For further details, see our Blog on the topic published last August, and follow the link therein.

And, as we say conversationally, “Arrrrgh!” One of the many translations: Join us.


Our Independence Day…

June 28th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

In these days of stress, uncertainty and unrest we shall contemplate deeply our independence origins and those who carried the day more than two centuries ago.. Since then, legions have devoted their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the perpetuation of  this, the most spectacular nation in world history.

And we are exceptional, despite the efforts of  the various unfriendlies to reshape us for their own purposes. Early on it was the Tories, more recently the progressives from within, and adding further insult  the fanatical religious radicals who look upon us as infidels. However, the people are restless and stirring, and this, too, can be overcome. It’s a process.

Ocracoke’s celebration will include a flag raising, music and dancing, the traditional sand sculpture  contest, a fig cake bake-off, the classic car show, our old-time mid-afternoon parade, story telling and more. We’re sorry we shan’t have fireworks, but there’s another movement afoot which has misplaced priorities. It’s that process, and it must run it’s course.

God Bless America!

A Panoply of Ocracoke Talents and Skills

May 27th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

Begun in the last century as the Howard Street Festival, this year’s Ocrafolk Festival will take place June 6,7 and 8. With music, artwork, theatrics and more, this long weekend displays Ocracoke in its most artistic best. Join us for a memorable occasion.

Browse www.ocrafolkfestival.org for details.

Our Unique Memorial Day…

May 8th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

On 11 May, 1942, while on antisubmarine patrol along the Outer Banks, HMT Bedfordshire was torpedoed and sunk with all hands by U-558. Four bodies of crew washed ashore on Ocracoke and were interred on property donated by local residents. Ultimately this plot became known as the British Cemetery and was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity.

Tomorrow, as every year,  there will be a memorial service for these gallant seamen, who along with numberless others fought and sacrificed there lives in the war against tyranny. In one form or another it never ends, does it?

Join us at The British Cemetery at 1100 hours 9 May for a moving experience.. Lest We Forget.

Today’s the Day…

April 27th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

No, not that day, this Day. The Day we’ve been waiting for- the formal dedication and opening of our new Fire House.  The OVFD and all its many supporters have much to be proud of, and we’ll enjoy the festivities.

For a refreshed, go to our blog of 20 July, 2013, in which we explored this topic in some detail. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, but the Committee stayed on top of the contractors and got it done.

And so, on to Standing Watch.

Another year…

April 13th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

Another year has rolled around (and what a year!), so it’s time to sing…

Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson!  Your 271st.

Thanks for, and from, our country..

A Dropped Baton…

March 19th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

We are displeased to announce that Lola and Vincent Hos, the innkeepers who joined us last October, have been unexpectedly, uh, shall we say,  lured away on extremely short notice.

Currently engaged in the interviewing of some fine candidates, we have chosen to interrupt operations at The Cove until mid-April  rather than provide a less than optimal experience for you, who deserve better. Resumption of full activitiy will depend upon tightening up the loose ends and the schedule of the new staff, and we shall be patient.

Thanks to all who have relinquished their bookings this month and next. We shall reopen soon, better than ever and a bit wiser as well.

NC 12 temporary block at Frisco

February 18th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

NCDOT will interrupt NC 12 at Frisco from 7 PM 28 Feb to no later than 7 AM 3 Mar. They need to place a culvert before paving. Apparently no paved detour is possible, but a beach bypass for 4×4 vehicles  is being worked out by  the Park Service.

Those planning travel there for this period may call Dare County Administration  252 473 3444 for updates.

Epilog:  To our great joy, this work was completed in record time, and NC 12 was reopened late 1 March.



Well, that’s over…

February 4th, 2014 by Fred Westervelt

Our maintenance and R&R month was a bit more complicated than that, what with the deep cold, power outages and all. But- we’re blessed compared to much of the country, and all’s well.

Thru all this the new fire hall has been completed, and opening day is nigh. It’s magnificent, and a great resource for Ocracoke. Applause to the funding, planning and building crews!

Spring is just around the corner. Attention is turning to a few local ordinance issues, fighting off new ferry tolls, finding solutions to the ubiquitous puddles and preparing to enjoy the beach. Busy, busy. Come see us!

For the rest of December…

December 15th, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

Several fun things are looming in the next few weeks.

Tomorrow, for instance, we again salute the birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, and will be humming our favorite excerpts from his prodigious output.

On 20 and 21 December we’ll enjoy the Ocracoke Holiday Basketball Tournament- eastern Carolina high school roundball at its best. I’ll scare up the details and insert them shortly

Then, in the aftermath of the ultimate in celebrations, Christmas, we’ll savor the Annual Ocracoke Working Watermen’s\ Association Oyster Roast on 28 December. A tasty interruption  of TV football and really yummy!

I bring you tidings of no joy…

December 6th, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

As you may have learned by now, a major logistical calamity has befallen the Outer Banks, and our Ocracoke by extension. Just a few days after we learned that the Oregon Inlet (Bonner) bridge to Hatteras Island was in good shape. it was announced that on second look sufficient sand had been “scoured” from the piling bases as to make the bridge unsafe.

The result- the bridge is closed indefinitely for safety’s sake. Can’t argue with safety, but Ouch! Repairs will begin as soon as possible, and we hope the environmental adversaries are, for a change, silent.

Access to Ocracoke, and The Cove, is thus by mainland Pamlico Sound ferries from Swan Quarter, Cedar Island and the emergency route from Stumpy Point to Rodanthe. Schedules, crossing times and reservations can be seen or arranged at http://www.ncferry.org. Pruvate planes are welcome at Ocracoke International Airstrip (W-95), and there are ample docks for those coming by private boat. We’ll gladly pick you up at either- let us know.

Of course, we’ll be pleased to help in any way we can- just call or email.

Merry Christmas to all!

Epilog- 1600 hrs  15 Dec:   The Bridge, the Bonner Bridge, is open for business. Lots of repairs have been completed, and more are to come, but the bridge is safe for unrestricted travel. Read all about it in www.islandfreepress.org and www.ocracokecurrent.com. Thank you, Santa.

Our baton is passed….

October 13th, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

It is often said that all good things must come to an end. So it is with the tenure of Erin and Chad as our innkeepers and hosts..Under their capable and devoted hands The Cove has reached new highs, and after 5 and a half years they deserve a rest, and our applause. The O’Neals shall remain our good friends, and their son Carter will be glad to have his parents back fulltime..

There is a silver lining, happily. Already on the scene for the past month are Lola and Vincent Hos, our new hosts and innkeepers, absorbing the wonders of Ocracoke. Both expats from the Netherlands, Vincent has been stateside for 15 years and Lola, a true globetrotter, has lived in such exotic places as Bahrain, Hong Kong and Hawaii. Lola is a recently retired flight attendant and Vincent spent most of his career in logistics.

Three years ago they found their true passion as innkeepers in New Orleans. After having discovered the beauty of the Outer Banks they succumbed to the siren call of Ocracoke and The Cove. When not spending time with their guests they can be found spoiling their three French cats while Chet Baker plays in the background.

Thank you so much, Erin and Chad- and please, everyone,  welcome Lola and Vincent. You will find them delightful and dedicated, with a new individuality..


Our little beach…

October 3rd, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

Beginning 1 October The President widely suspended funding for “non-essential” functions- including the Park Service. We’re sorry and are objecting thru channels.  While driving on the Ocracoke beach, even those otherwise open, is forbidden,  we are advised that walking on the beach seem to be overlooked- if one behaves.  See www.ocracokecurrent.com , article “The Myths and Realities of the Government Shutdown” for details.

In addition, don’t forget about “our little beach” at Springer’s Point, just down the road from The Cove and about a 15 minute walk thru  the maritime preserve.  I was just there, and it’s delightful. Perhaps 100 yards of beach maybe 20 yards wide, white sand, calm and shallow water (sorry- no surf today). Perfect for splashing, sunning, snoozing, a picnic, or just being.

A good respite til the dust in Washington settles..

Epilog:   On 17 October, in response to last evening’s Congressional antics, the Park Service began restoring aceess to our beaches to the status quo ante.  Driving, fishing and funning are back.

Play Ball !

September 22nd, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

Baseball is looked upon by many as the All-American sport. This is no less true for today’s Ocracoke, where school kids and adults alike began informal baseball efforts many years ago, in such areas as the current Day Care Center lot and the NPS parking lot.. The long story, as is usually true on the island, is one of perseverance.

As available land suitable for a baseball field dwindled, practices were limited to the yards of helpful residents. The new school gym had space to rig netting for batting practice.  Summer baseball under the auspices of the Ocracoke Youth Center, with support from the Ocracoke Civic and Business Ass’n,, led to an Ocracoke team, the Raptors, of 10-12 yeas olds who joined the Hatteras Island Babe Ruth Little League. Hone and away games were played at Burrus Field in Buxton, more than an hour  and a ferry  ride away. When shoaling shut down the ferry the Coast Guard would provide transport across the inlet.

And, two years in a row,  the Raptors won the championship, often in dramatic fashion. Clearly, Ocracoke needed to solve the problem of a “field of dreams”. Some dedicated  people, the Baseball Committee, scrutinizing GIS mapping of the village, found hiding in plain site an available  property. After further study it was agreed that this would fill the bill, the owners (the Burruss family, believe it or not) were willing,  terms were drawn up and a contract was closed.last December..

.The field will also support soccer and other field sports, and provide a venue for a new Youth Center. Funding for all this is progressing, permitting (yes, even that) is complete and we’re on our way. In the contrived linguistic arithmetic of the blogger, “If you build it they will come” + “Take me out to the ball game” = “Play ball !” Won’t it be nice when home games can truly be played at home?



August 20th, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

Altho’  quite literate and expressive, Blackbeard and his cronies are frequently depicted as uttering that single word during their predations- so what better way to introduce the forthcoming Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree to be held October 25-27?

Activities will include an historically accurate encampment, an authentic ship-to-ship battle, a scavenger hunt and a memorial to Blackbeard at Springer’s Point (yes, that one just down the road from The Cove) on Sunday morning.. All this will begin the crescendo toward a grand event in 2018, the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s defeat and decapitation by Lt. Maynard, HM Royal Navy.

You can keep up with the evolving details at www.piratejamboree.com .

Standing Watch…

July 20th, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

There’s a proud buzz thruout the village as we admiringly marvel at a new structure springing up on Hwy 12- our new Fire House, soon to be home to our Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, the OVFD   .This may seem like a mundane topic unworthy of these pages, but not so.  It’s the culmination of a village dream, legions of volunteers and donors, a dedicated and thoughtful planning committee, a bit of government and the proceeds of auctions and tons of barbecue devoured at the annual Firemen’s ball, this year our 8th. Oh, yes-  forget not the donation of the site by the Hutcherson family.

There is, of course, a story. Before mid 20th century little Ocracoke dealt with fires  fairly informally- good luck, cistern  or ocean water by bucket brigade, that sort of thing. Along came systematic ferries from Hatteras together with Hwy 12, and  building growth ensued,  having gotten a push from The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard during World War II.

The OVFD  was organized in 1966, to meet the need. Legendary developer Sam Jones, he of The Castle, Berkeley Manor, and more, donated the first fire truck and Stanley Wahab the first fire house. In the 70s the community water system was developed, permitting fire hydrants. New equipment was acquired, and the Ocracoke Fire Protection Association (OFPA) was organized by agreement with the Coast Guard and The Park Service. The old fire house was soon outgrown, trucks parked outside in the weather, and the dreaming began.

An important offshoot of the OVFD was the Ocracoke Rescue Squad in 1977, ultimately blending into the Health Center and then Hyde County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in 1995.. But that’s another story, one to be proud of, for another day. Meanwhile, come admire the new quarters, and even become a part of it with a donation to the building fund at www.ocracokevfd.org .



May 27th, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

On this day annually we remember, and revere, those who, over our country’s 237 years, have sacrificed their lives in defense of our freedom.

There are many “Flanders fields”  thruout the world. This moving poem, penned in 1915 by Canadian Army medical officer Lt. Col,. John McCrea upon the battlefield death of a close friend, can apply to all. It goes like this:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow between the crosses row on row, that mark our place;  and in the sky the larks, still bravely singing, fly scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: to you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.



Another Happy Birthday!

April 13th, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

Today we celebrate the 270th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson- author of our Declaration of Independence and founder of The University of Virginia,  together with a remarkable array of talents, writings and accomplishments.

Our Changing World

April 1st, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

NCCAT Ocracoke  (our North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching), together with the UNC Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, will host two local events for this year’s NC Science Festival. All are free and open to the public.

Sea, Sand and Human Hands: The Changing Face of the Outer Banks, will be held Saturdauy, 13 April at 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday, 17 April at 10:30 a.m.

Google NCCAT.org and click Special Events for more details.

An Exhilarating Experience…

March 1st, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

Easter sunrise

Easter Sunday, an ecclestiastical centerpoint and this year on 31 March, is more than merely the beginning of Summer for prospective Ocracoke vacationers. A local ttradition is our non-denominational Sunrise Service on the beach.

Watch the sun emerge, ever so rapidly, above the ocean’s horizon, and ponder the immensity of it all. We drove around on the beach yesterday, and for as far as we could see- east, west and across the ocean limited only by the earth’s curvature- we saw noone.

Yet we know that from ultramicro to ultramacro, we are not alone.