Located in Ocracoke - one of the prettiest little towns in North Carolina!

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Drumroll, please…

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.

They Also Serve, and do they ever!

Those who have followed this column are familiar with the OVFD, the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, its genesis and its recent success in creating a new operational building, The Fire House. An interesting history, that.

Well, the 10th Annual Memorial Day Weekend Firemen’s Ball is slated to take place this year on Saturday, 23 May. A peek at their website www.ocracokefiremensball.com is rewarding.

The festivities include a pig pickin’ with the yummiest barbecue, NC style, you ever tasted; silent and live auctions of some neat stuff, and the evening dance with great music by local musicians.

You’ll love it!


Lest We Forget… revisited

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!

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 R and R

The Cove is closed for the month of January, and the time will be well employed. In addition to allowing Sharon and John to wander more widely, we shall be catching up on maintenance work, steam cleaning the carpets, and warding off the ravages of our coldest month.

We look forward to welcoming you in February and beyond, and to a great year. Beach access shall have benefited from recent federal legislation, travel access from the north will enjoy improved roadways and, we hope, faster ferry voyages, and our favorite haunts and eateries will be well rested and rarin’ to go.

Happie New Year!


And another birthday to be celebrated…

Merrie Christmas to all!

Froeliche geburtstag!

Happy Birthday!

Born on December 16, 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven was destined to become one of the preeminent composers of all time. His works reveal the power and complexity of a remarkable person.

A widely known anecdote, one of my favorites and well enough documented to dispel any tho’t that it is apocryphal,  reveals that at the conclusion of the 1824 inaugural performance of his epic 9th Symphony, which he conducted, he had to be turned around to face the thunderous applause from the audience. For, you see, he had become nearly totally deaf in his later and most productive years, and could hear neither orchestra nor the cheering.

He died in 1827.

We quietly celebrate his life.


A Different Christmas Treat

Here’s a tasty and different opportunity- The 9th Annual Oyster Roast at the Ocracoke Seafood Company- Saturday 27 December, 2-5 PM.

Organized by the Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association, which deploys the proceeds for education and outreach, The Roast offers “all you can eat” oysters, steamed shrimp and fish stew, together with cocktail sauce, vinegar and crackers.Bring your own oyster shucker- expert guidance is available. Admission fee will depend upon oyster market price.

Dessert and hot cider will follow at the Association’s Exhibit at Community Square- please bring a dessert to share.

Prepare for the New Year, and join us at The Roast. You’ll love it!

Our athletic annual event….

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.

‘Tis time to be Thankful

The busy season has wound down, and our little village is very quiet. One can (almost) actually cross the street  without looking either way. However, life goes on, and there are things to do.

For a change of pace, why not visit us for Thanksgiving? Many restaurants will be humming with seasonal fare, shop browsing , the Museum and the beach will welcome you, and what could be nicer than a few days at The Cove?

A great preamble to your pre-Christmas rush.


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!

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 uninvited guest…

Remember the long-ago movie “The Man Who Cam to Dinner”, starring Monty Woolley – fell, broke a leg and stayed forever? Well, our guest may be uglier,  but at least he won’t stay interminably. His name is Arthur.

About to be a Category 2 hurricane, Art (you see, we try to appease him with friendly familiarity) will land on us after midnight and be gone by noon on the 4th. Six of our guests will ride it out with us, so we’ll have to whip up a party- safely.

Sorry that this will disrupt planned visits as well as our Independence Celebration, that latter having been, at least in part, shifted to the 5th. Nature simply will have her way with us- part of what makes Ocracoke what it is..

Epilog (6 July):  Art was far less damaging than had been anticipated, and cleran up is proceeding quickly. Full power is restored, and the Island is open to all. NC 12 from the north is limited in spots, but open. Whew!

Happy 6th of July!

Our Independence Day…

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

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.


This past week there was resurrected the locally written and performed “Tale of Blackbeard” a musical written in the 1970s by resident Julie Howard. Rollicking, melodious and adroitly produced by Ocracoke Alive, “Blackbeard filled to house with laughter and applause for four evenings and a matinee.

For those who missed it, this artistic landmark will be re-performed each Monday evening from 9 June thru 11 August inclusive. Contact  www.ocracokealive.org  in advance for tickets You won’t be sorry!


Our Unique Memorial Day…

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.

At the Helm…

The several preceding entries into this Blog serve as introduction to the good news of the day. After some ten weeks of reorganization and prepping (what a lot is contained in those few words!) we are today resuming operations and looking forward to a new season.

The key to this is, of course, our new innkeepers It is often said that if you want something done, assign it to a busy person. We’ve done just that. John and Sharon Brodisch have long been active in business and community activities in Pennsylvania, and also have long been Outer Banks and especially Ocracoke enthusiasts. Add to that their their joy in hosting and you can see- they’re naturals. Keep your eyes on this spot for more details.

So, please welcome John and Sharon. You’ll love them just as we do, and you will be in good hands with them at the helm.


Today’s the Day…

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…

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 Progress Note…

On 22 March, just 29 days after their unanticipated resignation, Lola and Vincent departed without fanfare. Our new innkeepers, Sharon and John, about whom more later, will be arriving in mid-April. As there is no baton to be passed from helpful predecessors they deserve some additional time to become settled in and acclimated.

We had developed a Plan B which would have allowed us to continue caring for those who sought a getaway during early Spring. This required the participation of an experienced innkeeper and others. Unfortunately, that person became unable last evening to fill the role, and Plan B  collapsed.  Plans sometimes do that.

Consequently, for the benefit of all involved we shall interrupt guest operations at The Cove B&B until the end of April. It is only fair to all that we emerge from this intact and excellent, not struggling to function. We shall be contacting those of you with April reservations asking that you defer your stay until May or later. We know you will understand, and we thank you.

A Dropped Baton…

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

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…

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!

Vacation, and a little work…

According to plan, as we do every Janueary, we have closed The Cove until 1 Feb. It’s a slow time of year, and all can enjoy the break. Ocracoke is an interesting place in the winter- good for “knitting the raveled sleeve of care”, altho’ that’s a bit dramatic.

This year, in addition to house-wide carpet cleaning, we’re having the exterior power washed, scraped, primed and repainted. Ocracoke weather is a bit hard on paint, and our unintentional slightly “camo” look needs to go.

Our online reservation service will be fully functional, and we will happily respond (fairly quickly) to emails and voice mails.

Happy New Year!