BODIE ISLAND / HATTERAS ISLAND:|
The Graveyard of the Atlantic - around Cape Hatteras. Over 600 ships have been wrecked along this treacherous stretch of coast since the 16th century, a few remain visible at times on the beaches.
''You can stand on Cape Point at Hatteras on a stormy day and watch two
oceans come together in an awesome display of savage fury; for there at the
Point the northbound Gulf Stream and the cold currents coming down from the
Arctic run head-on into each other, tossing their spumy spray a hundred feet
or better into the air and dropping sand and shells and sea life at the
point of impact. Thus is formed the dreaded Diamond Shoals, its fang-like
shifting sand bars pushing seaward to snare the unwary mariner. Seafaring
men call it the Graveyard of the Atlantic.'' - David Stick, Graveyard of the
Atlantic, Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast|
In February 1894, a new four-masted schooner Florence C. Magee stranded 600 yards off Bodie Island, its crew eventually rescued by the lifesaving crew.
October 1908 found a three-masted schooner Flora Rogers laden with cypress driven ashore north of the island. The rescue was slow and dangerous because the vessel was rolling violently in the breakers. Eyewitnesses report however; one crewman left the ship wearing a fine derby hat, and it was still perched at a jaunty angle when he reached the beach.
David Stick's ''Graveyard of the Atlantic, Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast'' gives detailed accounts of these and other tragedies that were a daily occurrence. Beginning in 1526 through 1945 his book lists page after page of confirmed marine disasters. Many other vessels are known to have disappeared in this stretch of the coastline, but lack sufficient documentation to be listed.
The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is located on the southernmost portion of Hatteras Village.
|It was not always storms or the dangerous shoals, this was also the infamous ''Torpedo Junction.'' See the timeline of the Weeksville NAS (LTA) beginning in 1942.|
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