“They have sent me to the end of the world”
“Dear Momma: Yesterday, I lied to you. Today, they sent me ten miles further”
Lines from two letters sent by Coast Guard enlistee, in reference to being sent to Cedar Island.
“Talking Tarheel: How our voices tell the story of North Carolina”
Authors: Walt Wolfram and Jeffrey Reaser
copyright 2014 UNC Press
The first week of December, your admin and several others made plans to attend the Core Sound Decoy Festival on Harkers Island, and visit the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum However, the call of the local beauty was just too much to resist, and we ended up taking the ferry (which you catch at the Visitor’s Center on Harker’s Island for a $15 fee) to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and exploring the area. The rain was pouring as we crossed the water to the lighthouse, but almost as if a gentle hand was at work and knew we had only a limited amount of time to explore, the rain ceased halfway across, and we were treated to a rise in temperature to 70 degrees and wonderful sunlight on what was a very gloomy day. Our ferry guide was very accomadating, and offered to pick us up in two hours, vs the usual four hours they allow for island visits.
Although the lighthouse was closed, we were able to get close-ups, explore the beach, which offers a wealth of collectable shells and peek at the lighthouse keepers quarters. I personally am not sure I have the words to describe this place. If you stand still, by yourself on the beach, with the lighthouse looming behind you, and islands in the distance, and not a sound except water and birds, it is an experience of literally stepping back into time. The dedication and isolation of the lightkeepers can easily be imagined with that moment of stillness.
A few quick facts about this lighthouse:
Located on the Outer Banks, and towering at 163 feet, this lighthouse features a uique diamond pattern. Although many assume that this pattern is to add visibility, the pattern actually serves a purpose: The black diamonds point north/south, and the white diamonds point east/west. There is a 24 hour flashing light that blinks every 15 seconds. This light can be seen anywhere from 12 to 19 miles at sea, depending on conditions.
If you plan to climb the lighthouse, please be aware that there are 216 steps in total.
For more information on the history of this lighthouse, please see this article from Carolina Lights.
We did have time to explore the museum, which is a testament in itself to the tenacity of the islanders..this is a pride and joy for them, and the whole island gets into the spirit of things. A historical testament to the way of life for this area, with both artifacts, pictorials, skiffs, and a gift shop, where you can also purchase a print of O’Malley Photography’s photo from last year’s festival.
Once again, I would like to give a personal thanks to Heather at the Fishhook Grill in Harkers Island, who saw a woman in serious need of java, and came thru like a champ! Although Heather was too busy to feed us that day, she did give me a cup to keep going, and I understand from her many followers, and I quote: “her desserts are to die for!”
You can also find Fishhook on Facebook, too.
The following photos are three each of the photographers on the trip, and when asked what prompted them to submit the particular photos, here is what they sent. I hope that everyone who enjoys our one and only NC coast, with the many rare features, such as Ocracoke, the sounds, our banks, etc, will enjoy our glimpse of this remote part of the banks..
O’Malley Photography on Artists Websites
O’Malley Photography on Facebook
Matthew Irvin, Photographer/Writer on Facebook
Cedar Island Sunrise
Up at predawn I was sharing good times with new friends out on the deck where we were staying. Looking up well before the sun would hit the horizon we all noted this would be a beautiful sunrise. I dashed out to Cedar Island Point to photograph a sunrise worth the whole trip. What a fantastic experience, beautiful new friends and a beautiful photograph. Just the friends would make a great treasure of a trip; the photograph was the icing on the cake.
Always looking for something different I like to look at scenes from a fresh viewpoint. That doesn’t mean I won’t take a well-known “traditional” shot of a subject, but I like to see things differently sometimes. While on the sand dunes of Cape Lookout National Seashore These seashells told me this was what I was looking for.
Moonrise Over the Point
A moonrise over Cedar Island Point, this island presented so many opportunities in such a short time. It went all too quickly; great times with newly-made friends sharing experiences and photography talk. I hope we can meet again and spend more time together.
Lori Chappell of Insights, Images & Poetry on Facebook
Watching the sunrise unfold on that December Morn on Cedar Island, NC…well I remember thinking “It don’t get much better than this!”
Looking forward you would see the Grand Majesty of Cape Lookout Lighthouse.
Looking left over ones shoulder and the view of Cape Lookout National Seashore is hauntingly beautiful.
The choice for this shot was the passing storm we weathered only moments before to get to the island.
Soaked thru from the rain, I remember just standing there lost in that moment!
I would love to say that I captured this image because I wanted to complete the series of the 4 lighthouses, or maybe that it has great lines and that the sky was just right…but we all know that’s not me.
I chose and captured this shot from water where her light is cast, because at that moment what it meant to me was “A Port in My Storm”.
This long year of healing the physical and metaphysical aspects of my journey left me heading for the rocks in this sinking vessel I call me.
I came to Cedar Island that weekend to ground myself. To find rest and peace nestled amidst the surrounding shoreline, the amazement of a sunrise, and to explore a portion of her island rich with history.
It became clear that what was more important to me was not in the image I’d captured with my lens but the image I took away from Cedar Island in my heart!