Unlike the 30 to 45 minute Ferry Ride from Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Island, the Ferry ride from Ocracoke Island to Cedar Island took 2 hours and 45 minutes. Each Ferry from Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Island was usually packed to capacity, and sometimes one had to wait for the next Ferry. However, the Ferry to Cedar Island only had two cars on it when we boarded. Our car was the last to board. This Ferry was a huge Ferry and seemed to have a larger capacity than the Ferry from Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Island, but only two cars. Therefore, I call it the road less traveled.
It was a beautifully sunny day, and the waters and islands we passed on the way fascinated me. I am always fascinated by the blue-green color of the ocean in this area of the United States. Naturally, I saved my Ferry tickets because I knew that it would be a long time before I would get another chance to visit Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Usually, tickets are not given out for the short Ferry ride from Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Island, because this is a free Ferry ride. However, the Ferry ride from Ocracoke Island to Cedar Island and back again is a paid Ferry ride, therefore tickets are issued. My ticket is displayed here, both the front and the back.
Cedar Island is truly different than the other Islands that make up the Outer Banks of North Carolina. For me, it was like entering an entirely different world. The Motel we stayed in was friendly, personable and nice. The Motel Manager told us that the population on Cedar Island is mostly made up of fisherman and retired people. This was an area of the Outer Banks that was not commercialized in the sense as the rest of the Outer Banks. Directions were given to us for the 45 minute drive to a marina where we could catch one a Ferry to Cape Lookout Lighthouse. You see, Cape Lookout Lighthouse is located 3 miles off shore on an Island. It is not visible from shore. The next day we left and drove to catch one a Ferry to Cape Lookout Lighthouse. The drive took us over a bridge of marshy area and through little villages along the way. We finally reached a Marina in Buxton. The Marina was very small and I paid for my ticket for the next Ferry. The lady just wrote my name down on a list and I looked around through their shop and waited. I was very surprised to see that the Ferry was what we would call in West Virginia a large platoon boat. It held about 10 to 14 people and there was a Ferry leaving every 30 minutes. My Ferry left at 1:30 p.m. and I knew that I would be picked up at 5:00 p.m. like all of the visitors to Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Evidently, there were several marinas in the area transporting visitors to Cape Lookout Lighthouse.
This 3 mile Ferry ride to Cape Lookout Lighthouse was an experience I will never forget. I sat in the back of the Ferry by the driver, and he was in a good mood that day. The waters were beyond description. The most beautiful I have ever seen. There were small islands everywhere along the way. The driver pointed to the place where they found wreckage of Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge. He then went into a discourse about Blackbeard. Oh, could he tell the tale! You'll have to read the "Blackbeard" section for that story. He seemed to know where all the good fishing was of each type of fish, and luckily when we passed the Island where the "Banks Horses" were he slowed down long enough for us to take a few pictures. However, he didn't slow down long enough for me! He mentioned that there were about 129 horses on the Island and that they try to maintain that quota. Then when we were insight of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse he slowed down so we could get some distant pictures as we approached the lighthouse. I was fascinated to see that in broad daylight that the Cape Lookout Lighthouse had its Beacon lit. This one Ferry ride I will never forget. It lives in my memory.
Cape Lookout Light Station Gallery, Part 1
Cape Lookout Light Station Gallery, Part 11
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