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  • Writer's pictureKay

Graveyard of the Atlantic

Adagio took a side trip to North Carolina's Outer Banks, docking in Manteo on Roanoke Island for two nights. We had never been to "the Banks," so we called the Loopers' local harbor host who generously loaned us his Jeep Wrangler for a day of touring. With Jackson friend Mark Wiggs as our guide, we drove north to Kitty Hawk and south down Highway 12 to Cape Hatteras, the outermost tip of the Banks.

A series of narrow barrier islands spanning almost the entire coast of North Carolina, the Outer Banks are among the most dynamic land forms on earth. Sea level rise combined with sand, wind, and waves from the encroaching Atlantic Ocean to the east are moving the Banks slowly westward toward the mainland. As we neared Hatteras, it seemed that, if not for the shrub thickets and grasses clinging to the dunes, the shifting sands might soon reclaim the entire place.

Drifting Sands on Highway 12 Near Hatteras, Outer Banks

For centuries, the Banks have been feared by sailors for their treacherous shoals and storms, earning them the nickname, "Graveyard of the Atlantic." The remains of more than 2000 ships are strewn from Virginia to Beaufort Sound, despite the existence of five distinctively painted lighthouses along the Carolina coast. We visited Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse in North America. Built in 1870, the lighthouse was moved 2900 feet inland from its original location in 1999 to protect it from the coastal erosion that threatened its future. With this in mind, Adagio departed the Banks slowly and carefully on our way northward across Albemarle Sound to our next port, Elizabeth City, NC. For more photos, please visit the East Coast Gallery.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

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Apr 09, 2022

Love going virtually on your journey - such wonderful sights and experiences.

Apr 09, 2022
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We love having you aboard!

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