Friday, October 28, 2016

Cape Fear and the Oak Island Lighthouse

Fisherman on Kure Beach with pelicans waiting for the catch
Kure Beach North Carolina is a small paradise that we might never of found if it weren’t for the military campground at Fort Fisher. We chose the area as a convenient stop on our way to Charleston, not realizing that we would be surrounded by water and that the beach was a short walk from our campsite.
Kure Beach is a lovely expanse of white sand and exposed rock surfaces that provide a beautiful place to spend an afternoon and breath in the peace inducing salt air. We were happy to share it with a few intrepid swimmers, flocks of pelicans and morning surf casters.
It was a pleasure to be able to take our walks in the wet sand between the rolling surf and rainbow painted condos.
Morning and evening walks along the water were a pleasure
Kure beach is a peninsula sandwiched between the Atlantic and the Cape Fear river.  Fort Fisher a Confederate stronghold during the Civil War was here. The forts remains are part of the Fort Fisher State Historic Site that include a museum and an undersea archeology program.

Oak Island Lighthouse

The Fort Fisher ferry took us over to Southport one afternoon and we drove through to Oak Island to visit another North Carolina Lighthouse. The Oak Island lighthouse is located on Caswell beach. It was a lovely drive through a residential neighborhood with lots of beach access points. We easily found the 153 foot tower. Oak Island Lighthouse was built in 1957. The poured concrete tower is a uniform 16 feet 4 ¾ inches in diameter with 8 inch thick walls. We found it interesting that the daymark colors of gray, black and white were permanently cast into the cement as it was poured. It is possible to climb the tower but reservations to do so must be made 2 weeks in advance. Unlike the circular staircase of a traditional lighthouse tower you reach the top of this column via a series of metal ship style metal ladders. 131 steps to the top with a landing every 17 steps. We did not have reservations so saved the climb for another day.

Bald Island Lighthouse

We used the beach access across the street  to get a good view of Bald Island and Old Baldy, the island’s lighthouse. The Bald Island light once provided navigational aid to those ships passing the aptly named Cape Fear. This place where the Cape Fear River joins the Atlantic Ocean is marred by Flying Pan Shoals a 28 mile shifting sandbar that made entering the river a hazardous endeavor.

The beach was deserted except for 2 far away fishermen so we gave Rascal a bit of off leash time that made him a very happy boy.

1 comment:

  1. Wow...even though that lighthouse is utilitarian, it's interesting in the way it was constructed. Thanks for posting this, Bonnie!