Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Ocracoke Island

Posted September 14, 2009

How many of you have been to Ocracoke? If so, what are your memories? What are your perceptions of this special place along the Outer Banks.

I recently spent a long weekend at Ocracoke and renewed my love affair with the island and village of the same name. This week I will have a series of stories on the remote and isolated jewel on the western edge of Pamlico Sound.

It’s a good thing I took my camera. The sunsets and sunrises at Ocracoke can be spectacular. Several years ago I wrote a song called “Ocracoke” and put it on my “Peaceful Journey” album. WRAL’s Anne Johnson put together a slideshow featuring that song and the pictures I took during my recent vacation to the island.

While walking along Silver Lake I ran into an old friend, Alton Balance, whose ancestors helped settle Ocracoke more than 200 years ago. Tomorrow on our Carolina Conversations blog I will post my interview with Alton. I think you will enjoy his unique perspective.

Let me hear your thoughts about Ocracoke.


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  • gennie2 Sep 16, 2009

    I have been going to Ocracoke for over 40 years. My husband & I were married there, at Alton's B&B 20 years ago. We love the Island so much that we have recently purchased a second home there. We love this Island!!!!!
    Gennie Bose
    Chapel Hill

  • tagirl Sep 15, 2009

    My family and I have been visiting this island every summer for almost 10 years now. We all get together and rent a house for entire week. It is the only time we all vacation together in one place. I also bring my dogs and board at Sandy Paws. This way the entire family, including members with four legs, get to enjoy the beauty of this island. It is my husbands and my dream to one day be able to retire to this island and live out our last days by the ocean. Already looking forward to next year, we book the house around January and that is just around the corner!

  • tim14 Sep 15, 2009

    Like CarrieB, my wife and I love "Ocracokie" so much we got married on the dock of the Ocracoke Harbor Inn by the very colorful Mr. John Fletcher. We go every year, just got back Sunday! Great pics and music Bill!

  • BurninStick Sep 14, 2009

    My young wife and I first went to OI shortly after we married about 30 years ago. We loaded up our lime-colored VW Camp-Mo-Hippie-Mobile with our Labradors Holly & Bullitt, surf rods, viennas, potted meat, a cooler with some real food in it and a Coleman stove, and headed out for the federal campground. Back then the skeeters at the campground were big enough to stand flat-footed and spit in your eye. Nowadays they're a bit larger. We've been returning to the Island 3-4 times a year ever since, many times with our kids who grew up netting prizes in the Sound and digging up sand fleas in the surf. And the 15-cent shrimp at the old Pelican bar where the 70.5 sanitation grade was displayed as a badge of honor, where Island dawgs wandered through at will, and where my pal Ben the barkeep parked his Harley inside, just to the right side oe the dartboard...dang that was some fine eating. Like Dorothy says in the Wizard of Oz, Bill, there's NO place like Ocracoke.

  • marywag Sep 14, 2009

    Bill, your video and music are lovely, your photography is getting better and better!! Enjoyed our tour of beautiful Ocracoke... we have not been in a long time!! maybe we can go this fall! Thank you.

  • jcsmom Sep 14, 2009

    Ocracoke is one my favorite places (and that says a lot coming from a mountain girl). I've only been once, but it was amazing. My husband and I went 3 years ago and we stayed at the Captains Landing and rode bikes all over the island. We had a beautiful view of the bay and could watch the boats come and go. Our favorite restaurant was Cafe Atlantic. We ate there twice it was so good!

  • lighthouselover Sep 14, 2009

    Bill, those pictures were amazing set to beautiful music. I fell in love with ocracoke 4 yrs ago when my fiance planned a surprise trip for me. Neither of us had ever been. We fell in love, both with each other and the Island. We will be married on the beach in October of this year. Ocracoke is truely an amazing place.

  • Glomae Sep 14, 2009

    What a beautiful slide show! I have many fond memories of Ocracoke as my grandmother's sister married an island native. Trips to the island centered around visits to my aunt and uncle and were always a treat. My uncle's mother never left the island so Ocracoke was her life. My father used to tell me stories of visiting the island with my grandmother when they would have to ride the mailboat as there was not a ferry. Ocracoke is a special place with special people!

  • Big Guy Sep 14, 2009

    Bill...what beautiful photography.. What lens did you use on some of these shots. I am advancing as an advanced amateur and look at other folks work as learning experiences.

  • ziradog Sep 14, 2009

    Ocracoke is special to me for many reasons. One of my first "big" sailing trips was to there (when you are a novice sailor in a small boat, 40+ miles across the Pamlico Sound is a "big" trip). I love the old Community Store & Library from those days. There are so many good resteraunts. My family went 2 summers ago and the kids still talk about the crab that bit my wife & then me, the horse shoe crabs, the BIG hermit crabs, the wonderful beaches, catching fish in Silver Lake harbor, and yes Howard's Pub. Surprisingly, the British sailor's graves had a big impact too. For the first time the concept of war, here, was real to them.

    We are going back for a week in October, and my wife is spending another 5 days there improving her teaching skills through something called NCAT, which takes place in the old Coast Guard station.




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Bill Leslie