One of my favorite things about the Outer Banks, what sets it apart from all the other Atlantic and Gulf coast beaches I have visited, are all the shipwrecks. Apparently opposing forces like to meet just off shore here playing havoc with mariners.  The icy water of the Labrador Current from the north crashes into the tropic water of the Gulf Stream from the south at Cape Point on Hatteras Island (about 8 miles from where I’m sitting right now), creating strong offshore winds and the shifting sand bars of Diamond Shoals, a sailor’s navigation nightmare. The North Carolina coast became known as The Graveyard of the Atlantic. Hundreds of shipwrecks have been mapped along the Outer Banks.

And the really cool thing is, you don’t even have to scuba dive to go see one. Sometimes the wrecks have washed ashore and several of these are documented by shipwreck enthusiasts. Though even one storm can change things significantly, revealing a wreck or burying a it completely, so hunting for a shipwreck on shore is an iffy enterprise.

This is a photo I took last year of a wreck known as the Flambeau Road wreck in Hatteras village. It isn’t known what ship it was, but estimates based on construction identify it as a turn-of-the-nineteenth-century cargo schooner. I was thrilled to find it. Since this seems to be a pretty reliable wreck and easy to get to, I went back to visit this year.

And this is what I found. I was so excited I circled it for an a long time snapping photos as the sun went down, a storm approached, and the tide began to creep in.

This is me (or my feet), standing on the deck of a shipwreck (or more likely, the inside of the hull, but that didn’t rhyme or have the same visual effect).

Once I decided I could stand on the wreck without hurting it (is that silly?), I got excited all over again and climbed all over it like a hundred-year-old, salt-soaked jungle gym trying to find artsy angles.

Finally, the light was getting dim and I was thoroughly chilled, so I decided to leave my lovely wreck to the tide.

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  1. Cool Photos – thanks for sharing! Have a Great Day!

  2. Finding this would be like a dream come true for me. One day….

    Thank you for sharing it!

  3. I love your photos of the outer banks. Absolutely gorgeous! You’ve convinced me I have to go there some day.

  4. That is so cool! I guess there really are beaches worth visiting that aren’t on the Gulf Coast!

  5. Wow, what a scene…. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to visit this area, and I had no idea these wrecks existed (in such a manner, on the beaches). Thanks so much for sharing these amazing images…

    • You should definitely go! There are other wrecks visible on and near shore but not often so much of one is exposed. I got lucky. Thanks for visiting!

  6. We’re going in a few weeks. I’ll have to check this out. If my son saw this, he would flip! Last year he found a metal bar in the ocean and still swears it’s a pirate’s peg leg. 😉

  7. Lovely shots. I feel like I’ve been transported back in time.

  8. wonderful pics. it must be fun standing there, by the wreck with all those waves and the sun setting, huh? hello, Tori… thanks for coming by. it’s already summer over here. hope you and loved ones are well, regards… 🙂


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