FIRST FULL MOON TOUR OF THE CAPE HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE A SUCCESS
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111
For the first time ever, on July 11, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Cape Hatteras National Seashore was open in the evening for a special Full Moon Tour. Ticket holders were able enjoy guided tours of the Lighthouse at either 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm to watch the rising of the moon. “We were impressed by the fact that the sixty available tickets for these tours sold out in five hours,” stated Superintendent Mike Murray. “We hope to be able to continue to offer such special programs since there is obviously great interest.”
Climbers, which included locals and visitors alike, met the rangers at the bottom of the lighthouse prior to their scheduled tour. Here rangers imparted vital safety information. The groups were then split up into smaller groups of fifteen to climb the lighthouse. Rangers led these groups up the tower at an easy pace, stopping several times to share information on the duties of the lightkeepers, the workings of the light, and the history of the light station. Along the way, the climbers were aided by local schoolchildren, who volunteer for the park, stationed on every landing with flashlights.
After climbing the 257 stairs to the top, the visitors were rewarded with a unique view; the perspective of a nineteenth century lightkeeper keeping night watch. They enjoyed the rare opportunity to see the light sweeping out to sea and the beauty of the area by the light of the full moon before descending once again to the ground and returning to their twenty-first century lives.
Did You Know?
In the 1700s, Ocracoke Inlet was one of the busiest inlets in the East. It was one of the few navigable waterways for ships accessing inland ports such as Elizabeth City, Edenton or New Bern. It was here that Blackbeard the pirate found the inlet's heavy shipping traffic ripe for easy pickings.