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NPS Offers Full Moon Tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for August

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Date: July 28, 2009
Contact: Laura Sturtz, 995-4474 x24

As As a very special experience for the visiting public and local communities, the National Park Service will be offering Full Moon Tours of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse the evening of Wednesday, August 5, 2009.

Two tours will be given—one at 8:00 p.m. and a second at 9:00 p.m.  Each tour is limited to 30 people. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the lighthouse ticket booth between 8:15 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. August 3 through August 5.  Full Moon Tour tickets are non-refundable.

As there are no lights inside the lighthouse stairwell, climbers will navigate the 257 steps using flashlights.  During the climb, park rangers will tell stories and share information about the lighthouse that reveal its importance as a navigational beacon, as a work of art, and as a reminder of our past.  At the top of the stairs, visitors will be able to view the working light up close and in motion.  Out on the balcony (weather permitting) climbers will get a glimpse of what the lighthouse keepers of old were able to experience—seeing that beam of light reaching out to sea and the startling reflection of the newly risen moon on the ocean.  It doesn’t get much better than this!

Things to know:

1.  Standard admission fees apply—$7 for adults, $3.50 for children (11 and under) and seniors (62 and older).  It is anticipated that tickets will sell out early.

2.  Each participant must bring a handheld flashlight with fresh batteries.  Drinking water is recommended.

3. All participants are required to be at least 42 inches tall and must climb the steps on their own—they cannot be carried.  Keep in mind that some youngsters, although meeting height requirements, may not enjoy the dimly lit, sometimes claustrophobic environment.

4. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

5. All participants must climb and descend with their tour group.

6. Know your limitations!  The lighthouse is tall, dark, and can be a challenge to climb.  During the summer it can be hot and humid inside.  There are no internal lights, water fountains, or air conditioners.

7. All routine lighthouse safety requirements, as well as restrictions as to eating, drinking, gum, etc., apply.  This information will be provided to you when you purchase your ticket.

8. Tickets are non-refundable.  If the program is cancelled due to weather, the ticket holder may exchange the ticket the following morning, August 6, between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. for a replacement ticket useable only on that day.  This ticket will be for day climbing only.

Did You Know?

This artist's rendering shows the U.S.S. Monitor foundering in a storm off of Cape Hatteras in December 1862.

The U.S.S. Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras during a storm in December 1862. The wreck's location was a mystery until 1973 when a research vessel found the ship 16 miles off the cape in 230 feet of water. In 1975, the Monitor was named the nation’s first National Marine Sanctuary.