Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bear Island - North Carolina

We recently visited Hammocks Beach State Park and took a ferry out to Bear Island.  The ferry service runs from the Hammocks Beach State Park headquarters on the mainland to Bear Island via Cow Channel. While the ride, which some 200,000 people a year take, is only 15 minutes long, it is narrow and winding.  It offers a great spot to launch kayaks so we will be returning with our kayaks once the weather is cooler and no hurricanes are in sight. 

Due to its location, Bear Island and nearby Huggins Island have often played a role in the protection of the mainland. During the Civil War, Confederate troops on Bear Island defended it against Union forces.  

We also had the rare opportunity to view loggerhead turtles making their way to the surf.  This was truly a rare event to witness such a sight.  Our photos were requested to be provided to the state of North Carolina for education programs.  We obliged.  

FYI...Loggerhead turtles are the most abundant of all the marine turtle species in U.S. waters. But persistent population declines due to pollution, shrimp trawling, and development in their nesting areas, among other factors, have kept this wide-ranging seagoer on the threatened species list since 1978.  Mature females will often return, sometimes over thousands of miles, to the beach where they hatched to lay their eggs.  

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