lighthouses of the obx 101
The first lighthouse on the Outer Banks was built in the 1790s, and even in the 21st century they are still aids to navigation that help ships safely past the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” This article from the Carolina Designs website gives a quick overview of their history and some great information about when and how these icons of the coast can be climbed.
“There is, perhaps, no more treacherous stretch of shoreline than the coast of the Outer Banks. Flanked by shifting shoals that extend as far as 14 miles off shore, the Atlantic Ocean along the northeastern North Carolina coast has rightfully been termed the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
There is no record of when the first European ship sank in these waters, but the most likely candidate would have been a Spanish galleon in the mid 1500s.
Although the dangers of the Outer Banks coast were well-known, the area was–and still is–the equivalent of a seagoing highway. In the days of sail power, prevailing winds allowed ships heading south to take advantage of winds and currents to speed their journey. Heading north, the land mass provided captains with sure visual references. “