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taking the ferry to portsmouth island

A Family Legacy of Journeys to Portsmouth Island

The Austin family has been taking visitor from Ocracoke to the deserted village on Portsmouth Island for over 40 years. As the brothers who have made the journey a part of their family heritage age, writer Lane DeGregory looks to the future in her article for Our State Magazine.

Donald Austin in the captain’s sea. Photo, Outer State Magazine,  Natalia Weedy

Donald Austin in the captain’s sea. Photo, Outer State Magazine, Natalia Weedy

 

“The ferryman sat on a stump in his soggy yard, shivering in the spring sunshine, watching his son haul life jackets from the garage.

Rudy Austin, 74, wondered when he’d be back on his boat. Tourist season was starting, and he wanted to return to taking visitors to Portsmouth Island. Like his family had done for more than a century.

But Captain Rudy needed to heal from heart surgery. For about two months, until he returned to the helm, the waterman was landlocked.”

 

Will the men who run ferry people to Portsmouth Island pass on their legacy? Read the Our State Magazine article to find out.

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