Cedar Island - Ocracoke Toll Ferry

  The only access to Ocracoke is by small aircraft, private boat, or the ferrys. Three routes are normally open to and from Ocracoke- the Hatteras ferry, the Swan Quarter Ferry, and the Cedar Island ferry.

The Cedar Island - Ocracoke ferry crosses Pamlico Sound, which is approximately a two hour and fifteen minute trip. You can find this ferry's location on the Coastal Guide Map. The "Carteret" would be making the run on this trip. The above right photo shows the "Carteret" preparing to load at Cedar Island. This would turn out to be an interesting crossing.

It was a beautiful October afternoon. The water of the sound was like glass. With such fine weather and smooth ride on a long crossing, passengers were making a leisurely time of it. At least one person pulled a beach chair from the back of her car and relaxed with some reading. The sky was the most perfect shade of blue and the horizon was ringed with a few clouds. Chances looked good for a colorful sunset near the end of the crossing. On these long crossings the water and sky changes constantly. In spite of the relatively slow cruising speed, birds, boats and other chance encounters along the way can go by quickly if you are not on the lookout.

Not far into the crossing we came upon a fishing boat named "Cracker Boy" that was virtually swarming with birds. This was not the usual flock of gulls following a ferry, which anyone who has ridden a ferry before has already seen. It looked as if it had be set upon by a mass of giant mosquitoes.Such a sight is likely commonplace for the locals, but for many visitors it is a spectacle. Gulls, terns and pelicans were having a field day as the "Cracker Boy" hauled in its catch. A series of photos of the "Cracker Boy" can be found under Scenic Places.

About fifteen minutes before sunset, dolphins were spotted accompanying the ferry. Soon though, it seemed they had gone, but then they were spotted again. This time they were riding the bow wave. This was quite a treat for the passengers.
(click thumbnails for a larger view)

As if all that were not enough, the afternoon was topped off in spectacular fashion by a blazing sunset. (A series of photos of this sunset over the Pamlico can be found under Scenic Places.) As the sun slipped below the water of Pamlico Sound in the west, Ocracoke became recognizable in the east. Before long we were close enough to see Ocracoke's sound-side shoreline and Ocracoke Lighthouse reflected in the waters of the Pamlico, bathed in the pinks and purples of the evening sky. Soon the "Carteret" cruised through "the ditch" into Silver Lake and docked at the ferry landing next to the old Coast Guard Station.


Next Ferry Page > Swan Quarter - Ocracoke

Additional Ferrys:
NC Ferrys - Page One
Knotts Island-Currituck

NC Ferrys - Page Two

NC Ferrys - Page Three
Minnesott Beach-
Cherry Branch

NC Ferrys - Page Four
Cedar Island-Ocracoke

NC Ferrys - Page Five
Swan Quarter-Ocracoke

NC Ferrys - Page Six

NC Ferrys - Page Seven
NC Ferry Fleet Photos

Related Links -

NC DOT Ferry Division

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