Monday, April 4, 2011
Hello from Sandra Robbins this Monday morning.
Spring has come to the South, and it won't be long before the days will be so hot that everyone will be looking for ways to escape the sweltering heat. Vacation time will soon arrive, and I have to admit my mind is already returning to one of my favorite vacation spots, Ocracoke Island. This small barrier island off the coast of North Carolina cast a spell on me the first time I went there, and I haven't been able to shake the urge to return.
Of course the fact that the first of my three books set on the island will be released in July might have something to do with it is possible. Dangerous Reunion , the first in the series, focuses on Kate Michaels who is a deputy sheriff on the island. The second book will tell her brother's story, and the third one will be about her younger sister.
Although these books are romantic suspense, the island is rich in history. Blackbeard the Pirate lived there and died just offshore in a battle. A fort was built there in the Civil War, but it has long ago disappeared into the ocean. One of the most interesting stories to me is that of the British Cemetery that is located on the island.
During World War II German U Boats were a menace to ships off the eastern coast of the United States. The area was known as "Torpedo Alley" and from January through July 1942 the Germans sank 397 ships in the Atlantic. Since most of America's sea effort was located in the Pacific, Churchill sent a flotilla of ships to patrol the shipping lanes. One of them was the HMS Berfordshire. It was torpedoed and sank on May 11, 1942. Everyone on board died.
The bodies of four men washed ashore on Ocracoke Island, and the islanders buried them. The area where they are buried has been forever ceded to England, and it is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The cemetery is one of the most visited spots on the island. Each year in May representatives of the British Royal Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard hold a ceremony at the cemetery to honor the men buried there.
Beautiful beaches, shady lanes with artists' and craftsmen's shops tucked in the landscape, salt marshes, wild ponies, and a rich history are just a few of the things Ocracoke has to offer. You couldn't find a better place to spend your vacation.