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The first time Ebenezer Harker stepped ashore on Craney
Island he must have found it thickly covered with shrubs
and trees right down to the waterís edge. The huge amount
of rainfall coupled with the summerís humidity and
heat would have produced a rich growth he must have
found challenging to explore. And he probably found the
surrounding waters challenging as well. North Carolinaís
sounds average merely a few feet in depth and navigating
from the Beaufort mainland wasnít a task for amateurs.
The present-day channel leading east from Beaufort to
the Island and Core Sound wasnít dredged until the mid
1920s. One hundred and seventy years after Ebenezer
stepped ashore the first time, two Mormon Missionaries
and their Island friend would spend an entire day trying
to navigate from Beaufort to the Island as was so engagingly recorded in one of their journals and embedded in our memories by my cousin Joel. God didnít seem to care
whether or not anyone came or went to Craney with ease.
After all, whether you run aground in your skiff up north
in Currituck Sound near the Virginia border or in Back
Sound in front of Craney, just anchor your skiff, jump
overboard, and wade the rest of the way! True, there are
some channels the Creator gave us but not many. We must
assume, then, that Ebenezer, his wife, sons, and daughters
must have thought carefully before loading their skiffs,
putting up the sails, and heading off to acquire some
of the better things in life available in nearby Beaufort
Harbor.
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CRANEY
Impressions