North Carolina's Barrier Islands: Wonders of Sand, Sea, and Sky

UNC Press Books
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In this stunning book, nature photographer and ecologist David Blevins offers an inspiring visual journey to North Carolina's barrier islands as you have never seen them before. These islands are unique and ever-changing places with epic origins, surprising plants and animals, and an uncertain future. From snow geese midflight to breathtaking vistas along otherworldly dunes, Blevins has captured the incredible natural diversity of North Carolina's coast in singular detail. His photographs and words reveal the natural character of these islands, the forces that shape them, and the sense of wonder they inspire.

Featuring over 150 full-color images from Currituck Banks, the Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores, and the islands of the southern coast, North Carolina's Barrier Islands is not only a collection of beautiful images of landscapes, plants, and animals but also an appeal for their conservation.

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About the author

David Blevins is a nature photographer and forest ecologist.

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Additional Information

UNC Press Books
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Published on
Feb 8, 2017
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Nature / Ecosystems & Habitats / Oceans & Seas
Science / Environmental Science
Travel / United States / South / South Atlantic (DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV)
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The true story of an incredible disaster and heroic rescue at sea told by two masterful storytellers.

In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal nor'easter in years. As the weather wreaked havoc on land, the freezing Atlantic became a wind-whipped zone of peril.

In the early hours of Monday, February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, found themselves in the same horrifying predicament. Built with "dirty steel," and not prepared to withstand such ferocious seas, both tankers split in two, leaving the dozens of men on board utterly at the Atlantic's mercy.

The Finest Hours is the gripping, true story of the valiant attempt to rescue the souls huddling inside the broken halves of the two ships. Coast Guard cutters raced to the aid of those on the Fort Mercer, and when it became apparent that the halves of the Pendleton were in danger of capsizing, the Guard sent out two thirty-six-foot lifeboats as well. These wooden boats, manned by only four seamen, were dwarfed by the enormous seventy-foot seas. As the tiny rescue vessels set out from the coast of Cape Cod, the men aboard were all fully aware that they were embarking on what could easily become a suicide mission.

The spellbinding tale is overflowing with breathtaking scenes that sear themselves into the mind's eye, as boats capsize, bows and sterns crash into one another, and men hurl themselves into the raging sea in their terrifying battle for survival.

Not all of the eighty-four men caught at sea in the midst of that brutal storm survived, but considering the odds, it's a miracle—and a testament to their bravery—that any came home to tell their tales at all.

Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman have seamlessly woven together their extensive research and firsthand interviews to create an unforgettable tale of heroism, triumph, and tragedy, one that truly tells of the Coast Guard's finest hours.
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