If you're going to be at or near Cape Hatteras National Seashore on August 5, there's an unusual interpretive program you might want to take part in.
For the second time this summer the seashore is offering full moon tours of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The first tour was back in June. As was the case then, this time only two tours will be given—one at 8:00 p.m. and a second at 9:00 p.m. Each tour is limited to 30 people. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the lighthouse ticket booth between 8:15 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. August 3 through August 5. Full Moon Tour tickets are non-refundable.
As there are no lights inside the lighthouse stairwell, climbers will navigate the 257 steps using flashlights. During the climb, park rangers will tell stories and share information about the lighthouse that reveal its importance as a navigational beacon, as a work of art, and as a reminder of our past.
At the top of the stairs, visitors will be able to view the working light up close and in motion. Out on the balcony (weather permitting) climbers will get a glimpse of what the lighthouse keepers of old were able to experience—seeing that beam of light reaching out to sea and the startling reflection of the newly risen moon on the ocean. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Things to know:
1. Standard admission fees apply—$7 for adults, $3.50 for children (11 and under) and seniors (62 and older). It is anticipated that tickets will sell out early.
2. Each participant must bring a hand-held flashlight with fresh batteries. Drinking water is recommended.
3. All participants are required to be at least 42 inches tall and must climb the steps on their own—they cannot be carried. Keep in mind that some youngsters, although meeting height requirements, might not enjoy the dimly lit, sometimes claustrophobic, environment.
4. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
5. All participants must climb and descend with their tour group.
6. Know your limitations! The lighthouse is tall, dark, and can be a challenge to climb. During the summer it can be hot and humid inside. There are no internal lights, water fountains, or air conditioners.
7. All routine lighthouse safety requirements, as well as restrictions as to eating, drinking, gum, etc., apply. This information will be provided to you when you purchase your ticket.
8. Tickets are non-refundable. If the program is canceled due to weather, the ticket holder may exchange the ticket the following morning, June 8, between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. for a replacement ticket usable only on that day. This ticket will be for day climbing only.