United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U. S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches, it has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force. The U. S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.
The U. S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers, it played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The US Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world; the 21st century U. S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, it is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U. S. foreign and military policy. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy; the Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The mission of the Navy is to maintain and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. The U. S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the military of the United States; the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; the development of aircraft, tactics, technique and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U. S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U. S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U. S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties, it follows as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, with it, everything honorable and glorious.
Naval power... is the natural defense of the United States The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own Massachusetts Naval Militia; the rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the Second Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS Hannah to interdict British merchant ships and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships. S. Navy; the Continental Navy achieved mixed results.
In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, Congress had sold Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy. In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775; the United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U. S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U. S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U. S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U. S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS conducted operations against the pirates, their depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794; the Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.
Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period, John Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared Quasi-War with France. From 18
Funafuti is an atoll and the capital of the island nation of Tuvalu. It has a population of 6,025 people, making it the country's most populated atoll, with 56.6 percent of Tuvalu's population. It is a narrow sweep of land between 20 and 400 metres wide, encircling a large lagoon 18 km long and 14 km wide; the average depth in the Funafuti lagoon is about 20 fathoms. With a surface of 275 square kilometres, it is by far the largest lagoon in Tuvalu; the land area of the 33 islets aggregates to 2.4 square kilometres, less than one percent of the total area of the atoll. Cargo ships can enter Funafuti's dock at the port facilities on Fongafale; the capital of Tuvalu is sometimes given as Fongafale or Vaiaku, the entire atoll of Funafuti is the capital since it comprises a single local government. The largest island is Fongafale; the island houses community meeting places. The Funafuti Falekaupule is the local council, with the Kaupule as the executive of the Falekaupule. On Fongafale, the Funafuti Kaupule is responsible for approvals of the construction of houses or extension to an existing buildings on private land and the Lands Management Committee is the responsible authority in relation to lands leased by Government.
Tausoa Lima Falekaupule is the traditional meeting house on Funafuti – Tausoalima means "hand of friendship" and Falekaupule means "traditional island meeting hall." There is the Vaiaku Langi Hotel, other guesthouses as well as homes, constructed both in the traditional manner, out of palm fronds, more out of cement blocks. The most prominent building on Funafuti atoll is the Fetu Ao Lima of the Church of Tuvalu. Other sites of interest are the remains of Japanese aircraft that crashed on Funafuti during World War II; the airfield was constructed during World War II and is now the Funafuti International Airport, which serves both as the airstrip for the flights from Fiji as well as providing a place for sporting and other recreational activities. A major sporting event is the "Independence Day Sports Festival" held annually at Fongafale on 1 October; the most important sports event within the country is arguably the Tuvalu Games, which are held yearly since 2008 with teams coming to Funafuti from the outer islands to compete in the games.
Football in Tuvalu is played at club and national team level. The Tuvalu national football team trains at the Tuvalu Sports Ground on Funafuti and competes in the Pacific Games and South Pacific Games; the Parliament of Tuvalu or Palamene o Tuvalu is located on Fongafale together with the offices of the government departments and the government agencies including the Tuvalu Telecommunications Corporation, National Bank of Tuvalu, Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau, Tuvalu Meteorological Service, Tuvalu National Library and Archives and the Tuvalu Media Department that operates Radio Tuvalu. The police service has its headquarters on Fongafale; the High Court of Tuvalu is located on Fongafale, as well as the jail. The Princess Margaret Hospital, the only hospital in Tuvalu, is located on Fongafale; the individual villages of the atoll with population, according to the census of population 2012, by islet: Fakaifou: 1,158 inhabitants Senala: 1,207 inhabitants Alapi: 1,029 inhabitants Vaiaku: 638 inhabitants Including the Tengako peninsula in the north: Lofeagai: 627 inhabitants Teone: 570 inhabitants Tekavatoetoe: 650 inhabitants Funafala: 50 inhabitants Amatuku: 182 inhabitants In June 1996, the Funafuti Conservation Area was established along the western rim of the reef, encompassing six islets.
It has an area of 33 km², containing 20 percent of the reef area of Funafuti. The land area of the six islets in the conservation area is 8 ha; the islets in the conservation area, from north to south, with an estimated area in hectares: Tepuka Vilivili, 3 Fualopa, 2 Fuafatu, 0.2 Vasafua, 0.5 Fuakea, 1.5 Tefala, 1Access to the Funafuti Conservation Area is by boat. There are at least 29 islets in the atoll; the biggest is Fongafale, followed by Funafala. At least three islands are inhabited, which are Fongafale, the main island in the east, Funafala in the south, Amatuku in the north; the atoll has several passages with varying degrees of navigability. The passes are listed starting south of Fongafale islet; the first two separate the southern part of Funafuti Atoll from the rest. Te Ava Pua Pua, with the least depth of 12.7 metres, between the islets of Funamanu to the north and Fale Fatu to the south, in the southeast, separating the southern part of the atoll in the east Te Ava Fuagea known as Ava Amelia, is a deep and narrow passage on the southwestern side of the atoll, 18.3 metres deep and 160 metres wide, separating the southern part of the atoll in the west, south of passage Te Ava Papa and the still more northerly islet of Fuafatu, north of the islet of Vasafua Te Ava Papa Te Ava Kum Kum is in the middle of the western rim, south of Te Ava Tepuka Vili, between the islets of Tepuka Vili Vili to the north and Fualopa south Te Ava Tepuka Vili, a deep and narrow channel, between the islets of Tepuka to the north, Tepuka Vili Vili to the south Te Ava Tepuka and Te Avua Sari are two neighbouring passes in the northeast, between the islets of Te Afualiku to the northeast and Tepuka to the southwest Te Ava i te Lape is the favoured entrance into the lagoon, although it has a depth of only 5.8 metres and a width of 500 metres.
It is in the north, between the islets of Pava to the east and Te Afualiku to the west. The lagoon (Te Namo in Tu
USS South Dakota (BB-57)
USS South Dakota was a battleship in the United States Navy, in active service from 1942 until 1947. The lead ship of her class, South Dakota was the third ship of the US Navy to be named in honor of the 40th state; the four ships of the class are considered to be the most efficient battleships designed under the limitations of the Washington Naval Treaty. During World War II, the battleship first served a tour in the Pacific theater, where it fought in two battles in 1942 that earned the ship and its crew a Navy Unit Commendation before returning to New York in December 1942 for an overhaul and battle repairs. In May 1943, South Dakota joined British Home Fleet patrols in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans before sailing again to the Pacific in August 1943. There, South Dakota participated in combat operations preparatory to the invasion of Japan until returning to the United States in October 1945. Calvin Graham, believed to be the youngest US serviceman to enlist and fight in World War II, enlisting at the age of twelve, served aboard South Dakota in 1942 and 1943 as a loader for a 40 mm anti-aircraft gun, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal.
Her keel was laid down on 5 July 1939, at Camden, New Jersey, by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. She was launched on 7 June 1941, sponsored by Mrs. Harlan J. Bushfield, wife of the Governor of South Dakota. To allow more accommodation below decks for the extra personnel required for her design use as a task force flagship, South Dakota was constructed with eight twin 5"/38 gun mounts instead of the ten mounts carried by her sister ships. To compensate for the reduction in 5" fire power, she received additional light anti-aircraft guns. South Dakota fitted out at Philadelphia as a force flagship, held shakedown training from 3 June through 26 July 1942; the battleship sailed for the Panama Canal on 16 August. South Dakota served two tours in the Pacific Theater, with one tour with the British Home Fleet in between. South Dakota transited the Panama Canal on 21 August 1942, headed for the Tonga Islands, arriving at Nukuʻalofa, Tonga on 4 September. On 12 September, the battleship set sail for the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard to receive repairs.
On 12 October 1942, South Dakota was ready for sea service, began training with Task Force 16, built around the aircraft carrier Enterprise. On 16 October, the task force left Pearl Harbor to join Task Force 17, centered on the aircraft carrier Hornet, northeast of Espiritu Santo; the combined force, operating as Task Force 61 under Rear Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, was ordered to make a sweep of the Santa Cruz Islands and move southwest to block any Japanese naval forces that may be approaching to recapture Guadalcanal. US Navy PBY Catalina patrol bombers sighted a Japanese carrier force at noon on 25 October, TF 16 steamed northwest to intercept it. Early the next morning, when all carrier forces were within striking range, a Japanese scout plane spotted the American naval force, triggering the Battle of Santa Cruz. South Dakota and the Enterprise group were 10 mi from Hornet group when the battle began; the first Japanese air attack was concentrated against Hornet. South Dakota operated near Enterprise to provide it protective fire against enemy aircraft.
At 1045, TF 16 was attacked by a group of Japanese dive bombers. An hour the task force was attacked again, this time by some 40 Japanese torpedo bombers. A third Japanese aerial assault was made by both dive bombers and torpedo bombers, coming in at 1230. South Dakota suffered; when combat action was broken off that evening, the American naval forces retired toward Nouméa, New Caledonia. South Dakota was credited with downing 26 Japanese planes, firing 890 rounds of 5 inch, 4,000 rounds of 40mm, 3,000 rounds of 1.1 inch and 52,000 rounds of 20mm ammunition during the action. Captain Gatch made the following assessment of the relative effectiveness of each weapon type in bringing down enemy aircraft during the action: 5 inch: 5%, 40mm and 1.1 inch: 30% and 20mm: 65%. While attempting to avoid a submarine contact on the return trip to Nouméa, South Dakota collided with the destroyer Mahan on 30 October. Both South Dakota and Mahan suffered significant damage, with Mahan's bow deflected to port and crumpled back to Frame 14.
A fire was soon brought under control. Both warships continued to Nouméa, where the repair ship Vestal repaired South Dakota's collision and battle damage. For her participation in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, South Dakota received the Navy Unit Commendation. On 11 November, TF 16 sortied from Nouméa for Guadalcanal. Two days South Dakota joined the battleship Washington and destroyers Preston, Walke and Gwin to form Task Force 64 under command of Rear Admiral Willis A. Lee. By the next evening, TF 64 was operating 50 mi southwest of Guadalcanal when Admiral Lee learned that a Japanese naval force was coming through the passage off Savo Island; this was Admiral Nobutake Kondō's bombardment group consisting of the battleship Kirishima, the heavy cruisers Takao and Atago, a destroyer screen. On 14 November, Admiral Kondo's forces were divided into three sections: the bombardment group, a close screen of the cruiser Nagara and six destroyers, in the van a distant screen composed of the cruiser Sendai and three destroyers.
A quarter moon assured good visibility. At a range of 18,100 y
Laying the keel or laying down is the formal recognition of the start of a ship's construction. It is marked with a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the shipbuilding company and the ultimate owners of the ship. Keel laying is one of the four specially celebrated events in the life of a ship. In earlier times, the event recognized as the keel laying was the initial placement of the central timber making up the backbone of a vessel, called the keel; as steel ships replaced wooden ones, the central timber gave way to a central steel beam. Modern ships are now built in a series of pre-fabricated, complete hull sections rather than being built around a single keel; the event recognized as the keel laying is the first joining of modular components, or the lowering of the first module into place in the building dock. It is now called "keel authentication", is the ceremonial beginning of the ship's life, although some modules may have been started months before that stage of construction. Keel-related traditions from the times of wooden ships are said to bring luck to the ship during construction and to the captain and crew during her life.
They include placing a newly minted coin under the keel and constructing the ship over it, having the youngest apprentice place the coin, when the ship is finished, presenting the owners with the oak block on which the keel is laid. The tradition of the placement of coins derives from the mast stepping custom of placing coins under the mast and is believed to date back to Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome and were intended to "pay the ferryman" to convey the souls of the dead across the River Styx should the ship sink; the first milestone in the history of a ship is the simple ceremony that marks the laying of the keel. Invitations to the ceremony are issued by shipyard officials, the ceremony is conducted by them; the builder may be the president of a private company. The ship's prospective name, without the "USS", is mentioned in the invitation.
Kearny, New Jersey
Kearny is a town in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States and a suburb of Newark. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 40,684, reflecting an increase of 171 from the 40,513 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5,639 from the 34,874 counted in the 1990 Census. Kearny is named after Civil War general Philip Kearny, it began as a township formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 8, 1867, from portions of Harrison Township. Portions of the township were taken on July 1895, to form East Newark. Kearny was incorporated as a town on January 19, 1899, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier; the Arlington section of town was named for Arlington Station on the Erie Railroad at the Arlington Mill plant, owned by Arlington Mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts. The area of Kearny Township, created in 1867, had been part of the original Crown Grant of 30,000 acres obtained by Major William Sandford of Barbados on July 4, 1668.
Major Sandford named it New Barbadoes Neck after his old home. As was the custom of the time, the Major paid 20 pounds sterling to Chief Tantaqua of the Hackensack tribe for all their reserve rights and titles. Sanford's friend Major Nathaniel Kingsland acquired the property in 1708 and sold the upper western tract of the Grant for 300 pounds sterling to Captain Arent Schuyler two years later; the new purchase included present-day Kearny, North Arlington and Kingsland. Shortly after Schuyler's purchase of his new homestead, a peculiar green stone was uncovered, it was sent to England for analysis and he learned that it contained 80% copper. His opening of a copper mine brought the first steam engine to America from England; the engine was secretly delivered by Josiah Hornblower. The engine and mines remained idle for some years. Schuyler Mansion played a role during the American Revolutionary War Era; when Lord Howe of England took possession of New York Harbor, the proximity of Schuyler Mansion drew many of his officers.
They traveled over a road that today is referred to as the Belleville Turnpike, constructed in 1759 using cedar logs from the nearby swamps. During September 1777, General Henry Clinton, head of the British Expeditionary Forces in America, selected Schuyler Mansion for his headquarters during one of his more important raiding operations which included the famed Battle of Second River; the Mansion stood until 1924, a period of 214 years, when it was torn down by a land development company, despite the company's offers to transfer the land an organization that would be able to pay to maintain the property. In the middle 19th century, Kearny was the northern, section of the Township of Harrison. A prominent citizen and resident of the upper section, General N. M. Halsted, felt it was impossible under these political conditions for his section to obtain proper recognition, he engaged an energetic campaign for an independent township. He succeeded when the NJ Legislature of 1867 on March 14, adopted "an act creating the Township of Kearny".
The town was named to honor Major General Phil Kearny, Commander of the New Jersey Forces in the Civil War and the owner of the mansion known as Belle Grove, locally called "Kearny Castle". On April 8, 1867, the first election of town officers was held. General N. M. Halsted was elected Chairman; the first official seat of Government was three rooms in the old Lodi Hotel, on the northeast corner of Schuyler and Harrison Avenues. In the early 1870s, Kearny erected its first Town Hall, on the corner of Kearny and Woodland Avenues, the present site of the Knox Presbyterian Church Parish Hall; this served as a Town Hall, Court House, Schoolhouse. The Minute Book of the Township states on August 16, 1870, the first step toward establishing Kearny's present public school system was taken; the first schoolhouse was housed in the Town Hall built at Kearny and Woodland Avenues in 1873. The Highland Hose No. 4 firehouse, now on the National Register of Historic Places list was built in 1895. The town's nickname, "Soccer Town, U.
S. A." is derived from a soccer tradition that originated in the mid-1870s, when thousands of Scottish and Irish immigrants settled in the town, after two Scottish companies, Clark Thread Company and Nairn Linoleum, opened two local mills and a factory. When the town's growth demanded larger quarters, the present Kearny Town Hall, built of Indiana limestone, was erected in 1909; the early influx and development of industry in Kearny dates back to 1875 when the Clark Thread Company of Paisley in Scotland extended its activities to the United States by erecting two large mills in Kearny, adding two others in 1890. These mills brought to Kearny thousands of Scots immigrants. Many of them would play on Kearny's soccer teams in National Association Football League. Many are buried at Arlington Memorial Park in the Kearny Uplands. In 1876, the Mile End Thread Mills started operating, giving employment to several hundred operators. In 1883, the Marshall Flax Spinning Company of England erected a large plant in Kearny, known as the Linen Thread Company.
Their need for experienced flax spinners brought an influx of workers from other sections of the British Isles. Families of those early textile workers were the nucleus of Kearny's present population; the Puraline Manufacturing Company called the Arlington Company, which became a subsidiary of E. I. DuPont de Nemours Company, had purchased a large tract of land east of the Arlington Station on the Erie Railroad extending well out, north of the railroad embankment, into the meadowland. In 1887, Sir Michael Nairn established the Nairn Linoleum Company of Kirkcaldy in Scotland, now the
A torpedo tube is a cylinder shaped device for launching torpedoes. There are two main types of torpedo tube: underwater tubes fitted to submarines and some surface ships, deck-mounted units installed aboard surface vessels. Deck-mounted torpedo launchers are designed for a specific type of torpedo, while submarine torpedo tubes are general-purpose launchers, are also capable of deploying mines and cruise missiles. Most modern launchers are standardised on a 12.75-inch diameter for light torpedoes or a 21-inch diameter for heavy torpedoes, although other sizes of torpedo tube have been used: see Torpedo classes and diameters. A submarine torpedo tube is a more complex mechanism than a torpedo tube on a surface ship, because the tube has to accomplish the function of moving the torpedo from the normal atmospheric pressure within the submarine into the sea at the ambient pressure of the water around the submarine, thus a submarine torpedo tube operates on the principle of an airlock. The diagram on the right illustrates the operation of a submarine torpedo tube.
The diagram does show the working of a submarine torpedo launch. A torpedo tube has a considerable number of interlocks for safety reasons. For example, an interlock prevents the breech muzzle door from opening at the same time; the submarine torpedo launch sequence is, in simplified form: Open the breech door in the torpedo room. Load the torpedo into the tube. Hook up the wire-guide connection and the torpedo power cable. Shut and lock the breech door. Turn on power to the torpedo. A minimum amount of time is required for torpedo warmup. Fire control programs are uploaded to the torpedo. Flood the torpedo tube; this may be done manually or automatically, from sea or from tanks, depending on the class of submarine. The tube must be vented during this process to allow for complete filling and eliminate air pockets which could escape to the surface or cause damage when firing. Open the equalizing valve to equalize pressure in the tube with ambient sea pressure. Open the muzzle door. If the tube is set up for Impulse Mode the slide valve will open with the muzzle door.
If Swim Out Mode is selected, the slide valve remains closed. The slide valve allows water from the ejection pump to enter the tube; when the launch command is given and all interlocks are satisfied, the water ram operates, thrusting a large volume of water into the tube at high pressure, which ejects the torpedo from the tube with considerable force. Modern torpedoes have a safety mechanism that prevents activation of the torpedo unless the torpedo senses the required amount of G-force; the power cable is severed at launch. However, if a guidance wire is used, it remains connected through a drum of wire in the tube. Torpedo propulsion systems vary but electric torpedoes swim out of the tube on their own and are of a smaller diameter. 21" weapons with fuel-burning engines start outside the tube. Once outside the tube the torpedo begins its run toward the target as programmed by the fire control system. Attack functions are programmed but with wire guided weapons, certain functions can be controlled from the ship.
For wire-guided torpedoes, the muzzle door must remain open because the guidance wire is still connected to the inside of the breech door to receive commands from the submarine's fire-control system. A wire cutter on the inside of the breech door is activated to release the wire and its protective cable; these are drawn clear of the ship prior to shutting the muzzle door. The drain cycle is a reverse of the flood cycle. Water can be moved as necessary; the tube must be vented to drain the tube since it is by gravity. Open the breech door and remove the remnants of the torpedo power cable and the guidance wire basket; the tube must be wiped dry to prevent a buildup of slime. This process is called "diving the tube" and tradition dictates that "ye who shoots, dives". Shut and lock the breech door. Spare torpedoes are stored behind the tube in racks. Speed is a desirable feature of a torpedo loading system. There are various manual and hydraulic handling systems for loading torpedoes into the tubes. Prior to the Ohio class, US SSBNs utilized manual block and tackle which took about 15 minutes to load a tube.
SSNs prior to the Seawolf class used a hydraulic system, much faster and safer in conditions where the ship needed to maneuver. The German Type 212 submarine uses a new development of the water ram expulsion system, which ejects the torpedo with water pressure to avoid acoustic detection. List of torpedoes by diameter The Fleet Type Submarine Online 21-Inch Submerged Torpedo Tubes United States Navy Restricted Ordnance Pamphlet 1085, June 1944 Torpedo tubes of German U-Boats
Cape Hatteras is a thin, broken strand of islands in North Carolina that arch out into the Atlantic Ocean away from the US mainland back toward the mainland, creating a series of sheltered islands between the Outer Banks and the mainland. For thousands of years these barrier islands have survived onslaughts of sea. Long stretches of beach, sand dunes and maritime forests create a unique environment where wind and waves shape the topography. A large area of the Outer Banks is part of a National Park, called the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, it is the nearest landmass on the US mainland to Bermuda, about 563 nautical miles to the east-southeast. The treacherous waters off the coast of the Outer Banks is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, Over 600 ships wrecked here as victims of shallow shoals and war. Diamond Shoals, a bank of shifting sand ridges hidden beneath the turbulent sea off Cape Hatteras, has never promised safe passage for ships. In the past 400 years the graveyard has claimed many lives.
As early as the 1870s, villagers served in the US Life-Saving Service. Others staffed lighthouses built to guide mariners. Few ships wreck today, but storms still uncover the ruins of the old wrecks that lie along the beaches of the Outer Banks. Cape Hatteras National Seashore protects parts of three barrier islands: Bodie Island, Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island. Beach and sound access ramps, nature trails, lighthouses can be found and explored on all three islands; the community of Buxton lies on the inland side of the Cape itself, at the widest part of Hatteras Island. It is the largest community on the island, is home to the governmental offices and schools for the Island. Cape Hatteras is a bend in Hatteras Island, one of the long thin barrier islands that make up the Outer Banks, it is the site. The cape's shoals are known as Diamond Shoals. Cape Hatteras has a humid subtropical climate, with long hot summers, short cool winters. Most of the area falls into USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 9. Cape Hatteras is surrounded by water, with Pamlico Sound to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
The proximity to water moderates conditions throughout the year, producing cooler summers and warmer winters than inland areas of North Carolina. The cape is the northern limit of tropical fauna. During the summer, average daily highs are in the 85 °F range, occasional intense thundershowers occur; as a result of its proximity to water, temperatures above 90 °F are rare, with an average of only 2.3 days annually above 90 °F. The coolest month, has a daily high of 52 °F, with lows well above freezing; the average window for freezing temperatures is from December 12 to March 11, between which there is an average of 21 nights with lows at or below the freezing mark. Extremes in temperature range from 6 °F on January 21, 1985 up to 97 °F on June 27, 1952. Snowfall is observed only and very light. Precipitation in the form of rain, is over 58 inches per year, making it the wettest coastal location in North Carolina. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year; however and May represent a drier season, while August to October are the wettest months.
On average, August is the wettest month, owing to high frequencies of both summer thunderstorms and tropical systems that affect the area from August to early October. Due to its exposed position, Cape Hatteras is the highest-risk area for hurricanes and tropical storms along the entire U. S. Eastern seaboard. Cape Hatteras can experience significant wind and/or water damage from tropical systems moving near or over North Carolina's Outer Banks, while other areas experience much less, minimal or no damage; the Cape Hatteras area is infamous for being struck by hurricanes that move up the East Coast of the United States. The strike of Hurricane Isabel in 2003 was devastating for the area. Isabel devastated the entire Outer Banks and split Hatteras Island between the two small towns of Frisco and Hatteras. NC 12, which provides a direct route from Nags Head to Hatteras Island, was washed out when the hurricane created a new inlet. Students had to use a ferry to get to school; the inlet was filled in with sand by the Army Corps of Engineers which took nearly two months to complete.
The road and water lines were rebuilt when the inlet was filled. The name Hatteras is the sixth oldest surviving English place-name in the U. S. An inlet north of the cape was named "Hatrask" in 1585 by Sir Richard Grenville, the admiral leading the Roanoke Colony expedition sent by Sir Walter Raleigh, it was applied to the island and cape as well, modified to "Hatteras." Hatteras is the name of the Hatteras Indians. Because mariners utilize ocean currents to speed their journey, many ships venture close to Cape Hatteras when traveling along the eastern seaboard, risking the perils of sailing close to the shoals amid turbulent water and the frequent storms occurring in the area. So many ships have been lost off Cape Hatteras that the area is known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." Cape Hatteras is well known for surfing. The first lighthouse at the cape was built in 1803.