Harkers Island is a small community located in Carteret County. This area gets most of its services, like law enforcement and schools from Carteret County. Its electric and water are through a membership cooperative. Most of the industry for this area is fishing, boat building, tourism, and waterfowl decoy carving. Harkers Island is only 3.8 square miles with 2.5 miles of that being land and 1.3 miles being water. The highest place on the island is known as the “sand hole” and it is approximately 16 feet above sea level. This is located at the western end of the island and is mostly sand dunes. Harkers Island gets its protection from the Atlantic Ocean from the barrier island of Shackleford Banks on the south and Core Banks on the east. The body of water on the south side of the island is called Back Sound and on the east side is Core Sound and the north side is known as The Straits with the northeast being the mouth of the North River. This area used to be so secluded from the mainland that the residents developed their own language referred to as “High Tider”. They sound very different from most people when they talk because they have a very unique tone and pronunciation and they express themselves in a fascinating and interesting way making them a pleasure to listen to. They have also developed some words they use to express different things like “mommick”, which means frustration or bother and then there is “yethy”, which means unpleasant odor, or how about “dingbatter”, meaning a visitor on the island. Harkers Island is known for its Core Sound Decoy Festival that is held every December. At the festival, you will find antique decoy exhibits, demonstrations, and competitions that include duck calling, loon calling and head whittling. You will also find delicious food and crafts from many vendors. This community also has many beautiful homes with the best views you will ever see of the water and Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford Banks. You will even see the wild horses on Shackleford Banks. The boating here is wonderful and it is easy and fast to go to so many of the surrounding areas.
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