It’s the second week after the Labour Day weekend, the kids are back in school, the hotels are empty and the beaches deserted: all the holiday-makers have gone back to work in Washington, Philadelphia and Charlotte.
While on the Outer Banks on holiday with my family, I took a couple of days out to investigate an old, partially-collapsed pier, whose existence I discovered from a photograph posted on Facebook by a Virginia-based photographer, John Caplis. I was so taken by the look of the pier in John’s beautiful image that I made up my mind to come down here and photograph it for myself.
I have not been disappointed.
Since the demise of the famous 59th Street Pier in Ocean City, New Jersey, which was blown off its shaky legs by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, East Coast-based photographers who are attracted to the delicate, spindly-legged elegance of dilapidated wooden sea piers have lacked a subject worthy of their attention. But the Frisco Pier is a more than adequate substitute for Ocean City’s lost glory.
This pier, which was built in 1962 and closed in 2010 after being severely damaged by Hurricane Earl, has three main breaches: one that leaves the pier pavilion marooned on land, separated from the rest of the structure, and two further out in the water.
Because of the way the hurricane tore holes in the structure, large sections of the pier’s boardwalk have been left sagging over the water, lending the pier an animated look that resembles a line of ants marching purposefully out to sea.
Word among the surfers who battle the roiling breakers in the shadow of the pier is that it is due to be torn down at the end of October.
I’m glad I got to photograph this hauntingly beautiful structure before it is lost forever.
(click on an image to enlarge it)