This chapter shows that the route to the actual Cape Fear on Bald Head Island is circuitous and expensive. The cape, of course, is a shifty piece of real estate. In this part of the world, sand migrates south and west, as a rule, according to currents and tides, but storms tend to plough through these low islands, moving thousands of tons of sand in hours. The relentless undertow of large wave trains sucks sand off beaches and furrows it into shoals offshore. Dredging the long fairway into the ship channel undoubtedly contributes something—nobody can agree on exactly what—to the whole restless equation. The cape can be thus thought of as an indeterminate place, partly submerged, where land turns into treacherous water.
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