FRYING PAN SHOALS
This narrow, treacherous and hazardous prolonged sandbar reaches almost thirty miles out to sea from Cape Fear, much like the long handle of a frying pan.
Like a spider's web, this sandbar has been snaring vessels since the early days of sailing. It played a huge role in the blockade of Wilmington during the Civil War.
Part of hammocks Beach State Park, Bear Island is assumed to be named after the large furry mammals.
Early maps, however, identify the island as Bare Banks due to its lack of vegetation on the island. It is theorized that a map maker made a spelling error and listed the island as Bear Island.