As I was writing the post below I went to SandyBottom's blog to get her link and came across her post of "the inner islands, A Carolinian's Sound Country Chronicle" by Bland Simpson. Wow, what a great book that has to be.Here is Amazon's description....
Blending history, oral history, autobiography, and travel narrative, Bland Simpson explores the geography and biodiversity of the islands that lie in eastern North Carolina's sounds, rivers, and swamps. The fifth in a series of books by Simpson examining the natural and human history of the region, The Inner Islands presents Simpson's signature reportage on territory often bypassed by tourists and scholars alike.
I don't think you can go wrong with chapters titled The View from Bird Shoal, A Rose for Roanoke, The Purchace Iles and The Defense of Huggins Island. I've have the pleasure of visiting and sailing near some of the place mentioned in "the inner islands", but I know they will have an entirely new feel once I have read this book.
Thanks, SandyBottom, for the tip.