Capt. Carl. Photo courtesy of the family.

Capt. Carl Olshenske, 77, died unexpectedly on Sept. 22 in his home in Islamorada, Florida.

Born on March 20, 1944, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was a son of the late Carl Sr. and Gertrude.

A graduate of North Hills High School, he attended the University of Pittsburgh and was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force as a medic.

Carl was a skilled fisherman and snorkel guide, a certified USCG PADI divemaster, a NCDOT Ferry Division crew member, a USCG captain for Boy Scouts of America, an Everglades National Park boat tour captain and a self-proclaimed pirate (200 years too late).

Often referred to as “larger than life,” he spent time with his favorite people in his favorite places — Islamorada and Ocracoke.

He crewed on the old Windfall and was a good shipmate and friend to Capt. Rob Temple who first met him in Flamingo, Florida, in 1982.

On Ocracoke, Capt. Carl lived aboard his vessel Red Red Wine and worked at various places including the Anchorage Marina, the Variety Store, Portsmouth Island Adventures and the Community Store, among others.

He loved a good time and his late beloved macaw Lucy and Himalayan cat Baryshnikov. He was always cheerful and ready with a joke

Carl is survived by his brother Paul (Elizabeth) of Baden, Pennsylvania, and several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his extraordinary life will be planned for a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bread of Life Food Pantry on Ocracoke, and MarrVelous Pet Rescues & Adoptions ( 

His family asks all to please raise a glass to Capt. Carl in a farewell toast to fair winds and calm seas. 

Sea Fever 

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, 
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; 
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, 
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide 
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; 
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over

By John Masefield, 1913 

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