January 31, 2009

All Aboard...Fort Fisher Ferry To Reopen Feb 2nd

After two months of repair work on the ferry's loading ramps, the Fort Fisher Ferry will reopen for business on February 2nd.

Without the ferry in operation, one of our clutch 'visitor' days was lost. Whenever someone comes to visit us, we always make it a point to take them over to Southport on the ferry. We spend a few hours looking around town and then drive up to Orton Plantation to check out the gardens and live oaks. After Orton, we sneak over to one of the nearby water holes where consistently you can spot a 6'+ alligator lurking along the shoreline. And usually, he has a few friends nearby who are also eager to check you out.

After gator spotting, we continue north and head over the Cape Fear bridge and visit downtown Wilmington for sightseeing and dinner at one of the many wondeful restaurants (the German Cafe in the Cotton Exchange is one of our favorites). Once finished, it's back to Pleasure Island with some very happy and very tired guests. It's a wonderful way to spend a day!

January 29, 2009

Carolina Beach: Friendly People and Amazing Views

Charlotte Examiner.com
January 28, 2009

Jordon's favorite places: Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Without a doubt, Carolina Beach, North Carolina, is one of the best trips that I have ever made. In 2005, my brother and I made a road trip from Minnesota to Houston, Texas, and then we went east to North Carolina, with the intention of finding a beach somewhere. With just a few miles left before reaching the coast, I took another quick glance at the atlas and decided that we should head south of Wilmington on highway 421 to the city of Carolina Beach. We were glad that we did.

...This city is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever been to. I can not wait for the chance to get back there. The friendly people and the amazing views are certainly unique to this location. If ever you are heading east, think of Carolina Beach, North Carolina...

Read the full article here

January 28, 2009

Running for Rolls in Raleigh

Although this is not a Pleasure Island event, it is just so 'out there' that I had to mention it. It is the Krispy Kreme Challenge, a charity event, and it will take place on February 7, 2009 in Raleigh, NC. In simple terms, runners run 2 miles, stop and horse down a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and run 2 miles back.

The annual student-operated event benefits the NC Children's Hospital. The first race was in 2004 with a mere 12 participants and last year, they had a whopping 3,000 runners. The event has become one of NC State University's most popular traditions.

Beginning at the NC State Belltower, each runner runs 2 miles to the Krispy Kreme store located on Peace St. in Raleigh. After downing a full dozen of the famous Krispy Kreme doughnuts, the runner must run the two miles back. All in one hour.

The challenge attracts a wide range of runners from beginners to serious competitors hailing from all corners of the country. This year, it is expected that 5,000 runners/doughnut eaters will participate and ESPN will be on hand to cover the event.

When you consider that the NC Children's Hospital is the beneficiary of all this leg and stomach work, it makes one want to say, "what the heck, let's do it." But if you do, just make sure to wear running shorts with elastic bands and pack some Rolaids.

To learn more about this event, go to the official website:


Maybe some students at UNCW might think about organizing a similar event here in the Wilmington area. And of course we have Britt's Doughnuts and no one beats a Britt's!

12 Original Glazed Krispy Kreme Doughnuts contain:
:: 2400 calories
:: 1200 fat calories
::144g of fat
:: 36g of saturated fat
:: 0g of trans fat
:: 60mg of Cholesterol
:: 1140mg of sodium
:: 120g of sugar
:: 24g of protein

Photo Credit: Bloke doughnut eaters
Photo Credit: Shelia Doughtnut eaters

January 26, 2009

Erin's Restaurant Review: Gulf Stream Restaurant

5 out of 5 stars...

I swear I remember reviewing the Gulf Stream. Apparently not.

Great, solid family-owned restaurant. We go there for breakfast all the time and are never disappointed. It gets super busy in the summer and sometimes it's not worth the wait or the crowd. But, the waitresses are always super nice (most have been working there for over 10 years...1 has been there since they opened 30 years ago!) and a member of the family is always present in the restaurant.

We went there for dinner for the first time last night. I'm not sure why we haven't gone before. I had chicken fingers and they were good, but my husband had the fried shrimp and it was hand's down the best fried shrimp I've ever had. I usually don't like that stuff because it all tastes the same and is so heavy and gross feeling. I'm pretty sure they batter these things in heaven because they were light and tasty. I think from now on we'll just split a large platter.

You must order the cinnamon toast with your breakfast. Oh my goodness. Please don't tell me how much butter they slather all over the bread, but man is it good.

Gulf Stream Restaurant
78 Myrtle Ave
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-8774

Click Here For Additional Pleasure Island Restaurant Reviews.

Click Here to View Available Online Menus of Pleasure Island Restaurants

January 25, 2009

UFOs at Kure Beach?

On January 10, 2009, two surfers reporting seeing 'an object' a hundred yards or so off the Kure Beach shoreline. You can read the limited report here:

UFOs Northwest -Kure Beach Report

But if you ask me, it is the fishermen at Kure Beach Pier that need to be most concerned.

Cartoon Credit

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher - An Excellent Bird Watching Destination

KURE BEACH – Many species of land- and ocean-based birds make their homes on or near the state’s barrier islands. Bird-watchers who travel to the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher are assured the chance to watch the many native coastal birds that live in the area year-round, such as pelicans, terns and gulls. In the winter, avian visitors to the area include cormorants, gannets and loons.

As part of the N.C. Birding Trail, the aquarium and surrounding historical and recreation sites offer an excellent way to spend the day exploring a variety of bird habitats, in both developed and undeveloped areas. Along with the trails at the aquarium, the Fort Fisher area offers birders approximately 2,000 acres of undeveloped beachfront, coastal forest, dunes and tidal marshes. As a prime stop on many birds’ migratory paths, Fort Fisher offers visitors the chance to see a large variety of migratory and native bird species.

painted buntingA painted bunting feeds in site of the birding deck at the N.C. Aquarium's memorial garden.

Visitors will see many common migratory and coastal birds, plus some rare seasonal visitors like the painted bunting, whose migratory path never strays far from the coast. Endangered birds like the piping plover, a species with an Atlantic population of around 1,400 pairs, nest in the Fort Fisher area.

Favorite bird-watching sites at the aquarium include a lovely Memorial Garden and a recently completed bike path that winds through a maritime forest. Both areas include freshwater ponds, which attract many kinds of waterfowl and wading birds. There are also trees, shrubs and other plants that provide cover and forage for birds of many kinds.

The N.C. Birding Trail connects prime bird-watching paths across the state. Along with the trails at Fort Fisher, the system includes 14 additional locations in Brunswick and New Hanover counties and dozens more in surrounding counties.

The mission of the North Carolina Birding Trail is to connect recreational facilities across the state under a single banner. The Trail seeks to give birders access to dozens of private and public marked trails across the three regions of the state. Efforts to develop the trail began in October 2003 and the trail is currently being developed for the coastal plain.

The N.C. Birding Trail is sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission with assistance from the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, Audubon North Carolina, the N.C. State Parks, Sea Grant North Carolina and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, visit http://www.ncbirdingtrail.org.

January 23, 2009

WECT News Video of the Alligators at Fort Fisher Aquarium

Check out the news article/video from WECT on caring for the alligators at the Fort Fisher Aquarium. I'm very impressed how the two Aquarists are able to control their cold blooded friends as they go about their day to day business.

You can't help but watch the two Aquarists and have some flashbacks of Steve Irwin's crew back at the Australian Zoo. To think that we have people of similar abilities in our own backyard is impressive.

I'm definitely going to have to make it a point to show up at the aquarium on a Sunday to observe the feeding/caring of the alligators. If you watch the video, you'll probably feel the same.

alligator feedingFORT FISHER, (WECT) - There's a new teaching program at the Fort Fisher Aquarium, but this program isn't for the public.

Instead, the program teaches some of the scariest residents how to behave.

With an average weight of nearly 500 pounds and deadly jaws capable of snapping bones in half, it makes sense that the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher keeps there alligators under lock and key.

Julie Johnson and Kari Ysland are responsible for keeping the alligator display clean, cared for, and running, which wasn't too difficult to do when the gators were small.

"As you can see they're getting to a fairly large size, so they're not scared of us any more," said Johnson. "We use to get in, and basically have a barrier between us and them, and if the gator got to close we'd nudge them away."

Now, for the past six months, the crew has used a candy striped section of PVC pipe as a target to get the gators to go where they want.

"Instead of using intimidation to get them to move away from us we can get them to willingly move by going over to someone that gives them a reward by doing so," said Johnson.

As a reward the gators are given a pellet which is a supplement to the alligator's diet of chicken, beef, and fish.

While the prospect of hand feeding alligators may seem frightening for some, for Kari and Julie it's just another day in the office.

alligator feeding"I just have a passion for animals," said Johnson. "I enjoy them. The behavior training is great to kind of play off an animals natural instinct, aid what it's already doing, and it's a lot of fun coming to work every day."

There have been no injuries or incidents for the employees or alligators since the program began.

You can watch the alligators be fed at the aquarium on Sundays.

Watch WETC Video

Photo Credit: Screenshots from the WECT news video.

January 22, 2009

Check out the the Best Wine Tasting in the Entire Wilmington Area and Visit 2 Wine Guys @ the Grind on Thursday Nights

Don't worry, this picture is from the other day. Tonight should be clear and in the 40's.

If you haven't been to the Grind for their weekly wine tastings then you are really missing out. Before any wines make it to their tastings, the wine guys personally taste and approve the selections. So have no fear, you can always be assured that the wines offered will be solid. And while you taste the different selections, you can enjoy the live music.

The Grind is quickly becoming a hotspot for locals and you'll most likely bump into someone that you know. In addition to the wine tastings on Thursday, they offer live music on Friday and Saturday nights as well. If someone in you party is not a 'wine' person, they also have beer, soda and really good coffee drinks.

So now is the perfect time to check out the place before the summer crowds start arriving. Get a bottle, sit on the porch and enjoy the evening. If it's a bit chilly, they'll fire up the outdoor heater and all will be well. Of course, you can always grab a seat on the inside and watch the wine guys do their thing.
So if you haven't checked them out, you really ought to make it a point. Visit the 2 Wine Guys at the Grind blog for more information. And like Shawn always says...stop on by and let him pour you a glass.

PS. I haven't been compensated to write this (or any other post). I'm just a big fan of the shop and want to see these guys continually do well. But I suppose I do have a secondary, selfish reason for giving them a shout out...I really enjoy expanding my wine palate and these guys just make it fun!

January 21, 2009

Fort Fisher Video

On January 17th, there was a commemoration of the 144th Anniversary of the Second Battle at Fort Fisher . There was artillery demonstrations, costumed soldiers, music and other special programs.

Our local ABC affiliate, WWAY, has a nice video that recapped the days events.

January 20, 2009

Snow Pictures from Carolina Beach

It took awhile to arrive but at 9:40, the rain changed to snow. The snow is sticking to grassy areas and the roadways in town have a mushy slush developing. Here are a few photos taken at 10:15. As you can see, there is some beach erosion from recent storm activity:
(click any pic to enlarge)

Additional pictures taken at 1:00pm. Snow is steady but the roadways are fine. Here are some pictures from the CB Marina, CB Lake and Kure Beach Pier:

January 19, 2009

Carolina Beach Gateway Beautification Project to be Completed by Summer 2009

The Town of Carolina Beach has recently awarded a $204,000 contract to Freeman Landscape Inc (they are the same company that did the wonderful landscaping at the Carolina Beach Elementary School) to go ahead with the much anticipated landscaped gateway into Carolina Beach. The project is being primarily funded by a NC Department of Transportation grant. It is anticipated that the project will be completed prior to the start of the 2009 tourist season.

I'm very pleased to see the use of native plants and quite a few live oak trees. The designer created a landscape plan that will provide color on a near year round basis.

Once completed, the landscaped entryway will clearly add another boost for Pleasure Island tourism and will positively impact not only Carolina Beach, but Kure Beach and Fort Fisher as well. And like the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. And with this in place, the first impression will be absolutely beautiful.

The following are the current landscape plans for the project. If you print them out, they are a little easier to review:

Click any of the snapshots for a closer view. To view as a PDF documents, you can view them in Google Docs: http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&attid=0.1&thid=11eeaba70d4dcafc&mt=application%2Fpdf

Below is a Google Earth image of the work area. The Google Earth image is somewhat dated so not all the current landmarks are in place but hopefully this will give you a general idea of the scope of work to be done.

Rare Sight: Snow Forecast for Pleasure Island, NC

Carolina Beach and surrounding areas are under a Winter Weather Advisory as 1 to 2 inches of the white stuff are predicted for tomorrow. The last snowfall this area received was on January 23rd, 2003 when the area received between 2-3 inches.

[EDIT: Here are some pictures as the snow was falling. LINK ]

Here is a listing of the top 10 Wilmington, NC snowstorms on record:

15.3 inches Dec. 22-24, 1989

12.5 inches Feb. 9-10, 1973

12.1 inches Feb. 17-18, 1896

9.8 inches Feb. 10-11, 1912

9.0 inches Feb. 23, 1901

8.6 inches Jan. 13, 1912

8.0 inches Feb. 24, 1942

7.5 inches on Dec. 20-21, 1915

6.6 inches March 1-2, 1980

6.5 inches Jan. 30, 1936

As one who enjoys the occasional snow event, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. But in the meantime, here's a pretty cool picture from the Wilmington Star Magazine about the 1989 storm (which dropped over 15 inches) . Unfortunately, the picture is only available in this thumbnail size. The article described the image as follows:

"When The Weather Channel reports a Jim Cantore sighting at Wrightsville, the landlubbers load up the SUV and drive inland. The surfers grab their boards and head for the beach, bobbing like seagulls in their wetsuits.

It was their big day: 50-knot winds and waves of 15 feet or more. One person’s disaster of biblical proportions is another dude’s Christmas present."

Credit Photos: Wilmington Residintial Snow & Snow Surfers
Credit Snowstorm Historical Data: WWAY

January 11, 2009

An Afternoon at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

Yesterday was a wonderful day here in SE North Carolina as temperatures were in the mid 60's with blue skies. It was a perfect day to head to the Fort Fisher State Rec Area and take a leisurely 4x4 drive along the 4 mile accessible beach.

Here are a few pictures (click any image to enlarge):

January 10, 2009

A Tribute to Pat Hingle (1924-2009)

The following blog entry was from the Life Stage Videography blog.

Back in June 2008, the blog author was asked to film a gala and celebration kicking off the weekend of (WiFi), Wilmington in the Film Industry. In addition, the gathering also honored the life and service of actor Pat Hingle.

The blog author ended his post with this paragraph:

This is a short clip from his keynote speech. It was moving and heartfelt. I hadn’t even looked at the footage I had captured until I heard of his death. but it was hard to not shed a tear for this man after hearing what he said that night. I think his legacy is HUGE, and its amazing how many people he has positively affected. Enjoy this clip, and spread it along to others. What he says will touch us all.

A Tribute to Pat Hingle - (1924-2009) from Matt Davis on Vimeo.

Humpback Whale Visits Carolina Beach with a Few Friends

Island Gazette
January 7, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Sharpe of Carolina Beach got a spectacular surprise from the deck at Sea Colony last Wednesday morning when they spotted a whale being followed by several bottle nosed dolphins.

The whale gave them quite a show dipping in out of the water about 300 to 400 yards of the coast...

Read the full Island Gazette article here.

January 8, 2009

Going on a Safari...Pleasure Island Style

Thanks to Banjoey1 for posting this very cool video of some wildlife here on Pleasure Island. The video of the fox and deer are from an area near the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Not to stir up the proponents of 'old wives tales' but foxes do occasionally come out during the day and it should not be taken as a sign of illness or rabies. But obviously, if the animal shows signs of aggression or sickness, remove yourself from the area and contact authorities.

Speaking of foxes, the area fox population is on the rise and the animal has unfortunately developed a strong appetite for sea turtle eggs and shore bird eggs. Last year, according to the N.C. Division of Coastal Management, not a single shorebird nested successfully on Masonboro Island and nearly half of the sea turtle nest were destroyed. It is believed that the fox was the primary culprit for the losses. Both Pleasure Island and Bald Head Island have also witnessed similar problems.

Park Rangers and conservationist are doing what they can to protect the nests. They are using metal cages to envelope the nest and the practice has shown to be a minor sucess. But in time, the foxes learn to dig deeper and bypass the cage thereby gaining access to the nest. Deeper cages are consturcted and the cycle begins again.

Long term, some of the more troublesome foxes will have to removed from the area in order to protect the nest. But how that is accomplished is still being debated.

In the meantime, beachgoers can do their part to help with this growing problem:
• Do not leave any trash on the beaches which may later attract the predators. Either take the trash to beach entrance respectacles or take the trash with you.
• Do not feed foxes. Anything that encourages foxes to view the beach as a place for food sources threatens nest.
• If you notice a fox taking a special interest in an area of the beach during turtle nesting season, notify a park/beach official. They can determine if the area is home to a turtle nest, and if so, take measures to protect the eggs.

January 7, 2009

Our Trip to Carolina Beach, NC May 2008

The following slide show is from a Tennessee family who visited Carolina Beach this past summer. Judging from the pic captions, they had a wonderful time.

Free Admission to Fort Fisher Aquarium on Martin Luther King Holiday

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher entrance
Kure Beach, NC - The North Carolina Aquariums will celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by waiving admission fees. The 2009 holiday falls on Monday, January 19. North Carolina’s three public aquariums are located at Fort Fisher, at Pine Knoll Shores, and on Roanoke Island.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one of two holidays each year that the aquariums reserve for the public to visit without an admission charge. The other “free day” is Veterans Day (Nov. 11).

The aquariums are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 362 days each year. Normal admission charges are: $8 adults; $7 seniors; $6 ages 6-17. The aquariums offer free admission for: age 5 and under; registered groups of N.C. school children; N.C. Aquarium Society members. All three facilities are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located just south of Kure Beach, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, on U.S. 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day). Admission: $8 adults; $7 seniors; $6 ages 6-17. Free admission for: children under 6; registered groups of N.C. school children, and NC Aquarium Society members. General information: www.ncaquariums.com.

N.C. Aquariums are accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA and its more than 200 members work together to build North America’s largest wildlife conservation movement, by engaging and inspiring 143 million visitors and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.

January 6, 2009

Fort Fisher Commemorates the 144th Anniversary of the Second Battle with Artillery Demonstrations and Special Programs

Date: Saturday, January 17, 2009
Time: 10:00am until 4:00pm.

Kure Beach, N.C.: The year 2009 marks the 144th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War. To commemorate the Second Battle of Fort Fisher (the largest land-sea battle of the Civil War), the Fort Fisher State Historic Site will stage "Fort Fisher Then and Now," an all-day event on Saturday, January 17, 2009 from 10:00am until 4:00pm. This year's program explores historic Fort Fisher through the lens of Civil War photography. Highlighting the event is a special 3-D show of famous Civil War photographs and rare, recently discovered wartime images presented by Bob Zeller, author and president of the Center for Civil War Photography. Zeller's show will for the first time include historic images of Fort Fisher taken by Timothy O'Sullivan, who photographed the fort shortly after its capture in January 1865. Wearing 3-D glasses, visitors will experience Civil War photography as it was meant to be seen-many images of the war were taken with stereoscopic cameras. The 3-D show will be held at 1:00pm and 3:00pm (tickets required).

Activities include wet-plate photography demonstrations, costumed interpreters explaining large scale O'Sullivan images placed around the fort to illustrate the event's "then and now" theme, and hands-on, take-home activities for children. Infantry and artillery demonstrations will occur throughout the day and visitors are invited to explore the grounds of the fort while enjoying period music provided by the Huckleberry Brothers and local musician, John Golden. Also opening on January 17, 2009, is a new temporary exhibit on Civil War photography and Timothy O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan is recognized as one of the most important field photographers of his era. His haunting images reveal the devastation wrought upon Fort Fisher by the Union naval bombardment.

Saturday's activities begin at 10:00am with activities and demonstrations occurring throughout the day. Muskets and field artillery will be fired during the program. Staff and volunteers dressed in period Civil War uniforms will conduct talks about equipment, uniforms and weapons. Muskets and field artillery will be fired during the program. To top off the demonstrations, the 32-pound rifled cannon will be fired from atop Shepherd's Battery. The commemoration concludes at 4:00pm.

This outstanding educational program affords visitors a great opportunity to learn more about local history and Fort Fisher's role in the Civil War. Visitors, residents, and motorists are advised of loud explosions during cannon firings and artillery demonstrations on Saturday January 17 between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm, so bring your earplugs and dress warmly. Tickets are required for the Bob Zeller 3-D show. Tickets go on sale the week before the program. Please contact Fort Fisher State Historic Site for details: 910-458-5538 or visit www.fortfisher.nchistoricsites.org. All other activities are free and donations are always welcome.

Before its fall in January 1865, Fort Fisher protected blockade-runners en route to Confederate Wilmington with war supplies. It was the largest and strongest earthen fort in the South. The Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located in Kure Beach, just 20 miles south of Wilmington, N.C. along US Highway 421 South.

For a FREE Visitors Guide to Wilmington & N.C.'s Cape Fear Coast please call 1-866-266-9690. For a complete Calendar of Events, attraction listings, and leisure packages, visit www.gocapefearcoast.com.

Media Contact
Connie Nelson, Communications/PR Director
(866) 266-9690 or (910) 341-4030

January 4, 2009

Carolina Beach Resident Pat Hingle Dies at Age 84

Star News Article about his death

As a veteran of numerous feature films and Broadway plays, he was recently honored with a star on the Wilmington Walk of Fame.

Mr. Hingle was very fond of his adopted home, Carolina Beach, and in an earlier interview with Amy Hotz of the Wilmington Star, he recounted how be came to live on the island.

"On Oct. 25, 1979, Hingle married Julie Wright. The couple moved from state to state following Hingle’s film and television projects. In 1985, a Stephen King feature called "Maximum Overdrive" brought them to Wilmington and its blossoming film industry. Hingle played a truck stop diner manager who was one of several people held hostage by demon-possessed machinery.

While here, the couple stayed in a condo at Carolina Beach.

Several years later, when Hingle decided to retire, he and his wife considered moving to various states they had visited through his work. The Wilmington area’s beaches, strong theater community and temperate climate won out, and they built their dream home at Carolina Beach.

During an interview this October about his acceptance into the Wilmington Walk of Fame, Hingle spoke candidly about his sickness, his past and his life in Carolina Beach.

“I really do believe there was a divine hand that headed me here,” he said. “I am happy that I think it’s going to end here.”

The island has lost a wonderful ambassador and friend. He will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

The Grove Project: "Carolina Beach is so Cool."

Check out the latest posting from the 'Grove Project' on biking in Carolina Beach. The author gives a very nice description of his family's visit as they set out on bikes and explored the island.

This posting is yet another positive example of the impact that the Island Greenway will/can have on our island and on our merchants.

Bike trails are a wonderful tourist draw...even in the off-season. When you consider the dearth of biking trails in the Wilmington area, having a nearly 10 mile trail cutting across Pleasure Island would surely become a regional recreational asset for the entire community.

Even now, the current Island Greenway attracts visitors as shown by the article, "Our family went for a bike ride this Saturday morning, our purpose to follow the Island Greenway out of Carolina Beach State Park as far south as it would go." Now just imagine if the trail actually connected both ends of the island.

Throughout the area, word is getting out about the Greenway initiative. Momentum is building. We just need our elected officials to assist making this wonderful idea a reality. The CB Town Council has shown it's support. Now it is time for the KB Council to do the same. The tireless volunteers at the Island Greenway organization can't do this alone. Let's band together as a community and make this happen.

The time is now.

Grove Project: Biking Carolina Beach

PS. Nice props for the 2 Wine Guys at The Grind as well.

January 2, 2009

The Sea Turtle

A Poem by David Soulby

She will not look up, not yet:
There is too much to do.
Across and above the surrounding beach
Gulls wheel, pivoting on wingtips
Over restless waves.

Crashing surf propels her,
Pushing her to heated sand.
She responds to generations,
One hundred million linked together
Year over year.

Neck cords stretched, parrot beak gaping,
She struggles against this grainy stuff.
Far easier, water, cool and inky,
Where she sails and dives at will.
Not so here

Under the blazed sky, the sun
Bakes her back. Bones under the shell
Feel the slow torment. She must hurry,
Push these flailing legs onward:
She is not done.

Her shell scrapes the stones, and her claws,
Splayed and hard, sweep the grains.
Inch by inch, she wills herself along
Until she discovers that special place
True to her.

Behind and beyond, in near and far spaces
Children gather shells, crack into buckets
Stuff of stars, squeal when they meet
The scuttling crab, dance to scatter
The regarding gulls.

Beyond, hunched and encroaching, the gates
Consume it raw, the belly
Bends and twists the iron, the stacks
Shove smoke skyward, and the drains
Void the waste.

Behind the gulls, stabbing the blue,
Electrons squeal, data screams.
Costs and purchases, shares and deals
Shriek across the horizon, binding the skies
For this time.

Her eyes blink and glitter,
A tiny sun pinned in each black.
Against the odds, she gains the appointed space,
Pushes her old rump into the hot, receiving earth,
And begins.

Her head sweeps back and forth;
She gathers up the landscape,
Edge of rock and water, embracing ages,
Whole populations rising and dwindling
To here and now.

Armies and children, joys and scourges –
These do not find their way
Behind her eyes. Light and water,
Time and heat, instinct and discipline
Guide her here.

She works now under circling gulls.
Sand will not reveal the destroyer,
Eggs scattered and exposed. Sky will not say
Which beak will pierce which infant.
She must lay sufficient.

Under the watching world, she withdraws,
Covers the clutch, heaves herself downward
To the sea. She will never see these children,
Nor know whether it will be three, or two,
Or one only

Who pulls itself from its shell
Who scrabbles across sand and avoids diving birds
Who gains the receiving depths
Who survives the predatory onslaught
Who grows and mates and feels then the purpose
Who crawls upon this beach
One hundred million and one
Returning her ancient promise.

Photo Credit Sea Turtle Tracks
Photo Credit Sea Turtle Hatchling Tracks
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