June 29, 2010


Entertainment and Fireworks from the River to the Sea

Looking for a patriotic destination for your July 4th getaway that won't break the bank? Consider Wilmington and North Carolina's Cape Fear Coast where you'll find free and low-cost events. There's also a variety of accommodations and attractions in all price ranges, including last-minute hotel discounts updated weekly at www.sunnysavers.com. Independence Day celebrations begin on Saturday July 3rd with Pleasure Island's Fireworks display. On Sunday, July 4th, Wilmington stages the July 4th Riverfront Celebration & Battleship Blast. Beginning at 5pm, visitors will enjoy live patriotic music along the Wilmington Riverwalk, followed by a choreographed fireworks display over the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA. Other weekend events include dinner-fireworks cruises, outdoor concerts, a riverfront farmer's market, a rugby tournament, a jazz concert at Bellamy Mansion Museum, a blue marlin tournament, a family movie at Carolina Beach Lake, and much more. Here's a sampling of holiday weekend happenings.


At dusk, fireworks light the sky over the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Make a weekend of your visit to Pleasure Island (home of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher). Arrive by Thursday for live music and fireworks at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. See the rare Venus Flytrap at Carolina Beach State Park; venture out on a kayak tour; meet a rare albino alligator and observe marine life at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher; explore Civil War history at Fort Fisher State Historic Site; or enjoy carnival-style rides, games, and a water slide at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. You can also enjoy a free family movie on Sunday evening at the Carolina Beach Lake Amphitheater. For details: 910-458-8434; http://www.pleasureislandnc.org/ or http://www.carolinabeachgetaway.com/


The riverfront celebration features food and patriotic music by the 440th North Carolina Army National Guard Band (5pm-9pm). At 9:05pm, the 14th Annual BATTLESHIP BLAST, among the largest fireworks display in the Carolinas, will illuminate the night sky over the Battleship and the Cape Fear River. Tour the Battleship earlier in the day because Eagles Island closes to the public at 6:00pm. View the fireworks from Downtown. For details about July 4 Downtown parking, call 910-341-4602 or visit www.wilmingtonnc.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=203 . For details about Battleship Blast fireworks, call 910-251-5797; http://www.battleshipnc.com/.


JULY 4th: THE HENRIETTA III RIVERBOAT offers a 4th of July cruise on Sunday July 4th from 6:30pm-9:30pm. Enjoy a buffet dinner and a great view of the Battleship Blast fireworks over the Cape Fear River. Admission charge. Pre-paid reservations required. Boarding begins at 6:00pm; departs at 6:30pm from the riverfront dock located at Water and Dock streets. 800-676-0162 or 910-343-1611; http://www.cfrboats.com/.

JULY 5th: WINNER PARTY BOAT CRUISE departs Monday evening July 5th at 6:30pm from Carolina Beach Marina with a Southern buffet and a sail across the Cape Fear River for a grand view of Southport's fireworks display. Admission charge. Pre-paid reservations required. 910-458-5356; http://www.winnerboats.com/.

Festivals and events provide a fun and affordable way to discover a region's history and culture. For a FREE Visitors Guide for Wilmington & North Carolina's Cape Fear Coast, please call 1-866-266-9690 or download a copy at the website www.gocapefearcoast.com. For a complete Calendar of Events with hundreds of listings, visit
http://www.gocapefearcoast.com/ and click on the Event Calendar button at the top of the home page. For package deals, click on the Specials & Packages button. For last-minute hotel discounts, visit http://www.sunnysavers.com/.

Photo of Boardwalk fireworks from the CB Amusment Park facebook page (submitted by Paul Boroznoff)

6 Year Old Bit by Shark Near Beaufort, SC

WSB News reports that a father and daughter, from Marietta, GA, were attacked by a shark while vacationing at Fripp Island, 20 miles North of Hilton Head, SC. Per the article, the father stated that he "felt something nail me on the back of my thigh and before I even had time for it to register, I felt something tug at her (his daughter) and she went under," Craig Morris told Ch 2 Action News.

The little girl was rushed to Beaufort Memorial Hospital where she was treated for a nine inch shark bite that required 22 stitches to close the wound.

She is expected to make a full recovery.

Read the WSB News article

June 28, 2010

13 Year Old Topsail Island Swimmer Bitten by Shark

NC media outlets are reporting that a 13 year old swimmer was bitten by a Bull Shark while swimming in 4 feet of water at Topsail Island. She is recovering after receiving 60 stitches.

This photo of a shark in the surf was taken just a few days after the attack in the same area. The photo is from

June 26, 2010

PISTP Adopt a Sea Turtle Nest Program

Please help support the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project by adopting a sea turtle nest. Your financial contribution will help PISTP volunteers ensure the preservation and protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles on Carolina Beach and Kure Beach.

When you contribute $50, you will receive a certificate identifying your nest, a special "Adopt-a-Nest" t-shirt, a PISTP DVD of a nest hatching and you'll be notified by email on the status of your nest including when it hatches and the number of live hatchlings the nest produced.

Please visit the
PISTP website for more information and to download an Adopt-a-Nest application.

Video of Powered Paragliding VA To Carova Beach, NC

Here's a very cool video of a gentlemen paragliding to Carova Beach, NC from his landing zone somewhere in VA. I really enjoyed the beach portion towards the middle of the 7 minute video. Good stuff here!

Twin 6 Year Old Brothers Sell Lemonade to Help a Gulf Fisherman

Click the video image to watch the WWAY news story.

One Becomes Nine as Multiple UFO Orbs Invade the Skies Over Wrightsville Beach

Well I guess I need to add a UFO label for the index now that I'm doing my third posts on UFOs. I just can't help it, there's something fun about local UFO reports. There right up there with stories about ghosts and local legends. And true to form, I had to add a cartoon to liven up the post.

This account was not only logged with MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) but was also covered by the Wrightsville Beach Lumina News and the Charlotte Examiner. I guess when you have a report of multiple orbs, US fighter jets and various military helicopters, it becomes newsworthy.

Here's the account from MUFON:
Nine people at a beach house near the Carolina Yacht Club in Wrightsville Beach, NC saw a ball of reddish orange light blinking erratically, silently in the distance over the ocean. A small white light appeared out of nowhere, close to the object, then they disappeared. Then about 2 minutes later, it reappeared and we saw it divide instantaneously into nine orbs, assembled into a horizontal V formation, after which it disappeared in a couple of seconds. There was no sound and no other aircraft around, and it was about 10 degrees over the ocean's horizon, about 1 to 2 miles away. We were all shocked and we all agreed that what we saw was not manmade. The movement was too fluid, and the speed at which it divided was extremely fast and yet controlled. The sighting was at 9:35pm, and then at 9:37pm. Shortly afterwards, we saw helicopters descending on the area over the ocean where we witnessed it. At around 11:45pm, two fighter jets flew by, parallel to the coast. Why were they flying so close to a residential beach town at that time of night? The next day, military helicopters flew up and down the beach all day long, nonstop.

And here are links to the Lumina News and Examinere stories:
•Lumina News-Wrightsville UFO sighting: orange ball forms V formation
•Examiner-Wrightsville UFO sighting: orange ball forms V formation

June 24, 2010

State Scientists Collecting Fish and Shellfish Samples in Preparation for Any Potential Effects from Gulf Oil Spill

MOREHEAD CITY – State fisheries scientists are collecting samples of fish and shellfish to use for baseline background comparisons for seafood harvested in North Carolina if contaminants from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico reach North Carolina waters.

“We still believe there is a very low probability that our state will see any significant effects from the oil spill, but just in case, we’re collecting these samples and securing them for analysis at a later date,” said Secretary Dee Freeman of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Biologists with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries are collecting fish, shrimp and crabs from different coastal rivers, sounds and ocean waters of the state, following specific scientific collection protocols for handling and storing the samples.

Likewise, environmental specialists with the Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Quality Section of the N.C. Division of Environmental Health are collecting oysters and clams.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has caused extremely large amounts of crude oil to be released into the environment. Oil contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are chemical hazards. These contaminants can accumulate in seafood at levels that can cause illness. The presence of petroleum taint can also render seafood unfit for human consumption.

Additionally, fish or shellfish exposure to high concentrations of these toxins, either directly or through eating contaminated plants or animals, may reduce their growth and reproduction, affecting populations. These effects can last for many years, depending on the concentration of oil.

Should state authorities begin to see impacts in North Carolina waters from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the fish and shellfish samples collected now can be tested and used as a baseline to compare to samples collected in North Carolina following observed impact from the oil spill to help determine the extent of contamination.

This information, should it show contamination levels high enough to cause a health risk, could help fisheries officials determine if they should close certain waters to seafood harvesting and fishing. The information would also offer proof of environmental impact, leading to economic impact, should the state seek financial compensation for damages from the oil industry.

For more information, contact Patricia Smith, public information officer with the Division of Marine Fisheries, at (252) 808-8025 or Tricia.Smith@ncdenr.gov, or Laura Leonard, public information officer with the Division of Environmental Health, at (919) 715-3204 or Laura.Leonard@ncdenr.gov.


June 23, 2010

NASA Gulf Oil Spill Satellite Photo

Oil on water has many appearances. In this photo-image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on June 7, 2010, at least part of the oil slick is pale gray. A large area of oil is southeast of the Mississippi Delta, at the site of the leaking British Petroleum well. Traces of thick oil are also visible farther north.

Not all of the oil that is in the Gulf is visible here. The image shows regions of heavy oil where the oil smooths the surface and reflects more light than the surrounding water. Lighter concentrations and streamers are not visible. The Deepwater Horizon Unified Response reported oil washing ashore and immediately offshore in eastern Alabama and northwestern Florida on June 7, and this oil is not visible in the image.

Several other features may mask the oil in the image. Pale white haze (possibly smoke from fires in Central America) hangs over the Gulf, partially obscuring the view of the oil slick. The oil slick also blends with sediment washing into the Gulf from the Mississippi River. The sediment plume is tan and green. Because the sediment also reflects more light than clear water, it may be masking the presence of oil in the water. West of the mouth of the Mississippi River, sunlight reflecting off the surface of the water (sunglint) turns the water silvery white. In this region, it is difficult to see sediment and oil, but NOAA maps of the extent of the oil spill on June 7 report oil throughout sunglint region. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides twice-daily images of the Gulf of Mexico.

Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response/Holli Riebeek

More photos:

June 12, 2010

Alligators Lurk Far Inland from the NC Coast

06/11/2010 05:35 PM
Gavin MacRoberts

HOPE MILLS, N.C. -- Residents turn out to Hope Mills Lake after an alligator took up residence. The alligator was first spotted Wednesday morning...

"Yeah, I just never would have thought I would see one here,” said Martinez. “Especially the one here in Hope Mills Lake, that is very surprising."

...Experts estimate around a few thousand alligators live in their natural habitat in North Carolina, mostly near the coast. They sometimes will live as far west as Scotland, Cumberland, and Harnett counties.

Click video for full story

June 9, 2010

WBTV: Skateboarding Across NC to Raise Money

Marion Karr is skateboarding across the state to raise awareness and money for brain injury victims. He hopes to raise $10,000 for Hinds' Feet Farm. Mr. Karr departed Asheville on June 5th and hopes to arrive in Carolina Beach on June 15th.

As for his route into Eastern NC, he had this to say on his
blog: "We are flexible and will be tweaking the route based on conditions, weather, and how many BBQ places we can find when we get to eastern North Carolina!"

If you would like to donate to his cause, please visit his
donation page.

Here's his story as shown on WBTV:

June 8, 2010

Fort Fisher Event Saturday, June 12th: Exploring Our Historical Landscape

Next event: June 12th from 10am to 4pm.

The Fort Fisher State Historic Site will be holding “2nd Saturday” programs on the second Saturday of June, July, and August 2010, in a statewide initiative to partner our cultural history with our local arts communities. In these exciting programs, all North Carolina Historic Sites and Museums will join together to celebrate our arts and heritage in a unique way. Every “2nd Saturday” this summer, North Carolinians should look to their local State Historic Sites or state museums for fun, innovative events!

On Saturday, June 12, Fort Fisher will explore the historical landscape around us, using an artistic lens. Local artists and photographers, particularly those who work with landscapes or seascapes, will sell their work on site, and possibly demonstrate their craft. Visitors will not only be encouraged to visit artists’ booths, but also will be able to walk through a recreated Civil War landscape with a small Confederate encampment. Costumed tours, period music, and small arms weapons demonstrations are offered throughout the day.


CNN: Beachcomber stumbles upon historic shipwreck in Corolla, NC

By Sarah Hoye, CNN
June 7, 2010

Corolla, North Carolina (CNN) -- Ray Midgett hunts the Corolla beaches on the Outer Banks of North Carolina almost every day.

"Beachcombing, or metal detecting, or relic hunting is in my blood," said Midgett, a retired government worker who hits the sand between October and April...

Yet his biggest discovery came in December when he located the remains of a historic shipwreck.

The wreckage, hidden under the sand for centuries, became fully exposed after a winter of brutal Nor'easters, making it the oldest shipwreck found off the coast of North Carolina...

Archaeologists determined that it was...most likely a merchant's ship dating to the mid- to late-1600s...

Read the full article (with photos) here.
Photo from the story--courtesy of Ray Midgett

Crestline Hotels Announces the Completion of a Major Renovation at the Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach, NC

June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach announces the completion of a total hotel renovation and upgrade in time for the busy summer travel season. Crestline Hotels & Resorts, which manages the popular beachfront hotel, reports that all 144 guest rooms and suites are newly renovated including the addition of flat panel TVs, as well as new bedding, new lighting, furniture and fixtures. In addition, the Lobby and Restaurant areas have been upgraded to incorporate Courtyard's refreshing business renovations. This includes the "S Bar" for food and beverage service including the breakfast buffet; new Lobby amenities such as a communal table for work and meetings; as well as a "Go Board," to check out area weather and entertainment; and a TV/Wi-Fi seating area. In addition, the hotel's more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space has been upgraded with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.

The Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach is a focal point of this quaint North Carolina coastal community and is about 15 minutes by car to Wilmington, NC. The hotel's 144 well-appointed guest rooms feature private balconies and full oceanfront views. The Spa King Rooms include a private hot tub. Each guest room includes: complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access, a mini fridge, a coffee station, cable TV with Pay-Per-View movies and video games. Additional hotel amenities feature an outdoor pool, an indoor heated pool, a whirlpool spa and updated fitness center, as well as a full-service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and room service.

Local activities and attractions include: the Carolina Beach fishing pier, party and dinner cruises, Carolina Beach boardwalk, shopping, NC Aquarium and Civil War sites at Fort Fisher, NC Underwater Archaeology Center, and the Federal Point History Center. For more information and reservations call: 910.458.2030 or online at their website.

About Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Inc.

Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Inc. is one of the nation's largest independent hospitality management companies. Founded in 2000, the company presently manages 65 hotels, resorts and conference and convention centers with more than 13,000 rooms in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Crestline Hotels & Resorts manages 13 independent properties in major US markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Crestline also manages properties under such well-regarded brands as Marriott, Hilton, Westin, Renaissance, Sheraton, and Crowne Plaza. For more information visit www.crestlinehotels.com.

News and Observer: Doughnut worth drive? 'Oh my God, yes'

Jun 08, 2010
By Matt Ehlers

CAROLINA BEACH -- Traveling 129 miles from Raleigh to the beach to try an 80-cent doughnut is to put faith in those who have come before, to trust in their ability to judge grease and glaze.

Because even with rhapsodic testimonials posted across the Internet, driving that far to eat Britt's Donuts is a gamble because there are nochoices. If you prefer chocolate, and your buddy eats jelly-filled, that's fine, but you can't have either. Britt's sells only fried glazed doughnuts.

There is a simple reason for this, insists owner Bobby Nivens.

"When we get busy," he says of his airy, hand-cut delicacies, "we don't have time for other doughnuts."

After the first one, you might not either...

Read the full article here

Cape Cod Times: Great White Returns to the Cape

Here's a follow-up to the earlier post about tagging/trackings sharks in Cape Cod:

Sharks likely headed back for Cape seal meals
By Doug Fraser
June 05, 2010

At least one of the great white sharks that lingered in the waters off Chatham last summer appears headed back our way.

The last of the satellite tags attached to five great white sharks off Chatham in September was found off North Carolina a few weeks ago.

Successful 2009 tagging of great white shark off ChathamData retrieved from three of the previously collected tags indicate the quintet of marine predators stayed in local waters through September before making a straight run down to Florida, where they remained in one area for the winter.

But Greg Skomal, the state Division of Marine Fisheries' lead shark researcher, said there is some evidence the final tag may have detached itself from its shark in March and has been floating north with the Gulf Stream ever since...

Read the complete story here

Photo Credit

June 7, 2010

Video of Lazy Days at Kure Beach

What a great relaxing video posted by gmontjr. And the seagull is quite entertaining as he meanders about.

The Machine Gun Band Performs Superstition with the Carolina Beach Fireworks as a Backdrop

Castromusicfreak posted this cool video of the Machine Gun Band performing at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk on May 29, 2010. The regular Thursday night fireworks make for a lively performance backdrop.

Pleasure Island Shag Contest, 1st Place Non Pro Division

Gokitesurf posted the following Youtube video of the winning dancing pair from the recent Carolina Beach Shag contest. Take a few minutes and watch the two in action, you will be very impressed.

Video Description: "1st Place Non Pro Division. John Bradshaw and Amber Cava at the Pleasure Island Shag Contest held at Shanty's II in Carolina Beach on June 5th, 2010."

June 5, 2010

Update: Gulf Oil Spill and Possible Effects Along the Carolina Coast

Here are two recent stories about the possible effects of the Gulf oil spill on the Carolina Coast:

Ocean currents likely to carry oil along Atlantic coast
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
June 03, 2010

BOULDER—A detailed computer modeling study released today indicates that oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico might soon extend along thousands of miles of the Atlantic coast and open ocean as early as this summer. The modeling results are captured in a series of dramatic animations produced by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and collaborators...

The computer simulations indicate that, once the oil in the uppermost ocean has become entrained in the Gulf of Mexico’s fast-moving Loop Current, it is likely to reach Florida's Atlantic coast within weeks. It can then move north as far as about Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with the Gulf Stream, before turning east. Whether the oil will be a thin film on the surface or mostly subsurface due to mixing in the uppermost region of the ocean is not known.

Peacock and her colleagues stress that the simulations are not a forecast because it is impossible to accurately predict the precise location of the oil weeks or months from now. Instead, the simulations provide an envelope of possible scenarios for the oil dispersal. The timing and course of the oil slick will be affected by regional weather conditions and the ever-changing state of the Gulf’s Loop Current—neither of which can be predicted more than a few days in advance. The dilution of the oil relative to the source will also be impacted by details such as bacterial degradation, which are not included in the simulations...

Read the full article
here (includes video animation of oil slick movement)
PHOTO CREDIT: From the Article

Oil spill a threat to valuable sea life off the North Carolina coast

The Charlotte Observer
By Bruce Henderson
May 22, 2010

The ocean currents that could sweep Gulf of Mexico oil up the Atlantic coast might also become a contaminated highway for billions of young sea creatures, some of which will grow to maturity off the Carolinas.

Commercially valuable seafood species such as snappers and groupers sometimes spawn in the Gulf, their larvae riding currents to settle onto N.C. reefs. Coveted Atlantic bluefin tuna, which brought N.C. fishermen $1.4 million last year, are spawning now within miles of the oil leak...

The odds remain low that the spill will reach N.C. beaches. But oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon well has reached the Gulf's Loop Current, which flows south around the tip of Florida and then northward up the Atlantic coast on the Gulf Stream...

Loggerhead turtles now nesting on Carolina beaches could hit oil in the Gulf Stream well offshore. The turtles, a threatened species, have to surface periodically to breathe as they swim and could become coated. So would sea birds and mammals such as dolphins.

"The first thing loggerhead hatchlings do is swim off to the Gulf Stream to hide in algae and feed," said Crowder, who studies endangered sea turtles, sea birds and marine mammals. "Even if the oil doesn't come onto the beach, they would be swimming into an oiled habitat."

The effect is impossible to predict, he added, because it's unknown how diluted the oil might be...

Read the full article here
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