August 29, 2010

Hurricane Danielle Halts Swimming

Lifeguards in Kure Beach, Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach are flying double red flags today which means no swimming allowed. The guard I spoke to in Carolina Beach did say they were allowing people to wade in up to thigh level. And judging from what I saw, most people were heeding their warnings. As for the surfers, they looked happy even though they had to work hard to grab a wave.

Stay tuned for next weekend as they are now predicting waves in the 7'+ range as Earl approaches the Carolina coast.

August 28, 2010

Carolinas Keeping a Close Eye on Earl

According to the National Hurricane Center, TS Earl may become a major hurricane as it nears the North Carolina coast late next week. Per the 5:00pm NWS/NHC advisory, Earl is projected to have winds at 100 knots (115mph) by next Thursday. And although the projected path has it staying off the coast of NC, it looks like we will be on the outskirts of the cone of uncertainty. So for now, keep an eye on Earl and let's hope it stays off the coast as is currently anticipated. Either way, it should make for some notable increased wave action towards the latter part of next week.
(Click image below for current forecast projection)

August 26, 2010

Dogs Are a Dolphin's Best Friend?

I know an entire ocean seperates Tory Island, Irleand from Carolina Beach but how could I not post this?

August 25, 2010

A Picture Perfect Weekend at Fort Fisher

Sorry, they're already hatched & gone (sea turtles)
Why fly?
Sorry, Ibises only
Beach traffic
Nature's silence
End of the road

August 24, 2010

Absolutely Beautiful Nighttime Video Footage of Carolina Beach

This fantastic, high quality video was posted by Noel Salcedo on Vimeo three days ago. It is 1:53 in length and I would strongly recommend that you watch the entire video because you really don't want to miss any of it. It really is that good and it was a joy to watch. I will add that the music was a tad different ;-) Enjoy!

Bald Head Island Times: Leatherback Nest Excavation Uncovers a Surprise

Posted By: Christi Golder
Posted: August 23, 2010

Earlier this week, under the cover of darkness, and without human witness, Bald Head Island’s first recorded leatherback turtle nest hatched...

This past Saturday night, volunteers from the Bald Head Island Conservancy, led by Environmental Educator Maureen Dewire, excavated the nest to see if any turtles remained. To their delight, and to the delight of a crowd of around 250 people gathered on East Beach, one live baby leatherback was found...

Read the full story

Photo from the story.

Carolina Beach Pier Continues to Move Towards an Anticipated December 2015 Opening

The NC Aquarium continues to steam forward with plans to construct and open the town center Carolina Beach Pier in December 2015. Donna Moffitt gave a presentation to the Carolina Beach Town Council on August 10th. Below is a brief bulleted overview of her presentation. For more detailed meeting coverage, please visit: Wilmington Star, Island Gazette , WWAY & Town Council Audio Minutes.

Some General Highlights from her Presentation:
•Planning continues for December 2015 opening
Jennette's Pier in Nags Head scheduled to open in May (1st of the 3 piers)
•Total cost for pier, land and related facilities approx $20M (Aquarium to pay $16M and Carolina Beach to pay $4M--CB seeking grants to cover their portion)
•More modest pier house than Nags Head 10,000sf vs 17,000sf
•Pier would be self-sustained or subsidized by aquarium admission receipts.
•Town and Aquarium to appoint 8 member pier steering committee.
•UNCW School of Business conducting pier economic benefits study (Oct completion).
•Pier operation to have 10 full time year-round employees with numerous seasonal employees.

Specific Pier Project Amenities:
•1,000ft concrete pier with wooden decking
•10,000 square foot pier house
•Conference space with kitchen facilities
•Educational facilities
•Possible Aquarium exhibits
•Pier store with equipment rentals
•ADA accessibility with ocean view balconies
•Outdoor movie/stage area
•Bathhouse (showers and dressing facilities)
•New lifeguard station

•Children's park & recreation area
•Water sculptures/fountains

•Installation of marina canoe/kayak launch
•Boardwalk to be connected to pier complex

NC Aquarium's Goals for the Carolina Beach Pier:
•Provide diverse recreational fishing opportunities
•Increase & enhance public beach access
•Demonstrate sustainable practices (storm water control, energy generation, water use)
•Provide opportunities for coastal/oceanic research and instruction
•Encourage/promote public and private partnerships to further NC Aquarium's mission
•Inspire appreciation/conservation for NC aquatic environments

Here is a high quality (3.44MB) rendering of the pier project. Once clicking for full size version, it's worth zooming in further and having a look at all the proposed amenities extending from the town marina to the pier:

August 23, 2010

WRAL 2 Part Series: Hermit Made Fort Fisher His Home

Raleigh's WRAL recently ran a two part series on the Fort Fisher Hermit from his interesting way of life to the mystery involving his death:

August 21, 2010

Kure Beach Lifeguard Attempts Surfing World Record

Kure Beach lifeguard Thomas Cannon is attempting to surf for 24 hours thus setting a world record for the longest surfing session. He began the record attempt today at 4:00 AM. Check out this New14 story for details:

August 20, 2010

Alligator in the Ocean Surf Near Carolina Beach Pier Creates Onlookers

This afternoon, an alligator was swimming in the surf just north of the Carolina Beach Pier. Carolina Beach Police and wildlife specialist were attempting to capture the gator but as of 3:00 they were unsuccessful. At that time, the gator had not been seen for about an hour.

I spoke with a lifeguard who told me that alligator was approximately 6 feet in length. However, a gentlemen nearby told me that he thought it was closer to 8 to 9 feet. He was retired military and stated that in all his years of coming to the beach, he had never seen anything like it. A few times, the gator came to shore but quickly turned around and headed back into the wave breaks. The gentlemen commented that the gator did not look healthy and may have been in the ocean for some time now.

He stated that officials were attempting to snag they alligator using a weighted hook but were so far unsuccessful. Additionally, they had a alligator transport tube ready to go in case they were able to bring it to shore.

Lifeguards and law enforcement officials were warning swimmers about the hazard and the vast majority of the people were wisely staying out of the water. I did see a few people wading up to their their knees but there were not many. Here are a few pictures from today's afternoon search:
(most beachgoers are heading the warnings)
(This little pup gave the media a break from scanning the ocean)

(Lifeguards were out in full force)

(Unfortunately, an empty transport tube)
Although sightings of alligators swimming in the ocean is quite rare, there was another one captured in Hilton Head, SC just last month. That one was 9 foot in length.
[Edit at 5:30: WECT news has some excellent video footage of the alligator in the surf. Click here to watch]

Video: Diving the Dixie Arrow Off Hatteras

Here's an excellent video of the Dixie Arrow dive site posted on Youtube by UNC Coastal Studies Institute:

August 19, 2010

Good Morning Carolina Beach: Sunrise Photos From This Morning at Hamlet Beach Access

(Click photos to enlarge)

Harris Teeter Coming to Carolina Beach

Great news for the island, a sign has gone up at the old Jubilee Park site announcing that a Harris Teeter is finally coming to Carolina Beach. The Harris Teeter rumor has been floating around for many months but now it is official, HT is on the way. With that, I'll just say, "Yippeeeeee!!!!"

Here's the location ('A' marks the spot):

August 16, 2010

Video: Kure Beach Sea Turtle Nest #2 Hatched on August 4th

The Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project just posted the following sea turtle hatching video on youtube. As you can see, a metal cage was placed over the nest to keep predators out. Congrats to them for ensuring yet another safe hatching on Pleasure Island. Visit their website to find out how you can help this wonderful organization.

First Annual "Island Day--A Celebration of Our Island Community" September 26th

Carolina Beach, NC — Whether you live in Kure Beach or Carolina Beach, everyday we hear someone say “we are so lucky to live in paradise.” So, let’s take time to “smell the sea breeze” and celebrate our beautiful island community.

Join us at the First Annual Island Day celebration, scheduled for September 26th from 1 to 5 pm around the lake at Carolina Beach. Island Day is a joint event between the towns of Carolina and Kure Beach and will be a day of fun for all citizens of our island.

This year’s event is sponsored by the Carolina Beach Arts & Activities Committee, and is a cooperative effort between the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, Boardwalk Makeover Group, and police, fire, public works, and parks & recreations departments from both towns.

“We see this as a day to bring our Island together for an old fashion, hometown picnic to celebrate the end of a great summer, and the wonderful life we share.” says Dan Wilcox, Carolina Beach Councilman and member of the Boardwalk Makeover Group.

Think Andy Griffith but “beach style”, wearing shorts and flip flops….red checkered tablecloths, hot dogs, sack races, dunking booth, and a host of other family activities, topped off with some great music and lots of family and friends.

Dean Lambeth, Mayor of Kure Beach, welcomes this opportunity to work with Carolina Beach in a joint effort to bring island residents together, “We all have worked hard to create this island treasure and we look forward to starting an annual tradition of celebrating our slice of paradise.”

Christine Higgins, with the Carolina Beach Arts and Activities Committee, is calling for volunteers to help for the one-day event. “This is a fun gathering for our community and we want the entire island to participate.

We are also seeking help from non-profit organizations, groups, and individuals that might want to provide family related displays or activities, or simply help with event organization. So email me if you want to get involved.” (

Mark you calendars now – September 26th, rain date October 3rd. And keep a look out for more information about Island Day – A Celebration of Our Island Community.

Photo from the 2009 Chowder cook-off.

August 15, 2010

Update: Carolina Beach State Park Marina Set to Open in September 2010

The following update was recently posted on the CB State Park website:

The marina complex (boat basin, fuel dock, boat ramps, store, parking lots and fishing deck) is closed for renovation. Construction is expected to be completed in September 2010.

Updated: 2010-08-10 12:08:36

The $2.5 million renovation project includes replacement of bulkheads, floating docks, additional boat slips, fixed walkway system, fuel tanks, improvements to the facility's two boat ramps, a redesigned parking area, and dredging of the marina basin and access channel.

August 13, 2010

Aerial Fly Over Video of Pleasure Island

Check out this cool aerial video released by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce. It covers the entire island from Fort Fisher up to Freeman Park and is nearly 4 minutes long. Enjoy!

August 12, 2010

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher Now Accepting “BOO-th” Sponsors for Their Halloween Events

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher invites businesses and organizations to sponsor booths at the eighth annual “Trick or Treat Under the Sea” on Wednesday, October 27 and Thursday, October 28.

The event, also known as TOTUS, features indoor trick-or-treating for children from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Sponsoring a booth is a wonderful way to promote your business by interacting with families in the community at this fun and popular event. Vendors can also win prizes for their decorating efforts.

Booth space is available for $75 per day. A $10 discount is offered to vendors who book both days. Vendors may attend one or both nights. Sponsors decorate booths and provide enough treats for the several hundred children expected each night. Sponsors bring their own tables, decorations and power cords. Returning vendors get first priority with an August 31 deadline.

Booth sponsorships are available first-come, first-served. For more information or to register, call Special Events Coordinator Terry Bryant at 910-458-8257 ext. 218 or 202 or email

Video: Limbo Fun for Family Night at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk

Here's a fun Youtube video posted by the good folks at BeachPC of some younger ones enjoying Family Night at the CB Boardwalk. Looks like it was a beautiful evening!

Update on the Progress of the Carolina Beach Aquarium Pier

Wilmington Star
August 10, 2010
By Shannan Bowen

Plans for N.C. Aquarium Pier advance after Carolina Beach council vote

For now, the N.C. Aquarium Pier at Carolina Beach is merely a plan on paper and a debt noted in the budget of the town of Carolina Beach and a nonprofit set up to obtain property for the project.

But that plan is on its way to receiving a formal nod of approval from state agencies, as the Carolina Beach Town Council approved a memorandum of agreement Tuesday night outlining the steps the state's N.C. Aquariums division and the town will take to make the project a reality.

That reality, however, will depend on the aquarium's success in acquiring a grant from the state's Division of Coastal Management to purchase the parcel of land at 234 Carolina Beach Ave. N. to build a 1,000-foot-long concrete pier complete with a pier house, educational facilities and tanks to showcase marine life. The state would then purchase the adjacent lot at 236 Carolina Beach Ave. N. for pier parking and to provide public ocean access, according to the memorandum of agreement...

Read the full Wilmington Star article

August 11, 2010

Fort Fisher - Southport Ferry Run Second Highest Ridership in the State

Here is a look at all the ferries passenger numbers for the month of July as reported by News14 Carolina:

Southport-Fort Fisher
2010 - 83,028 passengers
2009 - 79,498 passengers
2008 - 85,364 passengers

Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach
2010 - 54,485 passengers
2009 - 50,714 passengers
2008 - 59,599 passengers

Cedar Island-Ocracoke
2010 - 13,944 passengers
2009 - 12,814 passengers
2008 - 13,495 passengers

Ocracoke-Cedar Island
2010 - 13,474 passengers
2009 - 11,775 passengers
2008 - 12,530 passengers

Bayview-Aurora (Pamlico River)
2010 - 11,287 passengers
2009 - 11,326 passengers
2008 - 14,093 passengers

Swan Quarter-Ocracoke
2010 - 6,254 passengers
2009 - 4,084 passengers
2008 - 6,080 passengers

Ocracoke-Swan Quarter
2010 - 5,469 passengers
2009 - 3,493 passengers
2008 - 5,137 passengers

Hatteras Inlet
2010 - 169,157 passengers
2009 - 166,369 passengers
2008 - 169,683 passengers

Currituck-Knotts Island
2010 - 7,277 passengers
2009 - 6,816 passengers
2008 - 7,359 passengers

For more info on the NC Ferry system:

August 10, 2010

Wilmington Star: 300lb Shark Washes Up on Carolina Beach

Wilmington Star
August 10, 2010

Carolina Beach A six-to-eight-foot shark washed up on the shore of Carolina Beach late Monday night, drawing spectators to the beach near the town's boardwalk, according to the tow truck driver (Wayne Gunter) who hauled the dead shark away...

Gunter said Monday night was the second time in a month he's removed a shark from a beach in New Hanover County. Last month, Gunter said, he pulled a 14-foot shark from the sands at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.

Read the full article here (with photo)
Back in April of this year, I came across the below Youtube video (uploaded April 4, 2010) of a shark being removed from Carolina Beach by Mr. Gunter from the Pleasure Island Towing Company. Judging from the video, I'd say the shark was probably 10 to 12 feet in length. There was no description so I have no idea when the video was taken or exactly where the shark was located.

I've seen Mr. Gunter's tow truck pulling numerous vehicles from the sands at Freeman Park and Fort Fisher; however, until I read the above story, I never realized that he was our resident shark disposer as well.

PS. If you ever need the assistance of a 4X4 tow to get you out of a sand trap, Mr. Gunter is always available to help. Not to mention, he's a very friendly fellow as well.

PPS. And if you decide to check out the South-end while pulling a U-Haul trailer...well, I would strongly suggest that you keep his phone number close as hand. This bogged down vehicle pic is from their Facebook page. With that, I have nothing further to add ;-)

WWAY: Shark Bites Surfer at Figure Eight Island

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Wilmington man kicks a shark and then gets attacked. Josh Clement, 25, was surfing off Figure Eight Island with some friends Saturday. About 3 p.m., he caught a wave in. As he was jumping back on his board to paddle back out, he accidentally kicked the shark. He says the shark then turned and bit his left foot...

Read the full WWAY story

August 9, 2010

Indo Jax/Life Goes On Featured on CNN

CNN has picked up the WECT story about Indo Jax Surf School/Ocean Cure Crew and their recent Life Goes On event. This past Saturday, more than 200 volunteers helped individuals with spinal cord injuries enjoy a day of surfing at Wrightsville Beach. Kudos to all involved!

(Click image to watch on the CNN website)
Indo Jax Surf School
607 N Lake Park
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-7100

August 8, 2010

Amazing Sunrise Photos by Surf Carolina Magazine

Check out the Surf Carolina Magaizine facebook page for some wonderful surise photos. The photo to the right is one of four in an album labled Wednesday 8/4 Sunrise and it may just may just be one of the best Carolina Beach sunrise photos I've ever seen. Be sure to click the above link to view the others which are equally stunning and judge for yourself.

August 7, 2010

Fort Fisher: From Families to Cannons...Today It Was All About the Shade

I stopped by Fort Fisher this morning for the Load, Ready, Fire demonstration. It was a warm morning as temps began to near 90 by the noon hour. But fortunately, both visitors and Civil War reenactors were able to enjoy the morning in the coolness of shade descending from the beautiful Fort Fisher oak trees. Not to mention, there was a very nice onshore ocean breeze which was most welcomed. Here are some scenes from this morning:
(click any photo for full size)

August 5, 2010

Dog vs Shark in Beaufort SC

The fun of shark week continues. This video from Beaufort, SC was posted by TQFoley on Youtube earlier this week. To be honest, lol, I'm pretty much speechless on this one.

Cannoneers: "Load, Ready, Fire!" Program at Fort Fisher August 7th

KURE BEACH -They may squint their eyes, brace their shoulders and cover their ears, but few kids can resist the booming sound of a Civil War era cannon. And that’s just what they’ll experience at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site program Cannoneers: “Load, Ready, Fire!” set for Saturday, August 7, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At this free event, costumed staff and volunteers will fire the site’s 12 lb. bronze Napoleon cannon and teach visitors about Civil War artillery and the soldiers who used them. Cannon firings will be held at 11:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Tours led by a costumed interpreter begin at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Regular scheduled tours are hourly from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Throughout the day, kids age 4-13 are invited to join the ‘Junior Reserves,’” said Fort Fisher Assistant Site Manager Amy Manor Thornton. “Upon completion of the ‘Junior Reserves’ activity book, they receive a certificate and ‘Junior Reserves’ patch.” Site visitors, residents, and motorists are advised that noise from cannon firings is extremely loud. Visitors are warned to stay out of barricaded firing ranges for their own safety. Smoking is prohibited in the firing areas. Visitors are cautioned to turn down any hearing aids, warn children, and control pets during all firing. Please note, due to circumstances beyond our control, all demonstrations are subject to change.

Fort Fisher, the largest earthen fortification in the Confederacy, once protected the port of Wilmington and the vital blockade running trade on the Cape Fear River. After two massive bombardments, the fort fell to a Union infantry assault on January 15, 1865. With the capture of Fort Fisher, Wilmington’s port-”the lifeline of the Confederacy”-was closed to foreign trade.

Fort Fisher offers visitors a variety of experiences, activities, and historical treasures. Visitors can tour the remaining portions of the historic earthworks along the shaded scenic tour trail that winds around a portion of the fort’s land face. They can also enjoy the many exhibits in the visitor center, ranging from a fiber-optic battle map of the 2nd Battle for Fort Fisher to amazing artifacts recovered from the shipwrecked blockade-runner Modern Greece.

The Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, N.C. 28449. For more information on this program or the site, call (910) 458-5538 or visit
. Fort Fisher State Historic Site is part of the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information is available 24/7 at

August 4, 2010

Congrats to Surf House Cafe & Shop for an Upcoming Article in Southern Living

According to a posting on their Facebook page, the Surf House Cafe & Shop are preparing for an upcoming article to be published in the November issue of Southern Living magazine. Tomorrow, August 5th, they will be having a photo shoot for the article and they are looking for some people to join in the fun. "IF you want to come out and participate you don't have to show up until like 10 a.m., BUT you DO have to wear Fall/Winter clothes - oh and try to lose some of that tan okay kiddies :)"

So Kudos to them for bringing some excellent exposure to their restaurant/surf shop and to the island as a whole.

August 3, 2010

Video of Shark Cruising the Kure Beach Surf

It's shark week on the Discovery Channel...what do you expect from this blog??? Here's a very cool video posted by Duanelee68 on Youtube of a shark cruising the surf at Kure Beach.

Although we all know that sharks are continually patrolling our favorite swimming spots, it is somewhat rare for someone to actually catch them on video. Enjoy!

Loggerhead Sea Turtles Hatch on July 21st at Kure Beach

Here's an excellent Loggerhead Sea Turtle hatching hatching video posted by David Halpern on Vimeo on July 27th. He explains that he was so excited about the hatching, he ran out the door with his camera and the video lense fogged up due to the abrupt temperature change (the video clears up within minutes). I personally never tire of these wonderful I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Loggerhead Turtles Hatching from David Halpern on Vimeo.

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