October 28, 2010

The Houston Chronicle: Cape Fear Scares

Oct. 27, 2010,

CAPE FEAR COAST, N.C. — Stephen King could come here for inspiration.

From the carnivorous Venus flytraps that grow native only in this region to the world's most venomous snakes that size up visitors at the Cape Fear Serpentarium, the creatures you'll find here are the same ones that regularly star in nightmares.

Oh, and dozens of ghosts are also said to wander this historic area, which centers on the city of Wilmington and also includes the smaller island communities of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach.

Cape Fear received its name not because of its serpents and spirits, however, but for the shallow, dangerous ground where the river meets the sea, resulting in many a sunken ship for early explorers.

Today, the Cape Fear River is less a hazard and more a picturesque accent to Wilmington, which has transitioned from a port town to a bustling city filled with cafes, boutiques, historic houses and tourist attractions. On the outskirts, the beach towns sparkle with charm as burger shacks intermix effortlessly with houses painted in the colors reminiscent of an Easter basket...

Read the full article here.

Venus Flytrap photo
Kure Beach photo

October 27, 2010

Coastal Flotillas Light Up the Holidays in Wilmington and NC's Cape Fear Coast

October 27, 2010

WILMINGTON, NC — “What is a flotilla?” is a question heard frequently by Visitor Information Specialists in Wilmington and North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast (Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach). Flotillas are lighted boat parades made up of the tiniest of rowboats to the largest of motor yachts. While flotillas occur throughout the year, the holiday season is especially popular for this coastal tradition.

Two holiday flotillas capture the nautical essence and holiday spirit of Wilmington and North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast: the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla and the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla. Thousands of visitors celebrate the holiday season by traveling to Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach to experience their spectacular nighttime flotillas. People line the waterways and cheer for the twinkling boats as they drift by, each hoping to win the coveted “Best in Show” prize!

Celebrating its 27th year, the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla is an annual Wrightsville Beach tradition that kicks off the holiday season the weekend after Thanksgiving (November 26-27). On Friday night (5:45 p.m.) the island’s official Christmas tree is lit, followed by visits with Santa at Town Hall, which is also a collection point for Toys for Tots. At 7 p.m., there’s an “Anchor’s Away” Holiday Flotilla party at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort with music by The Four Knights (admission is $35 per person). On Saturday, a full day of entertainment begins with a free Festival in the Park from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Wrightsville Beach Park with arts and crafts, kids’ activities, inflatable amusements, an open-air bazaar, food, music, and more. Then, at 6:00 p.m. the main event — the flotilla — gets underway, followed by fireworks along Banks Channel. Boaters interested in entering the flotilla for a chance to win prizes and a trip to Costa Rica, can access entry forms at www.ncholidayflotilla.org. For more information about the N.C. Holiday Flotilla, call 910-256-2120 or email info@ncholidayflotilla.org.

On the first Saturday in December (December 4th), the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla in Carolina Beach features lighted fishing boats and pleasure crafts in a spectacular display along the Intracoastal Waterway. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., the boat parade cruises from Snows Cut to Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. The best viewing station is at Carolina Beach Boat Basin. For information about entering a boat call 910-458-0211. Visitors who arrive a day early will enjoy the annual Island of Lights Nighttime Christmas Parade on Friday evening (December 3). Santa’s official arrival in Pleasure Island is preceded by an elaborate procession of electrical floats, marching bands, queens, and more. The Friday night parade begins at 7:30 p.m. along Lake Park Blvd. from Atlantic Avenue to Federal Point Shopping Center in Carolina Beach. Plan a weekend getaway that includes both the parade and the flotilla. And while you’re on the island, you can shop for unique coastal gifts at shops in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. For more details about the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla and Parade, visit www.islandoflights.org.

More than 40 holiday events celebrate the season in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. For holiday specials, featured events and experiences, visit www.gocapefearcoast.com/holidays. For a complete Calendar, visit www.gocapefearcoast.com/events.

October 26, 2010

Update on the Carolina Beach Harris Teeter

Has anyone else noticed the signs announcing the Harris Teeter are now gone? Well don't worry, I just heard from their home office that the signs were removed because apparently they violated the Town's sign ordinance. Nothing has changed with their planning.

And for anyone wondering, they are still not offering a time frame as to when the project may begin. But that's OK, as long as they eventually come!

Wilmington Star: Carolina Beach Vendors Hope New Market Extends Summer Success

By Judy Royal
October 26, 2010

If you've been missing the Carolina Beach Farmer's Market since it ended on Oct. 9, you don't have to find another activity to occupy your Saturday mornings just yet.

Max and April Sussman of The Veggie Wagon are organizing the Pleasure Island Fresh Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday Nov. 6 through Dec. 18. It will be similar to the earlier market with many of the same vendors, but instead of being held at Lake Park it will take place around the Carolina Beach Municipal Marina in the grassy area near the Winner Boats...

So far there are about 20 vendors signed on for the seven-week fall run. Products you'll find include beef, eggs, milk, cheeses, soaps, sauces, wine, peanuts, candles, photography, jewelry, pastries – including a booth from La Gemma, an Italian bakery in Wilmington – and hot beverages such as coffee and cider from Treehouse Bistro in Carolina Beach...

Read the full article (with photo) here

The First Annual CB Fall "Seafood Bowl" December 4th

The following info was provided on the Seafood Bowl Facebook page

Michael's Seafood vs. Shuckin Shack
Date is December 4th
Further details to follow

Basically, it is a bragging rights Flag Football game between two restaurants that refuse to darken the others doors. The intense rivalry runs generations deep beginning before the bridge was built. We only communicate through Morse code to relay game times and never speak. We have nothing in common, including regular customers that BETTER BEGIN TO CHOOSE SIDES!!! Oops. sorry for that.

The Lombarstanley Cup is at stake here people.

Please understand the magnitude of this game. And someone have EMT's on stand by.

PS. This rivalry is so intense that even the Refs are angry

Aquarium at Fort Fisher Director to Retire

October 26th, 2010

After a varied career in state government which began in 1979, Donna Moffitt is relinquishing the helm as director of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher on December 31. Following tenures in various government departments and divisions including Office of Marine Affairs, Division of Community Assistance and Division of Coastal Management, she joined the Aquarium family in 2004. Interestingly, when the North Carolina Aquariums shifted from Marine Resource Centers to Aquariums in 1986, she was integral in creating the original administrative rules.

Since 2004, Moffitt has weathered everything from new exhibit construction to hurricanes. The Exotic Aquatics gallery, which opened in 2005, brought unusual species like cuttlefish, lionfish and sea snakes from around the world to the Aquarium for the first time. In 2009, the Aquarium’s lobby underwent a major expansion with improved visitor access and a waterfall feature. Luna, a rare albino alligator, also made her home at the Aquarium that year. Under her leadership, Aquarium attendance soared from 403,000 to 445,000, a 10% increase over just six years.

“It has been a pleasure for me to have been director for seven years and to see tangible evidence of how much we’ve accomplished together. This staff does more with less than anywhere I’ve worked. I am excited about what the future holds for the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, particularly the Aquarium Pier in Carolina Beach,” Moffitt said about her tenure at the Aquarium.

Throughout her career, Moffitt was recognized with numerous awards. She was nominated for the Governor’s Award of Excellence in 1991 and awarded the 1997 Director’s Award of Appreciation. In 2009, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of North Carolina awarded her with a Women of Achievement Award and she was recognized as the April 2009 Aquarium Director of the Month by the Zoo and Aquarium Visitor website.

Moffitt holds a Bachelor’s degree in environmental design and a master’s in landscape architecture from North Carolina State University. She went on to earn her juris doctorate from the School of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was also a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

In her retirement, Moffitt plans to travel more with her husband Tom. She will continue to serve the community as an appointee to the New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors. “My ultimate goal is have lots of time for myself after being in the work force 40 years,” she said with a laugh.

“Donna Moffitt has provided exemplary leadership for the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Her vision and ability to energize staff have moved the Aquarium to a world class facility. Donna’s talents will be missed,” NC Aquariums Division Director David Griffin said.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is a major tourist attraction on the Cape Fear Coast. The other two North Carolina Aquariums are at Pine Knoll Shores along the Crystal Coast, and on Roanoke Island near the Outer Banks. Together, the three rank among the state’s most-visited attractions each year.

October 24, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action, Doritos? at Fort Fisher

Local filmmaker Kara Still McGee took over Fort Fisher today as she directed a commercial written by Tina Fuchs. Tina and Kara are putting together an entry for this years Doritos Super Bowl commercial contest. They have a hilarious script idea and have been fortunate enough to cast strong talent who look to make this entry a real contender. Not to mention, once you throw in some stunt work overseen by local stunt professionals, we may just end up seeing our local beach make the big league.

So keep your eyes open and lets all hope for the best for these two talented local film professionals. We'll keep you posted.

What a beautiful day for filming
Tina flies high

Tina and Dino move the stunt pad

Director Kara working hard

Island Gazette: Carolina Beach Farmer's Market To Be Extended; New Location At Marina .

By Willard H. Killough III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. : October 22, 2010 - The Carolina Beach Farmer's Market was a big success this summer with tourists and locals...The "Pleasure Island Fresh Market" will begin on Saturday November 6th, from 9AM until 2PM every weekend until December 18 at the Carolina Beach Municipal Marina in the grassy area on Carl Winner Street and the to the side of the boat basin...

Read the full article here.
Photo Credit

This is great news for the island! Also, I'm told that that the Wilmington Star will also be doing an article on the market in this coming Wednesday's edition. It's good to see this growing (pun intended) publicity which no doubt will help ensure that this market is a great success. Bring on the Fall goodies ;-)

October 22, 2010

North Carolina Ranks 3rd in 2010 Forbes The Best States For Business And Careers

Utah tops our fifth annual ranking, knocking longtime leader Virginia from the top spot.

When voters in 37 states select their governors next month, the overriding issue will be, of course, the economy.

A recent CBS News poll found that 54% of adults think the economy and jobs are the most important problem the U.S. is facing today. Health care ranked a distant second, with 7% of the tally. Almost every state experienced decreased output, a loss of jobs and budget shortfalls during the economic downturn. Nationwide employment has declined by 7 million jobs over the past two years while gross domestic product growth has been sluggish this year after a 2.6% drop in 2009. No state has emerged unscathed.

But some areas are doing better than others, and for many of them, it isn't an accident. Who's doing the best job when it comes to fostering growth? Utah, according to our fifth annual look at the Best States for Business. The Beehive State captured the top spot in our rankings for the first time, after a four-year run by Virginia at the head of the list...

Our former No. 1-ranked state, Virginia, falls to No. 2 this year. Virginia still boasts a very favorable business climate, with an educated labor supply and solid economic growth. But Virginia's business costs (namely labor and energy) have crept up, which allowed Utah to leapfrog it. Rounding out the top five are No. 3 North Carolina, No. 4 Colorado and fifth-ranked Washington...

Read the full artile

On a micro level, here is look at individual NC cities that made the top 100 cities for Business and Careers as shown in their April 2010 review:

NC City Rankings:
03. Raleigh
17. Charlotte
23. Durham
32. Wilmington
51. Winston-Salem
90. Greensboro

You can look at this years Forbes results
here and compare them to last years rankings. To view the Best Small Metros (inlcluding Greenville at 24) go here.

Carolina Beach Fire Department Annual Barbecue Oct 23rd

Don't miss this year's annual CBFD annual barbecue this Saturday from 11:00am to 7:00pm. It's a wonderful event and your children will love getting an up close look at all the fire fighting equipment. But the main attraction is the delicious food. These Firefighters know how to do BBQ...they really do! So come on out and show your support. You and your tummy will be glad you did.

October 21, 2010

Farmer's Almanac Long Range Weather Forecast for Wilmington, NC

Who doesn't enjoy reading the long range weather predictions from the Farmer's Almanac? Well, here it is (brrrrr):

Annual Weather Summary: Nov 2010 to Oct 2011

Winter will be colder than normal, with below-normal precipitation and near- to above-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in January, especially the mid- to late part of the month, and mid- and late February. The snowiest periods will be in mid- to late January.

April and May will be cooler than normal, with rainfall slightly below normal in the north and above normal in the south.

Summer will be cooler than normal, with rainfall below normal in the north and slightly above normal in the south. The hottest temperatures will be in early July and mid-August. Expect a hurricane in the second week of June.

September and October will be cooler and drier than normal.


But fear not, the meteorologist over at AccuWeather are actually predicting for our area to have a warmer and drier winter. So although it's tough to turn one's back against the prognosticators at the Farmer's Almanac, I do tend to lend credence towards the people that actually spent years in college studying this stuff ;-)

Click here to view some Pleasure Island snow photos from last years unusually snowy winter.

October 20, 2010

Carolina Beach State Park Boat Ramp and Marina Parking Now Open

Great News coming from Carolina Beach State Park website (updated today)!! The marina boat ramps, store, parking lots and fishing deck are now open. The marina boat basin and fuel dock are still closed for renovations but construction is expected to be completed by early November 2010.

This very cool photo (from the park website) was taken by a US Coast Guard Auxiliary Aircraft on July 31, 2010. For more great park photos, visit the park photo gallery.

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher-Canoeing at Holly Shelter Oct 23rd

Explore a local tributary of the Cape Fear River by canoe. Paddlers meet in Pender County to float through cypress swamps on the northeast Cape Fear River. According to the NC Natural Heritage Program, Pender County boasts some of the most biologically significant land along the Atlantic Coast. The county ranks fourth among the state's 100 counties for its number of rare plants and animal species. Much of this biological cornucopia is centered around the Holly Shelter region - a vast expanse of longleaf pine savannas, Carolina bays, blackwater streams, and pocosin habitat that encompasses Holly Shelter Game Land in Pender County.

This trip is recommended for novice or immediate paddlers. Participants should be able to swim and be capable of sustained physical exertion. Tie up shoes required. Weather and Water permitting. Participants need to bring closed-toe shoes (water shoes work best), sunscreen, and bug spray.

Date: Saturday, October 23rd
Times: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm.
Price: $35. NCA Member price: $31.50.
Age Restrictions: 8 & Up. All children 8-12 must be accompanied by TWO ADULTS. All children 13-14 must be accompanied by ONE ADULT.

•Call 910-458-7468 or email ncaff.registrar@ncaquariums.com for reservations.

(This program may be canceled if a minimum number of participants is not met.)

Photo: Fire Engulfs SUV at Freeman Park (Summer 2009)

I came across this eye opening photo of an SUV fully engulfed in flames on the North End. The photo was taken last summer and was posted by Diane Williams on FB. There was no information on the cause of the fire but the photo does serve as a friendly reminder that you have to be careful where you park your vehicle when visiting the park. One needs to be mindful of possible buried fire debris.

October 19, 2010

VA Pilot: Feds Investigate Killings of Endangered N.C. Red Wolves

By Erin James
The Virginian-Pilot
© October 15, 2010

For the second time in six months, federal authorities are investigating the suspected shooting death of a red wolf, a species that once teetered on the brink of extinction and now wages its fight for survival exclusively in eastern North Carolina's wilderness.

The most recent killing of a red wolf - a creature rarer than the panda - occurred last week in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare County. Two red wolves were found dead in nearby Hyde County six months ago...

Today, biologists estimate that between 115 and 130 red wolves exist in the wild - all of them in a five-county area on the Albemarle Peninsula of North Carolina.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees a red-wolf recovery program, is investigating the latest deaths. Anyone convicted of killing a red wolf - protected under the federal Endangered Species Act - faces up to a year in prison and $100,000 in fines...

Ignorance of the red wolves' protected status also is a problem, said Kim Wheeler, director of the nonprofit Red Wolf Coalition.

"We have people that come into the area that don't even know we have wolves," Wheeler said...

Read the full article here

Photo from the article.

Bald Head Island Times: BHI Conservancy Rescues Another Loggerhead Nest

Posted By: Lauren Frye
Posted: October 18, 2010

Last Friday, October 15, the Bald Head Island Conservancy rescued 51 baby Loggerhead sea turtles attempting to hatch from their nest on South Beach but having trouble due to the cold temperatures.

Nest #73 was one of the last few unhatched nests on Bald Head Island. Friday morning was unusually cold, and when the nest hatched the baby turtles were stunned and unable to make their crawl down the beach to the ocean. Luckily, Maureen Dewire, Senior Nationalist and Director of Education, was making her morning rounds on beach when she saw a stream of baby turtles scattered down the beach. Because of the cold temperatures, the turtles’ flippers weren’t as flexible and they couldn’t make the long journey to the ocean. Maureen collected the turtles in her sweatshirt...

Read the full story at the Bald Head Island Times blog (includes some great photos)

Photo from the blog

October 17, 2010

Kure Beach Lifeguard Sets Surfing World Record

For anyone waiting for followup to the earlier blog post about the Kure Beach Lifeguard Thomas Cannon's world record surfing attempt, well, he made it. Unfortunately, he was not able to reach his 24 hour goal due to weather issues but nonetheless, he was able to continually surf for over 15 hours thus setting a world record.

Now it should be told, that he is the first person to pursue this marathon surfing attempt so in effect, once he began, the record was set. But he did set a high benchmark for future attempts and for that, he deserves a round of applause.

In the article at GWU Today, Mr. Cannon suggested that he may be the first one to have a go at his own record as he still wants to break the 24 hour mark.

For the full story, check out the article at
GWU Today (Gardner-Webb University student publications).

October 16, 2010

Carolina Beach Halloween Carnival October 30th

Date: Saturday, October 30th
Time: 3:00-5:30pm
Location: Mike Chappell Park (rainout location- CB Recreation Center)
Entry Fee: At least one (or more) canned good item donation per child

This is a fun family event for kids age 12 and under. There will be carnival games, relay games, hay ride, prizes, and many other activities. All kids please come in your best, most creative costume because there will be a costume contest for prizes.

Any individual or business that would like to donate packaged candy for this event please drop off at the Carolina Beach Recreation Center or the Carolina Beach Police Department by October 29th.

October 11, 2010

2nd Annual Salty Paws Festival October 16, 2010 at Carolina Beach Lake

The 2nd annual Salty Paws Festival will be held October 16, 2010 (rain date Oct 17th) at Carolina Beach Lake Park. This event is a fundraiser that benefits the area animal rescue groups and will be fun for the entire family.

For more information:

Saving Animals During Disasters is a non-profit organization based out of Carolina Beach, NC, providing disaster aid locally as well as other disaster areas in the southeastern United States. Saving Animals During Disasters was started the day after Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. The haunting horror and devastation shown in the news showed the fear and desperation of the animals affected. The despair of animal lovers everywhere, came together and brought the hope and resilience of thousands of volunteers and the work began. Some were happy endings and some were not. Saving Animals During Disasters was formed primarily to help provide the essential care to animals during emergency situations in natural and man-made disasters. Man-made disasters are such as rescuing animals from puppy mills and dog fighters.

Our trailer transports vital supplies of medicine, bedding, food, etc… to safe-centers set up for animal rescue. Additionally, the trailer can be used for housing sick animals, housing worker-volunteers and transporting animals to safety in climate controlled comfort. When the trailer is not being used for emergencies, it is made available to other animal groups for fund raising and educating the public about the situations of disaster animals. This could be a man-made or natural disaster.

In effort to reach out to all animals in need, Saving Animals During Disasters works with other existing animal organizations to help eliminate some of their overhead and stress. Through the generosity of businesses and individuals, we are able to help many rescue organizations. Money is constantly going out to help special needs situations for medical bills, etc. We bring in approximately 40 tons of free pet food and treats per year and distribute it all to the groups which are in the most need. Several thousand per year is put into spaying and neutering of animals that would normally fall between the cracks. There is no way to count how many dog houses, bedding, crates and everything is else is collected throughout the the year and sent on to animals in need. Money is also raised by the all year collection of yard sale items and other various fundraisers.

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher's Reptiles and Amphibians AquaCamp

By Emily Jones

Kure Beach, NC- Need something to do with the kids while on their fall break? Sign them up for the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s Reptiles and Amphibians AquaCamp! AquaCamp is a day long, fun-filled camp where children can interactively learn about aquatic animals and the environment.

During the Reptiles and Amphibians AquaCamp campers will learn about the similarities and differences between these two types of animals. Campers will get an up close look at reptiles and amphibians including, turtles, salamanders, and alligators. Live animal presentations and more are all part of this exciting program.

Reptiles and Amphibians AquaCamp will be held Thursday, October 14 from 8:30AM - 3:00PM.

This year the Aquarium is offering limited transportation from the Monkey Junction area to and from AquaCamp. Each camp will provide children with a snack. Campers will need to bring a bag lunch. Camp fee is $40.00 per participant. Pre-registration is required. For more information visit our website at www.ncaqauriums.com/fortfisher.

NC 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 days). Admission: $8 Ages 13-61, $7 Ages 62 and up, $6 Ages 3-12, Free for children 2 and under, NC Aquarium Society members and pre-registered North Carolina school groups. General information: www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher.

NC Aquariums are accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA and its 221 members work together to build North America’s largest wildlife conservation movement, by engaging and inspiring more than 175 million visitors and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.

To view NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s web page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to: http://www.zandavisitor.com/forumtopicdetail-1200-North_Carolina_Aquarium_at_Fort_Fisher

Videos from the 17th Annual Seafoood, Blues and Jazz Festival

If anyone is looking for videos from this past weekend's (October 9th and 10th) musical performances at the 2010 Seafood, Blues and Jazz festival, the Youtube poster 'Slussejs' has done a wonderful job of uploading a whole array of videos on Youtube.

There are 13 videos of Jake Haldenwang, 3 of Allison King Band, 3 of Danny Cowan Band, 6 of Lockdown Blues Bank and 6 of Leon Russell.

To check them out, click
here for Slussjs's channel page and then click on 'date added' to pull up the recently added Blues and Jazz videos.

October 8, 2010

Sanuk's Hot Wax Challenge October 9th & 10th at the Carolina Beach Hamlet Street Beach Access

It will be a busy weekend on the Island. First we have the 17th Annual Seafoood, Blues and Jazz Festival which will be held Sat & Sun at the Fort Fisher Military Recreation Area. This is a guaranteed good time and opens around 12 noon (first musical performance at 12:30pm). But before heading out there, make sure to check out the Sanuk's Hot Wax Challenge on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 8:00am. The surf challenge will be taking place at the Hamlet Ave beach access which is next to the Courtyard Marriott. Here are some photos from last years competition.

Harmonica Jam by the Son of the Fort Fisher Hermit

This morning I came across an interesting video of the Fort Fisher Hermit's son, George Edward Harrill 1920-1997, playing the harmonica...quite well I might add. The video is actually a still photo of George accompanied by an old audio featuring the 2:50 harmonic jam. The video was posted by LeesMom.

October 7, 2010

Celebration at Fort Fisher: Recalling the Parties of Daisy Lamb - October 23rd

Event details: 10/23/2010 from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Fort Fisher waltzes back in time as we recall the parties of Daisy Lamb, a Northern woman married to the fort's Confederate commander, Col. William Lamb. Experience the music of the era with traditional and popular musical performances throughout the day, featuring the highly acclaimed Huckleberry Brothers. Listen to the music and possibly learn some new dance steps as civilian reenactors engage our visitors in 19th century dance.

Step into Daisy's world as site historian Ray Flowers delivers a talk on this Northern lady and her Southern officer and for the first time see a temporary exhibit on Lamb artifacts recently acquired by the museum.

Visitors can pick up copies of period recipes used by Daisy Lamb and women in the Wilmington area, and kids of all ages can participate in hands-on activities.

Cap off your visit to Fort Fisher with special firings of the site's 32 pounder, rifled and banded cannon, atop Shepherd's Battery.

October 5, 2010

Video: The Ferry Ride from Southport to Fort Fisher

Here's a well shot video of the ferry ride from Southport to Fort Fisher. The video was posted on Vimeo by Keith Kendall. Enjoy!

The Topsail Rattlesnake Story Appears to be False

Thanks to Barry Summerlin who left a comment in the earlier post, I was able to do a Google search with the information he provided and came across this Georgia newscast dated August 13, 2010. According to the news story, the snake in question was killed by Nick Kearns(sp) while hunting with a friend in Screven County on the Savanah River.

The original photo on Facebook connecting the snake to Topsail appears to have been re-posted by hundreds of other people so I imagine the story will become a Topsail urban legend and will remain in dispute for many years. With that said, we'll now return to our regularly scheduled Pleasure Island postings.

Here are some additional photos posted in Gerogia Outdoor News forum dated July 17, 2010.

Town of Carolina Beach Public Notice: Storm Debris Removal

From October 6 through October 15, the Town of Carolina Beach will offer free pick up of flood debris resulting from the recent rain event. This includes water damaged wood, carpet, furniture and other types of residential debris. Please note, vegetation, oil, fluids, aint or paint cans, batteries, tires and other such items will not be included in this pickup. The pickup area is bounded by Greenville Ave., Carolina Beach Ave., S, Cape Fear Blvd. and S. Fifth Street and includes Spartanburg Ave., S. Second St., Sumter Ave., S. Third St., Lake Dr., Driftwood Lane, Columbia Ave., Clarendon Blvd., Woody Hewett Ave., Atlanta Ave., S. Fourth St., Fayetteville Ave., Hamlet Ave. and Charlotte Ave.

Pick up of other types of debris in locations outside the area listed above will be
determined on a case by case basis.

For information or to schedule a pickup please call 910-458-2999.


17th Annual Seafood, Blues and Jazz Festival October 9th &10th

Visit the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce website for more information and to obtain tickets.

October 4, 2010

Monster Sized Rattlesnake Found on Topsail Island

[**EDIT 10/05/2010 @ 3:30PM. This original story appears to be false. The snake in question appears to have been from Georgia. Click here for details.]

Apparently, this monster rattlesnake was found on Topsail Island and turned over to NC Wildlife officers. This picture is from Ben Fodor on facebook.

[EDIT]. Ok, just did some homework and judging from the photo, this appears to be an Eastern Diamondback which are found in Southeastern NC. Here is some info from Davidson College along with a habitat graph:

Description: The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest species of rattlesnake in the world and arguably the most dangerous snake native to the United States. They are very heavy-bodied pitvipers with a series of dark diamonds outlined in black running the length of their gray or yellowish backs. The diamonds on the tail tend to form into dark bands. Diamondbacks have two light lines running along the sides of their heads.

Feeding/diet: Diamondbacks are ambush predators. Adults will feed on rodents and rabbits.

Habitat/range: In North Carolina, diamondbacks are usually found in sandy pine flatwoods in the southeastern Coastal Plain. Unfortunately, due to habitat destruction and collecting and killing of adults, very few diamondback rattlesnakes survive in the state. Consequently, eastern diamondbacks are protected in North Carolina.

Miscellaneous: The venom of the eastern diamondback is very destructive to tissues and, due to the snake’s large size, a bite results in a heavy injection of venom. Most of the time, diamondbacks rely on their excellent camouflage and try to remain undetected when a threat presents itself. Even if disturbed, most are very reluctant to bite and will typically try to escape first. If unable to escape, they will usually rattle loudly as a warning and, if necessary, will bite.

To read the complete description, please visit the Davidson page.

•It turns out NC leads the nation in snake bites:
"North Carolina has the highest frequency, with 19 bites per 100,000 persons. The national average is approximately 4 bites per 100,000 persons."


•Although the Eastern Rattlesnake is not federally protected, it is protected by the State of NC:

Carolina and Kure Beach Now Featured in the Wilmington Star's "My Backyard" Section

I may be a little late to have noticed this but both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach have been added to the WS "My Backyard" website. I'm happy to see this as I think it is a pretty handy tool to quickly see what is going on in your immediate area. So if you haven't checked it out yet, here you go:

October 3, 2010

The Southport Times Acquires Rare Price's Creek Lighthouse Postcard

October 2, 2010 – The Southport Times has recently acquired a rare postcard showing a view of the Price's Creek Rear-Range Lighthouse. Southport Time's Editor, Ben Celinski, said "We have actively been collecting Southport postcards since 2004 when we founded The Southport Times. This is only the second time we have ever seen this postcard come to market. The first time we saw this postcard was at auction on eBay. The postcard sold for just under $200.00."

The Price's Creek Lighthouse, completed in 1849, consisted of two different structures. A "front-range" light and a "rear-range" light. When a vessel was coming up the Cape Fear River they would line up the front-range and rear-range lights. This would ensure they were centered in the channel...

This postcard was published by E.C. Kropp in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The card was postmarked in Southport on July 23, 1908 at 2:00 PM. The card was mailed to Mrs. B.H. King at 509 South Front Street in Wilmington, North Carolina...

Read the full story here.

October 1, 2010

Carolina Beach Awarded $150.000 Grant Towards Aquarium Pier Project


N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources--State Officials Provide Funding for 19 Water Resources Projects

RALEIGH – More than $1.6 million in state grants through the Water Resources Development Project Grant Program has been awarded to help finance 19 projects aimed at improving water resources in North Carolina communities.

The N.C. Division of Water Resources awarded $1,651,458 for its fall 2010 grant cycle. The projects in 13 counties include funding for a study of the Sanford Dam Spillway on Allen Creek in Brunswick County, to design a new spillway that will increase the reservoir's flood storage capacity; the second phase of a Lake
Junaluska sediment removal project that will remove 22,000 cubic yards of sediment from the Haywood County lake; and a Northampton County project to install a 512-foot piped drainage system at the Garysburg Town Park where an open ditch bisects the park. For more information on the grant program, or to see all the 2010 projects
that received grants please visit: http://www.ncwater.org/Financial_Assistance/.

The water resources program provides cost-share grants and technical assistance on a competitive basis to local governments in North Carolina. Applications for grants are accepted for six purposes: general navigation, recreational navigation, water management, stream restoration, beach protection, land acquisition and facility
development for water-based recreation.

There are typically two grant cycles per fiscal year. Units of local government and local political subdivisions are eligible to apply for these grants. For more information on the grant program, contact Jeff Bruton, grant project coordinator with the N.C. Division of Water Resources, at (919) 715-0387 or

Fall 2010 Grant Awards

11. New Hanover County - Town of Carolina Beach –Carolina Beach Access Phase 1 $150,000 This project involves the purchase of a 0.287 acre parcel of land which will become part of the Ocean-to-Sound Access Park and future home of the NC Aquarium Pier.

Cape Fear Roller Girls Come to Carolina Beach This Saturday, Oct 2nd

Looking to do something a little different this weekend? You might want to check out the Cape Fear Roller Girls Black Hearrts this Saturday at the Carolina Beach Recreation Center. They will be playing the Charlotte B-Dazzlers. Doors open at 6:00pm and tickets are $11. For more information, visit the CFRG website.

Halloween Events on Pleasure Island: From Ghosts to Ghost Crabs

Fort Fisher Ghost Hike
Oct. 8-9; 15; 23-24

Join a park ranger down the trails of Fort Fisher State Recreation Area to explore the unexplained phenomena (see The Ghosts of Fort Fisher) that surrounds Fort Fisher. Bring a flashlight and meet at 8pm at the visitor center to explore trails that are normally closed at night. You must call 910-458-5798 to reserve your spot because space is limited. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, 1000 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach. 910-458-5798;

Fort Fisher Aquarium Trick-or-Treat Under the Sea
Oct. 27 & 28


Families can enjoy thrills & gills in the same day. Indoor trick-or-treating, face painting, story-telling, magic shows and haunted gardens are some of the highlights at this family oriented fun Halloween party at the Aquarium. Note: only umbrella strollers permitted. Admission is $6; children 2 and under FREE. NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach; 910-458-8257; www.ncaquariums.com

Flood Photos: Carolina Beach Lake Area Morning of October 1st

Here are some morning photos from around Carolina Beach Lake. We are now over the 12 hour mark since the rain stopped and the pumps are starting to make some headway. But from the looks of it, it's going to be some time before all the water is gone.

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