November 30, 2010

Aerial View of the Completed Carolina Beach State Park Marina Renovations

Here's an aerial image compliments of Google Earth showing the completed renovations at the CB State Park Marina. The 42 slips and the two boat launches are open for business. Click here for the park website.

(click image for full size)

Video: Fishing Time, Carolina Beach

Here's a fun video posted on Youtube by neeraz. Enjoy!

Hurricane Season Ends Today--Marks the 5th Year With No Major Hurricane

11/30/2010
WOAI.com

MIAMI (AP) — A busy Atlantic hurricane season ends Tuesday, but the U.S. was spared of any major storms for a fifth straight year.

All told, 19 named storms formed in the Atlantic, the third-highest total on record, and 12 became hurricanes, the second-highest total on record.

In the U.S., Texas suffered the worst of the tropical weather, with flooding, deaths, and tens of millions of dollars in damage attributed to storms. But most of activity hit elsewhere, including Haiti, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Hurricane Wilma in 2005 was the last major hurricane of Category 3 or stronger to hit the U.S. The U.S. has never before gone more than five consecutive years without a major hurricane.

Sat photo credit

November 29, 2010

Holiday Elf Camp at the Fort Fisher Aquarium

Dates/Time:
•Saturday, December 4 - Freshwater Animals 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
•Saturday, December 11 - Brackish Water Animals 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
•Saturday, December 18 - Saltwater Animals 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
•Tuesday, December 21 - Aquatic Animals 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Ages:

•5-10 years old
Fee:

•$50 (includes admission, pizza lunch, snacks, crafts, holiday gift-wrap and instruction)

Looking for something fun this holiday season? Our elves will be making gifts, wrapping them, meeting other elves, and making some extra special memories here at the aquarium. This fun and educational program gives adult elves guilt-free time for holiday shopping or relaxation. Register early at (910) 458-7468 or email at: ncaff.registrar@ncaaquariums.com to get the date you want.


http://www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher/programs

November 27, 2010

Photos: Christmas by the Sea Opening Night

Even though the weather was a tad "frightful" last evening with drizzle and dropping temperatures, there was a wonderful turnout for the lighting of the Carolina Beach Lake and the Christmas by the Sea at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Here are a few photos from last nights Boardwalk lighting (courtesy of Donna Gurganus).

So in the coming weeks, make sure to spend some time visiting the Lake area and the Boardwalk to view the wonderful and very festive lighting displays.

For more information on Pleasure Island Christmas and New Year's events, click
here.












November 26, 2010

Pelicans Wash Up on Shore at Fort Fisher

Sad to say, but I just returned from driving on the beach at Fort Fisher and came across three dead sea birds washed on shore. Two were pelicans and I'm not sure about the third one (the last photo). When you consider what happened last week at Topsail, it makes you wonder what is happening here.

I contacted the Fort Fisher Ranger office, and as I was leaving, a Ranger was headed out to investigate the deaths. Based on the number of birds washed up, it does make you question whether these deaths were intentionally caused.

This was a disappointing way to end an otherwise wonderful day at Fort Fisher.

Note: Various groups are offering rewards for information leading to the identification of those responsible for the Topsail Beach bird deaths.





Pleasure Island Fresh Market...Only 4 More Weeks to Load Up on Nature's Goodness

Wow, time sure does fly. There are only four more weeks to grab some goodness from the Pleasure Island Fresh Market. In case you haven't checked them out yet, now is the time. The weather this Saturday should be perfect for Fall shopping as temperatures will work their way up to near 60 degrees. So come on down to the Carolina Beach Marina from 9:00am to 2:00pm. The market runs through December 18th.

To keep up with the latest market happenings, check out their
Facebook page.

Video: The Boardwalk Makeover from Christmas to Summer

Here's an informative 6+ minute video about the Boardwalk Makeover group. Dan Wilcox discusses the Christmas by the Sea as well as what is in store for the upcoming summer. If you're not familiar with many of the changes that have occurred on/around the Carolina Beach Boardwalk in the last few years, this video offers a great overview. The video was posted on Youtube by carolinabeachtv. (No affiliation to CBToday) Enjoy!

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Harbor Seal Visits the Cape Fear River

The other day, WECT posted a very cool photo (taken by Laura Snyder) of a harbor seal sunning on buoy 58A in the Cape Fear River. According to the article, Andy Wood with Audubon North Carolina, viewed the photo and confirmed that it was indeed a harbor seal. He noted that although it is rare to see a seal this far south, he does not feel that the seal was sick or harmed in any way.

Check out the WECT article and a photo of the seal
here

November 24, 2010

WECT: Carolina Beach State Park Among Top Five Most Popular in NC

Nov 24, 2010

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - Carolina Beach State Park has made the top five most popular parks in the state of North Carolina, according to statistics from the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation...


Read the full story here
Photo Credit

Wilmington Star: Budget Cuts Could Slice into Fund for Carolina Beach Aquarium Pier

November 24, 2010
By Shannan Bowen

The fund pool expected to pay for construction of the N.C. Aquarium Pier in Carolina Beach will dry up if proposed budget cuts and transfers are adopted in next year's state budget.

It's a dour outlook for the 1,000-foot-long concrete pier expected to be built using about $15 million from the three state aquariums' admissions receipts.

The state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources had to submit proposed budget cuts to the governor's office, and the N.C. Aquariums division of that department planned to cut about $1.4 million in state appropriations it receives to operate the aquariums. That means the admissions receipts, which funnel into a special fund for capital projects, including constructing the three aquarium piers, would be transferred to pay aquariums' staff salaries and other operating costs.

“We will not have any admission money to put toward other things,” said David Griffin, director of N.C. Aquariums division...

Read the full article
here

Photo credit

Hoplite Pub & Beer Garden Thanksgiving Feast Noon to 9:00pm

One of my favorite places on the island has recently announced that they will be hosting an all you can eat Thanksgiving dinner on turkey day. The hours will be from noon to 9:00 and the cost will be $15 for adults and $8 for children.

So for all you folks who don't have plans this Thursday, this sounds like a great option to me. After All, other than home, where you can you have a nice dinner, a cold pint of Smithwicks and watch the games on TV? Heck, maybe he'll even let you drag your couch in with you.

Hoplite Pub & Beer Garden
720 N Lake Park Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC, 28428
Phone: 910 458-4745
Hoplite Facebook

November 22, 2010

Video: Whale & Friends Passing Through the Area

Here's a very cool video being shown by multiple media outlets in the Wilmington area. The video was posted on Youtube by Bobby100Tucker and shows a whale being accompanied by a pod of Dolphins about 1/2 mile out from Masonboro Island. Enjoy!

Videos: Kure Beach Skimboarding

Check out these two Kure Beach skimboarding videos posted on Youtube by gonesurfing72. They are both well shot and the production value is impressive. Not to mention, these two guys know what they're doing. Good stuff here...enjoy!



November 21, 2010

Christmas by the Sea in Carolina Beach Starts Friday, November 26th


CAROLINA BEACH, NC
Less than one week from today, The Boardwalk Makeover Group will kick off the 2nd Annual Christmas by the Sea held on the Boardwalk in Carolina Beach.

The annual seasonal event begins with the Lighting of the Boardwalk on Friday, November 26 at approximately 7:30 pm, following the Lighting at the Lake. The kickoff event will feature live music, local dignitaries, the lighting of the Boardwalk coves, a live nativity and many more fun family activities. This event is free.

Events will then be held every Saturday through December 18 from 5-9pm. Bring the family down for free activities including a fire pit with story telling, puppet shows, hot chocolate and marshmallows, a live nativity, arts and crafts with ornament making, and of course the kids can visit Santa in his workshop! All these events are free as well.

There will be an abundance of Christmas cheer, lights and decorations on the Boardwalk this year. The oceanfront coves on the Boardwalk will be decorated by local businesses. Each of the 10 coves will have a different theme and the coves will be lit nightly for viewing until January 5.

Christmas by the Sea is sponsored by the Boardwalk Makeover group, a not-for profit organization dedicated to preserving the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. The volunteer partners include Town of Carolina Beach Arts and Activities Committee, Island Women, the Carolina Beach Fire Department and many local churches and businesses. It is staffed entirely by hardworking volunteers.

To keep up with all the local holiday events on Pleasure Island, visit these sites for information:

WRAL: (Topsail Beach) Pelicans Deliberately Injured, Rescuers Say

There are not enough words for me to describe how much I dislike this story but I think it is important to help spread the word so maybe someone will step forward with information.

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH — Rescuers say that eight pelicans found dead or wounded on a North Carolina beach in the past two weeks were deliberately injured.

Six pelicans were found dead on North Topsail Beach Saturday, said Toni O'Neil, director of Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary, an Onslow County nonprofit that specializes in waterfowl rehabilitation...

Pelicans with similar injuries were found along North Topsail Beach last year, but the injuries ceased after an investigation began, she said.

O'Neil urged anyone who sees injured pelicans to report them, so they can be helped to heal or put down humanely.

The incidents have been reported to the
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Pelicans are protected by federal law, which stipulates penalties for injuring them.

Read the full WRAL article here (includes descriptions of how the pelicans were harmed.)

Photo from the article

November 20, 2010

2010 Christmas & New Years Eve Celebrations on Pleasure Island, NC

Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, N.C., will be hosting a series of family-fun, holiday-themed events this season. The annual “Island of Lights Festival” begins with the “Light up the Lake” ceremony on Friday, November 26 and ends with the “New Year’s Eve Countdown Party and Fireworks” on December 31.

The 2nd Annual Christmas by the Sea at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk begins November 26 and runs through December 18th. The lighted displays will be up until January 5, 2011.

The following is a schedule of some of the family-fun events planned for this holiday season in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach:

November 26: Island of Lights - Light Up the Lake. Starts at 7:00PM
The light up ceremony officially begins the month long Island of Lights Festival. The brief opening ceremony, prior to the actual lighting, will feature the President of The Island of Lights committee, Pleasure Island Mayors, and musical entertainment.

Local Boy Scouts provide the Honor Guard and display the Flag for the singing of the National Anthem.

Families can walk one mile around the lake to view the beautiful lighted displays. Santa will visit the celebration and free cocoa and cookies will be served.


November 26: 2nd Annual "Christmas by the Sea" Lighting of the Boardwalk. Starts at approximately 7:30pm

This kickoff event will follow the lighting of the lake and will feature live music, local dignitaries, the lighting of the Boardwalk coves, a live nativity and many more fun family activities. This event is free.


November 26 thru December 18 (Every Saturday Evening): Christmas by the Sea @ the Boardwalk. Time 5:00pm to 9:00pm

Bring the family down for free activities including a fire pit with story telling, puppet shows, hot chocolate and marshmallows, a live nativity, arts and crafts with ornament making, and of course the kids can visit Santa in his workshop! All these events are free.

There will be an abundance of Christmas cheer, lights and decorations on the Boardwalk this year. The oceanfront coves on the Boardwalk will be decorated by local businesses. Each of the 10 coves will have a different theme and the coves will be lit nightly for viewing until January 5.

Christmas by the Sea is sponsored by the Boardwalk Makeover group, a not-for profit organization dedicated to preserving the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. The volunteer partners include the Town of Carolina Beach Arts and Activities Committee, the Island Women, the Carolina Beach Fire Department and many local churches and businesses. It is staffed entirely by hardworking volunteers.

December 3: Island of Lights Night-Time Christmas Parade Starting at 7:30pm.
The Christmas parade furnishes exceptional night time electric displays, featuring floats, bands, queens, clowns, horses, Santa Claus and much more.
The hour and a half parade brings festive fun and entertainment to all. Bring your chairs, blankets and snacks to enjoy the fun time.

The parade proceeds from Atlanta Avenue down Lake Park Boulevard to the Federal Point Plaza. Public parking is free and the parade starts at 7:30pm.



December 4: Holiday Flotilla starts at 6:00pm
Fishing boats and pleasure crafts electrically decorated with thousands of lights present a spectacular display on the Intracoastal Waterway. The parade of boats will cruise from Snows Cut to Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. A unique coastal tradition sure to please the hearts of all. Cash prizes are awarded. View from anywhere along the waterway. Public parking is free.


December 10 & 11: Kure Beach Christmas Fantasy Show Starting at 7:00pm
This annual event is held on K Avenue near the Kure Beach Fishing Pier. There will be a pre-show at 6:30pm performed by Kure Beach’s homegrown bluegrass band “South of K,” and then it’s on with the show featuring Frosty, Rudolph, Harriet Hippo, The Grinch, Santa & Mrs. Claus and other Christmas favorites. Even Cookie Monster will be there!

Our talented crew of performers, all citizens of Kure Beach, will sing and dance their way into your hearts. Be prepared for some great belly laughs, too! We’re expecting snow flurries, so dress warmly and bring the whole gang out for this festive and entertaining event. This show is pure Americana, so don’t miss it!


December 11: Island of Lights Tour of Homes
Take a self-guided tour through some of Pleasure Island's most beautiful homes that are decorated for the holidays.

Enjoy Southern hospitality at its best as the owners welcome you into the privacy of their homes for this special holiday treat. And when you're done, make sure to take a walk around the lake to view the beautiful lighted displays. Tickets available at area businesses and through the Island of Lights.

December 31:
Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown Party/Fireworks Starting at 9:00pm
This family-fun event features fireworks, music and a New Year’s Eve countdown with the lowering of a giant lighted beach ball at the Kure Beach Pier followed by spectacular fireworks. This free family-friendly event will feature a DJ and dancing with refreshments available for purchase.

In an Island of Lights tradition, there will be a raffle, with the winner taking home the original artwork for the Christmas card and ornament.


More Information
Carolina Beach Getaway
Christmas by the Sea (photos from their website)
Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce
Island of Lights
Photo Credit:
Santa on Firetruck
Holiday Flotilla
Kure Beach Christmas Fantasy Show

November 19, 2010

The Charlotte Observer: Giant SC Gator Gets a New Home

By Bo Petersen
Nov. 18, 2010

CHARLESTON

Charlie went along peaceably enough.

...the legendary beast of the Joint Base Charleston Weapons Station handled his transfer on Wednesday as gracefully as could be expected — just as soon as Ron Russell tied off his snout, covered his eyes with a towel and sat on his head, while two other men straddled his back...

Charlie is the huge, old, “tame” alligator with a belly like a whale and an appetite like an ogre who has lived for at least a few decades at the weapons station. He has become the beloved behemoth of the place, regaling admirers from a retention pond off Remount Road, where he’s fed with mess hall scraps, roadkill, chicken wings, submarine sandwiches and anything else tossed over the pond fence...

The alligator measured out to 12 feet even. Russell “conservatively" estimated his weight at 500 pounds...

But he and a sizeable girlfriend had to be moved temporarily to a nearby pond so the retention pond can be cleared and deepened. It took eight people to lift the board holding him onto the truck bed.

Nobody knows for sure how long Charlie has lived in the retention pond. The lore has grown along with the gator. There’s supposedly a letter on file from two sailors admitting they caught him on the roadside in 1951 and placed him there. Among a host of people who contacted The Post and Courier after an earlier story, Lloyd Clayton, Hanahan Water Treatment Plant maintenance planner, remembered his grandfather taking him to see the alligator about 60 years ago...

Read the full article here

Photo Credit: The State

Video: Surfing at Carolina Beach

Check out this cool Youtube surfing video posted earlier this week by zog1963. You gotta love the morning sun pouring through the waves. Enjoy!

You can also see aditional videos and photos by visiting the CB Surfriders
blog.

Asheville Citizen Times: NC Zoo, Aquarium Charity Ranked Best in Nation

Staff Reports
November 18, 2010

KURE BEACH — The nation’s largest and most trusted evaluator of charities recently cited the North Carolina Aquarium Society as the top zoo and aquarium charity in their annual Holiday Giving Guide.

Charity Navigator is a New Jersey-based nonprofit watch-group that compiles financial data from over 5,500 charities across the U.S. and rates the efficiency and effectiveness of each organization. The results are posted on their website www.charitynavigator.org, providing prospective donors with inside information on the charities they might choose to support...

This marks the third year in a row the Aquarium Society has received a four-star rating from the group, the highest possible ranking...

We take very seriously our fiduciary role as guardians of all funds entrusted to this organization,” said Aquarium Society Board Chairman Art Keeney upon news of the award. “Whether from membership dues, gift shop revenues, or private donations, we are focused on operational efficiency so we can maximize our support of the three Aquariums.”

...The Aquarium Society provides over $2 million in annual support to the Aquariums at Fort Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores, and Roanoke Island.

Read the full article
here.

Photo
credit

Pleasure Island Beach Cleanup Nov. 20th

Here are some wonderful people quietly making a difference in our town. If you have some time, please join in and help improve our beaches. Starts Saturday, November 20th at 10:00am.

November 10, 2010 by blog42day

Join some local folks on Saturday, November 20 for a short beach sweep. This is an informal group of people who will meet up and spread out on the island to pick up litter, with a focus on the dreaded cigarette butts.

You choose your favorite spot on the island, but the unofficial meeting place will be near the gazebo at the Carolina Beach boardwalk before 10 a.m. This is conveniently located close to the Pleasure Island Fresh Market, so you can do a little shopping for produce, baked goods, and other items before or after the sweep.

This is a no frills event. There are no prizes and no free food (at least not planned) and you should come prepared with gloves, trash bags, etc. Remember, we’re not just going for the big stuff, but the cigarette butts.

The time for this event will be 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. so it won’t take up much of your weekend, but the more people who show up, the bigger the impact will be. So, come out and meet some new people and kick a little butt on Pleasure Island.

http://littersucks.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/pleasure-island-beach-cleanup-nov-20/


November 16, 2010

Shells & Salamanders at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

Sea Shells
Sat, November 20, 2010

Come and join park personnel in the classroom as they display, discuss and identify most of the shells found on the Fort Fisher beach. Then, following your classroom training, you will go out and test your ID skills. Please bring a bag if you plan on collecting any shells.
Starts at: 2:00 pm
Meet at: Classroom

Salamanders in North Carolina
Sat, November 27, 2010
Come join park personnel in the classroom at 2:00 pm for a program on salamanders that call North Carolina their home.
Starts at: 2:00 pm

Meet at: classroom

www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/fofi/main.php

Trivia: Are Salamanders considered lizards?
Clic here for the answer.


Photo credit: Shells, Salamanders

November 14, 2010

Video: An Early Morning Stroll on Carolina Beach

Here's a very relaxing youtube video posted by italk2youdotcom of a couple walking on Carolina Beach as the morning sun greets them.

November 9, 2010

Video: Dinner Time Carolina Beach Style

RossAlmanac posted the following video on Youtube of pelicans, gulls and dolphins partaking in a full scale feeding. Pretty cool video...enjoy!

November 8, 2010

Guest Blog Post: An Exciting Coastal Carolina RV Excursion!


Beautiful beaches that stretch for miles, fascinating local history and RV camping within walking distance of world-class seafood. If that doesn't shout "North Carolina!" you haven't visited Pleasure Island. Here's a sample itinerary to help plan your own exciting Coastal Carolina RV excursion.

Step 1: Find Comfortable Pleasure Island RV Camping

Before you take on the easy task of finding a Pleasure Island campground, here's a little more background on the area. Just across the bridge from Wilmington, NC, Pleasure Island is tucked between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. Because it is, you get to experience not only an historic river town but also exciting oceanfront attractions.

The island is divided into two vibrant beach communities, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. It's also home to historic Fort Fisher—an important Confederate fortification during the Civil War. With all that activity going on, you would think it hard to find an RV campsite, but you'll actually find plenty of accommodating campgrounds nearby.

Here are two possibilities for hospitable RV camping on Pleasure Island:
Carolina Beach State Park – beautiful, secluded campsites near the water.
Winner's RV Park – close to fishing piers, charter boats and the Southport Ferry

Step 2: Planning Your Carolina Coastal Excursions

The beauty of North Carolina's coastline is reason enough to travel by RV to the region, but there are dozens of other attractions to enjoy. Take, for example, the area's maritime history. Start with a tour of the USS North Carolina, anchored in the Cape Fear River. Special seasonal events on-board and a walking tour of this WWII battleship will keep everyone in your party enthralled. Continue your education on Coastal Carolina's seafaring significance with a trip on the Bald Head Island Ferry from Southport. Once you reach the island, visit Old Baldy, as the island's lighthouse is known. Smith Island Museum of History as well as the lighthouse, open for public tours, are two more enduring reasons RV camping fans return to the area.

When you're ready for rest and relaxation, hit the beach! Pleasure Island boasts something for every type of sunseeker. Carolina Beach, for example, is a lovely little town well-known for its oceanside boardwalk. Stroll through quaint shops and sample regional culinary favorites while watching the sun set over the ocean. There's even an amusement park to thrill young ones who've come along. And don't worry about wearing out your feet while seeing the sights; electric beach cars and surrey bikes can be rented to transport your family in style.

A different type of beach experience can be found at Carolina Beach State Park, where hiking trails reveal the secrets of coastal ecosystems. And in Kure Beach, also home to a great boardwalk and pristine beaches, there's a bonus waiting. This beach town is home to the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic coast. Bring your fishing gear and reel in the big ones on Kure Beach Fishing Pier, and then take the family to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. This well-planned exhibition of marine life includes more than two thousand animals.

Step 3: Don't Forget Pleasure Island's Artistic Heritage!

Leave time on your Coastal Carolina RV excursion to immerse yourself in the area's art and culture. A trip to Castle Street in nearby Wilmington, for example, will reward you with a wide range of galleries and artistic experiences. Another way to experience the unique culture of the North Carolina coast is by attending the annual Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival. Held the second weekend of October each year, this event is held on the Cape Fear River at Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area. Speaking of iconic events, don't miss the annual Pleasure Island Beach Music Festival, where the home of “shag dancing” celebrates the music that made it possible.

All in all, you can't go wrong parking your RV at a Coastal Carolina RV campground. There are sights, sounds and flavors waiting to become your favorite memories. Come for the beach, stay for the historic attractions and savor some of the best music, art and seafood around. North Carolina's Pleasure Island is always ready to introduce RVers to the joys of Coastal Carolina.

About the Author
Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals. For other great RV camping vacation ideas see the
Monty's Musings RV Camping Blog or the new Monty's RV Vacation Photo / Picture Gallery
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