June 30, 2011

Young Girl Bitten by Shark at North Topsail Beach

Both WWAY and WECT are reporting that a swimmer was bitten by a shark at North Topsail Beach. The young girl was in shallow water when she felt something nip her ankle.

She was transported to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill for treatment. Although not officially confirmed as a shark bite, officials at the scene removed a shark tooth from her ankle.

Photo credit: WXII12 (family captured this photo last summer of a shark at Topsail Island)
Edit 07/01: Additional follow up info from MyFox8.com

June 29, 2011

Our State North Carolina: The Legend-Fort Fisher Hermit

Few, if any, people claim to have known Robert Harrill well. He left a troubled life and chose instead to make his way within our state’s coastal wilds. Perhaps understanding the man better known as the Fort Fisher Hermit begins with understanding the land that sustained him.

The facts are simple enough: In 1955, a man named Robert Harrill left his home in the Piedmont and hitchhiked 260 miles to Carolina Beach, and then walked south to Fort Fisher, to a place where the land ends...

He made his way to an abandoned World War II artillery bunker in the middle of beaches and marshlands, and he lived there for the next 17 years...

Full story: Our State North Carolina
Photo from article

June 25, 2011

9 Foot Alligator Freed from Hilton Head Plantation

After a five-hour rescue effort Friday, a 9-foot-long alligator stuck in a Hilton Head Plantation storm drain was swimming in a nearby lagoon, away from the crowd that had gathered to watch the spectacle that involved fishing lines, ropes, PVC pipes and snares...

Full story: Island Packet (with video)
Photo from Island Packet

Video: Bath Time for Luna the Albino Alligator at the Fort Fisher Aquarium

As for the yellow rubber duckies, that apparently didn't our work so well. This fun video was posted on Youtube by Micheleby91.

June 24, 2011

Kure Beach Lifeguard 2011 Annual BBQ June 24th & Carolina Beach Lifeguard Annual Shrimp-A-Roo June 25th

Let our island lifeguards take care of your dining needs this weekend. Not only will you get a great meal for a a heck of a price, but you'll be helping the guards raise money for their respective departments.

On June 24, 2011, the Kure Beach Lifeguards will be holding a barbecue starting at 6:30pm at the Kure Beach Fire Department. They'll be serving pulled pork, cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad, corn on the cob and Banana pudding. For more information: http://www.kboceanrescue.org/

On June 25, 2011, the Carolina Beach Lifeguards will be holding a shrimp-a-roo starting at 11:00am until 3:00pm. It will be held in front of the CB Lifeguard station on the east side of the CB Boardwalk. So come on down for a hearty serving of boiled shrimp along with delicious sides.

June 23, 2011

Bottle from 1800's Found at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

Now this is just plain cool! A park ranger found a bottle, dated from the 1800's, along the shores of the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. When you consider the age, it's hard to imagine that it would be in such good condition.

Major kudos to the park ranger for this very cool find. I look forward to seeing it on display at the park's visitor center.

Here's the write-up from the park's FB page:
"Another interesting find by one of our rangers -- this spirits bottle from the early 1800s was discovered along the shoreline at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. The Underwater Archaeology Center at the Fort Fisher Historic Site helped us identify it and put on a protective coating so it can be displayed in our visitor center."

Park website: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/fofi/main.php

Mind the Tides When Driving on the Beach

The following photo was posted by Outer Beaches Realty on their Facebook page. Photo credit: Ken Powell.

After seeing the photo, it reminded me of the video posted below which was taken at Freeman Park (north end of Carolina Beach) on Memorial Day weekend in 2009.

The bottom line is that both the photo and video serve as a stark reminder that what when driving on the beach, you must always be mindful of the tides.

June 22, 2011

Wildlife in North Carolina Magazine Announces 2011 Annual Photo Contest

RALEIGH, N.C. (June 21, 2011) – The seventh annual Wildlife in North Carolina magazine photo competition is underway and open until Sept. 1, 2011.

The magazine partners again with UNC-TV for the popular juried contest, along with the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, which manages the state’s photogenic state parks, and co-sponsor, Great Outdoor Provision Co.

All winners will be published in the January/February 2012 issue of Wildlife in North Carolina, with the grand prize image appearing on the cover. Thanks to exhibition sponsor, JW Photo Labs of Raleigh, the winners will also be exhibited at the Museum of Natural Sciences and at other science museums and wildlife education centers across the state.

Photos will be judged in 8 categories, with youth divisions for 12 and younger, and 13 to 17 year olds:

•Reptiles and Amphibians
•Wild Landscapes
•Youth Photographer, 13-17
•Wild Plants (including mushrooms and other fungi)
•Outdoor Recreation (such as hunting, fishing and hiking)
•Animal Behavior
•Youth Photographer, 12 and under

Participants in the 2010 competition included 1,270 photographers and 5,511 entries.

Winners will be selected by a panel composed of staff from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

For competition rules, information and how to enter photos, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/contest/index.htm. All photos must be entered electronically, no slides, negatives or prints will be accepted by mail.

The award-winning Wildlife in North Carolina magazine is published bimonthly by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Subscription information can be found on the Commission’s website at http://www.ncwildstore.com/magazine.html.
Photo credit: Gene Furr of Raleigh

You can view the 2010 winning photo here.

June 20, 2011

Guest Photographer Series: Scenic Images from Around Pleasure Island by Lori Harris

For this week's Guest Photography Series, we are lucky to have six wonderful photos from photographer Lori Harris.

Lori lives in Carolina Beach and is the Marketing Manager for StarNews Media. When not working, Lori gets to pursue her hobby of photography and fortunate for us, she often focuses her keen eye on subjects right here on Pleasure Island, NC.

Although Lori pursues photography as just a hobby, her photos have ended up in numerous publications including WILMA! Magazine, Port City Executive, Airlie Gardens Butterfly House, Cape Fear Garden Club, New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation Red Dress Project, and Rotary. She has even earned the "Blue Ribbon Contest Winner" accolade from her peers at the Cape Fear Camera Club.

The first photo in this series was taken at Harbour Pointe in Carolina Beach and the remaining five are from Freeman Park (the north end of Carolina Beach).

NOTE: If anyone else has some favorite photos from Pleasure Island and would like to share them with blog readers, please send an email to admin@carolinabeachtoday -Thanks.

Click here to view all previous Guest Photographer Series posts.

June 19, 2011

Spend a Patriotic July 4th, 2011 Weekend in Wilmington NC - Cape Fear Coast

Independence Day Celebrations from the River to the Sea

What's your favorite way to celebrate July 4? This year consider a visit to Wilmington and North Carolina's Cape Fear Coast (Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach), a destination with a variety of patriotic events and activities to honor our nation's 235th birthday. Independence Day celebrations begin Saturday, July 2nd with the N.C. Symphony's "Stars & Stripes" performance. On Sunday, catch the fireworks display at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. On Monday, the City of Wilmington and the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA stage the July 4th Riverfront Celebration & Battleship Blast. Live music from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. along the Wilmington Riverwalk, followed by a choreographed fireworks display over the Battleship. Other weekend events include July 4 dinner cruises, rugby and blue marlin tournaments, outdoor movies and concerts, farmer's markets, and more.

Here's a sampling of patriotic happenings from the river to the sea:

JULY 2: N.C.SYMPHONY PRESENTS "STARS & STRIPES". 7:30p.m. Guest conductor Sarah Ioannides leads the orchestra in classical and patriotic favorites, from Tchaikovsky and Verdi to John Williams, Leroy Anderson and John Philip Sousa. Admission charge. Kenan Auditorium, UNC-Wilmington; 919-733-2750; http://www.ncsymphony.org.

JULY 3: PLEASURE ISLAND FIREWORKS DISPLAY. At dusk, fireworks light the sky over the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Make a weekend of your visit to Pleasure Island (Carolina Beach, Kure Beach). Arrive by Thursday for live music and fireworks at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. See the rare Venus Flytrap at Carolina Beach State Park; rent a kayak; see the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher's new Megalodon Shark exhibit; explore Civil War history at Fort Fisher State Historic Site; enjoy carnival-style rides and games at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Watch a free family movie on Sunday evening at Carolina Beach Lake. Details: 910-458-8434; http://www.pleasureislandnc.org; http://www.carolinabeachgetaway.com.

JULY 4: JULY 4th RIVERFRONT CELEBRATION & 50th ANNIVERSARY BATTLESHIP BLAST. The riverfront celebration features food and music by the Daniel Parish Band (5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.). At 9:05 p.m., the 15th Annual BATTLESHIP BLAST, among the largest fireworks display in the Carolinas, will illuminate the night sky over the Battleship NC and the Cape Fear River. To commemorate the Battleship's 50th Anniversary as an attraction, this year's fireworks will be better than ever with new features! Tour the Battleship early and view the fireworks from Downtown. For details about fireworks: http://www.battleshipnc.com. For street fair details:


JULY 4th: THE HENRIETTA III RIVERBOAT offers a 4th of July cruise on Monday July 4th from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. 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 6:00 p.m.; departs at 6:30 p.m. from the riverfront dock located at Water and Dock streets, Downtown Wilmington. 800-676-0162 or 910-343-1611; http://www.cfrboats.com.

JULY 4th: WINNER PARTY BOAT CRUISE Boards 6:30 p.m./departs 7:00 p.m./returns 10:45 p.m. The Royal Winner Princess II departs from Carolina Beach Marina to cruise across the Cape Fear River for a view of Southport's July 4 fireworks show. The menu features a N.C. barbecue buffet. Admission charge. Pre-paid reservations required. Carolina Beach Marina, Carolina Beach. 910-458-5356; http://www.winnerboats.com.

Festivals and events provide a fun and affordable way to experience a region's history and culture. For a FREE Visitors Guide for Wilmington & North Carolina's Cape Fear Coast (Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach), please call 1-866-266-9690 or download a copy from the website http://www.gocapefearcoast.com. For a complete Event Calendar, visit www.gocapefearcoast.com events. For seasonal experiences and travel information, visit http://www.gocapefearcoast.com, http://www.carolinabeachgetaway.com, http://www.visitkure.com and http://www.visitwrightsville.com.

Fireworks photo from http://southerndigitalart.com

June 18, 2011

Sea Turtle Nest Discoverd on Cape Fear River in Southport, NC Moved to Wrightsville Beach

The Lumina News of Wrightsville Beach reports that a Southport, NC resident discovered a Loggerhead Sea Turtle nest on the banks of the Cape Fear River in Southport.

The resident notified the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission who in turn notified the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project. The WBSTP were directed to the nest and they were able to safely move the eggs to the north end of Wrightsville Beach.

Check out the full story at Lumina News

June 16, 2011

Videos: Two Beautiful Weddings at Fort Fisher

Once again, Brick Street Cinema has hit the ball out of the park with two of their latest wedding video releases. Both weddings recently took place on Pleasure Island.

The first video is of Denny and Shannon who were married on the beach at Fort Fisher and had their reception aboard the Royal Winner Princess in Carolina Beach.

The second is of David and Anna who were married at the gazebo at Fort Fisher and had their reception at The George in downtown Wilmington.

There's a good reason I always love watching Brick Street wedding films, they just make me smile. These guys do a wonderful job of showing the genuine chemistry between the bride and groom. And I love how they always showcase the physical surroundings. Particularly in both of these films, they really did a great job of showing the beauty of Pleasure Island.

What makes these two videos even more exceptional is that Brick Street Cinema edited and released these videos on the same day as the wedding. It's a truly impressive feat when you see the quality of the films.

So again I say thank you to Brick Street Cinema for allowing us to share their videos with blog readers. If anyone has a need for high quality videography services, make sure to give these guys a call.

June 15, 2011

Video: Carolina Beach North End Fun

Here's a fun video montage of Freeman Park (North End of Carolina Beach). The video was posted on Youtube by baseballgrader and features a song with a snappy beach beat that will most surely get your head bopping.

I really enjoyed this and I'm sure you will too!

Father's Day Weekend on Pleasure Island, NC

The Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau put out a press release with some ideas for weekend recreational activities this Father's Day weekend. Here are their suggestions for Pleasure Island.

June 16: Free Fireworks by the Sea. Live music & fireworks on Thursday (6:30-9:30pm; Ten Toes Up band). Carolina Beach Boardwalk, Carolina Beach. 910-458-8434; http://www.carolinabeachgetaway.com/

June 18 & 19: NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Treat Dad to one of the Aquarium’s education programs: “Canoeing the Salt Marsh” (Sat. June 18; 9am-12pm) Must be able to swim; children ages 8-12 must be accompanied by two adults; ages 13-14 with one adult. “Behind the Scenes Tour” (Sun., June 19; 1pm) Limited to 10 participants. Children ages 8-14 must be accompanied by adult. Admission/program charges apply. Pre-registration required. NC Aquarium at Ft. Fort Fisher, Kure Beach. 910-458-7468; www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

June 18: Carousel Center Flounder Tournament. Take your dad fishing for prizes! Registration fee. Inlet Watch Yacht Club, Carolina Beach. 910-279-5713; www.carouselcenter.org/2011/03/11/flounder

June 19: Free Movies by the Sea. This week’s free family movie is “Legend of the Guardians.”Starts at dusk at Carolina Beach Lake Amphitheater. 910-458-8434; http://www.carolinabeachgetaway.com/

Other Fabulous Father’s Day Weekend Ideas

MEET A RARE ALBINO ALLIGATOR; SEE SHARKS & LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES: Did you know there are less than 50 albino alligators in the entire world and one resides at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher? There’s also a 235,000 gallon shark tank and a loggerhead sea turtle habitat. www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

AMUSEMENTS & RIDES: If Dad loves rides and amusements, take him to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk to ride classic amusement park rides and play carnival games to your heart’s content! http://www.carolinabeachgetaway.com/

REEL ‘EM IN: Dad can choose from pier fishing, surf fishing, or inshore, off-shore and Gulf-Stream charter excursions. Or, book a half-day family fishing adventure and learn to catch fish in area bays, creeks, and waterways. For info on fishing charters: www.capefearcoast.com/activities/wilmington/outdoor_recreation.html

MORE OUTDOORS: For Dads who love the outdoors, there are many ways to explore the Cape Fear Coast. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around our marshes, rivers, inlets and the Intracoastal Waterway. Ride along the Boardwalk via surrey or bicycle, or cycle along one of our bike paths. Stroll or Segway along the Riverwalk, fish from an ocean pier, or charter a boat for offshore fishing. There are more than 54 parks with trails, athletic fields, and camping and picnic facilities, including two state parks. Hike the Venus Flytrap Trail at Carolina Beach State Park! www.capefearcoast.com/activities/outdoor-search.html

For other ideas off the island, read the full press release

June 12, 2011

Wilmington Star: Carolina Beach Mooring Field Still Planned, But Delayed

By Shannan Bowen
June 11, 2011

A call from a writer for a boating publication was just what the town of Carolina Beach wanted as a result of its plans for a mooring field in Myrtle Grove Sound.

Town Manager Tim Owens said boating guides had advised boaters to avoid Carolina Beach in the past because of a lack of marine facilities.

The mooring field is expected be one of the first in North Carolina...and is expected to open at the end of this summer.

Read the full Wilmington Star story here.

Related story

Wilmington Star: New beach Businesses Betting on Year-Round Local Support.

By Shannan Bowen
June 11, 2011

Carolina Beach has its share of seasonal shops, ice cream parlors and push-cart vendors. But a new crop of year-round businesses will require the support of more than sun-drenched tourists.

Vinny Doria, who opened the doors Friday to his Italian restaurant Uncle Vinny's, is banking on the locals keeping the restaurant afloat in winter months when the tourist traffic is gone and some restaurants close on certain days or for a couple of months.

"If you go after the locals they will keep you busy year-round," he said.

But it's tourism that brought him here, and he said the island's tourism industry is poised for an "explosion..."

In addition to Vinny's, the article mentions the following new Carolina Beach businesses: Mermaid Castle, Corrigan's Cove, Carolina Jeep Rentals.

Read the full Star News article here.

Image credit

June 11, 2011

Video: Fireworks and "Machine Gun" Rock Last Thursday Night

Here's a fantastic Youtube video posted by castromusicfreak. The video features the band Machine Gun playing at the Carolina Beach gazebo as the weekly Thursday night firworks fire up. Very cool!!

Thank you Sue K. for letting me know that you had posted the video.

June 10, 2011

Video: A Carolina Beach Family Vacation

I received an email the other day from Melissa who is a blog reader in Tennessee. She and her family had just returned from a family vacation in Carolina Beach and she had put together a photo montage video. The family had a wonderful time and Melissa wanted to share the video with people who might be thinking about visiting Pleasure Island.

She did a wonderful job of putting this together and she gets an A+ for music selection. So thank you Melissa, we appreciate the submission. So with that, here you go, enjoy!

Wednesday Turtle Talk at the Carolina Beach State Park

Join the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Program every Wednesday evening to learn about the loggerhead sea turtle. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Turtle Talks will be held every Wednesday evening at 7PM at the Carolina Beach State Park Auditorium (1010 State Park Rd, off of Dow Rd in Carolina Beach) from June 8 though August 24.

As of today, there are two sea turtle nests in Carolina Beach and the first nest site for Kure Beach was just spotted yesterday. So as the 2011 nesting season excitement builds, you'll most surely want to bring a friend or family member to share in the fun.

For more information, visit the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project website.

The photo above is from the first nest of the 2011 season in CB. Mom had laid her eggs and was headed back to the safety of the ocean waters (photo from PISTP Facebook Page)

2011 Summer Concert Series at the Fort Fisher Military Recreation Area

Summertime at the beach is all about sun, sand, waves, seafood and MUSIC! So we're bringing you our FREE Summer Concert Series held at the Fort Fisher Military Recreation Area in Kure Beach. Bring blankets and chairs for the whole family and prepare to boogie the night away.

Food IS allowed so pack your picnic and enjoy dinner to the grooves of live music - for free! However we do ask that you please do NOT bring pets or beverages. Beverages will be for sale

The music runs from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

•June 10: Live Bait (Acoustic Rock from Blues to Bluegrass)
•June 24: BLP (Classic Rock & Dance)
•July 8: South of K (Bluegrass)
•July 22: Cowboy Chrome (Country Music with a Kick)
•Aug 12: Spare Change (Beach & Classic R&B)
•Aug 26: The Mako Band (Beach Boogie Blues)

For more information: Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce.

June 9, 2011

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area Named in Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches List for 2011

Every time I turn around, it seems that Pleasure Island beaches keep landing in various top 10 lists. With this latest accolade, it looks like I'll have to create a new "Top Ten" label for the index.

This latest honor goes to the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area which has been named in the Global Animal "Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches for 2011" list. Specifically, Fort Fisher came in ninth place with Del Mar Beach in San Diego, California taking first place.

Global Animal sought out to find fantastic seaside spots for owners and their four legged best friends to enjoy together.

Maybe next year, they'll add Freeman Park to the list.

Check out the article here: Global Animal

Cappy: A Local Legend Who Swam with the Dolphins

The other week, when I was going through photos taken by Don Adams for the Guest Photography Series, I came across two tombstone photos which Don took at the 220-year-old Newton Graveyard off Dow Road.

The first photo was of Robert E. Harrill’s tombstone. Robert, who is better known as the Fort Fisher Hermit, is local legend and has been mentioned in numerous books and has even had a film made of his life.

The second photo was of Henry Capillary’s tombstone. I would find out later that Henry, called Cappy by all who knew him, was equally well known throughout Pleasure Island.

Cappy had an insatiable love for the ocean and would often head far out to sea for marathon swims. For onlookers from shore, he would often appear as just a dot on the horizon as he ventured to areas most swimmers would dare not go for fear of currents or sharks.

As stated in an AP article, Cappy would typically swim out about a mile to a mile and a half starting at the Carolina Beach Pier and then turn south and swim to either the center pier at Wilmington Beach or continue to the Kure Beach Pier.

His incredbile love for the sea and the marine mammals that would often accompany him on his swims, is what endeared so many people to him.

And although I was not familiar with Cappy prior to seeing Don’s photo, my curiosity was instantly peaked when I read Don’s photo narrative which he was nice enough to allow me to reprint here:

Henry Dominic Capillary was better known as “Cappy” by the residents of Carolina Beach. During the summer months Cappy was almost a fixture along the beach. He lived in his old Cadillac and when the summer was over he would return home. (Graham, NC)

He was an avid swimmer and would spend the entire day in the water, regardless of the weather. It is said that even the dolphins knew him and would join him quite often. That’s the significance of the dolphins on his headstone.

I have tried to find specific information about him on the internet without much luck, so mostly what I am saying is from articles I’ve read and stories I’ve been told.

The lifeguards at Carolina Beach would often play a practical joke on the new guy who didn’t know Cappy. Cappy would be spotted far offshore and the new guy would be sent out to “rescue” him. When the lifeguard finally caught up with him Cappy would just smile and say “You’re the new guy, aren’t you”?

He heard that a church in Wrightsville beach was holding services one Sunday and encouraged people to “Come as you are”. Cappy jumped in at Carolina Beach, swam to Wrightsville Beach (about 15 miles) and went to church in his dripping wet bathing suit.

He was very popular and was well respected by those who knew him.

Now, this was enough for me to want to learn more about this local legend known for swimming with dolphins. I begin doing various internet searches on his formal name but didn’t come up with much. However, when I did a search on ‘Cappy Carolina Beach,’ the hits appeared.

To my surprise, at the top of the list was a Facebook group called Friends of Cappy which had 165 members. The majority of the group’s wall posts are from the 2009 period. The page contains some wonderful photographs, earlier news articles and many wonderful comments from people who knew him.

By the time I was done reading over the group’s page, I had come to realize that Cappy had a true heart of gold and made a positive impact on many of the residents and visitors that he encountered up until his death in 1990. I’ve included a few examples from the comments of the Groups FB page and re-posted them below:

Vick R:
I can remember being a young kid working on a shrimp boat and seeing Cappy swim out in the mornings and stay offshore most of the day then swimming back in that afternoon. This was everyday!!It was funny to see rookie lifeguards blow their whistle at him cuz he was swimming too far out then someone would tell them who he was and get a good laugh. RIP Cappy!!!

Wendy D:
I remember seeing him way, way out there swimming when I hung out at KB Pier!!!! All the tourist would point and say all kinds of things wondering what it or who it was. I would just chuckle and tell them about him :)

Jim A:
I knew Cappy when I was life guarding @ Wrightsville Beach in the 70s. He would be this tiny dot out on the ocean and finally make his way to shore just to say hello at our stand. I have wonderful memories of all his visits the 4 years I guarded.

Patti W:
smile ...sing ...swim with a child's delight....rejoice in the wonder of God's creations....what a beautiful soul...that my friend is a life well lived and enjoyed....thank you Cappy for showing us what's important......

Surf S:
....as several who posted, guarded at WB, '79-'82. Similar set up stories w/ the rookie guards. Very interesting fellow-Cappy was. It has been a long time and detailed memory of the stories has faded. I do remember he made an impression of being very philosophical and down to earth. One who enjoyed his life and family yet liked to be in solitude with nature. The story about the dolphins circling his body sent goose bumps through me knowing his love of the Big O and all its creatures. Neat and thanks for starting this page in Memory of Cappy, a unique individual. Those he touched will never forget him.

Tony Capillary:
Cappy was my father. I am Tony. Talk about a unique individual, he was one! The old cliche' "when they made him, they threw the mold away" applied perfectly to him.

Life was never boring with him around. I saw the man angry at times but I never saw him down or depressed. He was an UP person. His two favorite sayings were..."keep smiling" and "do something better" He had the guts and courage to do what very few people have done- that is to be yourself, and let the chips fall where they may.

He did things without telling people and didn't expect rewards or praise for it and many times people never knew the things he had done. An example of this was after he died a gentleman came up to me in Graham, his hometown, and told me what my father had done. I didn't know this man but he knew my father and he was in the hospital, gravely ill and needed a major operation. He told me he didn't have any money to pay for the surgery but somehow it was paid in full. He later found out it was Cappy.

And in a follow up comment, Tony shared:
My father loved Carolina Beach and did many things to promote Carolina Beach. He went to Raleigh often to promote his love of the beach. It was very apropos that he died doing what he loved doing the most in a place he thoroughly enjoyed, with no pain or suffering. Even when he was found a day and... a half later, there were no marks found on his body which is amazing in the ocean. The fishermen who found him said there were dolphins circling him to protect his body.

Group Link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=60541668638&v=wall
Photos from the FB group

Note: The Friends of Cappy group is in the midst of being archived by Facebook and will be transferred to a new group format. My hope is that none of the information will be lost. But since the other week when I first gathered some comments for this post, I’ve already noticed that one comment from 2009 is now gone.

June 8, 2011

Video: Standup Paddleboarders Circumnavigation Bald Head Island, NC

Here's a wonderful video of a small group of standup paddleboarders who set out to circumnavigate our neighboring island (well, it's no longer an island but that's our little secret) to the south, Bald Head Island, NC. Although it has been done by kayak, this is the first time it has been done by standup paddleboarders.

The production quality of the video is excellent and I challenge anyone to watch this video and not get a sudden urge to learn how to SUP. The video was posted by BaldHeadIsland. Enjoy!!

June 6, 2011

Uncle Vinny's Pizzeria Ristorante to Open This Week in Carolina Beach

If you haven't heard the latest good news on Pleasure Island, Carolina Beach is getting a new Italian restaurant. Uncle Vinny's Pizzeria Ristorante is scheduled to open sometime this week.

They are located at:
1012 S. Lake Park Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC
(ph) 910-458-2028

I don't know much about them other than what I've heard from a few friends and from what I read on their Facebook page. The friends whom I've spoken to tell me that Vinny is a fantastic cook and really knows how to do Italian right which put an immediate smile on my face. I always have room to add another 'favorite' Italian restaurant to my list.

After looking at the restaurant's FB page and listening to a couple of posted videos, I can tell you that they will be featuring homemade soups, salads, appetizers, subs, New York style brick oven pizzas and the whole gamut of Italian dinner dishes (lasagna, chicken marsala, shrimp scampi, etc). Their entire menu will also be available gluten free upon request.

They will have beer, wine, spirits and will offer dine in, take-out and full menu delivery.

For more information, visit
Uncle Vinny's Pizzeria Ristorante on Facebook.

The Carolina Beach "Sun, Sand, And Smiles" Sweepstakes

Located just 25 minutes from Wilmington, Carolina Beach offers the best of a NC beach experience from the past with a fun, family-friendly spin for today! Enjoy a beachside boardwalk, miles of pristine sand, and sunny summer days. From beach music festivals and movies under the stars to a seaside amusement park and fireworks, Carolina Beach offers a vacation of simple pleasures and unexpected treasures.

Now, you can win a week-long trip for four to this wonderful North Carolina treasure, including amazing accommodations and activities. The lucky winner will receive:

•Seven nights in an oceanfront balcony room at the Courtyard by Marriott at Carolina Beach
•A private 3-4 hour sailing cruise with Latitudes Sailing Charters. Choose between the half-day trip cruise and the sunset cruise
•Four passes to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
As if that wasn't enough, we’ll even give you a $500 Visa gift card to get you here! But hurry… the sweepstakes ends June 30, 2011.

To Enter: Click Here

Sponsored By: The North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development, 301 N. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601-2825, Wilmington/Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, 505 Nutt Street, Unit A, Wilmington, NC 28401

June 5, 2011

Michael's Seafood Wins Great Chowder Cook-off for Third Time and Retires to Hall of Fame

Wilmington Star
June 4, 2011
By Julian March

Michael's Seafood of Carolina Beach won first place in the seafood category for the third straight year in Saturday's international Knorr Great Chowder Cook-Off in Newport, R.I...

"I can't be any better right now," McGowan said when reached Saturday night during a celebratory dinner. Because he has won three times, McGowan said his restaurant can no longer compete and has made the Hall of Fame...

Read the full story: Wilmington Star

June 3, 2011

North Carolina Sportsman - Saltwater Series: Carolina Beach

By Jerry Dilsaver
May 27, 2011

Carolina Beach is a popular destination for many fishermen from across North Carolina, plus visitors from other states. The ease of access in past years built the popularity, which continues. Located near the end of US 421 and the southernmost of the Wilmington area beaches, Carolina Beach enjoyed easy access in the years before I-40 was built. Now, access is even easier, and the crowds, especially on weekends, bear this out.

Carolina Beach serves as the gateway for fishermen visiting “Pleasure Island,” arriving with boats in tow. US 421 crosses the Intracoastal Waterway at Snow’s Cut and provides access to the island, which Kure Beach and Fort Fisher also call home. The northern end is at Carolina Beach Inlet, but the southern end is not quite as definite. The southern end was Corncake Inlet until it filled in many years ago, and then New Inlet filled in during the 1990s...

Full story: NC Sportsman
Photo from article -"Wes Barbour and his sister, Kim Munley, show off a nice red drum"
(includes very nice write up of Island Tackle Fishing Charters)

Guest Photographer Series: Scenic Images from Around Pleasure Island by Don Adams

Here are some cool photos from Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher. The photographer is Don Adams and he has been nice enough to share the photos with blog readers.

Don had a lot of fantastic images to sort through which made it tough to narrow down the list for this blog post. We typically use up to five (too many can slow the blog load time) but on this occasion, we had to push it a bit.

Don stated in our email exchange that photography is just a hobby and that he enjoys sharing his shots with friends on Flickr adding that Flickr is his Facebook. As you can see, he's done a great job of showcasing the beauty of the island and he's helped introduce our little resort town to a lot of potential visitors.

I'm sure you'll enjoy these colorful photos as much as we did. Also, be on the lookout for a future series from Don as he has some wonderful textured photos from the boardwalk area. We'll do a blog posts with those shots a little later.

NOTE: If anyone else has some favorite photos from Pleasure Island and would like to share them with blog readers, please send an email to admin@carolinabeachtoday -Thanks.

June 2, 2011

Video: George the Kure Beach Pelican Eats a Shark and Then Returns It

You gotta watch this one!! This may be my favorite video of the year. It was posted on Youtube by keelycaul and was taken at the Kure Beach Pier.

Summary: Man catches Shark, Man feeds Shark to Pelican, Pelican flies away, Pelican returns, Pelican doesn't like Shark and drops it into Trash can, Man retrieves Shark from Trash, Man returns Shark to Ocean. The Pollyanna cycle of life continues for another day.

PS. This video stars George, the famous KB pier pelican. Enjoy!!

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