May 31, 2011

2011 Tuesday Family Night at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk

When: Every Tuesday
Time: From 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: In front of the Carolina Beach Boardwalk gazebo
Cost: Free

This fun event features all types of activities that "kids" will Love. Lynne and the Wave DJ, line dancing, prizes and games for all ages. Includes a clown, face painting, a bounce house and an appearance by Dora and/or Sponge Bob.

Photos courtesy of

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher Megalodon Exhibit to Open Mid June 2011

Ever wondered what it may be like to swim with a prehistoric predator? The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is proud to announce the opening of its newest exhibit; Megalodon: Diving with North Carolina’s Ultimate Predator.

The state-of-the-art exhibit set to open in mid-June, features dynamic 3D animation, interactive displays, and a variety of informative facts about the extinct shark species. Visitors can truly gain an up close perspective of Megalodon with displays that highlight the animal’s size and power.

Test your shark smarts by taking a brief quiz. Clues about modern day sharks appear on a screen and if the correct species is selected, a lifelike hologram will appear overhead. Visitors will also learn about how important sharks are for healthy oceans, the threats they face, and actions to take to protect these amazing animals.

Megalodon ruled the sea from 20 million to about two million years ago. Climate change during this time may have caused their extinction by altering the migratory routes of whales, which was the food of choice for Megalodon.

The Megalodon project began nearly two years ago when Aquarium divers discovered Megalodon teeth while on a routine collection trip, diving in 100 feet of water. Soon after, Aquarium staff purchased a complete Megalodon jaw replica at auction; an artifact that would provide a baseline for the new exhibit’s design concepts.

The Aquarium’s replicated jaw has an interesting story. The original Megalodon teeth were found in Aurora, NC - a full set. Megalodons had four rows of teeth. Most Megalodon models use two or three teeth molds repeated on each row. This jaw is made from molds from the complete set: four rows of each individual tooth.

Megalodon teeth provide vital information about the animal as they are the only remaining scientific evidence from the extinct predator. Ranging in length from four to six inches, the teeth indicate that this animal was massive, approximately 50-60 feet. Similar to modern day sharks and rays, Megalodon was a cartilaginous fish.

If you're on Facebook, make sure to 'LIKE' their page so you can keep up with the latest.

May 30, 2011

Photo: Waiting for Some Goodness from Britt's Donuts

There's a lot of talk about traffic on the island as more and more people discover our little gem of a place. But even with long lines, people know it's well worth the wait to get some Britt's Donuts.

This photo of people waiting in line for Britt's was taken by Pam W. on Sunday evening and she was nice enough to allow us to share it with blog readers.

May 29, 2011

Enjoy Sun, Sand and Smiles This Summer In Carolina Beach, North Carolina, Where Families Come Out To Play

Carolina Beach, North Carolina
(PRWEB) May 29, 2011

With temperatures and gas prices on the rise this summer, many families are planning affordable getaways to Carolina Beach, N.C. Coastal breezes and free seaside activities combine to offer great value, family fun and a refreshing break for everyone. With a conveniently-accessible location, Carolina Beach is also easy on the gas. Major highways make the trip there quick via I-40, US-74, or NC-421.

Carolina Beach offers the best of a North Carolina beach experience. A variety of free events and affordable activities create a destination that is literally music to the ears. In June, vacationers can dance barefoot in the sand at the Pleasure Island Beach Music Festival—the largest and only music festival held on the beach along the North Carolina coast. There are also free concerts every Friday evening throughout the summer at nearby Fort Fisher.

One of the “must-sees” of Carolina Beach summer vacations is the free “Film & Fireworks Series.” On Sunday evenings, visitors grab beach chairs or blankets and head over to Carolina Beach Lake Park for free, first-run, family-friendly movies. On Thursday nights, the place to be is on the beach, near the boardwalk, where there's a spectacular display of fireworks. And, Linkany night of the week, families can take in the sights and sounds of Carolina Beach's classic seaside amusement park.

Whether combing the beach for shells or treasured sea glass or taking in all the shopping, dining and arcade activity along the boardwalk, there's something to engage and delight everyone. There are water sports galore including surfing, boating and fishing. Or enjoy a slightly slower pace of life at Carolina Beach Lake by renting a paddleboat, canoe or kayak. Landlubbers can enjoy a hike along the many scenic trails at Carolina Beach State Park or rent a surrey bike and pedal through the center of town.

With a wide variety of accommodations and vacation beach house and cottage rental options to suit any budget, the perfect home away from home can be found at Carolina Beach. For participants and spectators, a whole summer of fun can be built around events and activities like this:

On Saturdays through September 3, the Carolina Beach Farmer's Market will be open. Bring the entire family to the Carolina Beach Lake Park and shop the local produce and other delectable goodies.

For all shaggers and beach music fans, the 26th Annual Pleasure Island Beach Music Festival on June 4 is an opportunity to sway to the beat. Widely recognized as the biggest and only beach music festival actually held on the beach on the North Carolina coast, this fun festival is hosted by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce.

June 26 will mark the 15th year of the very first "Formula 1" or super sprint style triathlon in the U.S. The Kure Beach Double Sprint begins with a 375-meter ocean swim followed immediately by a 1.5-mile run to the town hall. Following that, participants begin a 10K bike ride on a closed course. Then it's back on with the running gear for the 1.5-mile run back to the ocean. Participants complete the race by once again swimming the 375-meter course. For those up for the challenge of competition or just into cheering from the sidelines, it's a must!

Enjoy the best fireworks display the Island has to offer on July 3 at the Pleasure Island Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza. Come with family and friends to the beach strand directly in front of the boardwalk in Carolina Beach. Be sure to bring blankets, beach chairs and food and prepare for an unforgettable show.

Experience the Sounds of Fort Fisher: 19th Century Music and Artillery on August 13 and 14 and glimpse the lighter side of life at Fort Fisher with music by North Carolina favorites, the Huckleberry Bothers. Learn about the fort's role in the American Civil War. History buffs will further be delighted by periodic firings of Fort Fisher's 12 lb bronze Napoleon and costumed tours concluding with rifle demonstrations.

For vacationers still eager for more to see and do, historic Wilmington is just 15 miles from Carolina Beach and is home to a treasure trove of artwork, gardens, rich history, culture and entertainment. The summertime kick-off event is the 46th Annual Memorial Day Observance, which will be held at the Battleship North Carolina. Celebrating the Battleship North Carolina’s 50th anniversary as a local attraction, the 2011 Memorial Day service includes guest speaker VADM Carol Pottenger (current Deputy for NATO), an all-service Color Guard, a 21-gun salute by a Marine Corps Honor Guard, military band, Taps, and a memorial wreath cast onto the waters. A Field of Honor will stand in Battleship Park with 400 American flags to serve as tribute to the men and women who served to keep our freedom.

With so much to see and do in Carolina Beach and its surrounding areas, it's no wonder visitors call it the summertime headquarters of sun, sand and smiles!

For more information on all summer events, featured experiences, and special offers, go to Follow Carolina Beach on Facebook or Twitter.

May 27, 2011

Thank You Carolina Beach

As we prepare to kick off summer 2011, I thought I would give out a shout out to the entire town of Carolina Beach.

Wow, what a difference a few years have made. Our town is abuzz with excitement and energy as we enter into the summer tourist season.

Just look around, there is activity throughout the island. Everyone has really done their part to turn our town into a true family friendly destination. Look at all the improvements that have been made to area businesses and to many of the homes on the island. Everywhere you look, people are sprucing up their properties making the island a sea of rainbows.

In the last few years, we have had a surge of new restaurants, shops and activities opening on the Island. Tourists are flooding to our area to be part of the fun and to make memories of a perfect family vacation.

And look at the press coverage the island is receiving. There have been countless positive articles written about the island from all over the state and country. People are saying good things about us in message boards, blogs and social media sites.

Major kudos go out to the Wilmington Star for continuing to cover the island and for showcasing many of the great things happening here. Their coverage has been phenomenal and has helped get the word out about the many positive changes on the island. Now granted, they have also written about some of the challenges that have surfaced, but they have always presented the information fairly and without any sensationalism.

Our island has experienced some growing pains over the last few years. Some are upset about the road diet and feel that is the sole reason for the occasional backups along Lake Park Blvd. But people have to realize that we are also getting a lot more people visiting the island. I can't begin to count the number of my Wilmington friends who now come to the island to enjoy our restaurants, our boardwalk and our beaches (with ample parking). Even with the old design, we would be having some traffic issues. Just as an aside, I remember quite a few times having traffic backed up well past River Road when coming on the island. To date, those inbound backups seem to have disappeared. Granted, outbound on Lake Park Blvd through the CBD has become an issue.

So yes, we are having some issues as we try to strive to balance the needs of vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclist. But instead of just throwing up our hands and lambasting the people who were only following the downtown Master Plan when the road diet was implemented, let's work as a community to find solutions. Let's realize that everyone is trying to improve the island and that everyone involved has its best interest in mind.

Personally, I love being able to ride my bike down Lake Park Blvd as many others do as well. It makes visiting downtown on one's bicycle much more convenient and less stressful. Of course, if parallel parking had been part of the initial diet, it would be more relaxing. But nonetheless, the bike lane has become a convenience for many people who visit the Central Business District. Will the bike lanes stay or will we have to go back to the ways of yesterday? I don't know, but I'll accept what comes of it.

So please everyone, relax, we will eventually settle on a traffic solution but let's explore all available options before dismissing a central part of the Master Development Plan. The tourists will not be scared off in the meantime. Even with our occasional backups, our traffic issues don't compare to many other beach towns. Just head up to Wrightsville Beach on a holiday weekend and you'll get a taste of what I'm talking about.

So as the last hours of the 'off season' come to an end, let's all just take a moment to appreciate where we live and to be thankful for the wonderful people who make up Carolina Beach and Kure Beach.

Happy summer everyone!
Your friends at Carolina Beach Today

May 26, 2011

News & Observer: Lure of big Spanish keeps anglers busy

May 26, 2011
By Mike Marsh

CAROLINA BEACH -- It was barely daybreak, and the parking lot at the Snows Cut Boating Access Area was all but vacant, except for a pair of fishermen launching a center-console boat.
Steve Chisenhall warmed the engine while Jamie Rushing parked his pickup and the trailer at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission access...

The anglers headed northward up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, then eastward out of Carolina Beach Inlet. Rushing said the ride to their fishing destination, Sheephead Rock, would take them back down eight miles south along the beach.

Two other boats were already fishing the area as Rushing slowed the engine to trolling speed. It was a half-mile offshore of the beach at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, but as he watched his depth finder, he said he could see the top of the rock formation...

Read the full N&O story (and find out what they caught) here
Photo from article

2011 Carolina Beach Farmer's Market at the Lake

If you haven't had the opportunity to check out the Carolina Beach Farmer's Market, then you really should take the time to stop by this Saturday as they are expecting a total of 74 vendors.

Everything will be set up and ready for the public by 8:00am and there were be a combination of fresh food vendors as well as arts and crafts.

This is the second season for the market and it is held every Saturday from 8:00am to 1pm at the CB Lake on Lake Park Blvd.

Free parking is available, just follow the signs. But for a true 'beach' experience, grab your bike and make your way over and spend a leisurely morning enjoying this scenic island-style market.

When: Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm (thru Labor Day weekend)
Carolina Beach Lake @ Lake Park Blvd (free parking)
Add'l Information: Follow the Market on Facebook

Photo courtesy of Paul Boroznoff from Southern Digital Art.
You can purchase this photo and other fantastic Pleasure Island photos at the Farmer's Market as Southern Digital Art will have a booth for the entire market season.

May 25, 2011

2011 Wednesday Bingo at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk

Calling all Bingo players, we have your perfect game waiting for you every Wednesday evening at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Enjoy your favorite game while taking in the sounds of crashing waves and cool ocean breezes.

When: Every Wednesday from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
: In front of the Carolina Beach Boardwalk Gazebo

: Open to everyone 12 and older

Why: Because it's fun, fun, fun!!! AND they have cash prizes!!

Photo courtesy of Don Adams

2011 Carolina Beach Movies at the Lake Schedule & Information

What better way is there to enjoy a Sunday evening then to spend time relaxing with family and friends at the beautiful Carolina Beach Lake while taking in a feature film. So make it a point this summer to head down for a great evening under the stars.

"The Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce invites you to enjoy Free Movies at the Lake Sunday nights throughout the summer at Carolina Beach Lake Park. Bring your chairs and find a spot on the lawn where the whole family can enjoy newly released movies. This is a true summertime treat for adults and kids alike.

We are happy to offer popcorn, candy, soft drinks, cotton candy, and more for sale at the movies - and all for a reasonable price! You're welcome to bring your own food and beverages as well."

Each week, the Chamber of Commerce will host a food drive to benefit a local charity. This is your chance to help someone in need simply by bringing a non-perishable food item to the movie for donation.

Date Movie Rating
5/29 Karate Kid PG
6/5 Nanny McPhee Returns PG
6/12 MegaMind PG
6/19 Legend of the Guardians PG
6/26 Despicable Me PG
7/3 How To Train Your Dragon PG
7/10 Justin Bieber - Never Say Never G
7/17 Shrek Forever After PG
7/24 Green Hornet PG-13
7/31 Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the The Dawn Traveler PG
8/7 Gnomeo & Julliet G
8/14 Toy Story 3 G
8/21 Tangled PG
8/28 Secretariat PG
9/4 Rango PG

Movies start at dusk (around 8:45pm) and the films are subject to change.
Photo Credit: Doc Adams

2011 Carolina Beach Thursday Night Fireworks and Music Schedule

This summer, get ready for all sorts of family entertainment on Pleasure Island, NC.

As with past years, the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce and the Boardwalk Makeover group will be hosting the Thursday night fireworks and music series at Carolina Beach.

The fireworks and gazebo entertainment are free and open to all, weather permitting. The fireworks begin after the sun has gone down and the gazebo entertainment begins at 6:30 pm. Be sure to arrive early to grab your spot at the gazebo or on the beach.

Date Day Fireworks Show
Gazebo Entertainment
6:30 - 9:30
May 27
Friday Fireworks Mojo Collins

June 2 Thursday Fireworks Mark Roberts and the Breeze
June 9 Thursday Fireworks Machine Gun
June 16 Thursday Fireworks Ten Toes Up
June 23 Thursday Fireworks Madonna Nash
June 30 Thursday Fireworks Hott Rod



July 7 Thursday Fireworks Daniel Parish Band
July 14 Thursday Fireworks L Shape Lot
July 21 Thursday Fireworks Katelyn Marks
July 28 Thursday Fireworks No Dollar Shoes

August 4 Thursday Fireworks Machine Gun
August 11 Thursday Fireworks Steady Eddies
August 18 Thursday Fireworks Blivet
August 25 Thursday Fireworks Radio Flyer Band

September 2
Friday Fireworks Mojo Collins

(Photo by Paul Boroznoff of

2011 Carolina Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park Information

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park will be having it's grand opening for the 2011 season this Saturday. Get ready to have loads of fun at the CB Boardwalk this summer!!

Hours of Operation:

• 7 Days a week from 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
• Open until Labor Day weekend (possibly to mid September if weather cooperates).

• $1.50 for each ticket (rides cost two to three tickets each)

Family Value Ticket Packs:

• 12 tickets for $15

• 20 tickets for $20

• All day pass $20

General Information:

• Park has both adult and children rides located on four lots at the CB Boardwalk.
• Street parking is readily available
• Look for your favorite rides from last year with some new additions for 2011. New rides include the Gravitron, the Orbitor, and an 80 foot tall Drop Tower.

Day Pass Coupon

Carolina Beach Amusement Park is on
(photos from their FB page)

May 24, 2011

Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Adopt a Nest Program

Please help support the work of the PISTP's (Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Program) volunteers who ensure the preservation and protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles on Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. One of the most unique ways you can help is by adopting an actual sea turtle nest.

When you contribute $50 to the PISTP to adopt one of their sea turtle nests, you will receive the following:
• Certificate identifying your nest
• A special "Adopt-a-Nest" t-shirt,
• P.I.S.T.P. DVD with a nest hatching
• Email notification on the status of your nest including when it hatches and the number of live hatchlings the nest produced
• And most importantly, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your $50 contribution will greatly aid in the mission of the PISTP.

To learn more about this fantastic program and/or to adopt a nest, visit the PISTP website.

For anyone on Facebook, make sure to like the PITSP FB Page to keep up with all the latest Island turtle happenings.
Photo credit

May 23, 2011

Video: 'Road Trip Story' Presents Fort Fisher

Here's an interesting video posted by RoadTripStory on Youtube which features the history of Fort Fisher. The description of the video is as follows:

On this episode of Road Trip Story, Joseph and James visit the site of an important Civil War battle in Wilmington, North Carolina. Fort Fisher fell to a Union amphibious assault on January 15, 1865, cutting off a vital supply line to Robert E. Lee's Confederate army. Road Trip Story is a travel series about American Parks, History, and Culture. Follow Joseph and James as we learn about America and be inspired to take your own road trip with your friends and family to see what makes these special places so amazing.

May 22, 2011

4X4 Jeep Wrangler Rentals Now Available for Exploring Pleasure Island, NC

Have you ever wanted to check out the 4x4 driving areas on Pleasure Island (Freeman Park in Carolina Beach and the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area) but you didn't have access to a 4x4 vehicle? Well, now you can thanks to a new Jeep rental business in Carolina Beach.

Carolina Jeep Rentals is offering rentals for 6 hours, 12 hours or 24 hours and also offer camping and fishing packages. Each Jeep is equipped with large tires and lifted suspensions and are ready to hit the beach.

For more information:
Carolina Jeep Rentals
915B N. Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
Phone: 910-494-6734

The NC Aquarium Pier Initiative in Carolina Beach Faces Tough Budget Hurdles

Here's an excellent article from the Wilmington Star News on the future prospects of the NC Aquarium at Carolina Beach.

As the state continues to face tough budget hurdles, the two remaining Aquarium pier projects (Emerald Island and Carolina Beach) are moved to the back burners. What will the future be? It's just too early to know.

Budget crunch leaves state-owned pier at Carolina Beach in limbo
By Shannan Bowen
May 21, 2011

Sketches show a 1,000-foot-long concrete pier stretching into the ocean in Carolina Beach, a project documents say the N.C. Aquariums division is supposed to find a way to fund and build.It all looks good on paper, but there's hardly a handshake to seal the deal.

A signature from a state official is lacking on the memorandum of agreement approved last year by the Carolina Beach Town Council, which essentially spells out how the state and the town will partner on building the state's third aquarium pier...

Read the full article.

May 21, 2011

Kure Beach, N.C.-- Offers an Escape From Typical Summer Crowds With All The Fun In The Sun A Family Could Want

Kure Beach, NC (PRWEB)
May 21, 2011

Summertime is finally here and with it, longer days and more time spent relaxing with family and friends. Make plans to escape the heat and avoid the overcrowded beaches and traffic and get away to North Carolina's Small Wonder, Kure Beach, where there's room to do anything under the sun – or nothing at all!

Conveniently located off I-40 and just 19 miles south of Wilmington, Kure Beach offers a variety of things to do with its miles of beautiful, unspoiled, uncrowded beachfront and large, natural sand dunes. It is the ideal vacation spot to enjoy pristine surroundings and an array of outdoor activities like boating, fishing, kayaking, hiking and water sports. History buffs will enjoy exploring the nearby Fort Fisher Historic Site and seasonal island events guarantee a good time for all.

Whether surf fishing, bottom fishing, shell fishing or deep-sea fishing, the convergence of the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean makes for an excellent catch or some great stories to take home. At over 700 feet long, the Kure Beach Fishing Pier is the Atlantic Coast's oldest fishing pier as well as a centerpiece of this coastal community.

Rich in history, the area features three different museums: the Fort Fisher Historic Site & Civil War Museum and largest earthen fort in the south; the North Carolina Military History Museum, which contains indoor and outdoor exhibits, and features artifacts and military vehicles encompassing all branches of service; and the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Center with exhibits on dive sites and a maritime history that dates back to prehistoric times.

For an up-close experience with local wildlife, visitors will want to explore the North Carolina Birding Trail and Fort Fisher State Recreation Center. While the North Carolina Birding Trail offers a glimpse at some of the area's most beautiful species, Fort Fisher is home to nesting loggerhead sea turtles as well as the North Carolina Aquarium, which showcases marine life in the Cape Fear River basin and nearby beaches, estuaries, and ocean. The aquarium features a 230,000-gallon saltwater shark tank; a half-acre Cape Fear Conservatory with alligators, sturgeon, and other freshwater species; an Open Oceans Gallery; an “Exotic Aquatics” showcase featuring lion fish, cuttlefish, a living Pacific Coral reef and Pacific sea nettles; and a rare albino alligator named Luna.

Cold drinks, free music, and family fun are just what the weatherman ordered in the way of the summer's Free Summer Concert Series. These events will take place from June 10 through August 26 at the Fort Fisher Military Recreation Area. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs, and beverages will be on sale.

The 15th Annual Kure Beach Double Sprint Triathlon—which will consist of a 375-meter ocean swim, a 1.5-mile run, a 20k bike ride, another 1.5-mile run, and another 375-meter swim—is the first super sprint style triathlon in the U.S. and is set for June 26. A must for the truly adventurous!

And on a more relaxed note, bring the family out to nearby Carolina Beach to enjoy classic seaside amusements and the Film & Fireworks Series from May 29 through September 4. Sundays will feature family-friendly movies at Carolina Beach Park, and Thursdays will feature a live band at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks on the boardwalk at 9 p.m.

Also be sure to save the date for the 26th Annual Pleasure Island Beach Music Festival at Carolina Beach on June 4. It's a full day of live entertainment with the hottest beach music bands in the South.

Leave the daily grind behind – and the summer crowds – and head on over to Kure Beach, North Carolina. With so much to do, the hardest part will be deciding where to begin!

For more information on all summer happenings visit Follow Kure Beach on Facebook and Twitter.

May 20, 2011

North Carolina Lighthouse Quiz

Are you a fan of NC lighthouses? Do you think you have a good grasp of their history? If so, Our State magazine has put together a fun quiz to test your knowledge. Now, for people like me who enjoy visiting these towering nautical structures but aren't up to speed on their history, I'll help you with the first question so you can avoid the possibility of being skunked on the quiz.

Which North Carolina lighthouse is the oldest standing?

A. Cape Hatteras

B. Bald Head
C. Cape Lookout
(Need a hint? The photo to the right was shot from the correct answer)

When in doubt, go with the one closest to your own backyard. The correct answer is (B) Bald Head, commonly referred to as Old Baldy. It was constructed in 1817 and stands 110 feet tall . To learn more about the history of this lighthouse, visit

To complete the quiz (total of six questions), click the image below to go to the Our State magazine and click 'Take the Lighthouse Quiz.'

May 19, 2011

The Dispatch: Carolina Beach — where have you been hiding?

Here's a wonderful article from a Lexington, NC columnist describing her first visit to Carolina Beach this past weekend. Although both her and her husband grew up in North Carolina, they had never heard of Carolina Beach. So after receiving an e-mail advertisement for CB, they decided to check out our beach town.

It appears they had a wonderful time and really enjoyed getting to know Pleasure Island. But then again, how could they not? ;-)

By Barbara Presnell May 19, 2011

We decided at the last minute to go to the beach for a two-day weekend. It wasn’t Memorial Day, but you wouldn’t know it by the lack of vacancies at all our favorite places. Sunday night was no problem; it was Saturday that was booked, it seemed, up and down the Carolina coast. Then, out of the blue, on Wednesday morning, an email advertisement showed up in my inbox from VRBO — Vacation Rentals By Owner — a service we’d used before.

“Hi, Barbara,” it began. “Thinking of a beach vacation? Here’s the perfect spot for you: one bedroom, ocean front condo, at Carolina Beach.” “Carolina Beach?” said my husband, echoing my reaction. “Where is that?”

We both grew up in this state. I’ve been to the beach just about every year of my life, at least once and in most years more. I know our beaches, and before this, I would have told you without a doubt that I’d been to them all...

Cautiously optimistic, we packed the car and headed out Saturday morning. That afternoon when we turned into “Pleasure Island,” as they call this little strip of land, we were surprised to see not only the tiny collection of buildings we expected, but a thriving beach town. Restaurants, from the very small and informal to the very formal, lined the streets. A downtown block that looked very much like our own little Lexington greeted us as we drove through the town center...

That night we dined on to-die-for clam chowder and tuna at a place called Michael’s then drove to both ends of the island, first the north end, down streets lined with cottages and sidewalks that reminded me of the seaside town I visited in Oregon a few years back. Or New England, I said. It didn’t look like what I expected from our Carolina beaches.

The next day we walked the boardwalk where a collection of little shops joined a pavilion that reminded me of the Ocean Drive of my youth — with video games, pool, foosball, bowling — all in a dark, concrete, open-sided damp building. Outside were small-scale carnival rides. People lined up outside a place called Fritt’s for one of their unique, mouth-watering doughnuts. Yeah, we tried one, and they were worth waiting in line for...

Read the complete article here: The-Dispatch (Davidson County's News Source)
PS. Yes, that should read Britt's.

May 18, 2011

Video: A Day in May 2011

Here's a very cool video of Fort Fisher that was posted on Vimeo by Brett Cottrell. The video features panoramic views and time lapse photography. It's all accompanied by very soothing music performed by Kevin MacLeod. Enjoy!

Fort Fisher: a day in May 2011 from Brett Cottrell on Vimeo

Video: Researchers Monitoring Masonboro Island

Here's a great video that follows researchers Heather Wells and Byron (NLM) from the NC Coastal Reserve as they go about their work on Masonboro Island. It was shot this past weekend and posted on Youtube by shathaway26.

The video shows how they monitor the island water quality through a network of water testing stations. They stations measure salinity, temperature, conductivity, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen and water depth.

They talk about the importance of not disturbing the various shore birds that nest on the island, specifically the American Oyster catcher whose numbers are declining due to loss of habitat.

They also remind visitors not to let dogs off leash as their presence can cause distress for the nesting birds. If a bird is forced to leave the nest, even for just several minutes, it can cause the eggs to become non viable. Also, it is important to observe the no walk areas as the shallow nests are difficult to spot and can easily be stepped upon.

They discuss why the red fox, a non-native predator on the island, is so destructive to the local habitat and what you can do to help stem the damage they cause.

So if you would like to learn more about this wonderful local treasure, spend nine minutes watching this informative video. I'm sure you'll find it as interesting as I did. Not to mention, if you've never had the opportunity to visit the island, the video offers some great images from around the area. Enjoy!

May 17, 2011

NC Division of Marine Fisheries Reminds Fisherman to Avoid Contact with Sea Turtles

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is reminding fishermen that as temperatures warm, sea turtles return to North Carolina waters, and both commercial and recreational fishermen should avoid interaction with them.

Division staff has sighted sea turtles in the ocean off Cape Lookout, Beaufort Inlet, Topsail Island, Oak Island and Long Beach. In addition, sea turtles have been observed in inside waters of the Intracoastal Waterway near Oak Island and in Core Sound.

“It is likely that sea turtles are moving into other waters,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. “Commercial fishermen setting nets and recreational anglers bottom fishing should be aware of this.”

All sea turtles found in North Carolina waters are listed as either threatened or endangered species. Therefore, it is illegal to harm them in any way.

Information on how recreational anglers can skillfully release a turtle to reduce sea turtle injury and to promote post-release survival can be found on the division’s website at

Commercial fishermen should adhere to sea turtle release protocols from the National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center, which can be found at

Whether recreational or commercial, any fisherman that catches a sea turtle should release it unharmed, if possible. If the turtle is lethargic or comatose, call one of the following numbers to arrange transport of the sea turtle to a rehabilitation center:

• N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Sea Turtles Stranding Hotline at (252) 241-7367
•N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries at 1-800-682-2632

Outer Banks Area Only
• Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST) at (252) 441-8622
•Outer Banks Marine Mammal Response Team at (252) 455-9654

The Division of Marine Fisheries is continuing regulatory restrictions and observer coverage of large-mesh gill nets, in accordance with a sea turtle lawsuit settlement.

For more information, contact the division’s Protected Resources section chief Red Munden at (252) 808-8009 or, or Protected Resources biologist Brian Conrad (252) 808-8061 or

Photo credit

May 16, 2011

26th Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival June 4, 2011

Kick up some sand at Carolina Beach, NC on Saturday, June 4th during the 26th annual Carolina Beach Music Festival (formerly Pleasure Island Beach Music Festival). Held on the beach near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk between Harper and Hamlet Avenues, the annual summer music extravaganza features beach music where it originated-on the Carolina coast.

The fun begins on Friday during a kickoff party with music by The Carolina Breakers and DJ Mike Worley at the Sea Witch Café & Tiki Bar.

The Carolina Beach Music Festival gets rocking on Saturday at 11:00am with continuous live music until 4:30pm. This year's bands include: Jim Quick & Coastline (11:00am); The Band of Oz (1:00pm); and The Fantastic Shakers (3:00pm). Gates open at 10:30am, so bring your chairs, sunscreen, beach blankets, and coolers (no glass; no pets) and spend the day enjoying classic beach tunes.

The 26th Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival is presented by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 at the gate (no refunds). Advance tickets (cash-only) are available at the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce (1121 N. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach) and the following Carolina Beach businesses: Courtyard by Marriott, Olde Salty’s, the Silver Dollar, and Touche’.

For details and online ticket purchases (credit card only), please visit or call 910-458-8434.

A shag dance contest with over $4,000 in cash prizes follows on Saturday night at the Sea Witch Café & Tiki Bar. To register for the shag contest or to purchase contest tickets, call 910-231-8212. The party continues on Sunday at the Sea Witch with music by Soul Beam.

Great Turnout for the 2nd Carolina Yakfish Series of 2011 Held at Fort Fisher

May 8, 2011 - The second annual 2011 Carolina Yakfish Series event of the year was held on May 7th at Fort Fisher. Turnout was great with 24 anglers competing in the first saltwater tournament of the series.

The weather was beautiful, with the exception of some breezy conditions near the end of the day. Lots of fish were caught, and three slams were recorded. In the end, Brian Roy bested the field with a 3-fish slam of 45.75 inches. Besides the cash prize, he receives a BASSpass and t-shirt. Brian also receives RiverBassininto the RiverBBasserBasser Finale “Lake Basser” division on Sept. 10 up at Smith Mountain Lake outside of Roanoke, VA.

45.5 inches. Not a bad day considering this was his first time kayak fishing in saltwater! Steve took home some cash, but he also gets an individual challenge entry from KBF, as well as a KBF t-shirt and copy of Chad Hoover’s Kayak Bass Fishing book. Brian and Steve made the trip down from Raleigh together and probably had a fun ride home with a 1-2 finish!

Coming in 3rd, also with a slam, was NCKFA president Mark Patterson. Mark had a slam that measured 41.25 inches. With his third place cash prize, Mark also gets an individual challenge entry from KBF, as well as a t-shirt and a copy of Jeff Little’s Kayak River Bass Fishing DVD.

Prizes were also given out for the biggest fish of each species. The big fish pot was won by Ashley Williams, with a red drum measuring 23.5 inches. Bob Dainton also caught a red the same size, but AshDaintone it back to the ramp first so he took home the $105 pot.

The biggest speckled trout went to Joey Sullivan who caught a 19.25 inch trout trolling an MR27. For that fish he won a pair of Flying Fisherman sunglasses and a pair of Fish Grips. Big flounder honors went to the event champion Brian Roy with a 16.25 inch flat fish. Not only did he take that fish home for dinner (Mmmmm), but he also won a hat, two shirts, paddlMmmmmsh, and a few other things donated by Hook, Line, and Paddle. Thank you to Mark Patterson of NCKFA and Ryan Meddock at Hook, Line, and Paddle for donating gMeddockfor the trout and flounder prizes.

After the winners were announced, more raffle tickets were sold for the rod & reel combo. This is a gorgeous rod custom made by Brett Hinson from Carolina Custom Rods valued at over HinsonThe winner of the raffle will also get a voucher for a reel worth $175 from American Legacy Fishing Company. The rod/reel combo will be given away at the next event! More information about the raffle HERE.

After two events, total money raised for Heroes on the Water is already over $1200!

Thank you to all competitors that made it out to this event and making it a very fun day. We hope to see you all at Beaverdam at Falls Lake on July 9th.

BONUS YouTube video from Kaleb…enjoy!

May 15, 2011

By 2013, We May Finally Have an Answer About the Seneca Gun Booms

In the next few years, we may soon stand to loose yet another legend to scientific facts. In this case, the Seneca Guns may finally be explained.

For decades, many areas along the Coastal Mid Atlantic have experienced unexplained loud booms seemingly emanating from the Atlantic Ocean. The mysterious coastal booms were given the legendary name Seneca Guns. The explanation was that the booms were from ghostly cannon blasts fired by Seneca Indians seeking revenge against Colonial settlers who took their land.

Well, legend aside, we may soon have a scientific answer for these unexplained booms as the EarthScope project plans to install hundreds of portable seismographs along the East Coast. By 2013, the installation should be complete along the eastern seaboard.

Ken Taylor, chief geologist with the North Carolina Geological Survey, was discussing the booms in a PilotOnline article and he stated that the portable seismographs should "shed some light on what's really happening. I think people will be surprised with how much small, seismic activity goes on in this part of the country."

So, if all goes well, we may finally have a definitive answer to this ongoing phenomenon. If not, we'll just have to continue crediting the warrior spirit of the Seneca Indians.

EarthScope Seismic Sensors Head East of the Mississippi
National Science Foundation
March 31, 2011

Most seismic activity--and earthquakes--have been in the U.S. West. But the East is not out of the woods in terms of risk, geologists say.

After a six-year march eastward from the U.S. West Coast, the EarthScope Transportable Array seismic network has reached a major milestone: installation of the first Transportable Array station east of the Mississippi River.

Station 345A, located on a private farm about 15 miles northwest of Columbia, Miss., will operate for the next two years, continuously recording ground motion from local, regional and global earthquakes.

The Transportable Array is part of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded EarthScope project, an integrated Earth science effort to explore the structure, evolution and dynamics of the North American continent.

EarthScope has additional support from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. The Transportable Array is constructed, operated and maintained by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) as part of EarthScope.

"Research using data from the Transportable Array has already improved our understanding of the structure and dynamics of the western United States," says Greg Anderson, NSF program director for EarthScope.

"With the arrival of the Transportable Array in the eastern United States," Anderson says, "scientists will derive new insights about the older core of our continent and processes related to the formation and modification of continents over geologic time."

Because the Western part of the country regularly experiences earthquakes that can be felt, "the region has dozens of permanent seismometers to observe fault movements," says Bob Woodward, director of the USArray, the seismic component of EarthScope.

"Seismic stations east of the Mississippi River are much less common."

The Transportable Array network comprises a grid of 400 state-of-the-art seismic stations installed about 70 kilometers apart.

Each station is a stand-alone system with a seismometer and electronic equipment installed about six feet below ground and solar panel and communications equipment at the surface.

Most Transportable Array stations, like 345A, have been installed on private land; the landowners serve as volunteer hosts and are enthusiastic about advancing knowledge of Earth's inner workings.

To date, Transportable Array stations have been installed in more than 1,100 locations, out of an expected 1,600 by the end of the first ten years of EarthScope in 2013.

These stations have recorded over 22 terabytes of data that are freely available to Earth scientists, educators and the public across the U.S. and around the world.

Related Websites
EarthScope Project:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Top photo from article.
Installation schedule picture: US Array

Wilmington Star: Drop-in Childcare Center to Open in Carolina Beach

Wilmington Star News
By Shannan Bowen

May 13, 2011

Dilemma: Your baby sitter is unavailable and you’ve got a last-minute shopping trip to make or an adult-only function to attend. What do you do?

Many parents turn to drop-in childcare centers that offer supervision for up to four hours a day. There are several in the Wilmington area, and the trend is moving to the beach this week.

Island Time Drop-N-Play
, a short-term childcare facility, opens Monday in Carolina Beach...

Full story:
Wilmington Star

Photo from article

2011 4th Annual Carolina Beach Sand Blast Sand Soccer Tournament June 4th and 5th

Enjoy a weekend at Carolina/Kure Beach, swimming, relaxing, surfing, and Sand Soccer.

Come out and play or bring your beach chairs and spend the day watching some exciting games in a beautiful beach location. The annual two day soccer event will be held at the Fort Fisher State Park.

This is a US Club Soccer sanctioned event and is unrestricted; open to all US Club, AYSO, USYS, unaffiliated teams and individual players.

Boys: U8, U10, U12, U14, U16, U18
Girls: U8, U10, U12, U14, U16, U18

Men's: Open, Over 30
Women's: Open, Over 30

4 vs 4 (8 player roster max. per team)

Number of games:
Guaranteed 3 games (weather permitting). 4 games if in the finals


1st and 2nd place awards in each division.

Entry Fee: $40 per player
Entry Deadline is May 22
For more information or to register, visit the
Pleasure Island Soccer website.

For more photos: 2009 tournament, 2010 tournament

May 7, 2011

The Katie B. Hines Senior Center Extends a Big Thank You to the 2011 Wing Fling Organizers

(This wonderful panoramic photo was taken by Paul Boroznoff from

I read earlier that this years 15th Annual Wing Fling, which was held at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for the first time, pulled in a hefty profit of $8,000. The money raised was divided between the Katie B. Hines Senior Center in Carolina Beach and the Wilmington Residential Adolescent Achievement Place program.

Well, the other day I received the Senior Center's bimonthly email and they had some very nice words for the UNC Wilmington event organizers. It seemed fitting to post for others to see:

On Saturday, March 26th, the 15th Annual Wilmington Wing Fling was held at the Boardwalk in Carolina Beach. This charity event is sponsored & organized by students and several professors from UNCW. On Thursday, April 21st, we were delightfully SURPRISED with a DONATION to Katie B. Hines Senior Center by this group in the amount of $4,000.00 from the proceeds of the Wing Fling!

Please encourage our Mayor, Town Council and Police Chief to invite them back to hold the 16th Annual Wilmington Wing Fling here in Carolina Beach next year!

May 6, 2011

Kure Beach Tennis Program for 2011

It's not too late to sign up for the 2011 Kure Beach tennis clinics. The clinics are open to juniors and adults.

•Pre-Register at Town Hall- 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.
•Classes are held at Joe Eakes Park are run for five weeks.
•Weekday classes taught by Billie Fitzsimons – PTR Recreational Coach
•Sunday evening classes (Spring/Fall) taught by Gerry Dempsey – PTR Tennis Pro

For more information including cost & dates, visit the Town of Kure Beach website

2nd Annual Pleasure Island Brewery Invitational May 14, 2011

When: Saturday, May 14, 2011
Where: Carolina Beach Lake
Time: 3:00pm - 9:00pm
Tickets: $30 from

Featured Brewers:


•Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band - Ashville , NC; •Root Soul Project - Wilmington, NC; • Medlin Kids - NC

Food & Vending: Wilmington Top Chef Keith Rhodes of Catch Restaurant will be doing a soft debut of the official Catch Food Truck!!

Event proceeds go to the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project
For more information:
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