June 30, 2012

Manatee Spotted in the Wrightsville Beach Area

On June 4th, Taylor Rudisill was washing off his boat at Harbor Island in Wrightsville Beach, NC when the below manatee made a surprise appearance at the dock.  The manatee seemed very interested in the hose spray and to the amusement of Taylor, it soon began playing in the hose water. The manatee entertained Taylor for nearly 15 minutes. 

Now fast forward a few weeks and we have a second manatee sighting in the Wrightsville Beach area. The following video was posted on Youtube by UndergradTech on June 24, 2012. Per the description, this manatee was spotted off the Wrightsville Beach jetty. The videographer was testing a GoPro camera on his spear gun when he noticed a dark looking "rock" on the ocean floor. Upon closer inspection, he discoverd that the rock was actually a manatee. Cool video!

Tracks Spotted on the June 30th Pleasure Island Sea Turtle patrol

Thanks to Jen Gore for sharing these photos from this morning's sea turtle patrol in Kure Beach. As of this moment, they feel it may have been a false crawl (eggs were not laid). 

As of today, there are four confirmed nest in Kure Beach and three in Carolina Beach.  To keep up with the latest, check out the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project website

Video: Crab vs Dachshund at Pawleys Island

Love this video from Pawleys Island, SC. It was posted by Jason K Wheeler and features Madeline the dachshund making friends (well sort of) with a ghost crab whose only goal is to get to the safety of the water. Enjoy!

Reptile Channel: PFC Toxins Found in Sea Turtles

June 29, 2012

The results of research carried out by scientists at the Hollings Marine Laboratory (HML) in Charleston, South Carolina and four partner organizations have found worrying concentrations of 13 perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) in five different endangered species of sea turtle.

PFCs have been used in a number of products ranging from fire-fighting foams to stain-resistant coatings, and have become recognized as widespread pollutants over recent years. They will pass up the food chain, and have been found in samples taken from wildlife and people...

Read the full article at Reptilechannel.com 
Photo credit

WECT: Ceremony held for new plaque in Fort Fisher

WECT reports that a historical plaque has been added to the gazebo located at the Fort Fisher rocks.  The plaque is dedicated to the Civil War blockade runner, the Modern Greece. 

When reading the plaque you can look out over the water and see where the ship still sits roughly 300 yards off the beach.

Read the article here
Photo from article 

Video presented by the NC Department of Cultural Resources:

The Modern Greece Recovery, 1962 to Now:

June 27, 2012

Photo: Fort Fisher Hermit

Check out this great photo of the Fort Fisher Hermit.  The photo was posted by Charlie English on the Cape Fear Camera Club website on June 24, 2012.  To view the full size photo, click here or click the photo.

Photo by Charlie English

Star News: Review - Hang Ten Grill

By Robby Nelms
StarNews Correspondent
June 26, 2012

After living in Wilmington all these years, I'm almost ashamed to admit that I've only surfed once. The notion of "hanging 10" on a long board is fairly foreign to me.

 But I do know food, and when it comes to one of the newest restaurants in Carolina Beach, the Hang Ten Grill, I was a tad skeptical. I've never been a fan of themed restaurants, but after a couple of visits I found that my apprehension, for the most part, was unfounded...

Read the full article here (with numerous photos) 
photo from article

June 25, 2012

Star News: Flocks of flamingos could help beach access

By Corey Strickland
June 25, 2012
Wilmington Star News 

Coming in early July, signs reading, "You've been flocked!" could be littering yards in Southern New Hanover County. 

The signs, along with groups of plastic pink flamingos, are part of a fundraising effort by Island Women, Inc., a nonprofit, community-service group based on Pleasure Island.

The goal of the fundraiser, dubbed the Beach Bound Project, is to raise money to purchase beach wheelchairs for Carolina and Kure beaches - each of which currently has two of the specialized chairs that have over-sized wheels to help navigate the sand...

Read the full article here.
Photo from article

June 24, 2012

News & Observer: Historians seek answers from a different sort of buried treasure

By Jay Price
June 24,1021
News & Observer

KURE BEACH -- The surf line along the coast here is littered with the wrecks of a rakish, speed-at-all-costs breed of ship that briefly made Wilmington the most important city in the South...

Now, 150 years later, archaeologists and historians are taking a closer look at this central but nearly forgotten chapter of U.S. and North Carolina history, a time when Gen. Robert E. Lee called the port city his lifeline.

“For me, its role made Wilmington the single most important place in the Confederacy,” said Stephen Wise, a historian, director of the Parris Island Museum and author of “Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running During the Civil War...”

Read the full story here.
Photo from article

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/24/2155352/historians-seek-answers-from-a.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/24/2155352/historians-seek-answers-from-a.html#storylink=cpy

June 23, 2012

Charlotte Observer: Mecklenburg man opens a Bed & Breakfast at sea

By Jack Horan 
Correspondent, The Charlotte Observer 
Friday, Jun. 22, 2012 

FRYING PAN TOWER More rust than rustic. 

That’s how Richard Neal wryly refers to his 48-year-old light tower that stands in the Atlantic Ocean 30 miles off the southeastern North Carolina coast.... The tower has been deteriorating in the wind-and-wave-swept environment since Coast Guard crews left 33 years ago. 

That is, until 2010. Neal bought the tower at auction, sight unseen except for a flyover, for $85,000... He and his wife, Rhonda, are breathing new life into the abandoned structure, once doomed to become an artificial fishing reef. 

They’re converting it into a bed-and-breakfast for the adventurous, offering stays for up to eight on the 5,000-square-foot marine hideaway. The first paying guests, a group of four, are coming this weekend. The only neighbors are sharks, barracudas, sea turtles, sport-fishing boats and scuba divers. Cast a line and fish for black sea bass and grouper. Climb to the helicopter landing deck, sip a cool one and watch spellbinding sunrises and sunsets... 

Read the full article here (includes numerous photos) 

You can also follow the B&B on Facebook
Photo from their FB page.

Aquarium Shark Dive Now Offered at the NC Aquarium Roanoke Island

Have you ever wanted to dive in an aquarium? Here is your chance to be on the other side of the aquarium glass for a change! The North Carolin Aquarium on Roanoke Island is now offering a special experience for certified scuba divers.

Dive in our crystal clear 285,000-gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit, home to the largest shark collection in North Carolina. Any diver will appreciate the unlimited visibility, number of fishes, and impressive encounters with sharks up to 10 feet in length.

See hundreds of fishes up close on an unique tour led by our trained dive staff. Imagine staring at sharks as they swim by you, only an arm’s length away!

Space is limited, register now for an adventure of a lifetime!

Call Dive Master Jason Sheremeta, 252-473-3494 ext. 239 or email:

June 22, 2012

WECT: Kure Beach residents discuss greenway

June 20, 2012 

KURE BEACH, NC (WECT) – Kure Beach Town Council leaders heard from residents about a proposed greenway Tuesday night. 

Residents spoke up about the path that could be used for walking, jogging, riding a bike and more. Some were divided over the idea of having a greenway and where to put it. One resident spoke up against it,saying it might lower property value, but not everyone felt that way... 

Read the full article here

You can view comments on this article on our FB page

June 21, 2012

Guest Photographer Series: Island Pics Posted by Blog Friends on Facebook (06/21/12)

Here are some more photos from our Facebook photo album, "Island Pics Posted by Blog Friends."  To date, we have added over 40 photos to the album from various photographers who have captured some amazing & interesting photos from around Pleasure Island.  Last month we shared five photos and we'll share five more now.  Once we are caught up, we'll continue to post photos in groups of five as we reach that threshold.

The photos are in no particular order.  Enjoy!
Great shot of the Carolina Beach Yacht Basin by Keith R. Bloemendaal
Here's a cool shot taken by Angie Earl of the filming of Arther Newman, Golf Pro (with Colin Firth & Emily Blunt) on Lake Park Blvd (that's Squigly's Ice Cream in the back).
nson Stephens captured this cool cloud formation from Carolina Beach showing the likeness of two dogs baying at the heavens.
Here's a great shot of Stone dropping into the bowl at the CB Skate Park. The photo was taken by his very proud Grandmother, Pam Johnson-Stewart

Another great shot from Lisa Michele Hagan.
~Good Morning from Carolina Beach!!~

Nashoba Publishing: Four souls saved at sea by son of Ayer couple

By Mary E. Arata
Posted: 06/20/2012 
Nashoba Publishing 

BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC - Ian Tordella-Williams is living these days on Bald Head Island off North Carolina. His parents, Susan Tordella-Williams and Bob Williams alerted us to their son's involvement in a dramatic rescue that played out off Cape Fear earlier this month. 

Ian and his girlfriend visited the ocean front on June 4...When walking onto the beach, Tordella-Williams said he noticed five swimmers out on the sea. The surfer and wind-surfer instructor said he was struck briefly by the sight. "It was a really bad place to be."  

"The tide was low, then the tide came in and they didn't' notice. In the third and fourth hour, the tide comes in fast," said Tordella-Williams. "They got washed off the sand bar..." 

Read the full harrowing story here
photo from article

The Pilot - Ask the Aquarium: What Happens to Sea Turtles During Hurricanes?

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Special to The Pilot

Q: What happens to sea turtles during hurricanes?
A: If the turtles are adults or juveniles and are at sea during storms, they are seldom impacted. However, sea turtles nest on East Coast beaches during hurricane season, and damage to nests can be a different story...

Read the full answer at The Pilot

Photo courtesy of Tammy Jackson showing a 2011 Kure Beach sea turtle nest before & after a storm.  The nest was lost and no eggs were ever found.

Video: Getting Stuck on the Northend

Check out these two videos of a stuck Chevy pick-up at Freeman Park.  The video proves that it is not always easy getting yourself unstuck. 

For future reference, if you do get stuck, just lower your air pressure to about 20lbs and that should help you get free.

The videos were posted on Youtube by GLTHFJ60

Part 2...free at last! 

And one more note regarding Freman park, if you want to drive on the beach, make sure you have a 4x4 vehicle. This photo was taken last week by Diane Lynch.  You can also view a previous blog post on a similar subject.  Mind the Tides

Video: Baby loves Britt's!

The following video was posted by tmluke2 on Youtube.  It shows what happens when his little one encounters a Britt's Donuts.  Very cute!

Video description: EVERY SINGLE time one of these donuts comes near him, he spits out his pacifier and leans in, hoping for a nibble. =)

June 19, 2012

16 Year Old Boy Bitten by Shark in Myrtle Beach - 6th Shark Bite This Season

Unfortunately, it has happen again in Myrtle Beach.  A 16 year-old boy was reportedly bitten by a shark earlier today.  This marks this sixth possible shark bite in Myrtle Beach this season.

According to officials, the boy was in waist deep water when he was bitten on the foot.  The incident occurred at around noon near 6th Ave North and the victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

Officials are still waiting to hear back from shark experts who are currently reviewing injury photos from four separate victims who were bitten within a 10 minute period last week in Myrtle Beach.  Both police and medical personnel who assisted the swimmer do feel that the four bites were caused by sharks.  Read the story here.  The other incident occurred on June 3rd (story here.)

Read more about this incident at SCNow.com

UPDATE 06/20/2012 - Officials say the injury was due to a sting ray, not a shark.  WMBF updated story.

 Photo Credit: SCNOW.com

June 18, 2012

Possible Shark Bite at Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Various local news outlets are reporting that a child was possibly bitten by a shark at Ocean Isle Beach, NC this morning. 

The 6-year-old female victim was wading in shallow water on the east end of the island when she was bitten at around 11:30a.m. She sustained a few puncture wounds on her leg. Her mother reported to authorities that she had seen a shark following a school of fish in the area where the child was bitten. 

Authorities did not close the beach but they have increased patrols and have warned swimmers of the possible shark bite. 

We will update this post if more information becomes available.

If confirmed as a shark bite, this will mark the second shark incident in NC waters this year.  The first bite occurred in Avon, NC in late May.

Edit 06/09/2012:  Confirmed shark bite. The victim needed 140 stitches to close her wounds.

June 16, 2012

Photo: Freeman Park Takes Hold of Another Car

OK, so you want to go drive on the beach at Freeman Park, you'll need a few things. First, a four wheel drive vehicle... (photo by Diane Lynch taken 06/19/2012)  

June 15, 2012

Open House at Underwater Archaeology Branch in Fort Fisher

KURE BEACH – The N.C. Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) will host a rare behind-the-scenes tour of its facility on Wednesday, June 27, at 10 a.m., to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the sinking of the Modern Greece in 1862. Modern Greece was the first major blockade-runner lost in the Cape Fear region during the Civil War. N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Linda Carlisle will unveil a wayside sign at the North Gazebo at Fort Fisher State Historic Site at noon to commemorate the role of Modern Greece.

A massive system of fortifications anchored by Fort Fisher supported maritime trade with Europe and provided vital supplies to the Confederacy through the port of Wilmington. While trying to enter New Inlet in the early hours of June 27, Modern Greece was chased aground, fired upon, and thought to be completely destroyed. The wreck was discovered in 1962, and a salvage operation began. The thousands of artifacts raised from the sea floor signaled the beginning of underwater archaeology in North Carolina. Subsequently, the Underwater Archaeology Branch was created.

On display will be British Enfield rifles, Bowie knives, pick axes, files, leg-irons, tableware, and other military and household items. There will be demonstrations of equipment used by UAB in the discovery and recovery process. The amazing artifact assemblage from Modern Greece represents the largest and most significant collection from a blockade-runner anywhere in the world. Some artifacts are in museums, and many await the completion of conservation at the Underwater Archaeology Branch.

Historians, archaeologists and conservators will be available to answer questions on the shipwreck and the region’s Civil War role. For additional information call (910) 458-9042. The UAB is located at 1528 S. Fort Fisher Blvd, Kure Beach, N.C. 28449. It is part of theOffice of State Archaeology in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Travel Channel: Fort Fisher Aquarium Named as One of the Best Aquariums in the US

Congrats to the Fort Fisher Aquarium for being named as one of the best aquariums in the United States by the Travel Channel.  Head to the TC website to see the others that made the list.

Travel Channel

Four Swimmers Possibly Bitten by Shark(s) in Myrtle Beach

June 14, 2012
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) A group of university researchers are reviewing the evidence after four people were bitten by what may have been a shark between 72nd and 82nd Avenue North.  The dispatch website for Myrtle Beach Police says the call about a possible animal bite came in around 1:20 p.m.

Captain David Knipes, spokesman for the Myrtle Beach Police Department, tells WMBF News that four individuals were bitten in the ocean.

Knipes say they are possible shark bites, but they cannot know for sure until it is confirmed by a doctor or shark expert...

Read the full WMBF story here   (with video and photos)
Photo from article

EDIT 06 /21/2012: Florida shark experts now confirm that the four Myrtle Beach swimmers were indeed bitten by migrating black tip sharks last week. The four were all bitten within a ten minute period and experts believe that the sharks were most likely in a feeding frenzy when the swimmers unfortunately entered the water.  Read the story here.

June 13, 2012

St. James Plantation: Summer Family Fun Heats Up: 8 Best Places To Enjoy In Southeastern NC!

June 5 
by St. James Properties 

Ahhh, summer. What does your imagination conjure up when you think about these lazy, hazy days? Do you escape to white sandy beaches with blue-green waters extending to the horizon, an ice cream cone on the back porch, quality time with the family in your favorite vacation spot? 

Well, we’re happy to report that St. James Plantation, on the sunny coast of southeastern North Carolina, can bring your imagination to life... Coastal Carolina is a hot spot year-after-year for visiting families. With all there is to offer who wouldn’t want to explore the area? 

The article goes on to list eight favorite local attractions that you won’t want to miss with your family. Making the list from Pleasure Island was the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, the Carolina Beach Boardwalk & Rides and the Fort Fisher Civil War Museum and Historical Site. 

Read the full article here.

Video: Historic Fort Fisher

Here's a very cool video of historic Fort Fisher.  The video is only 46 seconds in length but it packs a punch.  It was posted on Vimeo by Rendered Communications.

Fort Fisher from Rendered Communications on Vimeo.

Outdoor Play Ground Opens at Fort Fisher Aquarium

Get outside and play on Adventure Reef, our new outdoor play area.

Adventure Reef dares children ages 2-12 to climb, crawl, wiggle, leap, balance, swing and slide their way to fun in a safe and engaging way.

The play area features unique components – springy climbing cables, spinning bars, wobble pods – to flex children’s mental and physical muscles. In addition to the play structure, families can explore together to find fossilized shark teeth and other treasures in a new fossil dig area shaped like a spiraling nautilus shell.

“This is not an average play ground,” says Aquarium Director Peggy Sloan. “Adventure Reef begs to be enthusiastically explored and conquered. The only limit to the fun is a child’s imagination.”

Playground_girlGenerous donations from the North Carolina Aquarium Society and corporate partners Time Warner Cable, Inc.; PotashCorp-Aurora; Pizza Hut, Inc.; and the Weston Foundation funded the construction of Adventure Reef.

The Aquarium developed the play set’s innovative design with Landscape Structures Inc., a manufacturer committed to using U.S. vendors and offsetting their CO² footprint.

Source: NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

WRAL: Monica Laliberte's Five Fave Beach Restaurants

Beach season is upon us, and we asked the folks in the newsroom to share with us their own beach-related Five Faves! Five on Your Side's Monica Laliberte gave us her Five Favorite Beach restaurants. 

Making the list was Freddies, Surfhouse, Jack Mackarals, Havana's and the Deck House. She included Britt's Donuts as a bonus pick. 

Read why she picked these restaurants at WRAL.

June 8, 2012

Video: The Fat Pelican, It’s More Than Just a Bar—It’s Family

The following video was posted on Vimeo by UNC | Carolina Photojournalism. It's a great little 2 minute video and it captures the spirit of the pelican quite well.  Here is the video description:
 Just across from the ocean and at the heart of Carolina Beach is the Fat Pelican, a quirky beach bar where tourists and locals alike tend to flock. For Shannon Musselwhite, it’s more than just a bar—it’s family.

June 3, 2012

WMBF News: Beach-goers report shark bite in Myrtle Beach

June 3, 2012

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Beach-goers in Myrtle Beach have reported that a male was bitten by a shark near the 2nd Avenue Pier...

Beach Patrol Sgt. Philip Cane tells WMBF News to incident occurred on Saturday around 7:45 p.m...

Read the full story here (includes a large version of the injury photo).

UPDATE: 06/04 25-year-old talks for first time after shark bite - http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/18686717/beach-goers-report-shark-bite-in-myrtle-beach

Photo from WMBF article (source: Mike Phillips)

Video: Bald Head Island Aerial Tour

Here's a cool video featuring an aerial tour of Bald Head Island.  The photos were taken in 2004 but the video was recently posted on Youtube by TheTeamDiscover.  Enjoy! 

June 1, 2012

Tourist Bitten by Small Shark in Avon, NC

A female tourist was bitten by a small shark on Thursday while swimming at a beach near Avon.  The bite occurred at around 1:30pm while the victim was in shallow water.

According to the National Park service, the victim described the shark as being less than two feet in length.  The victim was taken to the Avon Medical Clinic and they confirmed that the bite was from a shark.

This marks the first shark bite in North Carolina waters for 2012.  Although there were four officially recorded shark bite incidents in North Carolina in 2011,  local media outlets reported six shark bite incidents in North Carolina waters.  You view the 2011 shark bite incidents here.

Update 06/06/12: 
"Avon shark-bite victim was sure she had lost toes"
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