November 30, 2012

Video: OBX Fisherman Suprised When Their Shark Catch Gets Taken by Great White

Check out this video of fishermen off the coast of the Outer Banks pulling in a black tip shark when a very large great white takes a bite out of the smaller shark.  The video was posted on Youtube by Charles Locke.

Adopt-An-Animal, Give Special Gift at NC Aquarium

Searching for a special gift for a child, or perhaps an animal lover, on your holiday list? The North Carolina Aquariums’ new Adopt-An-Animal program helps you give a thoughtful present sure to make them smile.

The recently launched Adopt-An-Animal program offers a year-long adoption of popular Aquarium animals — alligators, otters, sea horses, sea turtles and sharks. Your tax-deductible contribution helps the Aquariums feed, care for and exhibit these animals.

When you choose to Adopt-An-Animal, you receive an adoption kit featuring an official certificate of adoption, an animal fact card with photos, and specialized window decals. Your name will also be listed on the Aquariums’ website along with other adoption supporters. The most popular kits, available for $45, also come with a cuddly plush animal outfitted with its own hooded sweatshirt.

Additionally, those making an adoption can rest assured their contribution will be used effectively. The North Carolina Aquarium Society was recently ranked among the top zoo and aquarium non-profits in the nation and awarded a four-star rating for sound fiscal management by the online, nonprofit watch group Charity Navigator. The North Carolina Aquarium Society is the support organization for the state’s three aquariums, Fort Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores and Roanoke Island, and facilitates the adoption program.

Order an adoption kit online here , or at your local N.C. Aquarium, including the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher. If you place your order online, an adoption kit is mailed within a few days to the recipient address. If you need an order to arrive by a specific date, or have questions about an order, please call 800-832-FISH (3474).

Night Hunting of Coyotes in Five Counties Halted Temporarily

RALEIGH, N.C. — Coyote hunting at night with the aid of an artificial light will be disallowed temporarily in five counties — Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, Washington and Beaufort — pending the outcome of a lawsuit questioning the temporary rule adopted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. 

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway issued a preliminary injunction halting coyote hunting at night with the aid of artificial light only in those five counties. The order was issued in response to a complaint filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and the Animal Welfare Institute. 

“While we accept the judge’s decision, it is important to note that this is a decision on a preliminary injunction only. It is not a decision on the lawsuit,” said Wildlife Commission Executive Director Gordon Myers. “We remain confident of our position and its merits.” 

The Wildlife Commission passed temporary rules in July allowing the taking of coyotes and feral swine by hunting on private lands at night with a light. Night hunting is one means of controlling localized populations of coyotes and feral swine, both of which are non-native to North Carolina, destructive to the landscape, and potential disease carriers. Coyotes also pose predatory threats to pets and livestock. 

The preliminary injunction issued today by the Superior Court only applies to hunting coyotes at night in Washington, Beaufort, Tyrrell, Hyde and Dare counties The order does not prevent taking of wildlife, including coyotes and red wolves, while in the act of depredation. It does not affect hunting feral swine at night with the aid of a light. 

The preliminary injunction will remain in effect pending the final ruling by the Superior Court on this issue. 

Wildlife Officers in the five-county region will work to alert hunters about today’s ruling.

WACH Fox: Manatee washes ashore in Clarendon County Lake

by Drew Stewart 

Summerton, SC (WACH)- A dead manatee was found along a shore near Camp Bob Cooper in Clarendon County.

According to officials with the Department of Natural Resources, the manatee more than likely tried to swim in the brackish waters of the South Carolina Low Country, but got caught in the locks between Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, where it was trapped...

Read the full story here
Photo from article

Mary Lee, the 16 foot, 3,500lb Great White Is Now in the Cape Fear Area

Why hello Mary Lee!!! It looks like you did come to our area after all, so welcome!!

Mary Lee has once again returned to North Carolina waters and is currently off the Bald Head Island shoreline.  As of her last ping, she is just 15 miles from Carolina Beach. 

Mary Lee was captured, tagged and then released in Cape Cod in late summer 2012. She initially moved south towards Jacksonville, Florida but then u-turned and began heading back north. The question remains whether will she stay in our cooler waters or head back south to warmer fishing grounds? No one knows but we'll most certainly follow her progress on the blog.

BTW, did you see that Mary Lee made a brief visit to the lower Cape Fear River basin?  At one point, it looks like she was within a mile or two of Southport, NC. Not to mention, when she surfaced and the satellite was pinged, she was directly in line with the Bald Head Island/Southport ferry route. If she keeps this up, we may someday get a photo of our elusive friend.

This is now our fifth blog post on Mary Lee so it only seemed fitting that she get her own label. To see all the blog posts on Mary Lee, check out this link:

Pic of the Day: Fisheye View from the Carolina Beach Pier

Interesting perspective. Looking south from the Carolina Beach Pier yesterday morning. Photo by Micheal Sing.

November 27, 2012

Is Mary Lee, the 16' Great White Shark, Headed Back To North Carolina?

It's that time again for another update on Mary Lee, the 16 foot 2,500lb great white shark.  Having just taken a peek at her latest track, it seems Mary Lee has most definitely decided that the warmth of the Florida waters was a bit too much.  

She has now made her way to just shy of Murrells Inlet, SC.  Will she set up shop in this area or will she continue north towards North Carolina?  Or maybe she'll u-turn and head back south.  Who knows but it sure will be fun watching what she does next.

PS.  If you are a surfer in the Huntington Beach area, you may want to use a little extra caution as she is now within a mile of shore.

November 24, 2012

2012 Holiday Events Reflect Coastal Traditions, Culture and Spirit of Wilmington, North Carolina & Island Beaches

Cape Fear - Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville BeachWilmington, NC – This holiday season experience the color and pageantry of events that reflect the coastal traditions, creative culture and independent spirit of Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. More than 50 holiday events include candlelight home tours, light displays, period celebrations, flotillas and parades, cruises, model train expos, and New Year’s Eve celebrations. And that’s not all—the arts are alive with music, dance and theatre, and there are shopping opportunities galore at locally owned Downtown shops and beach boutiques! To download a holiday event brochure, visit or call 1-866-266-9690 to request a free copy. For seasonal specials, featured events and experiences, visit

Here’s a sampling of festivities from the river to the sea (Pleasure Island events are in red):

Nov. 16-Dec. 22—A Christmas Carol. Fri. & Sat. The Dickens classic served with a Victorian meal. TheatreNOW, 19 S. 10th St., Wilmington. Admission charge; tickets required. 910-399-3669;

Nov. 22—Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot. 7:30am. 5k Turkey Trot or 1-mile Gobbler Family Fun Walk. The Loop, Wrightsville Beach. Registration fee. 910-762-4744;

Nov. 23—Wrightsville Beach Tree Lighting Ceremony & Launch Party. Tree lighting (free) 5:45pm, Wrightsville Beach Park; Flotilla Launch Party (admission) 7pm, Blockade Runner Resort. 910-256-2120;

Nov. 23-24; Dec. 1, 8, 15—Christmas by the Sea. Boardwalk lights up at 8pm on Nov. 23. Open Saturdays from 6:30pm-8:30pm with family holiday activities & entertainment. Carolina Beach Boardwalk,

Nov. 23—Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting. 5:30pm. Ceremony with music, caroling, and Santa. Tree shines nightly through the holidays. Free. Water Street @ Market St., Wilmington. 910-343-4114;

Nov. 23-Dec. 22 (each Thur., Fri. & Sat.)—Enchanted Airlie (STS Top 20 Event). Lighted gardens, LEGOs, music, Santa. Two sessions (5pm & 7pm). Advance tickets required. Airlie Gardens, Wilmington. 910-798-7700;

Nov. 23-Jan. 2—Holiday Lighting of the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA. The Battleship NC is lit from the bow to the masts and stern. Nightly from dusk to 11pm. Best view from Downtown. 910-251-5797,

Nov.23–Dec.31—Island of Lights Festival. Holiday lights & events. Carolina/Kure beaches.

Nov. 23-Dec. 24—Light-Up Celebration & Walking Tours of Lake. 7pm. Ceremony (Nov. 23) begins “Island of Lights Festival,” Carolina Beach Lake. Lit nightly for walks thru Dec. 24. Free. 910-458-6885.

Nov. 23-Dec. 24—Mayfaire Winter Wonderland. 6:30pm. Entertainment, Santa, decorations, Polar Express train rides. Mayfaire Town Centre (near Cinema 16), Wilmington. 910-256-5131;

Nov. 23-Dec. 23—Santa Visits at Cotton Exchange. Each Sat. 12-4pm & Sun. 1-4pm. Cotton Exchange, Wilmington. 910-343-9896;

Nov. 23-Dec. 22—Holiday Train Expo. Fri. 6-9pm; Sat. 2-5pm. Spectacular display of model trains in a holiday wonderland of villages, parks and landscapes. Independence Mall (Sears wing), Wilmington. Admission charge.

Nov. 23-25, 30; Dec.1-2 & 7-9—“Santaland Diaries.” 8pm. City Stage presents this David Sedaris ‘anti-holiday’ cult classic. City Stage Theatre, Wilmington. Admission charge. 910-342-0272,

Nov. 24—NC Holiday Flotilla & Day in the Park Festival (STS Top 20 Event). Lighted boat parade & fireworks at Banks Channel (6pm). Day in Park (10am-4pm) w/crafts, bazaar, music at Wrightsville Beach Park. Free.

Nov. 24—Dinner Cruise to view NC Holiday Flotilla. Board at 3pm. Admission charge. Advance reservations. Royal Winner Princess, Carolina Beach Marina. 910-458-5356;

Nov. 24-25—Wilmington Art & Craft Show. 10am-5pm. Juried art and craft show. Wilmington Convention Center. Admission charge.

Nov. 24-25; Dec. 1-30—Christmas Train & Light Spectacular. Sat. & Sun. 6:30pm. Model trains in a seasonal wonderland with lights, music, Santa, cider. Admission charge. Wilmington Railroad Museum, Wilmington. 910-763-2634;

Nov. 24—Wilmington Roadrunners Turkey Trot. 9am. Four-mile run/walk through Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach. Advance registration required by Nov. 22. 910-458-8206;

Nov. 24-Dec. 2—Cape Fear Festival of Trees. Tues.-Wed., Sun. 10am-6pm; Thurs.-Sat. 10am-8pm. Festive trees benefit Lower Cape Fear Hospice. Admission charge. Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington.

Nov. 25—18th Annual Post-Thanksgiving Tour with Architectural Historian Ed Turberg. Guided tour of the Alexander Sprunt House, 1615 Chestnut Street, Wilmington. Admission charge. 910-762-2511;

Nov. 28—Cherish the Ladies: Celtic Christmas. 8pm. Admission charge. Thalian Hall, Wilmington.

Nov. 30-Dec. 1—A Carolina Nutcracker. 7pm. This performance is a unique blend of Wilmington’s 1865 history and the cherished holiday ballet. Admission charge. Thalian Hall, Wilmington. 910-632-2285; 1-800-523-2820,

Nov. 30—Island of Lights Christmas Parade. 7:30pm. Extraordinary nighttime lighted parade announces Santa’s arrival on the island. Lake Park Blvd/ Hwy 421 S, Carolina Beach. Free.

Nov. 30 & Dec. 1—Moravian Candle Tea. Fri 6-9pm; Sat 10am-3pm. Experience Moravian holiday traditions, crafts, and foods. Covenant Moravian Church, Wilmington. Free. 910-799-9256.
Dec. 1—Island of Lights Holiday Flotilla. Lighted boat parade. 6pm. Carolina Beach Marina.

Dec. 1-2—Wilmington Ballet Company’s “Nutcracker” Ballet. Sat. & Sun. 3pm. Admission charge. Minnie Evans Arts Center, Wilmington. 910-794-9590;

Dec. 1-2—Old Wilmington by Candlelight Tour. Downtown candlelight tour of historic homes/sites. Sat. 4pm-8pm, Sun. 2-6pm. Latimer House, Wilmington. Admission charge. 910-762-0492;

Dec. 1-2—Wilmington Symphony Holiday Concerts. Sat. 8pm & Sun. 4pm (family matinee). Kenan Auditorium/UNCW. Admission charge. 910-962-3500; &

Dec. 1-29—Holiday Lights by Boat. Wed.-Sat. 4pm. Cruise of Cape Fear River’s holiday lights. Admission charge. Wilmington Water Tours, on riverfront between Orange & Ann sts. 910-330-3134;

Dec. 1, 8, 15—Holiday Elf Camp. 9am-3:30pm. Holiday crafts/activities, aquarium tour for kids ages 5-12 while parents shop. NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach. 910-458-8257;

Dec.2—Wilmington Holiday Parade. 6:15pm. Downtown Wilmington. Free. 910-341-4602,

Dec. 2—Candy Land Christmas Celebration. 1pm-5pm. Visit with Santa, make gingerbread houses, crafts, caroling. Admission charge. Children’s Museum of Wilmington. 910-254-3534;

Dec. 2—Poplar Grove Plantation Christmas Open House & Holiday Craft Fair. Noon-5pm. Victorian d├ęcor, crafts, handmade gifts, refreshments. Free. Poplar Grove Plantation, Hwy. 17 N. 910-686-9518,

Dec. 2—Viva Vivaldi Holiday Concert. 6:30pm. St. James Parish, Wilmington. Tickets required. 910-343-1079;

Dec. 6—Fort Fisher Holiday Open House. 10am-5pm. Wassail, decorations and music from Civil War era. Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Kure Beach. Free. 910-458-5538;

Dec. 6-9; 13-16—“Miracle on 34th Street – The Musical.” Thur.-Sat. 8pm; Sun. 3pm. Thalian Hall, Wilmington. Admission charge. 910-632-2285,

Dec. 7—Santa’s SEAcret Supper. 6pm-8:30pm. Kid-friendly dinner with Santa, scavenger hunt, crafts, cookies. Admission charge. NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach. 910-458-8257;

Dec. 7-8—Holiday Flea at BAC. 3-9pm Fri.; 10am-5pm Sat.; 12-5pm Sun. Shop for vintage, retro and upcycled treasures. Admission charge. Brooklyn Arts Center, Wilmington. 910-538-2939;

Dec. 7-9—Kure Beach Christmas Show. 7pm. Music, dancing, variety show. Kure Beach Fire Dept. Free. 910-279-0459.

Dec. 7—Victorian Concert. 6:30-8:30pm. Susan Savia performs seasonal classics and period pieces that date back 150 years. Bellamy Mansion Museum, Wilmington. 910-251-3700;

Dec. 8—Holiday Kids@CAM. 12pm. Holiday art, gifts, decorations and Santa visits. Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington. Admission charge. 910-395-5999;

Dec. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23—Polar Express Program. 4:30pm & 5:30pm. “Polar Express” story time, visits with Santa, cocoa, and more. Wilmington Railroad Museum. Admission charge. Advance tickets. 910-763-2634;

Dec. 8—Island of Lights Tour of Homes. 4-9pm. A self-guided tour of private residences all decked-out. Admission charge; advance tickets required. Various homes in Carolina/Kure Beaches. 910-458-8323;

Dec. 8—Santa Claus Food Drive Cruise. Boards at 9:30am; departs 10am. Admission is 6 cans nonperishable food/per person. Henrietta III Riverboat, Dock & Water streets-Downtown. 910-343-1611,

Dec. 9—Budweiser Clydesdales. 2-4pm. Free. Mayfaire Town Center, Wilmington. 910-256-5131;

Dec. 9—Christmas Stroll Through the Past. 5-8pm. Luminaries light the way as you step back in time at the Burgwin-Wright House and Bellamy Mansion. 910-762-0570; &

Dec. 11—NC Symphony Holiday Pops. 8pm. Kenan Auditorium, UNCW. Admission charge. 962-3500;

Dec. 13-23—Trolley Tour of Holiday Lights. 6pm & 7:30pm. Tours of Wilmington’s decorated neighborhoods. Departs Downtown at Dock & Water sts. Admission charge. 910-763-4483;

Dec. 15—5k Jingle Bell Run. 7:30am registration. Wrightsville Beach Museum. 910-256-2569,

Dec. 21-24—Caroling by “Reindeer” Drawn Trolley/Carriage. 6-10pm. Horse-drawn carriage tour & caroling Downtown. Departs at Market & Water sts. Admission charge. 910-251-8889,

Dec. 21—“It’s A Wonderful Life” 35mm screening. 7:30pm. Admission charge. Thalian Hall.

Dec. 31—New Year’s Noon Downtown! 11am. Ring in the New Year at Noon with noisemakers, confetti and more. Children’s Museum of Wilmington. Admission charge. 910-254-3534,

Dec. 31—Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown Party. 9pm-12am. Music, fireworks, lighted beach ball drop. Kure Beach Pier, Kure Beach. Free. 910-458-8323;

Dec. 31—New Year’s Eve Cruise w/music, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, champagne. 9pm-12:30am. Prepaid reservations only. Henrietta III Riverboat, Dock St. at Water St., Wilmington. 910-343-1611,

Dec. 31—A Night at The Moulin Rouge. Two seatings: 6pm & 9pm. Tickets include show, meal, party favors, and champagne toast at Wilmington’s newest dinner theatre. Advance reservations; admission charge. TheatreNOW, 19 S. 10th St., Wilmington. Admission charge; tickets required. 910-399-3669;

Event details often change without notice. Please confirm event date, time, place before traveling any distance. For a FREE Wilmington, NC & Island Beaches Visitors Guide, email To download a 2012 Holiday Event Brochure, visit ‘Tis also the season when hotels and B&Bs offer super savings. For seasonal specials, visit and for last-minute travel discounts visit

Pleasure Island photos by Southern Digital Art

November 21, 2012

WECT: Fort Fisher shows up on the big screen in "Lincoln"

November 20, 2012

FORT FISHER, NC (WECT) – A historic landmark that played a pivotal role in changing the face of our history, now has a role in the recently released movie "Lincoln". The movie mentions Fort Fisher and Wilmington several times...

"We have already garnered some interest in our site because of the movie and we feel like it can only do wonderful things in terms of increasing visitation," said Si Lawrence, media specialist at Fort Fisher.

Read the full WECT article here
Photo credit

November 20, 2012

Engagement Photo Session at Fort Fisher by Erin Costa Photography

It is no wonder that Fort Fisher continues to be so popular with couples, it makes for the perfect photo backdrop. 

Here are some wonderful shots recently posted by Erin Costa Photography and feature Tyler and Allison at Fort Fisher on 19 November 2012.  Click the link and enjoy!

You can contact Erin at 215-518-6273 or by email at  You can also send her a message via her website.


November 17, 2012

Honey Boo Boo in Carolina Beach Wins Josh Duhamel Photo Contest?

What...I mean whaaaat???

Carolina Beach resident Joda Bennett has won a Halloween costume contest which was hosted by actor Josh Duhamel. 

Joda was somehow able to make all the radical elements blend together and come out looking like a splitting image of a steroidal version of Honey Boo Boo.  

His photo was entered in the contest by Judy Royal and he was selected for first prize in the Best Adult Costume category. Joda will receive $500 towards a charity of his choosing. 

So major congrats to Joda!  I'm sure his family, friends, and most importantly Ms. Boo Boo herself, are just filled with nothing but tearful pride.  Seriously though, his costume absolutely rocked. Still laughing here...

PS.  Let me go on record by saying, love those shoes man.

November 13, 2012

Video: Close Encounter with Humpback Whale Off Atlantic Beach, NC

Here's a video of a up close encounter with a humpback whale off Atlantic Beach, NC. They video was posted on 11/12/2012 by DiveNC. Enjoy!

November 12, 2012

Videos: Whales Are Once Again Beginning to Appear Off the Coast of North Carolina

It's that time of the year when we can all train our eyes on the ocean waters off NC and look for whales.  Having seen them a few times in other areas, I can say there is nothing more exciting then observing these gracefull giants of the sea.

The fist two videos were of a humpback sighting late last week in Topsail Island.  The videos were posted on youtube by blackdevildog.  The last video is from Emerald Isle, NC and was posted on 11/10/2012 by kbbrown215.

2012 Christmas & New Years Eve Celebrations on Pleasure Island, NC

CAROLINA BEACH AND KURE BEACH, NC - Escape the stress and traffic this holiday season and enjoy a relaxing seaside getaway instead in neighboring beach towns Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, North Carolina, where unconventional holiday events light up the island. Avoid the season’s hustle and bustle by taking advantage of holidays at the beach with mild temperatures, less crowds, affordable off-season deals, family-friendly events and coastal traditions.

The centerpiece of the holiday season in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach is the Island of Lights Festival, a month-long celebration that literally transforms the coastal community into a wonderland “island of lights.” The festivities kick off the day after Thanksgiving and continue through New Year’s Eve, setting the stage for weeks of holiday festivities. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla, an annual boat parade you’ll only find at the coast. Visit the Carolina Beach and Kure Beach websites for details on these events and special holiday off-season deals.

Light Up The Lake 
November 23, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Usher in the most wonderful time of the year with the Light Up The Lake ceremony at Carolina Beach Lake Park, which officially kicks off the Island of Lights festivities. Santa Clause will visit with children during the celebration, and free hot cocoa and cookies will be served before the displays are lit. Families can view the beautiful lighted displays from all angles by walking the one-mile loop around the scenic lake.

Christmas by the Sea 
Begins November 23, 2012
Carolina Beach’s boardwalk will be decorated and lit up each and every night throughout the holiday season. Children can enjoy visits with Santa, storytelling, hot chocolate, live nativity scene, caroling, holiday-themed movies and ornament-making every Saturday through December 15.

Island of Lights Christmas Parade 
November 30, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
The holiday festivities continue with a night of family-friendly entertainment during the beloved annual Island of Lights Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will literally light up the streets since it’s held after dark. Spectators will watch lighted holiday floats pass by while enjoying live music. As always, Santa Claus will be at the parade to interact with children and spread holiday cheer. The parade will travel down Lake Park Boulevard from Atlanta Avenue to Federal Point Plaza – make sure to arrive early to get a good seat!

Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla 
December 1, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
A parade on the water? Why not! Fishing boats and pleasure craft decorated with thousands of twinkling lights will light up the Intracoastal Waterway as they cruise from Snow’s Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back, creating a dazzling display of colors and reflections for spectators. Lighted boats will compete for prizes as they add to the pageantry of Island of Lights Festival. We challenge you to pick your favorite!

Holiday Open House at Fort Fisher State Historic Site 
December 6, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Visit the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, a national historic Civil War landmark, at Kure Beach to enjoy seasonal refreshments, holiday decorations and live music by area choral and instrumental groups throughout the day. Also be sure to spend time outside exploring Fort Fisher, the most visited state historic site in North Carolina. Visitors can also take advantage of special one-day discounts in the Museum Shop.

Kure Beach Christmas Show 
December 7-9, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Experience another annual holiday tradition by attending the Kure Beach Christmas Show. Holiday characters like Frosty the Snowman, Harriet Hippo, The Grinch, Santa Claus and his elves will entertain the whole family through song and dance. And make sure to bring your coat, scarves and mittens: it always snows during the show!

Island of Lights Holiday Tour of Homes 
December 8, 2012 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Enjoy the rare opportunity to tour some of the most beautiful homes in both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach during the Island of Lights Holiday Tour of Homes. Take a self-guided tour through stunning coastal homes decorated in their holiday best, and enjoy Southern hospitality at its finest as owners welcome guests into their homes for this special holiday event. Tickets will be available for purchase at local businesses.

Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown 
December 31, 2012 at 9:00 p.m.
Ring in the New Year with a beach ball drop and dazzling fireworks show, coastal-style, with the Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown. A colorful fireworks display and giant illuminated beach ball dropped at midnight signal the beginning of 2013, guaranteeing a New Year’s Eve beach celebration that will be remembered for years to come. Bring the entire family to enjoy this one-of-a-kind event at the Kure Beach Fishing Pier.

About Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach is North Carolina’s uniquely original beach. This seaside town offers family-friendly fun all year long where visitors can experience a scenic boardwalk, state park, unique events, pristine beach and locally owned restaurants and retail shops. For more information, go to or call (800) 641-7082. Find us on Facebook at or Twitter @CarolinaBeachNC.

About Kure Beach
Kure Beach, North Carolina’s small wonder, offers a naturally beautiful setting and small-town atmosphere. The coastal beach community, with its relaxed pace, lets visitors unplug and reconnect while they enjoy an undeveloped beach and signature state attractions, including the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. For more information, go to or call (800) 631-1460. Find us on Facebook at and Twitter @KureBeachNC.

November 11, 2012

Mary Lee, the 16' Great White, Continues to Stay Close to Shore While Nearing Florida

Here's another update on our favorite shark, Mary Lee, the 16', 3,500lb great white shark that was tagged by OCEARCH in Cape Cod this past September.

As of this morning, November 11, 2012, she is in the vicinity of the Cumberland Island National Seashore.  Earlier, she had moved farther south towards Jacksonville, FL and at one point was approximately five miles of Fernandina Beach but she appears to have U-turned and headed back northward towards just south of Brunswick, GA.

Speculation is that Mary Lee is headed to the warm Florida waters for the winter months and may even be headed there to give birth.  

No matter what she may be up to, we are thoroughly enjoying tracking her progress via Ocearch and we'll keep posting updates in the coming months.

Video: UFO Reported in Kure Beach, NC

The following report of a UFO sighting in Kure Beach on the evening of 11/08/2012 was posted on   There was no video from this account.  However, two videos have been posted on youtube from the same evening.  You can video the videos below the narrative.  The first is from Myrtle Beach, SC and the other from Calabash, NC.  Per the narrative in the second video, the lights were moving north from N. Myrtle Beach up through were he was located in NC.

We were sitting in the living room of a cottage we rented for the week. The eastern section of the room had a large window facing the ocean. I saw a bright orange light that we thought was from a boat on the ocean. We turned off all the lights in the house and went outside to get a better look at it. It was then that we noticed the light was too high off the horizon (about 10 degrees). I had a set of binoculars sitting on the deck and used them to get a better look at the object. It was a pulsing orange light that appeared to change shape as I looked at it. Within a minute or so another object appeared to the right of the first...

Click here to read the full account on

This video was posted by UndentifiedUFO on youtube and was shot in Myrtle Beach, SC.

This video was posted J.Franics on youtube and was shot in Calabash, NC.
Photo Credit: Screenshot from the UndentifiedUFO video
Cartoon Credit

November 8, 2012

Guest Photographer Series: Dinner on the Dock by Benson Stephens

For this series, we typically feature photos from different areas around the island.  But this week, photographer Benson Stephens presents us with this fantastic four photo series of a blue heron catching a fish from a dock in Carolina Beach.  It's a very cool sequence and has a happy ending...well, unless you're rooting for the fish.  Enjoy!

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 -Thanks

November 5, 2012

Which Establishment on Pleasure Island Has the Best Fried Pickles?

That's a question that was recently answered by a group of fried pickle aficionados. 
Charlies Boardwalk Subs Fried Pickles

Several weeks ago, a group of island residents were out enjoying some fried pickles when someone pondered aloud which restaurant on Pleasure Island had the best fried pickles?  Almost immediately, an intense light formed over the spirited group and they all looked at each other with a moderate amount of alcohol induced confusion.  But as this beacon of light began to fade, the group put down their beers and the Carolina Beach Pickle Patrol (CBPP) was born.

Over the next few days, the founding fathers of the CBPP recruited some helpers and set out to find which island establishments offered the fried delectables.  To their surprise, none of the establishments in Kure Beach had them on their menus.  So that left Carolina Beach...and they soon discovered that seven places offered them.  But there was still one more to come because when they called the Hoplite, they were initially told fried pickles weren't on the menu.  But the head chef intervened and said he wanted in on the competition and promised to create some competition worthy pickles.  

So with Hoplite in the mix, the pickle team had eight restaurants for their unofficial official competition: 

• Charlies
• The Dive
• Hang Ten
• Harbor Master
• Hoplite
• Lazy Pirate
• Seawitch
• Shuckin Shack

The official unofficial CBPP Fried Pickle Friday 2012 was held on October 26, 2012.  Each member of the 10 man/woman team was given a 'super official score card.' Each pickle was to be rated from 1 to 5 (1=spitting it out and 5=hoarding the rest) on six different factors: pickle flavor, crispiness, batter flavor, batter coating (did the batter adhere to the pickle), dipping sauce and overall taste.

With a sense of mission, the group donned their official CBPP shirts and headed out into an evening filled with driving winter-like rains, cold beer and baskets upon baskets of fried pickles.  And although they enjoyed some alcoholic cheer along their rounds, they maintained a reasonable amount of pickle professionalism and were able to fairly judge the competition.

Drum roll........The winner of the 2012 CBPP Fried Pickle Friday was Charlies Boardwalk Subs!  Major congrats to Charlies for earning this premiere recognition.  Close on the heals of Charlies was Hoplite Pub & Beer Garden.  They were able to produce a great tasting pickle and due to the enthusiastic response from judges, they are considering making them a regular part of the menu.  Rounding out the medal competition was a very strong showing by Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar which brought home the bronze.

The remaining field (minus one) were tightly peppered around forth place.  The competitors had all put out fried pickles that were worthy of this most regal competition.  

But as for the lone limpy pickle that didn't make the cut, the chance of it ever seeing a medal is only slightly better than that of Lance Armstrong . One judge actually gave it a score of 1 across the board...I know, so sad. Fortunately, the remaining judges were a bit kinder, and scored the sad little pickled cucumber a tad higher.  With that said, since we are nearing the festive holidays where we are encouraged to show good will toward others, it just didn't seem fitting for us to call them out.

So that's it, the 2012 CBPP Fried Pickle Friday challenge is now logged in the books.  But guess what, the group aims to do it again next year and I'm told that they already have a lot more interest from fellow fried pickleholics.

Update on Mary Lee, the16' Great White, Currently Off the Coast of Tybee Island, GA

Mary Lee, the 16', 3,500lb great white shark that was tagged by OCEARCH in Cape Cod this past September is now currently off the coast of Tybee Island, GA. 

On November 3rd, she had moved in fairly close to the Isle of Palms.  At one point, a sat. ping showed her to be up a narrow waterway north of Charleston.  But one can assume that this ping was an error and that she remained at sea during her time at the SC shoreline.

November 4, 2012

Bald Head Island Passersby Rescue Five Sharks Entangled in Net

The following video was posted on Youtube by Ashlea Kosikowski (reporter with WECT News) and shows several photos of rescuers freeing five grey nurse sharks that were entangled in gill net at Bald Head Island.

The individual who took the photos, Jamie Haines from Rhode Island, is interviewed by phone in the news segment.  She stated all five sharks were able to swim off once freed from the net.

Major kudos to everyone involved and thanks to WECT for the feel good story.

Video: Insider's Guide to Kure Beach and Fort Fisher

New video produced by Right Point Media for the Wilmington & Beaches Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Photography and editing by Chris Varner. Visit for more information. 

Video posted on Youtube by RPMWilmington

Video: Insider's Guide to Carolina Beach

New video produced by Right Point Media for the Wilmington & Beaches Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Photography and editing by Chris Varner. Visit for more information.

Video posted on Youtube by RPMWilmington

San Fran Chronicle:Coast Guard base preps recruits for daring rescues

EMERY P. DALESIO, Associated Press 
November 2, 2012 

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — At a new Coast Guard training facility here, rescue swimmers jump from a 12-foot tower into a wave pool as large fans blow 70 mph wind at them. A lighting system produces a night sky and speakers pump out the sound of thunder, creating artificial conditions that help prepare the swimmers for dangerous rescues like the one they carried out when the crew of the HMS Bounty abandoned ship during Hurricane Sandy. 

One sailor was killed when the replica 18th-century wooden tall ship went down off the North Carolina coast, and the captain of the vessel featured in Hollywood films was presumed dead when the search for him ended Thursday. Fourteen crew members, however, were plucked from the roaring Atlantic on Monday by rescue teams of helicopter pilots, hoist operators and swimmers who braved rolling 18-foot waves and 50 mph winds...

Read the full San Francisco Chronicle story here

Pic of the Day: Carolina Beach Pier in HDR

Here's a cool HDR (High Dynamic Range) of the Carolina Beach Pier. Photo by Michael Sing.

November 2, 2012

Wilmington Star: Bill will honor Wilmington's WWII history

November 1, 2012 
By Ben Steelman 
Star News 

Legislation is on track to have Wilmington declared the first "American World War II City," the chairman of the World War II Wilmington Homefront Heritage Coalition said Thursday night... 

If passed, Wilmington would almost certainly be the first World War II city declared, Jones said. Wilmington and the surrounding area had bases for all the armed services, including the massive Camp Davis, the anti-aircraft training center at Fort Fisher and the Coast Guard patrol station on Harbor Island... 

And it's possible, Jones said, that Kure Beach was the site of the only German attack on American soil, when a U-boat allegedly shelled the Ethyl-Dow bromine plant in July 1943... 

Read the full story here
Photo credit 

Educational Trips to Fort Fisher Fuel Increased Visitation

KURE BEACH — School children from across North Carolina are finding their way to Fort Fisher State Historic Site this fall to get a close-up look at Civil War history. As observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial continues, fourth graders studying North Carolina History get to walk the same paths used by Union and Confederate soldiers in a major Civil War battle in the state. Visitation to Fort Fisher in September was up almost 82% over last September, and student groups are booked into 2013.

“The assault on Fort Fisher came by land and sea, and the massive Union amphibious assault was effective in overpowering the fort, closing the port city of Wilmington and cutting off supplies to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army,” explains Site Manager Jim Steele.

When students come they see the earthworks fort, constructed of mounds of sand, employed defensively to absorb cannonballs crashing in from ships offshore. Costumed interpreters demonstrate period weapons and tools. Students can walk the trails and see the fort’s massive reproduction sea coast cannon used to counterattack the Union forces.

Visitation has been steadily increasing at Fort Fisher this year. Attendance for the site’s “2nd Saturdays” series in June, July and August also saw increased attendance. The program started in 2010 and visitation has grown by 272.3% since before the program started.

North Carolina is known far and wide for its authentic cultural experiences, and historic sites and museums are great destinations for those important cultural and heritage travelers, who stay longer and spend more money in local economies.

“Visitors are discovering that our state supported historic sites and museums offer great family fun, says Cultural Resources Secretary Linda Carlisle, who noted that state historic sites overall saw a 47% increase during September over the previous September.

Since it first opened in 1961, Fort Fisher State Historic Site has interpreted the importance of that major battle and of the port of Wilmington during the Civil War. The annual programs at Fort Fisher are the Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher, “Be A Tourist in Your Own Hometown Day,” Civil War Preservation Park Day, 2nd Saturdays (June, July and August), and a Holiday Open House which happens this year on Dec. 6.

To learn more about the special events occurring every day at state cultural and historic attractions, visit Fort Fisher is located at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd S. in Kure Beach. It is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

November 1, 2012

Guest Photographer Series: Fashion Shots by R. Douglas Kadan Featuring Alex

We are again pleased to showcase the photography work of R. Douglas Kadan. Doug is a commercial photographer working in fashion, beauty and products related to coastal lifestyles. Fortunately for us, Doug frequently uses Pleasure Island as a backdrop during his photo sessions and he has been nice enough to share some of his photos from this shoot.

This photo shoot was done in late September 2012 at Fort Fisher and features local model Alex. She is a resident of Carolina Beach and attends the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She models and works part time at Sweetwater Surfshop - loves the outdoors and is a self described animal lover.

The Metallic Lace Skater Skirt dress is by Ya and the necklace is a turquoise bib necklace.  All all are available at Sweetwater Surfshop. The snake skin looking swimsuit is by Acacia.

Doug wanted to thank Sweetwater Surfshop and the administration at Fort Fisher for hosting the photo shoot. 

Doug is available for both commercial and independent work and he can be reached at 919.208.0725 and via his website at

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