December 30, 2012

Forbes: 12 Days of Charitable Giving 2012: Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center

by Kelly Phillips Erb
December 29, 2012

Sea turtles inhabit all of the world’s oceans except the Arctic. There are seven species of sea turtles; five of these are found in my home state of North Carolina. The most abundant species in North Carolina is the loggerhead that nests annually on our beaches...

With so many turtles in danger at our beaches, there are precious few resources to help them. That changed in 1996 when a small group of dedicated volunteers with the Topsail Turtle Project stood on an empty lot in Topsail Beach, N.C...

In 1997, construction began on a 900 sq. ft. facility which would become the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center where air and water temperatures could be kept sea turtle warm. Volunteers would care for injured sea turtles, monitor the beach for nests each morning and make sure that baby sea turtles made it safely to the water each night...

Read the full story here
Photo credit

Video: Dolphins feeding in the ICW at Snow's Cut (Carolina Beach).

Check out this wonderful video of a pod of dolphins feeding just offshore in the intracoastal waterway at Snow's Cut in Carolina Beach.  The video was posted in Vimeo by Daniel Norris.

The Post & Courier: Right whales may be giving birth off South Carolina

by Bo Peterson
December 27, 2011
The Post & Courier

The first of the giant right whales to be spotted offshore here this winter were a mother and calf pair, an early Christmas season delight for the aerial survey team in charge of monitoring the critically endangered species.

Four days later, two days before Christmas, the team got another surprise off Hilton Head — a different calf and mother; the mother had been seen off Georgia only a few days earlier, not having given birth.

The sightings give more support to the growing realization among researchers that the whales are giving birth here, well north of the waters off Florida where they were long thought to calve...

Read the full story here.
Photo credit

WNCT: NC ferry runs aground in rough seas

December 27, 2012
WNCT

MANNS HARBOR, N.C. (AP) - A state-run ferry route connecting islands along North Carolina's Outer Banks is back in service after a vessel ran aground in rough seas...

The United States Coast Guard was informed of the incident and provided assistance until the ferry became free more than four hours later...

Read the full story here.
Photo credit

Photos: Severe Weather Hits Pleasure Island on December 26, 2012

They day after Christmas turned into quite a weather event for Pleasure Island, NC as reports of tornados were making headlines.

Fortunately for the island, none of the tornados materialized although the National Weather Service did report a microburst on the island which did cause some minor damage in both Kure Beach and Carolina Beach.

Here are some great photos as the storm passed off shore. The photos were posted on Facebook and each photographer was nice enough to make them 'public' so we could share with blog followers:

Photos by Lou Neofotistos (photo above by Lou)

Photos by Steve Sledge Winthrop

Below is a photo posted by the NWS which outlines some of the reports they received regarding the severe weather outbreak.


Pic of the Day: Blackburn Bros Seafood

Michael Sing caputures a uniquely stunning image of Blackburn Bros Seafood in Carolina Beach.

December 28, 2012

Susan G. Komen Wilmington, NC Race for the Cure March 2, 2013

Race Information

Wilmington Race for the Cure | March 2, 2013

The Race for the Cure is our major fundraising event of the year that celebrates survivorship; honors those who have lost their battle, and most importantly, raise funds and awareness for the fight against this life threatening disease. 

Race Basics 
The Inaugural Wilmington Race for the Cure® will be held Saturday, March 2, 2013 in Downtown Wilmington North Carolina. All fees are non-refundable and non-transferable, even in the event of inclement weather. The Race is a 5K (3.1 miles). 90% of our registrants choose to walk rather than run the 5K. We also offer a one mile walk.

Important Deadlines
  • January 7th (11:59 p.m.) – Early Bird registration ends
  • Early January – Volunteer registration opens
  • February 12th (11:59 p.m.) – Team registration closes to be included in the team box
  • February 28th (11:59 p.m.) – Online Race registration closes
  • March 2nd – Race Day
  • March 31st – Fundraising ends
Team Box PickupLocation TBD.
  • February 21st – 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • February 22nd – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
T-Shirt Pick-up / Individual Packet Pickup
  • February 27th – 6-8:30 p.m. – Location TBD
  • February 28th – 6-8:30 p.m. – Location TBD
  • March 1st – 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Race site Downtown Wilmington (2nd & Market Streets)
Fundraising Drop-offCash, checks (made payable to Wilmington Race for the Cure), Visa and MasterCard accepted. Donations can also be made online, mailed to 133 Fayetteville St., Suite 300 Raleigh, NC 27601 (please include a Fundraising Form), or dropped off at team box pickup, individual packet pickup, or on Race day at the pledges tent.

Preliminary Race Day Schedule
7:00 a.m. – Registration/Packet Pickup Opens
7:45 a.m. – Survivor Breakfast Begins
8:15 a.m. – Survivor Photo
8:15 a.m. – Zumba Warm-up
8:30 a.m. – Competitive Open 5K (co-ed)
8:45 a.m. – Recreational Open 5K Run/Walk and One Mile (co-ed)
10:00 a.m. – Kids Dash (ages 3-5)
10:30 a.m. – Survivor Tribute

Primo Water Refilling Stations
Our water sponsor, Primo, will be providing water refilling stations instead of individual bottles of water. Please bring your own refillable bottle. There will be plenty of refilling stations and cups available.

Shop Komen on Race Day!
Bring cash, check or credit cards to buy your Komen gear.

Route Safety
  • Rain or shine - please dress accordingly.
  • Due to insurance restrictions pets, bicycles, skates, skateboards and scooters are not allowed on the Race course.
  • We encourage participants with strollers or joggers to line up at the back of the crowd of people.
** For complete information & register, please visit the Susan G. Komen race website. **

December 23, 2012

16 Foot Great White Continues to Visit the Cape Fear Region


As of 9:00pm on Saturday, December 22, 2012, Mary Lee was still lurking around the Cape Fear region.

On December 20th, Mary Lee's satellite tag pinged about a 1/4 of a mile off the beach at Fort Fisher.  The following day, she pinged just a couple hundred yards off Carolina Beach at Sea Gull Lane.  From there, she moved about a mile or two off shore and continued north passing Wrightsville Beach and then onwards to the southern end of Figure Eight Island.

After checking out the Figure Eight waters, she headed eastward out to sea and then moved up towards Surf City where she pinged about 5 miles off shore.  She didn't stay long and about 12 hours later on the morning of December 22, she again resurfaced approximately 15-20 miles off Wrightsville Beach.

But apparently Mary Lee finds the fishing too good to pass up in our area and by mid afternoon on the 22nd, she headed due west and eventually pinged just off shore at Masonboro Island.

So that takes us to her last ping last evening where Mary Lee pinged less than a mile off Carolina Beach virtually do west of her earlier ping location on Sea Gull Lane.

Has Mary Lee had enough of our cooler waters?  Is she again going to continue south and head back to Georgia/Florida waters?  Time will tell but it sure will be fun watching her

Here's a cool photo that we posted earlier on our Facebook page which might give you a better idea of what a shark Mary Lee's size would look like next to a diver.  Wow! 


Dow Road Improvements to Start Mid January & End By May 2013

The Department of Transportation has issued a contract for improvements on Dow Road. 

Three turn lanes will be added at the intersections of Harper, Cape Fear and Ocean Boulevard in Carolina Beach. Additionally, five feet of the current shoulder area on each side of Dow Road will be paved from Carolina to 4th Avenue in Kure Beach. 

Work will begin in mid January with the completion in May, 2013.
 Photo credit.

December 21, 2012

Santa Goes Diving at the Fort Fisher Aquarium

The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher whips up a little holiday magic with a North Pole native. While the elves prepare for upcoming festivities, Santa plans to sneak in a little last minute fun with his marine friends at the Aquarium.

Catch Santa in his scuba gear diving with rays, eels and sharks during the Aquarium’s scheduled dive shows at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22 and Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 and at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 24, 2012. Dive shows are free with Aquarium admission.

The Aquarium will be closed on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25 and reopens at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

December 20, 2012

Mary Lee, the 16' Great White, Is Currently Several Hunderd Yards Off of Fort Fisher

Wow, I was wondering if Mary Lee would head back to NC waters and she didn't disappoint. As a matter of fact, as of this evening, Mary Lee is currently just a few hundred yards off of Fort Fisher. 

All jokes aside, local surfers should use extra caution when surfing in Kure Beach and Carolina Beach. Of course the odds of anything bad happening are extremely small but since we know for a fact that she is currently lurking in our waters, it would be wise to use some caution until she moves onward.

It will be interesting to see where she heads next.  Track her in real time here: http://sharks-ocearch.verite.com/

[NOTE:  The location charting looks confusing because her current path overlaps her last path when she passed through the Bald Head Island area the other week.] 

Pic of the Day: Stormy Fort Fisher

Michael Sing captured this fantastic photo as some storm clouds moved into Fort Fisher earlier this week. http://miiikesisland.wix.com/mikesingphotography
 

Fort Fisher Presents Living History Program To Commemorate 148th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Fort Fisher

Kure Beach, N.C.: The year 2013 marks the 148th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. To commemorate the anniversary of the Second Battle of Fort Fisher—the largest land-sea battle of the Civil War—Fort Fisher State Historic Site will host a living history program on January 19, 2013. Thanks to the recently released Steven Spielberg film “Lincoln” and its multiple references to Wilmington, North Carolina and the Battle of Fort Fisher, millions of movie-goers are now more familiar with the fort’s important historical role as the last fort to fall to Union troops during the Civil War. Fort Fisher embraces this new spotlight and welcomes history buffs and fans of the movie year-round to explore its Civil War battlefield, monuments, museum, and special events. 

As part of the state's observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources’ Fort Fisher State Historic Site will host “Sheppard’s Battery: Confederates Defending the Left Flank,” a special living history program on January 19, 2013. This year’s anniversary commemoration will focus on the Confederate defenders at Sheppard’s Battery and around the “Bloody Gate” on the left flank of Fort Fisher. Re-enactors will set up displays of Civil War camp life and talk with visitors about the life of the Confederate infantry and artillery troops during the January 1865 campaign. Other highlights include Civil War authors, artillery and infantry demonstrations, cannon and small arms firings, including the site’s rifled and banded 32-pound cannon atop Sheppard’s Battery. Events begin at 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

Volunteers in period costume will bring history to life throughout the day. Guest speakers include local historian Ernie Kniffen, who will discuss new findings on his extensive research of Confederate sailors and Marines. Author Richard Triebe will sign books and discuss N.C. troops who were captured at Fort Fisher and sent to a prison camp in Elmira, N.Y. Also on site will be author, educator, and member of the Wilmington Railroad Museum board of trustees, James Burke, who will sign and promote his book, “The Wilmington and Weldon Railroad in the Civil War.” At 12:30 p.m., the N.C. Underwater Archaeology Unit will dedicate a new highway marker for the Civil War blockade runner Modern Greece, which ran aground and sank near Fort Fisher. 

Fort Fisher’s programs afford visitors a wonderful opportunity to learn more about local history and Fort Fisher's role in the Civil War. Fort Fisher, the largest earthen fortification in the Confederacy, once protected the port of Wilmington and the vital blockade running trade on the Cape Fear River. After two massive bombardments the fort fell to a Union infantry assault on January 15, 1865. With the capture of Fort Fisher, Wilmington’s port—the “Lifeline of the Confederacy”—was closed to foreign trade. 

Fort Fisher State Historic Site is located in Kure Beach, just 20 miles south of Wilmington, at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd. S., along US Highway 421. Visitors, residents, and motorists are advised of loud explosions during cannon firings and artillery demonstrations. Programming is made possible with the support of the Friends of Fort Fisher and its sustaining members. Fort Fisher is part of the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

If your favorite pastime is exploring ‘past times,’ plan to visit Fort Fisher and other area attractions that interpret the region’s Civil War history, such as the Wilmington Railroad Museum, Bellamy Mansion Museum, and Cape Fear Museum of History and Science where rare Civil War artifacts are currently on display during the Museum’s award-winning “Fragments of War” exhibition (through May 5, 2013). For a free Official Visitors Guide to Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, call 1-866-266-9690. For visitor information and seasonal specials, visit the destination website at www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com.

December 18, 2012

Mary Lee, the 16' Great White, is Once Again Nearing North Carolina

The number one thing I love about following Mary Lee, the 16 foot - 3,500lb great white shark, is that she is completely unpredictable.
 
When Mary Lee was originally tagged and released in Cape Cod, she soon began a southward swim down the eastern US coastline.  According to experts, they expected her to head down to the warmer waters of Florida and/or Georgia to most likely give birth.  

She didn't let down the experts.  She swam southward and at one point made it to the Jacksonville, FL area.  But she didn't stay put, she u-turned and began heading north and eventually made it all the way back up to Bald Head Island, NC and even spent some time hunting in the lower Cape Fear River.  But it was a short visit and she again spun around and headed back south.
 
As of just a couple weeks ago, she was down near Tybee Island, GA (near Savannah) and she spent a fair amount of time hunting near inlets.  But then she did what she always seems to do, she reversed course and again headed back in a northern direction.

Well, as of today she is now closing in on Murrells Inlet, SC.  On her previous pass, she spent several days hunting in Murrells Inlet and it again appears that she may be going back for a follow up feed.  

So the question remains, will she continue her northward movement and again visit us in SE North Carolina?  I say yes...we'll lets just say I'm hoping she does because it sure does make visiting the beach a tad more interesting.  But let me say for the record, I'd like her to stay a few miles off shore.

You can keep up with her latest movements at this website: http://sharks-ocearch.verite.com/

Photo: 780 Pound Black Bear Taken in Eastern North Carolina Hunt

The following cell phone photo is from the message board nchuntandfish and purportedly shows a 780 lb black bear that was shot and killed on December 14, 2012 in Washington County, NC.  To help better demonstrate the size of the bear, the poster pointed out that the hunter in the photo is over 6' and 300lbs. 

The world record for an American black bear is 880 pounds and was set in November 1998 from a 10+ year old black bear shot in North Carolina.


EDIT 12/30: Here's an article about the hunt in North Carolina Sportsman

December 17, 2012

NC Coastal Federation: Feds Call for Offshore Wind Proposals

By Frank Tursi
December 13, 2012
North Carolina Coastal Federation

In a significant first step toward developing wind energy off the N.C. coast, the federal government yesterday asked for project proposals for three offshore areas, one off the Outer Banks and two near Wilmington.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, part of the U.S. Department of Interior, has identified an area six miles off Kitty Hawk and two areas seven to 13 miles from Cape Fear as having potential for commercial wind energy. The three areas total about 1,400 square miles...


Read the full article here.
Photo from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

News14: Juvenile turtles tagged for the first time at Fort Fisher Aquarium

By: Katie Rufener, News 14 Carolina 
December 9, 2012 

FORT FISHER, N.C.--New technology could lead to valuable information being gathered about sea turtles.

For the first time, the Fort Fisher Aquarium is using tracking devices to find out where young sea turtles go after their annual release back into the water...

This year, a small satellite transmitter is attached to the turtles' shells. The transmitter is a couple inches long, shaped like a cylinder and has a long antenna attached to it. Data will be transmitted back every time the turtle breaks the surface of the water..

Read more here
Photo from NC Aquarium article on the sat tags.

December 16, 2012

Video: Close Encounter with Humpbacks Off the Coast of Wrightsville Beach, NC

Well it's official, if one wants to have an extraordinary encounter with sea life in North Carolina, they need to go boating with Matthew Garrett.

Matthew seems to have an uncanny ability to come across some amazing sights while boating in the coastal waters of Southeast North Carolina. Last year, he and his friends came across a massive 18 foot great white shark approximately 25 miles southeast of Wrightsville Beach. You may recall, his video became an overnight internet sensation and was picked up by numerous media outlets. (Great White: video 1, video 2).

Four months ago, Matthew came across a pod of about 30 dolphins that apparently felt that Matthew's boat was a pretty fun playground.  They hung around for quite a while and he was able to get some pretty cool video.

So that takes us to this past week when Matthew's good fortunate came to light again and he was able to capture up close video of several humpback whales.  The two adults and one calf were spotted about two miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach, NC.  

I look forward so seeing what other nature encounters Matthew Garrett may share in the coming years.

December 11, 2012

Pic of the Day: Good Morning Wrightsville Beach

'Wow' shot of the Wrightsville Beach Pier taken yesterday by Ned Leary Photography. 


December 10, 2012

Video: Beached Pilot Whale Expires on Edisto Beach, SC

The following video was posted on youtube by SuzanneMcDerrmott and shows a beached pilot whale expiring on the beach in Edisto Beach, SC on 12/04/2012. It is sad to watch. 

Update - Kure Beach Ocean Front Park to Open by End of 2012

Due to some recent rainy weather, the expected completion date for the park is mid to late December. Pavers and the tot lot equipment are being installed as the pavilion and public restroom are completed. 

Atlantic Avenue will have pervious pavers installed and be resurfaced.  There are only 3 swings left for commmemorative opportunities, so if you are thinking of getting one, now is the time! The 3 swings are in the park site and have an oceanview. Cost of $2,000 includes 2 engraved Bluefish and your choice of wooden cutout on the cross beam of the swing frame. Benches on the boardwalk are available too. Cost of $1,800 includes up to 4 engraved Bluefish so a group or family may share. 

There are 52 Bluefish on the boardwalk now! Some are in front of the ADA beach access in front of the park site. Don't forget to get yours. Cost of $220 includes up to 3 lines of sandblasted print. If you are stumped for a Christmas present or way to advertise your business, here's a great idea.

http://townofkurebeach.org/ocean-front-park-update-1.aspx

Pic of the Day: Nature's Christmas in Carolina Beach

Ashley Jo Farmer captures a Christmassy image in Carolina Beach. 

Video: Young Surfer Shark Encounter in Carolina Beach

The following video was posted on Youtube by Patrick Kerr and features a young surfer enjoying a small wave in Carolina Beach when the dorsal fin of a shark appears.  The young surfer nor his father noticed the fin until it was seen on video.

The first video was slowed down so you can see the fin which appears at the 12 second mark.  The second video has the real time view of the fin.

December 9, 2012

Whale Washes Up on Bald Head Island

Earlier this afternoon, the Bald Head Island Conservancy posted the following photo on their Facebook page of a  pygmy sperm whale washed on on shore at Bald Head.

They requested that onlookers not approach the whale and advised that a stranding team was responding to the scene.

Approximately 15 minutes later, they posted the following:  "update:well meaning people pushed whale in the water now vet help won't be able to help the animal or determine the cause of death. We are now waiting for it to wash back to shore--job much more difficult because of this."

We will update this post when further information is provided.

Update 4:00pm:  When the beachgoers discovered the whale, it was still breathing and they were able to push it out to sea.  Unfortunately, as of this update, the whale does appear dead and they are waiting to see if it washes back up on shore.  You can view some photos of the rescue here.

Update 12/10/2012:  The whale did wash back ashore Bald Head Island earlier this afternoon and the stranding team working with the BHI Conservancy staff retrieved the remains for a necropsy

 **All photos from BHI Conservancy

December 7, 2012

Annual Kure Beach Fantasy Christmas Show is Coming to Town (December 7, 8 & 9)

It's that time of year again for the annual Kure Beach Fantasy Christmas Show starring everyone's favorite characters: Frosty, Harriet Hippo, the Grinch, Cookie Monster, Rudolph, the Gingerbread Man, polar bears, penguins, and a whole lot more. Performances take place on K Avenue, near the Kure Beach Fishing Pier, on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 7-9th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm, with a special pre-show by "South of K" bluegrass band at 6:30 pm. 

Santa Claus and his crazy elves will entertain you with their zany antics, while our lovely Winter Princesses, arrayed in dazzling holiday attire, perform traditional and popular Christmas songs. Bring a folding chair & dress warm, because it always snows at the show. Christmas just won't be the same if you miss this little slice of Americana, so come on down!

Kure Beach's 1st Place winning parade float from the Wilmington Holiday Parade will also be on display during the show, so don't miss it!

December 6, 2012

Pic of the Day: Carolina Beach Orange

Benson Stephens captured a soothing shot from Carolina Beach. 


WECT: Business booming in Carolina, Kure Beach


By: Gavin Johnson, WECT News
12/06/2012

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - According to agents with Intracoastal Realty Corporation, home and land sales in Carolina and Kure Beaches are up 19 percent, compared to this time last year and rentals are up 50 percent.

Christine Higgins, co-owner with Artful Living group, says since July business is up 35%...


Read the full story here.

WISTV: Whale stranded on Lowcountry beach dies

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -A pilot whale that was stranded Thursday morning on the beach at Hunting Island State Park has died.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration worked to remove the 16-foot whale, which is located on the island at the foot of Fripp Island bridge, according to the Island Packet...

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

December 4, 2012

USHER IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A GETAWAY TO WILMINGTON’S HISTORIC RIVER DISTRICT & ISLAND BEACHES

Say good-bye to 2012 and usher in the new year with a relaxing weekend getaway to Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. From the banks of the storied Cape Fear River to the luminous shores of barrier island beaches, there are many ways to celebrate. 

On New Year’s Eve families can welcome 2013 at the strike of 12:00 noon with fun and games at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington. Then at 9:00 p.m. head to the Kure Beach Pier to ring in the new year with a street dance and a giant lighted beach ball that drops into the ocean, followed by fireworks at midnight. There are also special holiday cruises that sail into 2013 with a champagne toast aboard a riverboat or party boat, as well as theatrical galas, cabaret-style dinner theatre productions, and an array of restaurant and nightlife options. 

Spend the weekend exploring our island beaches, a 230+ block National Register Historic District, and attractions like the Battleship North Carolina, the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Carolina Beach State Park, Fort Fisher State Historic Site, and Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, as well as history and specialty museums, historic homes and tours. Shop the after-Christmas sales at beach boutiques and downtown specialty shops, and dine at outstanding restaurants from the river to the sea. For seasonal specials and packages, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com or find last-minute hotel discounts at www.sunnysavers.com.

Here’s a preview of New Year’s events in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach:
Dec. 31 & Jan. 1- New Year's Noon Countdown at the Children's Museum. 11am-1pm. The celebration begins at 11am with crafts (streamers, noisemakers), singing and dancing. Countdown begins at 12noon. Kids and their families count down the New Year at Noon with streamers, noisemakers, a confetti toss and juice toast! Museum admission required. Children's Museum of Wilmington, 116 Orange Street, Wilmington. 910-254-3534; www.playwilmington.org

Dec. 31 - Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown Party, Street Dance & Fireworks Extravaganza. 9pm-12:30am. This unique New Year’s celebration features a deejay and dancing, followed by the lowering of a giant lighted beach ball at midnight and spectacular fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean. Festivities for all ages begin at 9:00pm. Free. Kure Beach Pier, K. Avenue, Kure Beach. www.islandoflights.org/newyears.html

Dec. 31 - New Year’s Eve Celebration Cruise aboard the Henrietta III. New Year's Eve cruise down the Cape Fear River boards at 8:30pm; cruises 9:00pm-12:30am. Heavy hors d’oeuvre buffet, entertainment, party favors, champagne toast, tax and gratuity are included in the ticket price. Admission charge. Prepaid reservations required. Board at the foot of Dock and Water streets in Downtown Wilmington. 910-343-1611 or 800-676-0162; www.cfrboats.com

Dec. 31-New Year’s Eve Party Cruise aboard the Royal Winner Princess II. Boards at 10pm; returns 12:30am. Cruise to watch the midnight fireworks with desserts, party favors, dancing, fireworks, and champagne toast. Cash bar. Departs from Carolina Beach Marina, Carolina Beach. Admission charge. Reservations required. 910-458-5356; www.winnerboats.com/Happy_New_Year.html

Dec. 31—New Year’s Eve Gala. 7pm-1am. City Stage Productions presents “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” a musical comedy and New Year’s gala at Thalian Hall. Enjoy the performance, a buffet, open bar, party favors, and midnight toast. Admission charge. Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St., Wilmington. 910-632-2285 or 800-523-2820; www.thalianhall.org.

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; www.theatrewilmington.com
 
Navigate toward what’s important to you. Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach are a convenient drive along major highways, including I-40 and U.S. 74, both with easy access from I-95. For visitor information and a complete event calendar, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com or call 1-866-266-9690 for an Official Visitors Guide.

US Coast Guard Daring Mission to Save Crew of HMS Bounty - Weather Channel One Hour Special on December 5, 2012

WHAT: The Weather Channel will air a special, one-hour episode of its successful franchise “Coast Guard,” giving viewers a behind-the-headlines look at the daring and heroic rescue of 14 crew members onboard the HMS Bounty during Superstorm Sandy.

In one of the most unprecedented storms to date, the U.S. Coast Guardsmen and women risked their lives, braving the harsh conditions of Sandy and venturing into the teeth of the storm, to save crew members on the legendary ship.

The Bounty, featured in numerous films including “Mutiny on the Bounty” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” was caught in 70 mph winds and high seas off the coast of North Carolina and sank during the storm, which left its crew members clinging to life rafts in 30-foot waves for hours until U.S. Coast Guard helicopters arrived. Two crewmembers were lost, one body was recovered, but the captain was never found – even after the Coast Guard searched for 90 hours over 12,000 square miles. Tune in as the Coast Guard rescue crews and the survivors give first-hand accounts of this harrowing life and death experience that originated on a storied ship with a movie past.

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. ET (Encore at 11 p.m. ET)

MORE: Produced by Al Roker Entertainment, the “Coast Guard” franchise has resonated with The Weather Channel viewers. New episodes of “Coast Guard Alaska,” will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. ET. For more information, visit http://wxch.nl/TOphq3.

Weather Channel Press Release - November 26, 2012

December 1, 2012

Video: We Love Carolina Beach, NC at Christmastime!

Check out this wonderful video about Carolina Beach at Christmastime.  The video was posted on Youtube by Ashley Jo Farmer.  You can also follow the Ashley Jo Farmer Band on Facebook.  Enjoy!!

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