Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Off-Road Vehicle Routes Open on Hatteras, Ocracoke

BUXTON, N.C. -- Seasonal routes on Cape Hatteras National Seashore have reopened to off-road vehicles. Acting Superintendent Kym Hall says the routes reopened over the weekend, although some may be closed for sea turtle nests. She says those roads will reopen as soon as the few remaining nests hatch. Off-road vehicle routes that reopened are: just south of the Rodanthe Pier to ramp 23; ramp 34 to ramp 38, which covers Avon beaches; east Frisco village beach boundary to 1.1 miles west; and east Hatteras village boundary to ramp 55, which covers Hatteras village beach.

Autumn Respite at A Hidden Jewel of Outer Banks

(from NewsLeader.com)
CAROVA, N.C. -- One doesn’t normally get up at 5:15 in the morning when on vacation, but on the morning of Oct. 8, I just couldn’t help myself. I wanted to see the full lunar eclipse and the subsequent blood moon when the entire moons sits in shadow. So, when my phone alarm went off, I got dressed and went up to the deck on the third floor of the beach house where we were staying. The plan came together perfectly. I had a brand new fancy tripod for my camera that I had purchased in the spring; the skies were clear; and I was in a place with almost no light pollution — on the northern-most strip of land on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. I set up my tripod and pointed my camera to the west, shooting above the wax myrtle and persimmon trees and focused on that big full moon that already had a chunk missing, looking like it had wandered into a Pac Man video game. At my back were the sand dunes protecting us from the lapping waves of the Atlantic Ocean. In the darkness of the predawn, wild horses could be heard nickering close by.

Big Red Drum Highlight Great Week of Surf, Pier Fishing

(from North Carolina Sportsman)
AVON, N.C. -- Surf fishing on the Outer Banks has been great over the past week or so, especially for the big drum that draw so many anglers to beaches from Nags Head south to Ocracoke. Frank Folb at Frank & Fran’s tackle shop in Avon said a handful of big drum were caught in the surf at Buxton’s Cape Point on Wednesday night, along with plenty of what he termed “yearlings” – 8- to 10-pound fish making their first appearance in the ocean after spending the early part of their lives in the backwaters. In addition, Avon Pier reported seven big drum caught this morning before 11 a.m., and Folb said a big run at Nags Head last week was the best in years. “On Friday and Saturday, they caught ‘em as good as they ever have,” he said. “There were about 200 citation-sized drum caught and released.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

Public Input Sought on Estuary Management Plan

COROLLA, N.C. -- The Currituck Banks Local Advisory Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 4, at the Wildlife Resources Commission Center for Wildlife Education, Currituck Heritage Park, N.C. 12, Corolla to receive comments on a five-year update of the N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve's management plan, as required by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The public meeting will allow residents to learn about the reserve and the management plan update and provide comments through structured small group conversations on current and emerging topics, program implementation (research, education, training, and stewardship), and community involvement. There will also be an opportunity to provide general comments.

Autumn Respite at A Hidden Jewel of Outer Banks

(from NewsLeader.com)
CAROVA, N.C. -- One doesn’t normally get up at 5:15 in the morning when on vacation, but on the morning of Oct. 8, I just couldn’t help myself. I wanted to see the full lunar eclipse and the subsequent blood moon when the entire moons sits in shadow. So, when my phone alarm went off, I got dressed and went up to the deck on the third floor of the beach house where we were staying. The plan came together perfectly. I had a brand new fancy tripod for my camera that I had purchased in the spring; the skies were clear; and I was in a place with almost no light pollution — on the northern-most strip of land on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. I set up my tripod and pointed my camera to the west, shooting above the wax myrtle and persimmon trees and focused on that big full moon that already had a chunk missing, looking like it had wandered into a Pac Man video game. At my back were the sand dunes protecting us from the lapping waves of the Atlantic Ocean. In the darkness of the predawn, wild horses could be heard nickering close by.

All in On the Outer Banks

(from SCNow.com)
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. -- Sometimes you just have to get in the car and take a long weekend. I did that (and then some) last week when I went on vacation. My husband and I packed our car and drove up to the Outer Banks for some R&R. So here are some suggestions if you need a little vacation yourself. With it being off peak time now, you might even find a deal or two. Kill Devil Hills is an area that is a little commercialized but not excessively so. One stop to make while there is the Wright Brothers National Memorial. While it is nothing fancy, the visitor’s center gives background on the amazing journey Wilbur and Orville Wright made from Ohio to North Carolina in pursuit of a place to test their airplanes. Markers on the grounds show the distance between each attempt the brothers made to fly, showing their progress with each new invention. There is also a replica of the brothers’ plane. The memorial itself sits atop a large hill that requires a little trek but is accessible by paved pathways. The climb is worth it, if for no other reason than to see the view from the top of the hill.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oil-Exploring Seismic Blasts Could Soon Disrupt Whale Territory

(from HeraldOnline.com)
NAGS HEAD, N.C. -- As early as next spring, the boom of seismic cannons will sound under the Atlantic Ocean as the first oil and gas exploration allowed off the East Coast in three decades gets underway. While federal officials and the oil and gas industry characterize the exploration as benign, Nags Head Mayor Bob Edwards said he’s terrified about what the intense sound waves can do to dolphins and endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which only 500 remain. “I just can’t understand how anybody would propose something that’s going to be just a rape of the East Coast, endangering whales and dolphins and turtles and fish,” he said. The seismic surveys are done with compressed air guns that blast as loud as a howitzer under the sea, repeated every 10 seconds or so for weeks at a time. Echoes from the blasts are used to produce three-dimensional maps that help company geologists figure out whether sub-sea rock formations are likely to contain fossil fuels worth drilling. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved opening an area of the Atlantic Coast from Delaware to Florida for the seismic blasts, saying there “has been no documented scientific evidence” that they harm marine mammals. Even among federal scientists, though, there is concern over what such extreme pulses of sound can do to the hearing and communication of whales and other marine life that use sound to locate food and mates, and to keep track of young.

NCDOT Considers Car-Free Ferry to Ocracoke

(from News & Observer)
HATTERAS, N.C. --  A different kind of traffic jam is causing headaches on the Outer Banks, and a different kind of public transit might provide the remedy. We’re talking ferry boats here. Hoping to unclog long queues of summer tourists who wait hours to board the slow car ferry at Hatteras, the state Department of Transportation says it will consider adding a faster, new kind of ferry that would take greater numbers of passengers to Ocracoke – without their cars. Each car ferry now hauls about 30 vehicles to the north end of Ocracoke Island – a 14-mile drive from the village, at the south end. Vacationers who want to skip the line might, one day, park their cars in Hatteras and walk onto a smaller vessel that would take up to 150 passengers to DOT’s other ferry terminal at Silver Lake, in the heart of the village.

Outer Banks Vacation Rental Company Launches Random Giveaway to Delight Beach-Goers

COROLLA, N.C. -- On a beautiful summer day on the oceanfront in Corolla, North Carolina, Southern Shores Realty employees took to the beach in a massive marketing effort to raise awareness of their business and fun-loving spirit. Packed by the hundreds, Katlyn Smith, Crystal Polston and Robert Kissell distributed colorful and classically enjoyable Frisbees to relaxing vacationers out enjoying a stress-free day.  Internet Marketing Specialist, Robert Kissell, who could think of no good reason not to do something so simple and fun, devised the idea.  "It was really a neat way to just get our company's name out to visitors and let them know how much we enjoy having fun and that we value the simple things," says Robert.