Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Southport in Running for ‘Happiest Seaside Town’ in America

SOUTHPORT, N.C. -- The tiny hamlet of Southport, on the Cape Fear River just below Wilmington, has been named one of ten finalists in Coastal Living magazine’s list of America’s Happiest Seaside Towns. It is the only finalist in North or South Carolina. The unranked list includes beach destinations across the county, from California to Mississippi to New Hampshire. Through March 31, people can vote once every hour for their favorite town to determine which will be named the Coastal Living No. 1 Happiest Seaside Town in America. The winning town will be featured in the July/August issue of Coastal Living, which will be on sale on June 19. To vote online, visit www.coastalliving.com/happytowns2015.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Outer Banks Distillery Making Rum

MANTEO, N.C. -- The molasses has been delivered. The tanks and copper pot distiller are in place. The old hardwood floors have been pulled up and concrete poured to support the new equipment. The wood has been refashioned into a beautiful bar where the product of the still will be sampled. Other wood originally used used for beams and joists will be re-worked into racks to hold aging barrels. T-shirts, ball caps, sailing flags and other souvenirs are waiting in the gift shop. All that remains for Outer Banks Distilling to launch its premier product, Kill Devil Rum, are a few final inspections. Expectations are that the distiller will be ready to commence production in two to three weeks, and first bottlings of the regular and pecan rums will follow eight weeks later.

Humpback Whale Found Stranded on Outer Banks

COROLLA, N.C. --Scientists have examined a dead female humpback whale that washed ashore recently. The juvenile was found near the Lighthouse Road beach access in Corolla with entanglement scars from fishing nets. The whale, which was about 30 feet long and weighed 25,000 pounds, otherwise appeared healthy and had recently eaten menhaden, said William McLellan, the North Carolina State Stranding Coordinator. Whale strandings -- especially this time of year -- are not uncommon and happen frequently on the Outer Banks, moreso than anywhere else on the East Coast, he said. There have been 100 whale strandings in 15 years, he said.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A First-Timer's Trip to Portsmouth

(from The Ocracoke Current)
PORTSMOUTH ISLAND, N.C. -- Over the past four years that I've lived on Ocracoke, events – some planned, some not – motivated me to explore and learn more about the island, many times through listening to locals tell stories and reading about local history. Other times it’s been done through walking my dogs and observing and listening to my surroundings. South Point and the route to it from ORV Ramp 72 is one of those walks, and if you go all the way, as far as you can go, you’ll see Ocracoke Inlet. Inlets are neat all on their own, but across the Ocracoke Inlet, where the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound meet, sits Portsmouth Island, once home to a flourishing shipping-turned-fishing village.

Dare County Seeks Permit for Buxton Beach

BUXTON, N.C. -- The National Park Service plans to prepare a draft environmental impact statement as it considers a permit for Dare County to pump sand onto the beach in Buxton. A special use permit is needed before the nourishment project can start. The Park Service says an environmental impact statement will help it decide whether, where and under what conditions a permit would be issued. Severe erosion has exposed N.C. 12 and oceanfront structures to frequent overwash and storm surge. Widening about 2.5 miles of the beach is estimated to cost from $20 million to $27 million, depending how long it is engineered to last.

Tagged Great White Shark Spotted in Outer Banks

NAGS HEAD, N.C. -- Scientists say a great white shark got very close to the Outer Banks this weekend and swam into Pamlico Sound. OCEARCH tags and tracks about two dozen great whites to study their migratory routes. According to satellite data, a female great white named Katherine, swam through the Oregon Inlet sometime Friday. She pinged again near the Pamlico River the next day. Then Saturday night, another ping just off Cape Hatteras.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Photo of PJ Smuckers Wins Happy Fix® Holiday Snapfest

THE PEAK OF GOOD LIVING: APEX, N.C.  -- North Carolina’s happiest startup, Happy Fix® (www.happyfix.com), is pleased to announce that a photo of a playful puppy named PJ Smuckers garnered the most admires for the company’s “Holiday Happy Fix” Snapfest hosted on SnapYeti, the popular online photo contest marketplace. Jennifer from York, Pennsylvania won a HPY Mug after submitting the shot of her dog playfully lying upside down underneath a Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Fix® Ho-Ho-Hosting Holiday Snapfest Photo Contest

APEX, N.C.  -- North Carolina’s happiest startup, Happy Fix® (www.happyfix.com), is inviting its growing community of Happbassadors to join the seasonal fun with the company’s “Holiday Happy Fix” Snapfest hosted on SnapYeti, the popular online photo contest marketplace. Participants are invited to share a photo of their favorite holiday-related tradition, event, symbol, or activity that provides a Happy Fix at www.snapyeti.com/contests/256 and compete for the most votes, with the winner being awarded a free HPY Mug after the contest ends December 31. The popular smiling white porcelain mugs of happiness are reminders that individuals have the power to start their days by celebrating what's great in life. The HPY Mug is one of two brand-new Happy Fix products introduced for the holidays, alongside the HPY Holidays Long Sleeve Tee, 100% pre-shrunk heavyweight cotton t-shirts featuring the popular Happy Fix "HPY" logo design all wrapped up in a string of holiday lights set against a snow white background.

Ocracoke's Annual Oyster Roast Coming December 27

OCRACOKE, N.C. -- Christmastime heralds a much anticipated event on Ocracoke -- the annual Oyster Roast at the Ocracoke Seafood Company from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27. This year is the ninth year of this fundraiser for the Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association (OWWA) which operates “the fish house,” as it is called, that supports the activities of about 30 commercial fishermen. “This is a thank-you for the community,” said Patty Plyler, who along with her husband, fisherman Hardy Plyler, works at the Fish House and helps organize the roast. “We’re all about community and how important it is to have fresh, local fish for sale.” Along with all the oysters you can eat, there will be steamed shrimp and fish stew, the latter courtesy of Vince O’Neal, a fisherman who also owns Pony Island Restaurant. For this annual oyster fest, the group sets up two rows of plywood tables on top of saw horses. Then they dump piles of steamed oysters on the tables while patrons, who are asked to bring their own oyster shuckers, stand and shuck away.