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29th Annual Kelly's St. Patrick Parade a Triumph!
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, March 18, 2018

Carrying the South Nags Head Beach Chair Drill Team Banner. It was a windy day.

There is nothing quite like the Annual Mike Kelly St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Nags Head. Part parade and a lot of insanity, it seems to epitomize the Outer Banks spirit of organized (barely) mayhem.

The 2018 version was the 29th time the Spirit of the Irish have paraded along the Beach Road in Nags Head, and this might have been one of the nicest yet.

It was a bit bittersweet though. 

The Parade Marshall this year was the Grand Poobah Ernie Bridgers—which to most people doesn’t mean much, but it was Ernie who brought the world the South Nags Head White Trash Marching and Beach Chair Drill Team.

If ever there was a band of friends who truly represented what the Kelly’s St. Patty’s Day Parade was all about, the SNHWTMB&BCDT. They march to the beat of the drummers pounding to a rhythm on trash cans; they actually do precision drills—in a manner of speaking—with beach chairs…and it has always been one of the highlights of the parade.

Last year the Drill Team was conspicuous by its absence and it may have been that Ernie was ill. He passed away this past year, but his memory certainly lingers. Every member of the SNHWTMB&BCDT marched with an image of Ernie on a paddle.

It was a great way to remember how much joy some of the simple things around us can bring—a beach chair, a trash can and a little imagination is all it takes.

Beach Chair Drill Team Mike Kelly Nags Head Outer Banks St Patricks Day Parade

Outer Banks Shows Support for High School Theater
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, March 16, 2018

Energy in a great performance. Grease at First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills.

There is a lot to love about the Outer Banks. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth, at least those of us lucky enough to live here feel that way.

But for those of us lucky enough to live here, the beauty of the surroundings and the wonderful sense of belonging that we share are just part of what makes the Outer Banks so special. There is also a very real, and deserved, pride in our community.

Case in point—First Flight High School put on a production of the music Grease this weekend that was outstanding. According to the folks who watch over these things, they set a record for the largest audience they have ever had at one of their shows.

That says a lot about the the Outer Banks and what the people who live here feel is important. Of course the majority in the audience were parents, brothers and sisters of the performers. But there was also a very substantial part of the ticket holders who didn’t have a student in school, but were there for a fun evening of theatre and to support the kids.

The local high school theaters are something that people on the Outer Banks take a lot of pride in; sure, there’s always a rousing cheer for the sports teams, but the support for the arts in the schools is every bit as strong.

That is one of those things that help to make the Outer Banks such a great place to live—there is a spirit of support for the schools and the kids that that truly does stamp life along the ocean as something to be treasured.

The last performance of Grease will be Saturday, so not much chance to see this year’s performance. However, Manteo High School will be performing Cabaret next weekend. Might be worth checking out.

Caberet First Flight High School Grease Manteo High School Outer Banks

The Quick But Beautiful Life of Shelly Island
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What was Shelly Island as it appears now. Photo, NASA

Shelly Island is no more. The series of harsh winter storms that have marched across the Outer Banks for the past three weeks have reversed effects of a mild 2017 winter.

The announcement was made yesterday by the National Park Service on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Facebook page.

That Shelly Island disappeared is not surprising. Coastal scientist were unanimous in predicting its demise. If there was a surprise, it was how quickly the sandbar melted away.

“The only surprise is just how quickly a sandbar the size of Shelly Island (approximately 27 acres at its largest size) disappeared,” the National Park Service wrote.

The sandbar that appeared last spring as Shelly Island is a cuspate foreland, and they appear frequently at the tip of capes. In an interview in the Outer Banks Voice last year, Dr. Jesse McNinch, a research scientist at the Field Research Facility in Duck (the Duck Pier) remarked, “The capes of North Carolina are sort of the poster child of the world (for cuspate forelands).”

In that same article, Dr. Reide Corbett at the Coastal Studies Institute predicted the demise of the island.

“It’s definitely an ephemeral feature,” he said.

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of Shelly Island was its size. Typically cuspate forelands are relatively small—usually five to six acres. Shelly Island was 27 acres at its largest, surprising even the scientists who study coastal processes.

Because of the size of the Point at Cape Hatteras and the extraordinary intersection of forces at work there, it’s possible the disappearance of the island is every bit as ephemeral as its possible reemergence.

Although no one is predicting that, nature has a way of surprising us, and the creation of a cuspate foreland like Shelly Island is part of nature with rules of its own.

“It’s really a beautiful balance of factors,” McNinch said.

Cape Hatteras Coastal Studies Institute National Park Service Shelly Island The Point

New Microbrewery Opens in Corolla
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, March 11, 2018

Just in time for summer another microbrew is opening on the Outer Banks. Northern Outer Banks Brewing is the brainchild of Carova resident Michael Cherry—and yes, there are people who live in Carova.

Brewing his beers in Corolla—the brewery is located between Cosmos and Metropolis on Old Stoney Road—Cherry has concentrated on distributing his beers more rather than creating a brew pub.

That’s a bit a departure from the other three local microbrews. The Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills, Weeping Radish in Jarvisburg and Lost Colony Brewing in Manteo feature great food to go with their beers. 

On his first run, Cherry is producing four beers: Corolla Lager, Penny Hill IPA, Swan Beach Honey Pale Ale and Corolla Honey Saison.

As things get warmer in Corolla an businesses open up, beer will be available at the brewery. According to information on their website, seating will be availabe and food can be purchased from Cosmos Pizza during the day or from Metropolis after 5:00 p.m.

However, As things get warmer in Corolla an businesses open up, beer will be available at the brewery. According to information on their website, seating will be availabe and food can be purchased from Cosmos Pizza during the day or from Metropolis after 5:00 p.m.

Northern Outer Banks Brewing is already distributing their beer, so anyone who wants to try their brews can do so now. 

Butcher Block, Uncle Ike’s, Ike’s Bites, Currituck Club Golf Course, Cosmos Pizza, and Fat Crabs, have the beers on tap, although Corolla hours are spotty at this time of the year.

The Black Pelican, Hurricane Mo’s, Mulligans, Lucky 12 and The Pier House Restaurant should have the beer by the can. Or four packs are available from Manteo to Corolla. Check out Buffalo City Jug Shop, Trio, Chip’s Beer and Wine, Tommy’s Market, 7-11, Stop N Shop, Brew Thru, Butcher Block, OB Gas Corolla and Tomm

Corolla Michael Cherry Microbrew Northern Outer Banks Brewing Outer Banks

Passenger Only Ferry Slated to Begin Summer Service
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, March 9, 2018

NCDOT's latest ferry. 92' passenger ferry for service between Hateras and Ocracoke Village will seat 99.

It looks as though we’re gong to have a couple of days between nor’easters, so we have a chance to catch up on some of the other Outer Banks news.

The big news seems to be the announcement from the NCDOT Ferry Division confirming there will be a passenger only ferry between Hatteras Village and Ocracoke. The plan has been in the works for some time and there was no doubt NCDOT was going forward with it. The only issue was the timing and when the ferry would be ready.

The schedule has not been officially announced yet but tentatively expect four trip per day, the first leaving Hatteras at 10:00 a.m. the last departing Ocracoke at 8:30.

This is a passenger only ferry. Unlike the vehicle ferry, it will be docking in the heart of Ocracoke at Silver Lake. 

Because it is passenger only there are restriction on what can be taken. Luggage and coolers are prohibited; strollers, purses and backpacks are ok—and there are provisions for bikes.

Tickets will be $15 and are for day use only. There is parking available at the Hatteras Ferry Terminal, but overnight parking is prohibited.

The ferry is a much needed addition to the Hatteras run. The regular channel between Hatteras and Ocracoke has shoaled and new amount of dredging seems to be able to make it navigable. The new route is longer and the number of daily trips during the peak season fell from 52 to 42.

Although the time on the water is longer for the passenger ferry, because it docks in the heart of Ocracoke Village, and not 12 miles from the town, total trip time is about the same. 

For anyone thinking of making a day trip to Ocracoke, the passenger ferry is ideal. The village is perfect for walking or biking, and most people who drive for the day, find a parking place and spend the day on foot.

Hatteras Ocracoke Outer Banks Passenger Ferry Silver Lake

Beach Parking Fee for Carova
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, March 7, 2018

By a vote of 5-1 Currituck County Commissioners have levied a summertime parking fee for Carova beach goers.

The fee only applies to the Carova area of the Currituck Banks—the 4WD section north of where the NC12 paved road ends. The fees do not apply to any Corolla beach.

The fees are a response to the growing use of the Carova beaches. The beach serves a recreational use as well as being the only transportation link between Corolla and the village of Carova on the NC/VA state line.

Recent years has seen an extraordinary increase in traffic in the Carova area, and County officials have expressed growing concerns about safety.

According to statements from the Commissioners at the March 5 meeting, the permits are a first step in addressing safety concerns.

The permits are for day use parking on the beach. 

Property owners and residents in the Carova area will receive free permits. Rental property owners will also be able to obtain two additional permits at no charge. Currituck county residents will also receive free permits. The permits are for vehicles and are not transferrable.

Anyone needing a permit will be able to purchase them online or at the County tourism offices at Moyock and Corolla. However, the county has not established what the fee will be and the permits are not yet available. According to the reporting, County officials have indicated they will have the program in place by May 1.

The permit only applies to beach parking. Sightseers or anyone driving through does not need a permit.

4wd Beach Carova Corolla Currituck Nc12

Storm Slowly Leaves OBX, Container Ship Loses Cargo
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, March 4, 2018

Road conditions north of Rodanthe at the S Curves.

I guess we could call this the storm that just doesn’t want to go away. It’s powerful, no doubt about that.

Powerful enough to cause the container ship Maersk Shanghai to lose between 70-73 containers in high seas off Oregon Inlet. That’s what the Coast Guard reported Saturday night.

It’s a little difficult to know exactly what the conditions were the ship encountered when the incident happened. From buoys placed off shore in the area it would appear seas were running about 24’ at the time and the wind was from the north at 40-50 mph. 

The ship was on route to Charleston, SC at the time according to information found on ship movements.

For the Outer Banks historians, this is not the first time a container ship has heaved a container overboard. Back in 2006, sealed bags of Doritos washed up on Hatteras beaches after a container went overboard and sprang open.

Of course 73 containers of various merchandise is a far cry from one container of Doritos. The Doritos are pretty harmless; we have no idea what was in the containers that were last.

It looks as though the storm is leaving. Slowly—much more slowly than originally forecast—bu by Tuesday we should be back to almost normal on the Outer Banks.

In the meantime, Hatteras Island is pretty much inaccessible right now. The S Curves north of Rodanthe are under water—an expected development whenever there’s a particularly severe storm. That is the reason the Jug Handle bypass to the area is going to be built.

North of Oregon Inlet, there has been some ocean overwash. We’ll get a good look at how well the nourished beaches have held up on Tuesday.

Coast Guard Container Ship Jug Handle Oregon Inlet Outer Banks Rodanthe

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