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Eclipse of 2017 and the Outer Banks
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Great American Eclipse of 2017 is one day gone now and life is getting back to normal…or as normal as it ever get on the Outer Banks during the summer.

North of Oregon Inlet the sun was somewhere between 75-80% occluded. The thought is that would be immediately obvious, but as we discovered, not necessarily. The light did fade a bit, and there was a bit of a different quality to it, but by no means did it come even close to twilight or darkness.

Farther south, it would have been darker. Certainly Ocracoke would have noticed the difference, but where Brindley Beach Vacations is located, the light didn’t seem to fade all that much. 

There was still a lot to see though.

The moon did cross in front of the sun, and if it didn’t hid it completely, anyone wearing the right glasses had a chance to see a truly amazing spectacle. 

A lot of people did manage to have glasses, but there were plenty of low tech viewing boxes on hand—a pinhole in a box captured the light of the sun and projected the creeping moon on the the back of the box.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park seemed to take the honors for most popular viewing site, although there appeared to be a lot of people at the Wright Brothers Monument as well.

For those that missed this eclipse, don’t be too despondent. The next on is less than seven years away—April 8, 2024. Unfortunately it doesn’t look as though the Outer Banks will be in line for the party—more of an inland track, beginning in Texas and working its way to upstate New York.

Brindley Beach Eclipse Jockeys Ridge State Park Oregon Inlet Outer Banks

Music Highlights End of Summer Send-off
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, August 20, 2017

All good things must come to an end and that goes for summer on the Outer Banks as well as almost everything else in life. But, if the summer season is coming to an end, it is certainly going out in style with some outstanding music.

It’s really all about musical tastes…Classical or Rock.

In this case, however, there may not be a need to choose.

The Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series is bringing the Surf and Sounds Chamber Music back for the third time.

We had a chance to see them last year and this quintet is amazing, playing a full range of classical music from different periods. The concerts are free and there are four of them beginning Tuesday August 22, 7:30 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores.

That’s followed by an outdoor concert at the Duck Amphitheater at 6:30, and trump to Cape Hatteras Secondary School, and a final performance on Friday at the Dare County Arts Council on Friday evening.

Personal choice for where to see a performance? It has to be the Duck Amphitheater on Wednesday.

Unfortunately that’s the same day as the Summer Send-off…Say Goodbye to Summer Party at Roanoke Island Festival Park.

It’s a whole day of music, beginning at 3:00 p.m. and ending seven hours later. The headliner is JJ Grey and Mofro. This is a rock band with a big sound—trumpets, trombones and some really tight arrangements. For classic rock fans, think Chicago, only really updated.

Decisions, decisions, decisions…maybe do both. Wednesday at the Summer Send-off and take in the Sir and Sound Chamber Music another day.

Chamber Music Dare County Arts Council Don And Catharine Bryan Roanoke Island Festival Park Summer Sendoff

Shelly Island-Will It Stay or Will It Go?
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, August 18, 2017

Shelly Island as it appeared at the beginning of August. The channel is rapidly filling in. (Photo Outer Banks Voice)

Will Shelly Island, the newest addition to the Outer Banks shoreline, be around for a while?

According to a number of experts the answer is, “No.”

As it turns out, sand islands form fairly regularly off capes that are similar to Cape Point at Cape Hatteras. If Shelly Island is distinctive, it is because of it’s size…about a mile lone and 400-500’ across.

The islands very rarely survive the inevitable winter storms of the North Carolina coast; they are, after all, just a sandbar that managed to pop it’s head above the breakers of the surf. If, however, Shelly Island does make to 2018, it would be because of its size.

There is, though, another possibility. 

The island first rose above the ocean in May. At that time, the channel separating the Point from the new land was about 50 yards across. At low tide, it could wading to Shelly Island was quick and easy.

At high tide it was dangerous. A powerful current churned through the channel, the water was 6-7’ deep and sharks and large sting rays had been reported swimming through the waters.

That is not happening now. The channel is getting narrower and filling in. There is a good possibility that the island will become attached to the land, which would make every map of Cape Hatteras inaccurate.

No matter what happens to the island, what we are witnessing is a fascinating lesson in the processes and power of nature.

Cape Hatteras Cape Point Outer Banks Shark Shelly Island

OBX Surf Conditions Outstanding Thanks to Gert
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Excellent surf condtioons led to some great shredding as Outer Banks surfers took advantage of Gert's gift.

Every once in a while the weather gods smile upon Outer Banks surfers and the result is nothing less than spectacular.

That was certainly the case as Hurricane Gert tracked northeast today, courteously avoiding the Outer Banks and Bermuda.

A category 1 hurricane that is close to a category 2, Gert sent out beautiful sets of waves for surfers. Down on Hatteras Island it was almost too much of a good thing with waves coming in 9-12' at times.

The Hatteras action started earlier in the day than it did farther up the beach. The farther north the less the impact of Gert, and the later in the day, which makes sense since the storm is tracking northeast—away from land.

Corolla was reporting 4-5’ surf and that really didn’t start until the afternoon. The best surf north of Oregon Inlet was probably Nags Head.

Over the past few years a sandbar has developed by Jennette’s Pier and it creates one of the most reliable breaks around, and surfers were taking full advantage of that today.

We had brilliant sunshine, the water temperature was in the mid 70s and seas were consistently running at 5-6’ with an occasional wave a little over that. 

This was not a day for a novice surfer to try their luck, but the surfers on the line were catching wave after wave. And…what made it really special was it seemed like the ages went from pre-teen to grandfathers. 

It really made the day seem a little more special.

Hatteras Hurricane Gert Jennettes Pier Nags Head Oregon Inlet Outer Banks

National Aviation Day at Wright Brothers National Memorial 
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, August 13, 2017

Here’s something a little bit different to do, and it’s an all day event.

August 19, that’s this coming Saturday, is National Aviation Day, which just happens to be Orville Wright’s 146th birthday.

Held at the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills beginning at 9:00 a.m. there will be activities all day. To make it a bit easier to attend, the National Park Service is waiving entry fees for the day.

The schedule has something for everyone. The First Flight Society, who regularly works with the Wright Brothers Memorial and National Park Service, arranges for some flyovers, although they have not said who or what will be participating this year. 

There will also be some aircraft parked in the open field at the base of the Wright Brothers Monument. In the past the has included three or four helicopters and some vintage aircraft.

Kitty Hawk Kites will also be on hand with stunt kite demos, kite displays and kite making for kids. The kite making is really fun—it’s a sled kite—and they really fly.

Much of this is weather dependent, of course, because it is being held outside. However, one activity that could be the coolest of them all will be an indoor activity.

The NASA Langley Research Center is celebrating its 100th birthday. To tell the story of the first 100 years of one of the preeminent research facilities in the world, NASA has a traveling trailer that is filled with artifacts, 3D imagery and the latest in audiovisual technology.

The 19th is a Saturday, changeover day for many of our Outer Banks guests, but this could be a great last stop on the way out of town, or very different way to begin a vacation.

Kitty Hawk Kites Langley Research Center Nasa National Park Service Orville Wright Outer Banks Wright Brothers

Outer Banks Opposition to Offshore Oil and Gas Remains Strong
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, August 11, 2017

Manteo meeting on Thursday to discuss offshore oil and gas exploration with North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Over 120 people attended.

Offshore drilling is again in the news on the Outer Banks and opposition to it seems as strong as it ever has.

At at North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality hearing on the issue Thursday night, more than 30 people rose to speak out against the idea.

Most Outer Banks residents and visitors felt a 2015 Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) plan that would run from 2017-2022 protected coastal North Carolina from exploration with a 50 mile buffer zone, well outside the Manteo Block. The Manteo Block is an underwater limestone outcropping that was identified in the 1980s as a possible source of gas or oil.

BOEM has indicated, however, that new five year plans may be drawn up and that the new plans could include exploiting reserves closer to the Outer Banks.

Opposition to offshore exploration and development of oil or gas seems to cross party, economic and generational lines. Most Outer Banks residents feel the only economic impact to the local economy would be negative if a well leaked.

Governor Roy Cooper has been vocal in his opposition. The state legislature seems to be in favor of exploring offshore resources, although that could be complicated by the position coastal representatives and senators take.

In the past Senator Bill Cook has indicated that because any resource would be beyond the three mile zone the state controls, but felt there is tremendous potential if developed in a “prudent way.”

Representative Beverly Boswell has not taken a position as a state representative, but did issue a strong statement as a County Commissioner in opposition in 2015 when voting on a resolution against offshore drilling.

Boem Manteo Manteo Block Outer Banks Roy Cooper

Surfing for Autism This Saturday at Jennette's Pier
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Surfing for Autism this Saturday at Jennette's Pier.

The Outer Banks has always been known as a special place for surfers and the local surfing community is huge and diverse. It’s everything part time musicians to retired business owners to everything in between.

It is a remarkable community, and not just for its diversity, rather what sets the local surfers apart is how much they care about the Outer Banks and the world around them.

There is a joy in surfing and the feeling is that should be shared, and that is what will be happening this Saturday at Jennette’s Pier—weather permitting.

Surfing for Autism made its first appearance in 2010 and it has grown every year. Participation has simple guidelines…if a parent has a child how is autistic, register and one or sometimes two surfers will put the child on a surfboard and walk then out to catch a few waves.

Watching the interaction between the surfers and the children is a wonderful reminder that sometimes the smallest gestures yield the greatest results.

What is perhaps most remarkable about the day is that it is difficult to tell who is enjoying themselves the most. 

The kids, who in many cases would never have this kind of experience without someone with the experience the surfers have? Or the surfers, who often talk about what an amazing experience helping someone enjoy one of their greatest pleasures? Or maybe it’s the parents, happy beyond measure. seeing a child smiling with pure joy?

The weather looks a bit iffy for Saturday, but if Surfing for Autism is held it will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Autism Jennettes Pier Outer Banks Surfers Surfing For Autism

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