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End of an Era at CSI
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dare County Chariman of the Board of Commissioners Robert Woodard, presenting a plaque of appreciation to Dr. Nancy White.

From the time it was created in 2003, Dr. Nancy White has been at the helm of the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI). Tonight, Wednesday, Dr. White retired.

The list of Dare County and Eastern North Carolina notables who came forward to pay tribute to her speaks volumes about her legacy and the institution she shepherded.

Today, CSI has become the center for applied ocean research for the UNC system. It is at CSI that studies of how to harness the energy of the Gulf Stream has moved from a dream, to theory, to a possible source of energy. CSI staff have been instrumental in mapping the sounds and estuaries of North Carolina, helping to create realistic projections of flood danger. 

Harry Schiff who owns a boat towing business and has been a commercial fisherman, sat on the Oregon Inlet Commission that created a the resources to keep the inlet open. In his tribute to White, he admitted that when he first heard she was joining the commission, his first thought was that she was just another environmentalist.

Instead what he found was a person of keen intelligence and insight who understood how to get people with disparate views to work together to a common goal.

His tribute was typical of the accolades paid to her.

When CSI was first created, it was housed in a somewhat rustic (?) building in Nags Head. In 2012 the new building was completed—a 90,000 square foot research and teaching facility that rises out of the marsh between Wanchese and Manteo.

Regardless, though, of the facility, White never lost sight of the mission of the CSI to work with local in a cooperative manner, to facilitate research and to build a strong team.

The new interim director will be Michael Piehler, who has been with CSI for some time—a move the staff has applauded. Nonetheless, Ii’s difficult to imagine CSI without her at the helm.

Coastal Studies Institute Csi Dare County Manteo Nancy White Oregon Inlet

A Summer Beach Day
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, June 25, 2017

On the Nags Head beach. A drum circle and swimmers.

Here we are at the official beginning o the Outer Banks peak season. 

The pundits and know-it-alls may say the summer season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but those of us who live here, know better.

The real season begins when the last of the East Coast schools let out…usually the third week in June.There are certainly a lot of visitors here beginning in mid May, but nothing like what happens when those schools get out.

And then it’s a wonderful, glorious madness until the third week in August when students in the South go back to school.

Today was as close to a perfect Outer Banks day as there could be. Warm, but not oppressively hot, the sun was out for most of the day. Not much of a breeze, but daytime temperatures were mild enough that the lack of breeze was not a problem.

And the ocean… the marvelous Atlantic Ocean. Cool, but not cold, a dip into its waters was perfection.

As eventing came, the beach was filled with local groups and organizations that take advantage of the summertime on the sand. There was a youth group from a local church gathered and next to them, 15 or 29 people sat around beating rhythms in a drum circle. 

Children were running along the beach; the waves were perfect for beginning surfers to learn how to ride a wave.

 It was, a perfect Outer Banks beach day.

Atlantic Ocean Drum Circle Nags Head Outer Banks Summertime

Living Shoreline for Moor Shore Road
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Saturday, June 24, 2017

Moor Shore Road on a dry summer day.

Moor Shore Road in Kitty Hawk is a pretty little stretch of road that parallels Kitty Hawk Bay. Local drivers use it to get around heavy traffic on the Bypass, although with it’s low speed limit and longer route, it's an open question if any time is saved. 

If nothing else, it’s a pretty ride and a nice way to start or end a day.

It’s not always available though, because it floods and floods frequently. 

Located along the northeast corner of Kitty Hawk Bay, and almost level with the waters of the Bay, it has always been prone to flooding, but conditions have been getting worse.

A heavy rain event accompanied by southwest winds will almost always close the road, and property owners along the southern end of Moor Shore, where the flooding is at its worse, started looking for solutions.

Moor Shore Road after a spring storm.

As it turns out, the North Carolina Coastal Federation (NCCF) has a living shoreline program that is ideal of the circumstances at that section of Kitty Hawk Bay.

Working with the town of Kitty Hawk, who has budgeted about $275,000 for the project, and property owners, the NCCF will install a living shoreline later this year. 

Unlike bulkheads, revetments and other hardened forms of shoreline protection, a living shoreline uses the tools nature supplies to dissipate the force of waves. The key to a successful living shoreline is a healthy growth of subaquatic vegetation (SAV) that is native to the area.

There are a number of ways that growth of SAV can be stimulated, and that is still under study at Moor Shore, but if other experience of other living shorelines during even extreme weather events is an indicator, the road and property should be protected for some time.

Although hardened structures will give some protection to the property immediately behind it, a bulkhead does little to dissipate the energy in waves. That energy must flow to either side of the bulkhead, causing erosion or to the base of the structure causing scour.

Unlike hardened structures, a living shoreline causes little or no effects to the surrounding environment—and in some cases may enhance biological diversity of the area.

Kitty Hawk Living Shoreline Moor Shore Road North Carolina Coastal Federation

Outer Banks Sunsets and Dining
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sunset view from the Paper Canoe on the north end of the town of Duck.

One of the most spectacular facets of life of the Outer Banks are the sunsets. Looking west across the one of the sounds, as the sun sinks beneath the horizon, the colors of the sky take on every imaginable color, usually with a deep blue, red and yellow dominating but there are so many hues and shades that describing all of it seems an impossible task. 

But those sunsets can be experienced over dinner. There are not a lot of restaurants on the our sounds, but enough that dinner and a sunset should be a part of any Outer Banks visit.

Here are three just to get started.

Sugar Creek

On the Manteo/Nags Head Causeway, Nags Head

Looking slightly north and west, Sugar Creek sits on pilings in the water, so the building qualifies for being in Roanoke Sound. As a consequence it may have the most spectacular sunsets of any Outer Banks restaurants.

The kitchen specializes in seafood—the Hatteras Chowder is especially good—but there are a lot of other selections as well. Also very family friendly.

Aqua Restaurant


Located on the south end of the Duck Boardwalk, Aqua is the perfect place for a date. There is an outdoor deck that sits right on Currituck Sound, during the summer there is often live music, the wine list is extensive and the food is decidedly gourmet.

The setting is beautiful and the combination of food, wine and music lends itself perfect to leisurely conversation.

Paper Canoe

North End of Duck

The food served at the Paper Canoe is wonderful—perfectly prepared…only the freshest ingredients. But what really sets Tommy Karole’s venture apart is how perfectly relaxed it all is. 

The bar is reminiscent of something that might be seen in the Florida Keys, the dress is casual, and there is something special about a plate of perfectly seared scallops, a drink in hand and as the sun painting the sky as it sets behind the islands of the Currituck Sound.

Aqua Restaurant Duck Boardwalk Nags Head Outer Banks Paper Canoe Sugar Creek

The Lost Colony-80 Years of Great Theater
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Monday, June 19, 2017

The Lost Colony colonists celebrate the birth of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World.

Will the fate of the Lost Colony ever be known? 

Probably not, which may be why the play that tells its story is so compelling.

North Carolina native Paul Green wrote the play 80 years ago for the Roanoke Island Historical Association—which was a fancy name for a group of Manteo business men who were just trying to find a way to get people to visit the Outer Banks in the depths of the Great Depression.

The play exceeded beyond all expectation, attaching 50,000 people that first year including FDR. The following year 100,000 people showed up and The Lost Colony has continued to be performed every year since except for four years during WWII. 

Green created an historic pageant and for the part he got the history right. Ralph Lane, who led the first expedition to Roanoke Island is depicted in the play as an impatient, violent man—and that’s what he was, his actions creating a distrust and hatred for the English that contributed significantly to the failure of the colony.

There is the decision by Queen Elizabeth I to keep all English vessels in port to help fight the Spanish Armada. Included in those ships that could not leave were the hoped for resupply the Roanoke Colony desperately needed.

There are. of course, some liberties. John Borden, who becomes the leader of the colony when despair is at its footstep, is name that was at the colony, but there is no record that he assumed a leadership role. 

There are a few other things as well, but that’s just quibbling about an evening of great theater under the stars.

The play has survived largely intact for 80 years for a reason and it is a visit and a place in Outer Banks traditions.

Remember, this is outdoor theater. Bug repellant is a good idea. And take a light jacket or sweater just in case.

Manteo Outer Banks Paul Green Roanoke The Lost Colony

Ocean Rescue Training for Secret Service in Kitty Hawk
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, June 16, 2017

Secret Service agents on the Kitty Hawk beach running to rescue a swimmer. Photo, Virgininan Pilot

Secret Service on the Outer Banks?

Yes, as it turns out. In fact, according to a story in the Virginian Pilot, they’ve been coming for a while…clear back to 2003 as it turns out.

Outer Banks beaches, it appears, are the ideal setting to train the 75 agents who specialize in water rescue. According to the article written by Jeff Hampton, it's a pretty grueling process to get to the ocean rescue part of the training. There’s an underwater test that must be passed and a timed distance that must be met. 

This year there were ten Secret Service students on the beach in Kitty Hawk, learning about ocean rescue from Captain Cole Yeatts, the Ocean Rescue Supervisor for Kitty Hawk.

Yeatts has been part of the ocean rescue team in the town for over 20 years and he has a well-deserved reputation for his training regimen.

There were nine men and one woman working on ocean rescue this past week. Instruction is as realistic as it can be; rip currents are identified and students even learn how to swim with a rip current to better understand them and to know that they can be used to more quickly get to a victim.

Victims are in the surf, 100 yards from shore, waiting rescue and their mission is to locate the victim and understand the conditions.

To date we have no reports that the agents who have undergone ocean rescue training have had to use their skills, but since our last two Presidents and President Trump seem to like to spend time around the water, it’s probably a good idea to have trained agents on hand.

Kitty Hawk Ocean Rescue President Secret Service Virgininan Pilot

New Brindley Beach Corolla Office Wroth the Wait
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The view from above. Looking down from the second floor balcony at the new Brindley Beach Corolla office.

The grand opening of our new Corolla office proved conclusively that Brindley Beach Vacations sure knows how to throw a party.

And it was a well-deserved party…a celebration of a beautiful new building; a celebration of all the hard work and dedication our employees put into proving that cream rises to the top when things get tough.

What made this particularly nice is the grand opening party was held exactly two years to the day from when our Corolla building burned to the ground.

Our new building itself is worth a shoutout and even more. Walking in the front doors, visitors enter a spacious room filled with natural light from the atrium three stories above the floor.

The reception desk welcomes our guests without the clutter that is so often part of the check-in experience.

There are two floors to our new offices. A balcony wraps around the atrium area so nothing disrupts the sense of spaciousness of the main floor.

The ground floor houses our guest services. Our corporate offices and sales offices are on the second floor. 

The party to let the world know our new office is open for business was a blast. Great food from Kelly’s Catering services and the music of Dan and Laura Martier. 

It took a little longer than we had hoped to get the new office open, but when we realized what we wanted for our guests and our employees, we realized compromise was not an option.

We think the wait was worth it. Stop by and check out our new Corolla office when you’re in the area.

Brindley Beach Corolla Kellys

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