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Pirates of Penzance Coming to OBX
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Tuesday, September 1, 2015

There’s the Pirates of the Caribbean, Blackbeard the Pirate, Outer Banks Pirate Fest and then there’s the Pirates of Penzance one of the very best of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and it’s coming to the Outer Banks Friday September 18.

Brought to the Outer Banks through a cooperative effort of the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts and the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series, the play will be presented by the touring company of the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players. That’s pretty impressive; the NYGSP is generally considered the finest Gilbert and Sullivan theater group in the country.

Pirates of Penzance is Gilbert and Sullivan at their absolute whackiest best. It may seem strange to pronounce opera as whacky but how else to describe a plot that includes a boy being apprenticed to a “pirate” because his nanny was hard of hearing and mistook pilot for . . . pirate.

It’s ok, though, because he’s 21 and his apprenticeship is over—except as we discover he was born on February 29 and he’s really only five years old. Marriage was in his future, but that won’t happen now, although his sweetheart has told him she’ll wait for him.

Unforgettable characters, great music including what may be one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s finest songs, “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General”, proving that sticking pins in pompous icons has been around since at least 1879 when it debuted in New York.

The performance will be at the First Flight High School Auditorium, which has the stage and acoustics to handle this level of performance. 

Tickets are available from online from either the Outer Banks Forum or the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series, or at Duck's Cottage Coffee & Books in Duck, Downtown Books in Manteo, Grays Department Store in Kitty Hawk and Sea Green Gallery in Nags Head.

Blackbeard Bryan Cultural Series Ducks Cottage First Flight High School Grays Department Stores New York Gilbert Sullivan Outer Banks Forum Pirates Of Penzance Sea Green Gallery

WRV Pro Surf Brings International Competitors to Outer Banks
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, August 30, 2015

The WRV Pro World Surf Competition at Jennette’s Pier played out with some less than ideal conditions but an excellent show on the water.

Holding on to defeat a cast of international surfers, Asher Nolan, originally from Jacksonville, FL, took home top prize with Brian Toth hailing from Puerto Rico coming in second.

The weather was mild all week, but with winds from the north and northeast, conditions seemed difficult—a lot of chop to the waves and wave sets hard to read. The threat of rip currents and unpredictable surf brought out the red flags for swimming Friday-Sunday, but the competitors were finding some great waves to ride and were reporting that the surf had a lot of power behind it.

That showed up in the level of competition with some really spectacular rides.

Jennette’s Pier has become the go to place for surf competitions since it re-opened in 2011.

The next competition at the Pier will be the ESA Eastern Surf Competition September 20-26. 

An amateur contest, the ESAs bring the best of the East Coast to the Outer Banks for a week of competition. With contestants as young as eight or nine and body boarding part of the mix, this is a very family friendly event that brings visitors from Florida to Maine to the beach beside Jennette’s Pier.

Esa Surf Jennettes Pier Outer Banks Wrv Wrv Pro World Surf

Governor McCrory Outlines Infrastructure Future
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, August 28, 2015

Proposed route of the Mid Currituck Bridge. Plans are moving forward to begin construction in 2019.

The past two years have been among the most productive for moving major road projects forward in the region. Last year state and funding approval was crafted into the state budget for the Mid Currituck Bridge and this past year, NCDOT and the Southern Environmental Law Center reached a historic agreement that will allow the aging Bonner Bridge connecting Hatteras Island with the mainland to be replaced.

All of this has occurred on Governor Pat McCrory’s watch and this afternoon he came to Manteo at the invitation of the local State Transportation Board Member Malcolm Fearing to discuss how the approval of the bridges will be integrated into a regional transportation plan.

The Bonner Bridge project is already moving forward, although construction will not begin until late winter or early spring next year. Indications are the Mid Currituck Bridge will also meet its 2019 start date and 2022 completion deadlines. 

Held at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery—the old Dare County Courthouse—Governor McCrory outlined a plan that included actively working with environmental groups to address concern before plans are finalized. Additionally he envisioned an improved transportation network linking all of NE North Carolina to the Hampton Road metro region. 

The Governor is proposing issuing bonds to fund construction of an improved US 17, an alternate route that connects Elizabeth City with Chesapeake, giving visitors another way to get to the Outer Banks and NE North Carolina.

Dare County Arts Council Governor Mccory Manteo Ncodt Outer Banks Southern Environmental Law Center

Summer Ends with Surf Comp & Back to School Fish
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It’s hard to believe that another Outer Banks Summer is about to come to an end. It’s the last week of August, the kids are back in school and almost all of the out of state license plates are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York where schools start after Labor Day.

It’s still summer though, and the water still beckons.

The pier and surf fishing has been fair to good—especially in the morning with strong runs of Spanish mackerel and blues with an occasional pompano thrown in. Offshore has been excellent with boats coming back with their limit of mahi-mahi and few yellow fin tuna.

The World Surf League WRV Outer Banks Pro Surfing Competition is happening this week at Jennette’s Pier. Conditions should be fair for the surfers—all the reports we saw forecast 2-3 foot waves with relatively little chop. Competitors would probably like to have larger waves, but it should be a good tournament and we’ll see if we can get some picture to go with a report on the competition.

Even though summer is ending, September and October are spectacular months on the Outer Banks, and there is a lot scheduled during those town months. The daytime temperatures have moderated just a little bit but the water is still warm. A perfect excuse for a long weekend getaway or an autumn vacation.

Jennettes Pier Mahimahi Outer Banks Pro Surfing Competition Spanish Mackerel World Surf League Wrv

Three Hidden Gems Of the Outer Banks
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, August 23, 2015

Yellow Slider turtles at Sandy Run Park, Kitty Hawk.

As we have written before, the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks are the reason so many people come to visit—and we agree, that is a great reason to come. But sometimes it’s nice to step away from the beach for a little while, and for those people, we offer our Brindley Beach list of “Three Hidden Gems of the Outer Banks.”

Sandy Run Park, Kitty Hawk

Located next to the Kitty Hawk Garden Center on the Woods Road in Kitty Hawk, this may be the most beautiful small park on the Outer Banks. A one mile loop trail goes around a wetlands and park and meanders briefly through a maritime forest. The trail is suitable for kids of any age. There are two kayak launch sites and catch and release fishing piers. Bring the camera . . . lots of photo ops.

Nags Head Town Park, Nags Head

This is really off the beaten path. The park is off Health Center Drive—turn onto West Barnes Street at the Nags Head Ace Hardware and follow it until it becomes Health Center Drive. 

The park has covered picnic tables, grills, a small playground and a large open field for pick-up games. There are a couple of easily navigated hiking trails that connect with Nags Head Woods. Perfect for a midday picnic or a family outing.

Town Park, Duck

We’re not sure if this truly qualifies as “hidden” because it is used so much, but away from the Gazebo where the Duck Jazz Festival takes place and the Amphitheater that is used so much in the summer, there are interconnecting trails that wind through the 11 acre site. Connecting directly with the Duck Boardwalk, it’s a great place to meet a friend or take a romantic stroll.

Brindley Beach Duck Jazz Festival Kitty Hawk Nags Head Town Park Outer Banks Sandy Run Park

Three Not Well Known Facts About the Outer Banks
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, August 21, 2015

Outer Banks sanddune stabilized by sea oats.

For anyone coming to visit the Outer Banks, just about everything is done to make it as wonderful a vacation getaway as possible. It almost seems as though the whole place just got plopped down complete with great restaurants, fantastic homes and lots to do.

There is though, a lot more to the Outer Banks than a lot of people realize, so this is our first Brindley Beach Vacations list of little known things about the Outer Banks.

  1. The Outer Banks are gigantic sandbars

There is nothing actually holding the Outer Banks in place. In fact, until steps were taken to stabilize them, they had been steadily migrating to the west. Evidence of that can be seen in the tree stumps that protrude from the beach and into the surf zone in Carova and on the north end of the S Curves in Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  1. The sand dunes that line the beach are manmade

During the Great Depression the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a government make work program that may have been the most successful of its kind ever. Hired by the government, young men (and some women) were given a job—an improvement since unemployment hovered around 23-24%—paid a minimal wage, most of which was sent home and fed three meals a day. In exchange they built many of the trails and building of our National Parks. The Appalachian Trail, as an example. They also built the dunes facing the Atlantic Ocean in an effort to stabilize the Outer Banks.

  1. Nags Head was one of the first tourist towns in the United States

When Perquimons County plantation owner Francis Nixon bought a lot and began sending his family to Nags Head in the 1830s, he began a tradition of escaping the summer heat and humidity of the interior. By the 1850s there was a thriving tourist village including a large hotel on the sound that boasted a boardwalk to the beach. 

Brindley Beach Carova Great Depression Nags Head Outer Banks Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Sandbar

Budget Battle Drags on in North Carolina
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Tuesday, August 18, 2015

There may be some movement on the North Carolina budget. House and Senate leaders agreed to a $21.7 billion compromise figure—an amount much closer to the Senate’s original amount.

However, there are still considerable hurdles to overcome. The compromise figure does not say how the money will be spent and the various committees are just now getting the details of the agreement.

The biggest hurdle may continue to be a sales tax reallocation plan that Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown has been championing. Representing Jones and Onslow Counties, two of the poorer counties in the state, Browns plan calls for changing how sales tax is allocated to the counties, taking revenue from counties with higher earnings and redistributing it to the state’s less wealthy counties.

His original proposal is dead. Contained within the Senate’s budget, Governor McCrory threatened a veto, and the House indicated they would not support it.

In another form, though, it lives on.

Recognizing that the House would not vote to support his reallocation proposal in the budget, Senator Brown tacked a new plan on to a popular House Bill, the “North Carolina Competes Act” (HR117), that is in committee in the Senate, and has indicated that no final budget will pass without the provision.

The new proposal would allocate funds based on a 50/50 split of taxes. Under the new plan more counties would be paying into the state coffers and the effect on local budgets would be less dramatic. But the impact on the Outer Banks, Dare and Currituck Counties, would still be painful, and county officials are adamant that additional revenue will be needed—most likely from ad valorem taxes.

Senator Brown’s proposal seems problematic. Governor Pat McCrory is opposed to any reallocation plan and has indicated he will veto it. His home district, Mecklenburg County, stands to lose the most funds of any jurisdiction in the state, and legislators in the House continue to oppose the provision.

Currituck County Dare County Mecklenburg North Carolina Outer Banks Pat Mccrory

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