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Great Food for a Great Cause-Signature Chef's Auction
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, February 26, 2017

Auctioneer Justin Swisher with Mike Dianna of Mike Dianna's Grill Room.

The Annual Chef’s Auction is a lot of things. The food is amazing. It’s always a good time. A lot of friends seem to be gathered together in one place. But mostly, it’s a fundraiser for the March of Dimes.

And that’s what it’s really all about. 

When a parent stands before a bathing of a few hundred people and tells how their child was born eight, ten or twelve weeks early and was saved because of the research the March of Dimes has done, the reason for the event becomes clear.

Gathered together this evening (Sunday) at Duck Woods Country Club, the Chef’s Auction is a wonderful time. Trying to pick out the best offering from the dozen restaurants at the event is sort of like trying to decide which is a favorite child. They all have their won unique qualities, and it’s easy to think each is your favorite at any given time.

The Saltbox Cafe in Colington certainly cleaned up in awards this year taking the Chef’s Choice, the People’s Choice and Unsurpassed Taste Awards for their fresh local rockfish on risotto.

But then there were two or three crab cakes that were amazing and a Wanchese Risotto…and the beef tenderloin that Donny King from Ocean Boulevard prepared. How the judges made their decision on Unsurpassed Taste may forever be a mystery.

One of the highlights of the evening, after the food is consumed, is the auction, which is a tribute to how generous Outer Banks businesses are in donating and how giving the guests gathered at the event are.

The auction items offer some great adventures and we can’t wait to hear from our Doug Brindley how the Sunset Dinner Cruise for 8 goes. We’ll be expecting fresh fish and pictures when he gets back.

Brindley Chefs Auction Duck Woods Country Club March Of Dimes Outer Banks Saltbox Cafe

Springlike Temperature and Skateboarding on the OBX
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Saturday, February 25, 2017

Skateborader in flight at Kitty Hawk Skatepark.

Given how spectacular the Outer Banks weather has been for the past two weeks, our reaction is “better here than there…” wherever there may be. 

It ’s not that “there” can’t be spectacular and wonderful, it’s just that with temperature in the 60s to low 70, it feels more like spring than winter along the Outer Banks. What seems particularly nice is even the rain has cooperated, falling conveniently overnight or in the early morning hours.

The kids are out in force, cell phones tucked away in back pockets, they’re on bikes, visiting and there’s always a good sized group gathered around the skate parks. There are four of them; one in Manteo, Nags Head at the Y,  Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk.

It does looks as though we’re going to have a one day dip in the temperatures. A cold front is expected to move through this evening and the high tomorrow is forecast to be in the low 50s. Then for al least the next week, no rain and a return to mild temperatures.

How long will this pattern last? It’s anybody’s guess. 

If it holds through mid March we may have the best weather we’ve seen in some time for Mike Kelly’s Annual St. Patty’s Day Parade

The parade is happening earlier than usual this year—Sunday March 12, so be sure to make a not of that.

Kellys St Patricks Day Parade Kill Devil Hils Kitty Hawk Manteo Outer Banks Skate Park

February Out with a Bang
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Parents telling the story of how the March of Dimes helped their child at the 2016 Signature Chef's Auction.

February on the Outer Banks is going out with a bang—great weather and lots to do. 

We mentioned the Theatre of Dare’s production of Spamalot in earlier this week. We recommended it then and we’re recommending it again. A hilarious play and the cast does it full justice. Check it out if you get a chance.

Performances are at the COA auditorium in Manteo. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Sunday is a 2:00 o’clock matinee.

Spamalot manages to skewer everyone and everything with equal abandon, but it is does tend toward a lowbrow humor. To balance that, or for those who love culture and opera, Anton Dvorak’s opera Rusalka will be simulcast from the New York Met at the R/C Kill Devil Hills Movie theater. Start time is 12:55.

The opera got very strong reviews from the critics in NYC, so this is a chance to see opera at its best.

The highlight of the weekend and one of the highlights of the winter season has got to be the March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction, Sunday beginning at 5:30.

Ten of the finest Outer Banks chefs will gather together at Duck Woods Country Club to create memorable dishes for the evening. All proceeds go to the March of Dimes.

What is particularly touching and effective about the Chef’s Auction are the personal stories local people tell of how the March of Dimes has affected their lives. If there are tickets left to it—and this is an event that does sell out—it truly is a great time for a great cause.

Chefs Auction Coa Duck Woods March Of Dimes Outer Banks Rusalka Theatre Of Dare

Spamalot Performed by the Theatre of Dare
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sir Robin, described as the knight who “slew the vicious Chicken of Bristol and who personally wet himself at the Battle of Badon Hill,” and minions.

Spamalot, the stage version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is a madcap comedy that manages to make fun of every convention imaginable and probably some no one had even considered before the play got to Broadway.

Performed by the Theatre of Dare, the community theatre troupe does the play justice, moving the plot along at an almost frenetic pace, never missing a beat as they sing their way through “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and other hit songs from the movie and play.

Somewhere in all of the mayhem there is a plot…maybe. But going to see Spamalot and expecting a focused story line is sort of like coming to the Outer Banks looking for snow. Wait long enough and something will appear, but it’s not really the reason to be there.

The classic lines from The Holy Grail are all here. Not-Dead-Yet Fred telling anyone who will listen that, “I’m not dead,” as his relative offers the undertaker nine pence to take the body.

Told it’s against regulations to take him if he's not dead, the relative says, “Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.”

And that’s just a small sampling of the what goes on in the play.

Somewhere in all of this there’s a plot about the quest for the Holy Grail, which the Knights of the Round Table did have for a brief time. Their journey to take the grail somewhere—although it’s not exactly clear where, is dealt a massive blow when the French defeat them as they “fetchez la vache.” 

A moment later a cow flies over the walls of the French castle, scattering the Knights of the Round Table, who then go off on their own personal quests.

The plot is thin…but the jokes are wonderful. There does not appear to be any sacred cows in the script, with the exception, perhaps, of the “vache” that defeated the Britons.

The play will be performed next weekend, February 24-26 at the COA auditorium in Manteo. Friday and Saturday are evening performances. Sunday is a matinee.

Coa Manteo Monty Python Spamalot Theatre Of Dare

Public Forums Tell Nourishment Story
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, February 17, 2017

The barges Great Lakes Dredge and Dock will bring to the Outer Banks for beach nourishment.

The start date is a little later than originally planned, but Outer Banks beach nourishment is going to come to the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills soon. There is also a possibility that a small section of Southern Shores will be included.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week, representatives of Coastal Planning and Engineering of North Carolina and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, the onsite contractor visited Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills to talk to the public about what was going to be happening on the beaches.

The original schedule had nourishment beginning in April in Duck but that schedule has been moved back to May. The timetable as it now stands will be:

Duck: Late May with completion late June or early July

Kitty Hawk: Mid June with completion mid August

Kill Devil Hills: Early August with completion mid September

Julien Devisse of Coastal Engineering stressed that schedules were tentative. He pointed out that weather and mechanical breakdowns could change the schedule.

The work will proceed in 1000’ sections along the beach and during construction, for safety reasons, no one from the public will be allowed on that part of the beach.

There are two borrow areas for the project located about six miles offshore. Devisse and the Great Lakes representative, Armand Riehl, felt the sand in the borrow area matched the beach sand very closely.

According to Reihl there will be two dredges on hand. The dredges are able to work in seas up to 6-8’.

Nourishment will widen the beaches; the beach provides protection for the infrastructure behind it by dissipating the power of the waves. Over time some of the sand on the beach will be lost; however, that is part of the design plan. The lost sand typically forms a sandbar that helps to break up the power of incoming waves.

Federal regulations do require monitoring for sea turtles. Monitors will be with the dredges at all times. On the beaches, the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) has agreed to do the monitoring.

Beach Nourishment Coastal Planning And Engineering Duck Great Lakes Dredge And Dock Kill Devil Hills Kitty Hawk Outer Banks

Latest Outer Banks Visitors-Harbor Seals
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Harbor seal resting on the Nags Head Beach next to Jennette's Pier.

Every species, it seems, has a different idea of what is the best time to visit the Outer Banks. Humans, of course, seem to prefer summer. Seals, however, appear to prefer sprawling on a local beach in the winter.

The Outer Banks doesn't seem like it would be part of the regular travel itinerary for seals, but as it turns out, they’re fairly common along coastal North Carolina in the winter.

For proof of that we offer this image of a harbor seal that decided to catch a few rays on the Nags Head beach next to Jennette’s Pier. Typically what seals are doing when they show up on an Outer Banks beach is the same as what human visitors are doing—resting, recuperating and getting ready for the life tests that will come when they head north.

According to studies that have been done of seal activity along area, although individual seals are seen on local beaches from time to time, it is unheard of for a colony to take up residence in an area that is frequented by humans.

That doesn’t mean they’re not around…it’s just that seals prefer avoiding humans for the most part. 

The National Park Service reported in 2015 that in the winter seals regularly take up residence on a marshy piece of land just south of Oregon Inlet called Green Island. “The most observed at one time … was … up to 33…” they noted.

Most of the seals are harbor seals, although once in a while a gray seal will be seen.

The seals look cute and cuddly, but they’re really not. They’re wild animals weighing 200 to 250 pounds. They are also Federally protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act and approaching them could result in some pretty hefty fines.

Harbor Seals Jennettes Pier Nags Head National Park Service Outer Banks

Mother Nature's Gift
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, February 12, 2017

Western Willets on the South Nags Head beach.

Sometimes Mother Nature gives us a gift, and if this weekend seemed to have been delivered with beautiful bows in the color of blue skies and brilliant sunshine.

Temperatures in the mid to upper 60s are a rare thing in February on the Outer Banks—and usually when that happens there’s some tropical moisture embedded so the days tend to be overcast and damp.

Not this weekend.

Not a cloud in the sky, a little bit breezy, but it felt wonderful.

A perfect day to walk along the beach and get some fresh air.

Coquina Beach just past South Nags Head is part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Wandering on the sand next to the ocean, there aren’t any houses or structures…just the ocean, the wind and shorebirds.

The breeze was almost due west today, blowing the tops off waves so the surf was was more of a riffle than a wave—at least by Outer Banks standards.

Willets populate the damp sand, their beaks probing the beach for ghost crabs. As a wave rushes in they sprint away from it, then hurry back to the wettest part of the beach to continue looking for a meal.

A fantastic day on the Outer Banks and a reminder that the best is still to come.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Coquina Beach Mother Nature Nags Head Outer Banks

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