Summertime … and the Eatin’ is Easy

If there was a logo for summer it would have to be the vine-ripened heirloom tomato.

I wait impatiently all through the rest of the year for “real” tomatoes and when they come I embarrass myself with my gorging.  In truth, I don’t eat tomatoes until then so that’s how I justify my manic behavior. 
Read more

What you Need to Know about the Solar Eclipse on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands

We’re just a few days away from the August 21 solar eclipse, and the islands - as well as the rest of the country – seem to have Eclipse Fever.

Local stores and national chairs report being sold out of the eclipse viewing glasses, “solar eclipse” is now one of the top searches in Google, and many folks are wondering where will be the best spot to catch the show.
  Read more

Gert Brings Big Waves to Hatteras Island

Hurricane Gert may not have brought much wind or rain to the Outer Banks, but it did bring plenty of waves for area surfers.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, surfers flocked to the beaches to take advantage of the unusually big waves, summertime water temps, and the crystal blue waters.  Read more

Plastic Bags Only Part of the Problem

Bucking the wishes of nearly every local entity that keeps the communities’ wheels turning and the tourism machinery humming, a bill to repeal a ban on flimsy plastic grocery bags on the Outer Banks is still alive in some dark corner of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Read more

Kinnakeet Home: A Place of Refuge

Kinnakeet Home blogs went online last fall, but this is the first time publishing with Island Free Press. Kinnakeet Home is all about life on Hatteras Island, its history and its people. Avon is my hometown.

Over the course of many years living and raising a family here, I have experienced island life at its best and at its worst.
Read more

OBX Gone Wild: Capturing the Outer Banks’ Wild Side

Many Outer Banks locals have hobbies that take full advantage of the islands’ inherently wild nature.

But few locals spend their free time just a shell’s throw away from mating water moccasins, protective black bear mommas, or an assortment of other scaly or furry critters that would cause anyone to abandon their pursuits, and head back to the safety of the couch for a TV binge-fest instead. 
Read more

Hatteras Island Remains Eerily Quiet while Media Attention Swarms

Hatteras and Ocracoke islands have had a starring role in nightly newscasts as the power outage inches closer to the one-week mark, but the islands themselves have been eerily quiet as the outage lingers on.

“This is the warmest February that I can remember,” joked Capt. Ernie Foster at the Avon Fishing Pier, where he waited with a crowd of other residents to chat with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Thursday. 
Read more

Night Sky: Upcoming Solar Eclipse and Other Highlights for August

There will be a total eclipse of the sun on August 21.  It will be visible in a 70 mile -wide band that stretches from Oregon to South Carolina.  Here on Hatteras Island, we will have a partial eclipse. The moon will cover 89% of the sun. 
  Read more

Island Living: The Perils of an Old Dog Learning New Tricks

There is an arsenal of items on my supposed Bucket List that I inherently know I will never get around to, but which I keep on said list just so I will seem more adventurous or active than I actually am.

These items include skydiving, hang gliding, running a marathon, hiking to the top of Mt. Whatever, and a bunch of other things that I’m pretty sure I will never be motivated or physically coordinated enough to accomplish.  
  Read more

Ocracoke will have a ringside seat to see almost all of a total solar eclipse Aug. 21

When the “Great American total eclipse of the sun” occurs on Aug. 21, Ocracoke will have a ringside seat to view it almost in its entirety.

According to news sources, barring a cover of clouds, the eclipse will be visible over a small portion of western North Carolina beginning at 2:33 p.m.  
Read more

Purple Martins Return to Roost

Purple martins are beginning to return to their roost at the west end of the old Manns Harbor bridge. By the end of July the number of birds at the site is expected to be close to 100,000.

During the roosting season, N.C. Department of Transportation activates flashing lights and a 20 mph speed limit on the west end of the bridge at sunrise and sunset. The reduced speed limit, monitored by law enforcement, allows safe travel for both motorists and birds.  
Read more

Surfing Scientists Develop Wave Forecast Tool

Surfing and science has always been a relationship of convenience, if not necessity. But when surfers are scientists who are wizards at interpreting ocean data, the art of finding good waves can be transformed into scientific certainty – or close to it.

A new surf-prediction model developed by a partnership of two coastal scientists and a computer engineer promises to revolutionize the accuracy and efficiency of surf forecasting, long regarded as notoriously challenging and unreliable. Known as AcuSea, the service crunches decades of publicly available wave and beach data with data on current conditions at different surf spots.  
Read more

After Lightning Strike, Funds are Needed to Restore the Midgett House at the Chicamacomico Historic Site

Sometime during the night of Sunday, July 2, one of the favorite structures at the Chicamacomico Historic Site in Rodanthe – the 1907 Midgett House - was hit by lightning. 

The lightning strike connected with the original wiring in the home, which is not in use, but which still runs through the structure. From there, the effects of the strike trickled throughout the house – busting the original panel box, causing old paint to shake loose from the walls, and most noticeably, destroying the original chimney.  Read more

Numbers crunch: OBX license plates are out of space

Sometime in 2018 the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles will run out of numbers for the OBX license plates.

By our calculations, that should be sometime in September or October of next year.  
Read more

Getting Crafty on Hatteras Island

Hatteras Island is well known for its exuberant art culture. Of course, with the mesmerizing sunrises, sunsets, and endless natural inspirations, who would think otherwise?

Whether you are an artist, hobbyist, or someone yearning to dabble into the artistic waters, there are options for you on Hatteras Island. There are so many art workshops, classes or just walk-in opportunities that are available throughout the different villages.  
Read more

Island Watersports: A Primer on Finding the Best Surf Spots

Hatteras Island is a natural haven for some of the best, and most surf-able, waves on the East Coast. Indeed, Hatteras’ various surf spots are one of the major reasons the island welcomes more than two million visitors each year from all across the country.
Read more

H2OBX makes a splash on opening day

What is being billed as "the Outer Banks' wettest, coolest, wildest, splashiest and craziest new attraction" opened Thursday, June 22 to rave reviews from the visitors.

The much-anticipated H2OBX Waterpark attracted a "good size crowd" for its opening day, said Marketing Supervisor Leah Cribb, who said exact opening day numbers would be available soon.  
Read more

Island son James Barrie Gaskill: 1943-2017

The island was saddened to learn of the death of island son James Barrie Gaskill, 74 on June 21.

Born in Carteret County on April 20, 1943, he was a son of the late Daisy Styron Gaskill and James Lumley Gaskill, Jr.  
 Read more

Island Living: Unenforceable Beach Crimes and the Guilty Parties Who Commit Them

There are obviously plenty of “Rules of the Beach” that are both good manners and are enforceable by law, but what about those other circumstances that aren’t necessarily illegal, but can nevertheless drive you mad? I couldn’t help but mull over those situations as well, and wonder if there could be a secondary set of guidelines that essentially say: “Yes, you technically can do these things… But you’re going to annoy a heck of a lot of people if you do.”  
Read more

Discovering the Fish with a Ranger Program

When looking for a family-oriented activity to do this summer season, search no more. Just stop by and visit the local park service station and ask for information on the many activities they offer.

Among the multitude of activity choices, you will find the program “Fish with a Ranger.” This program is offered free of charge. They provide the fishing poles and tackle which are donated to the park service from local tackle shops including Red Drum Tackle and Frank and Fran’s. A fishing license is not required to be a part of this activity because they are covered under a “blanket fishing license.” All you need to bring is the bait, and they recommend blood worms, shrimp or squid. The program is offered every Monday and Thursday, at 8 a.m., weather permitting.  
 Read more

Thousands of Bees Relocated From Their Surf Shop Residence to a New Home...WITH SLIDE SHOW

On an otherwise normal June day, Carol Busbey and her husband Scott encountered an unexpected squatter in the shed behind their Natural Art Surf Shop in Buxton – or rather, they discovered a few thousand of them.

The first sign that something was amiss was the presence of quite a few bees buzzing in and out of a little hole in the shed. “Once you got closer, you could definitely hear the buzz of a ton of bees” says Carol.  
Read more

2017 Avon Farmers Market Opens With Biggest Array of Vendors Yet

In 2016, the Avon Farmers Market had a banner year with more than 25 vendors lined up every week in the large grassy yard next to the Avon Beach Klub.

It was the highest number of vendors since the market was first established in 2010 in Buxton, and the summertime market was a big success locally, with many residences making weekly shopping trips to stock up on fresh produce, goodies, and a few splurge purchases of jewelry, homemade crafts and artworks. 
  Read more