Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Life Along the North End of Wrightsville Beach



We are often asked, "Which end of the beach is the best?" Of course, our answer is "Both ends and everywhere in between!" The mid-section of the island and blocks that extend towards the south end are often viewed as where the action is. It is true, that the area along Lumina Avenue and Waynick Boulevard is a hub of activity. Here is where to find shops and restaurants, and the island's only grocery store. In just one block, it is possible to grab lunch, stock up on sunscreen, replace your worn out flip flops or board shorts and come back later for a fabulous dinner, cold beer or irresistible cone of homemade ice cream. Those blocks also encompass a stretch of everyone's favorite place to exercise, see and be seen: The Loop. The ever-changing backdrop provided by the boaters, sailors and stand-up paddle boarders along Banks Channel is also a great source of free entertainment.

Then there are those who regard the beach as a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily routine. They only want to park the car, unload the groceries, and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Wrightsville Beach. One of the best spots for accomplishing this is the north end of the island. Aside from the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort and the Shell Island Resort, there is no commercial activity. Larger homes with lovingly landscaped yards also give this area more of a traditional neighborhood feel.

On a clear, Carolina blue sky day, the beach strand at the north end of Wrightsville Beach offers unparalleled views of Figure Eight and Topsail Island. This is also where savvy seashell collectors come to see what bounty Mason's Inlet and the Atlantic have delivered overnight. Like the rest of Wrightsville, the pristine ocean water provides hours of enjoyment for those who like to swim, fish, surf, skim board, SUP, or just wade along the water's edge. Of course, since it is far from the crowds, it is also one of the best places to catch up on your summer reading.

Naturalists and bird watchers have been flocking to the north end for years. Although the beach side is gorgeous, the north end's vast expanse of marsh grass that extends towards the Intracoastal Waterway is breathtaking in its own right. Here is the site of the 300-acre Mason Inlet Waterbird Management Area. Although it is a designated protected nesting site, lucky visitors have several excellent vantage points from which to observe shorebirds in their natural habitat. There is also path that starts at the informational kiosk and directs visitors across the dunes to the beach. According to the N.C. Birding Trail website, "Along the way visitors will see typical barrier island dune and swale plants in their natural setting. During summer, colonial waterbirds and shorebirds nest within the dunes and forage along the inlet shoreline."

Are you curious about the Mason Inlet bird sanctuary? Here is more information:
http://ncbirdingtrail.org/sites/2012/8/1/mason-inlet-waterbird-management-area.html

Evenings at the north end are exceptional-here is where the sea meets the sky and there's nothing like it! It is the perfect place for a full moon picnic…or if that requires too much effort-no worries. There's no need to drive into town. Both the Shell Island Resort and the Holiday Inn SunSpree have outstanding full-service restaurants, and from the north end-they're within walking distance.

If life at the north end sounds appealing, there are multiple listings to choose from, plus units for sale in a number of condo communities. Here are a few current listings for properties located at the north end of Wrightsville Beach:



These are just a handful of listings! In addition to Wrightsville Beach, we also have properties in several surrounding coastal communities, including Figure Eight Island. Click here to see more: http://www.hardeehuntandwilliams.com/listings/PropListings.asp

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Move Over Guys - The Wahines Are On Their Way!


We're excited to help spread the word that once again, Wrightsville Beach will be the venue for the Wahine Classic. As one of the longest standing female surf contests on the Eastern Seaboard, the Wahine Classic draws competitors of all ages from all over!

The action is set for Friday August 15th through Sunday the 17th. Over 100 female surfers will converge onto the scene and go head to head in these divisions: shortboard, longboard, and standup paddle board. For those surfers who are trying the contest scene for the first time, this year there will be two Novice categories. The first heats each day are set for 8 am. Access 38 at the south end of the island is where to grab a ringside seat and witness maneuvers from some of the most talented female surfers around.

One of the most popular competition categories is the "Teeny Weeny Wahine". It has become a contest mainstay and has been a great way for hundreds of enthusiastic surfing parents to introduce the sport to their young daughters.

This year's co-chairs are Jo Pickett of Crystal South Surf Camp and Jack Viorel, of Indo Jax Surf School and Charities. Both are proud parents of young ladies who have grown up participating in the Wahine Classic. In addition to being a driving force in the local surf community, Pickett has coached the East Coast Surfing Association's elite female division. This role has put her in touch with the most capable female surfers in the area. "The idea is to bring all girls to the playing field," Pickett says. "The developing ones learn from the most accomplished."

Viorel moved his family from northern California to Wilmington several years ago. The former elementary school teacher immediately began a variety of community outreach charity surf camps that have become an institution among local surfers and volunteer supporters. His daughter, Gabby began surfing at age 4. Today at 11, she is eager to compete against the Wahines in the 12 and under division. Viorel observes, "Having an all female contest like this is a real platform to dive into surfing. There's a competitive edge to it but it's a community event."

Make plans to attend this family friendly and very entertaining event! Why not pack a picnic and make a day of it? For anyone interested in learning more or obtaining an entry form, here is the official website link:
www.wrightsvillebeachwahineclassic.com

Be sure also to visit the facebook page for the latest information on the Wahine Classic: https://www.facebook.com/events/578233268962886/

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hurricane Season is Here. Be Prepared



Living in a breathtakingly beautiful coastal area should not be taken for granted, especially during this time of year. Of course summer and early fall are ideal times to enjoy all that the Cape Fear Coast has to offer. However, in addition to lining up all of the essentials, such as beach chairs, coolers, sunscreen, fishing gear, and all those toys, there's one more item to add to the list: Hurricane Preparedness Kit.

June 1st through November 30th, is recognized as the official Atlantic hurricane season. According to meteorologists and historical data, this is the time of year when tropical cyclones are the most likely to form. Known here as hurricanes, these are rapidly rotating storm systems marked by a low-pressure system, high winds, and heavy rains. In order to be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph.

Some of the most devastating storms in recent years have occurred during the months of September and October (Katrina and Sandy). However, our coast has seen some pretty significant ones in July and August (Bertha '96 and Bonnie '98). What this should tell us is that, like the Boy Scouts - it's time to "Be Prepared."

Getting Ready


  • During storm season, pay a little extra attention to weather reports and the 5-day outlook. Again, being prepared for what may be ahead is critical.
  • Should a hurricane be predicted, have a plan, including where you will go and the route you will take. Pet owners must also plan accordingly and be aware that most shelters do not accept pets.
  • Gas up vehicles and charge electronics, such as phones and laptops
  • Whether you think you will evacuate or stay, make sure that your home, its contents and all of your important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, insurance papers, passports, drivers licenses and financial information is secure. Also consider using an external hard drive and memory cards to download sensitive documents and information stored in your computer.
  • Again, regardless of whether you choose to evacuate or stay on your property, you will need to gather together a few key items. Be aware that homeowners allowed to return after a hurricane are likely to be faced with power outages and limited access to food and water. So, well before the storm, collect the things you will need. It is best to have them all organized, high and dry in one spot, such as in a rubber maid or other type of waterproof container.


Hurricane Kit


  • Flashlights, batteries, candles, lanterns, fuel, lighters, matches
  • Battery-operated radio and/or TV
  • Containers of water-enough to last 5 to 7 days
  • Canned and other non-perishable food and beverages for at least 3 days
  • Utensils and paper products for food
  • Manual can opener
  • Pet food-kitty litter
  • Medications, prescriptions
  • Hygiene products, diapers, wipes, toiletries
  • Paper products, trash bags
  • First aid kit- Be aware that the most common injuries after a hurricane involve cuts, scrapes, and bee stings
  • Extra clothing, include raincoats and warm weather outer wear depending on the time of year
  • If you plan to use a generator, have fuel on hand

***Be aware to take all of the necessary precautions when using gas or kerosene lamps, candles, and generators.

Before the storm:


  • Compile a list of all important phone numbers, such as your property insurance company, utility offices, physician, local TV and radio stations, tree removal services, and the local emergency management office.
  • Make sure basic tools for tree removal, such as saws and chainsaws are in good working order and accessible.
  • Have any dead limbs or trees removed from your property. Consider taking out trees that would pose a threat to your home should they snap and break in a storm.
  • Be aware of which outside objects need to be secured in case of a hurricane. Have a plan for where boats, wave runners, outdoor furniture, bird feeders, planters, and grills will be stowed.
  • If you do not have storm shutters, have plywood cut for your home's windows. Predrill the holes for easy installation and make sure to label which pieces fit which windows.


For more ideas on how to be as prepared as possible visit this site:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php 

Thankfully, for the 2014, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a near-normal or below-normal season!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wrightsvillle Beach Parking - $2.50 Per Hour



If you're preparing to visit Wrightsville Beach this weekend, keep in mind that the cost of parking went up to to $2.50 per hour this year. It may seem a little pricey but many consider a fun-filled day at Wrightsville Beach priceless. Compared to dinner and a movie, it is certainly a bargain! To keep things in perspective, please note that a portion of the parking fees go directly to beach renourishment.

The island community's Mayor Pro Tem, Darryl Mills, acknowledged the price increase and noted, "The amount we've been setting aside is really nothing compared to the cost of the project and I see this as a way to start generating funds." As a result of the increase, a day pass has increased from $12 to $15, and a weekly pass is now $75. Paid parking hours are from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. The good news is that new meters were installed this year that accommodate credit and debit cards. Now that is a welcome change compared to digging through your pockets and glove compartments for the other kind of change!

More on Wrightsville Beach Parking:
http://www.townofwrightsvillebeach.com/parking.aspx
http://www.wilmingtonnc.com/wrightsville-beach/
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