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Join Jim and Deb Boyce at the Museum of Coastal Carolina May 21 at 11 am for their program called The Odyssey of the Sea Turtle. They will discuss the life cycle of sea turtles, focusing especially on the loggerhead sea turtles that nest on Ocean Isle Beach, NC, every summer. The presentation will include a 14-minute video and a question-and-answer session at the end. Jim and Deb Boyce are island coordinators for the Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization (OIBSTPO). They are licensed by the NC Wildlife Commission and coordinate a network of approximately 50 volunteers in a year-round effort to promote sea turtles and educate the public about them. Volunteers are especially active between May and late September when female sea turtles dig their nests and lay their eggs. Volunteers identify and mark the nests, do their best to protect the nests from predators, keep an eye on hatchlings as they make their way from their nests into the ocean, and transport sick and injured sea turtles to the Karen Bealsey Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at Topsail Island. For more information about OIBSTPO, visit www.oibseaturtles.org. The Museum of Coastal Carolina is located at 21 East Second Street, Ocean Isle Beach, NC. The museum is currently open from 10-3 on Friday and Saturday. Beginning May 27, the museum will begin summer hours and will be open six days a week. Admission to the museum is free for members. Non-member all-day admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children (3-12), and free for age 2 and under. For more information about the Museum of Coastal Carolina, call 910-579-1016 or visit www.MuseumPlanetarium.org.
The “surf’s up” this summer at Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, which is still basking in the glow of its 2012 National Geographic designation as one of the “World’s Best Surf Towns.” This follows in the wake of previous surf accolades. In 2008, Surfermagazine named UNC-Wilmington as one of the East Coast’s top surf schools. Experienced and beginner surfers enjoy riding the sweet waves at the USLA lifeguard-protected (Memorial Day-Labor Day) island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. The area is also ideal for stand-up paddling (SUP) in the ocean, harbor and Intracoastal Waterway. Outside magazine (May 2006) acknowledged Wrightsville Beach among its “Best North American Beginner Surf Spots.” According to Outside, “Wrightsville’s soft, sandy beaches are the perfect venue for beginners and perfectly warm in the summer.” Visitors can learn to surf or SUP with certified instructors at eco-friendly schools that provide lessons at Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville beaches. For local surf schools that offer surf and SUP programs, visit www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/
Here’s a roundup of summer surf events:ONGOING: WEEKLY SUNSET SUP, 6pm-7:30pm. Thursday evenings through August 29, the Sunset SUP Series features 30- and 40-minute men’s and women’s races in Intermediate and Elite divisions. Wrightsville SUP, 274 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach (across from Blockade Runner Resort). http://wrightsvillesup.com/
Salute from the Shore this afternoon over all South Carolina beaches.
Barbados officially celebrates its high season for visitors beginning in mid-December when North Americans and British are particularly eager to avoid their cold winter. For history and details about this fabulous destination we recommend the Barbados Travel Companion app available from iTunes. It was authored by experienced travel guide writer and journalist Harry S. Pariser and published by Sutro Media which boasts more than 300 mobile apps covering the world's best destinations. We didn't go to Barbados for sex or sponges, but after getting the complete scoop from Harry, it might be time to plan another trip. Here's a little preview of the app content. The good news for Barbados lovers is that all year is a near-perfect season, and spring or summer rates for lodging or travel packages can be quite enticing. This is a beautiful friendly Caribbean island which welcomes guests all year. The interesting people are its foremost asset. With golfing, diving, surfing, any water sport, plus swimming with the turtles among the coral, there’s never a shortage of activity. Check current event schedules to plan for something special. The gorgeous beach itself, with an occasional break for a rum punch or several, delivers a pretty good vacation, and the beach locales range from busy resort areas to secluded spots for napping under swaying palms. Summer in Barbados features the Crop Over Festival which is a five-week event. Its origin is more than 200 years old when the sugar cane crop harvest was finished and called for a celebration. Albeit not still based on the harvest schedule, the festival includes dancing, parades, competitions and of course the fabulous food, arts and crafts which are popular year-round. Thousands of visitors are attracted during this season, and all for good cause. Duty free shopping is available in Bridgetown, the capital city, in department stores and jewelry shops plus small malls outside the city, but my favorite shopping is among the craft vendors in Pelican Village or along the street in many areas. Tropical batiks, straw hats or local art and pottery are frequently the same products in various locations, but I find the browsing and light bartering to be part of the fun. Vendors are not allowed on the beach, and hawking is not common. Touring the rum distillery or studying the island’s architecture, rich history and culture also provide myriad choices for daily excursions beyond the beach. Good food is not a secret here. Spices combine Caribbean influence with occasional Asian or French and create many special dishes including fresh local vegetables such as sweet potatoes. A flying fish sandwich was the first meal I chose in Barbados, and it’s often one of my favorite entrées. It’s local and plentiful due to its actual appearance of flying out of the water (toward the anglers we believe) while it’s supposedly trying to escape larger fish. Other fish is fresh as well as shrimp, lobster, and much more. Pickled sea cat, a relish made from octopus, adds a nice touch to fish and other selections. Let’s talk about pudding and souse another day! Do you know what they are? Have you sampled them in Barbados, or maybe elsewhere? We heard it was good at Lemon Arbour in St. John. Let me know what you think about finding the fine food, great beaches and dazzling upcoming events. Sex, sponges, octopus and rum are deserving of further review as well.
We love the Caribbean any time of year, and we have enjoyed some good trips via Cheap Caribbean. You can go as cheap or as upscale as you want. Pay attention to the stars to be sure you know whether you're getting a resort with some class or no class whatsoever if you're looking for super cheap. Want to go right now? Cheap Caribbean is celebrating its 11th anniversary with the current deal to Puerto Playa at the Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort and Spa at an unbeatable $11 per person per night (no airfare included) during September and October. Book it now to get this deal. It's only a bit more later in the year, and packages are available too. While we don't choose all-inclusive resorts, it's something to consider at this price. We do choose packages, and one of the best things we do like is the ground transportation which might be an add-on but so worth it. I don't know about you, but arriving in a different country and renting a car to drive to a totally new spot is intimidation I don't need 🙂 It's just nice to be met by a local driver who also knows when we are returning to the airport. If you have a favorite Caribbean resort to mention in our Beach Bytes category, please send us your comments here. We could even publish your pic too!
We're waiting for new turtles in our neighborhood. Here's the nest. Sea turtles have been swimming in our oceans for more than a hundred million years, according to scientists. However, the coastal development, fisheries, pollution and climate change have all contributed to making their lives difficult. The Green, Leatherback, Loggerhead and Kemp’s Ridley species all swim in the Atlantic Ocean, and all are endangered. Female turtles return to the beach where they were born to dig a nest and lay their eggs in the sand. As many as 100 to 120 eggs are laid in a nest, and the fragile eggs are too often found by predators. The help of humans for protection is important for as much as 80 days until they hatch and the tiny hatchings crawl to their forever home in the ocean. Watch us all watching for our hatchlings to arrive. Well, we're all watching for something anyway! Where are you? [cincopa A4AAC266uK8i]
“Salute from the Shore” is a great celebration along the whole coast of South Carolina. It's set for 1 p.m., Monday, July 4 on all South Carolina beaches. “Salute from the Shore” is an opportunity to salute our armed forces and their families while celebrating Independence Day on South Carolina’s beaches. This second annual patriotic event hopes to have one million beachgoers saluting our Armed Forces as part of an effort to produce a video tribute to our Armed Forces everywhere. The salute begins at the North Carolina line at 1 p.m., Monday, July 4, and will cover the whole coast in just 20 minutes. Participate by waving flags or creating a display big enough to see from the air as four F-16 fighter jets, flown by members of the 77th Fighter Squadron from Shaw Air Force Base, fly over the entire coastline of South Carolina.
Load up your kayak and join us on Oak Island, NC for this exciting spring event on the water. The Ride the Tide Kayak Float is scheduled for April 9 beginning at 1 pm for floaters and at 1:30 pm for racers. Enjoy the Davis Canal with the outgoing tide when the travel will be easy for any level of paddler. This is the second annual Ride the Tide which consists of a 5.2 mile float and race. The Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department sponsors the event with the Adventure Kayak Company and the Blue Water Point Marina and Motel. You can rent a kayak if you don’t have your own, but be sure to contact one of the sponsors in advance. The race offers a division for many different age groups plus single or double, male or female. There’s more too. A costume contest will recognize the environmental theme. Also, a poker run will have cards at five stops and a prize for the winner of the best hand. The award ceremony will be at Blue Water Point Marina. The entry fee is $15 in advance or $20 the day of the event. Contact 910-278-5518 for details or download the application.
Not a postcard collection. Just a look at the morning sun from our warm balcony in Freeport or the view of the resort entrance. Would you prefer this upscale resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico? Or would you rather enjoy this lifestyle resort in the Dominican Republic with wait service directly at your sunbed? What's cheap about the Caribbean? Nothing really, except for packages which are frequently offered by the company Cheap Caribbean. We do not work for them, but we have traveled on their packages a couple of times and can report huge savings plus quality. One of my favorite items in their package offers is the ground transportation. Have you ever arrived in a new destination without a plan for getting to your hotel? If that's a country where you don't even speak the language or know which side of the road to drive on, then what? In addition to delivering the quality which is purchased, ranging from really cheap to top quality, Cheap Caribbean provides an airport pick up who knows your name. If you're a beach bum of any sort, winter is such a nice time to think about warm vacation sites, and I love browsing the Caribbean. Bring me a water view, a book, a sun bed and a cool drink now. When do you want to go?