Sunday, September 18, 2011

Exploring North Carolina: Coloring Outside the Lines at Brunswick Nature...

I've always been drawn to adventure and, as a writer, I'm fortunate enough to be able to get paid (a little) to do what I love. My monthly Adventure Blog for Bald Head Island really allow me to get out, do something amazing and write about it. Other assignments for North Brunswick Magazine have sent me on a half-day kayak with an upstart outfitter in the area or down to Silver Coast Winery to enjoy wine and dessert pairings. I get to meet amazing people, like Ashley Chapman, a world-record holding freediver - she dove to 190 feet on a single breath this summer - who had me doing breathing exercises on her couch while she and her husband coached me to hold my breath for two minutes (I didn't make it, but I got closer than I thought I would), or Hank Brown, a Colonial-America Reenactor I met on assignment for Our State Magazine.

As time has gone on, I've come to love writing travel pieces about things to do, places to eat and drink, and the right people to talk to once you're there. Over the last couple of months Lauren and I have been talking about ways to get in front of bigger clients, maybe even write for the North Carolina Visitors Guide.

Then I was invited to a meeting of the Wilmington Area Hospitality Association where Margo, the Public Relations Manager at the NC Division of Tourism, spoke and let us know about their plan to hire Adventure Experts to film videos and help pitch activities in the state.

I jumped at the chance and filled out the forms and made a video to show the Division and their people how I was on camera. Lauren and I grabbed the camera, grabbed a kayak and headed to Brunswick Nature Park to start shooting. We came up with the video below.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Turtles So Small They'll Bring a Tear

Green turtle hatchlings.
A few years ago I witnessed a loggerhead sea turtle lay her clutch of eggs in the dunes on East Beach on Bald Head Island. It was one of those experiences that makes the world stop turning and lets you live in a moment for as long as you need. Try as I may, over the ensuing years I've been to a half dozen nests close to hatching and I have yet to see a clutch of eggs boil out of the sand and make their way to the ocean. A few weeks ago I got to experience the next best thing when the Bald Head Island Conservancy released about 80 loggerhead and green sea turtles from nests that had been excavated before Hurricane Irene brushed past us. The Conservancy announced it and 100 visitors, residents and even the police came out to watch the turtles' release into the sea. Head over to Bald Head Island's blog, The Island Times to read it for yourself.

Loggerhead sea turtles.

Two coolers full of turtles.

Yes, I Felt a Little Like I was in SAMCRO

We watch a lot of Sons of Anarchy at my house and I'll admit it, I kind of wish I could get patched in to the  Sons. Yeah, I'd get the tat, but only if I got to bring Lauren along as my Old Lady, which, since Jax Teller is in the Sons, she'd never turn down. Recently I went to Bald Head Island and rode an electric bicycle. A far cry from a gigantic Harley, but fun none the less.

I popped a wheelie and felt like an outlaw biker.
I mean, look at that killer orange electric bike. It has a basket, a throttle, a battery and an adjustable seat. And my helmet looks pretty tough. It's easy to see why I felt like I was in the Sons of Anarchy, right?


Fine, take a look at me on my bike and Jax Teller on his and see if you can tell the difference.

If you're not convinced, take a peek at the blog post I wrote for Bald Head Island's blog, The Island Times. Get the whole scoop on the electric bikes and me, a member of SAMCRO in training, here.

I Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts

Some of my favorite adventures on Bald Head Island have been with Riverside Adventure Company and they've just expanded their lineup with two great things - a ghost walk and electric bikes. I'll tell you about the electric bikes in another post, this one is for the ghost walk.

Starting in the harbour, the pirate Colonel Dread spun tales of Bald Head Island's otherworldly past, leading us through the maritime forest to the foot of Old Baldy and meeting up with Darcy Ladare, who picked up the tale and, mixed with a little song, led us out to the beach and ended the walk on the beach. I'd tell you more about it, but I already did on Bald Head Island's blog The Island Times. Read the whole story here.

Like Ozzy Osbourne, but Bald Headier

In May I went to Bald Head Island for a Howl at the Moon Party. It made me feel like Ozzy Osbourne, but if Ozzy Osbourne went to a really nice party on the beach and had some awesome soup.

So, this Howl at the Moon Party is a monthly gathering thrown by the Popes, the new owners of The Maritime Market, to celebrate the full moon. They bring some soup, stew, chowder or gumbo and invite everyone on the island to come out, bring their beverage of choice and a side and hang out on the beach for a couple of hours.

I wrote about it for Bald Head Island's blog, The Island Times. Check it out here.

Stars, Stars Everywhere

I know, I know, I've been kind of lax on the blog posts. It's not that I don't write them, it's that I get too busy to post them. But that has to stop. Now.

So, here's a post I wrote in May (MAY?) about going stargazing on Bald Head Island. You should read and enjoy. Check it out at The Island Times.