It’s time to channel your inner pirate…

…..and head for the 20th Annual Stede Bonnet Regatta in Southport, NC on Saturday, November 2.

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The regatta is named after Stede Bonnet, the Gentleman Pirate, who plied the waters off the coast of the Carolinas -sometimes in cahoots with Blackbeard. He met his end at the end of a rope in Charleston in 1718. The captain and crew of the sailboats that take part are all required to be decked out in pirate regalia, a rule that sets the tone for this fun event. Many of the spectators also wear their pirate duds and this year it would not surprise me to see Captain Jack Sparrow among them. He has been lurking about the town of Southport of late and taking part in all the special events – even wandering through the Waterfront Market on occasion. 

Though prizes are awarded, the race itself is a fun event where you might witness a man overboard, or a grounding of a pirate ship, or the firing of water cannon. There is even a coveted Boob Prize awarded at the ceremony following the race. You can also take part in the after-the-race party at the Yacht Basin Provision Company. There will be a band, dancing, drinks food and fun until you and the pirates drop.

Check out these web sites for more information: http://www.stedebonnetregatta.com/ and http://provisioncompany.com/

A luau in October!

Get out your grass skirt and your lei, your colorful shirt and your sandals and head for the Magnolia Greens Clubhouse Banquet Center in Leland on Saturday evening, October 26, at 7 PM!

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Actually costume dress is optional – but certainly more fun. Enjoy a scrumptious dinner with music provided by “Unresolved String Band”. There will be Limbo and Traditional Hawaiian Hula dancing for your enjoyment as well. Tickets can be purchased through the Brunswick Arts council Facebook page. For more information you can call Iris Malady at (910) 231-5337 or email her at: imalady@ec.rr.com. You can also contact Jeanette Serens at (910) 371-2641 or e-mail: jserens@gmail.com. Aloha!

Hammocks

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There is no question about it, hammocks are essential to living in the beaches of Brunswick County. What better place to stretch out and relax? Weekends or weekdays, retired or still working  – it does not make a difference. You can read a book or take a nap – stretch out after mowing or working in the garden – swing lazily or frolic with the kids in a hammock. No matter your style of living, hammocks fit right in. They can be strung between trees or placed free standing on a patio or porch. You can even take one down to the beach to relax in the sun or under a canopy. Here is my take on the hammock in my front yard:

HAMMOCK*

This hammock, connecting
tree to tree, becomes a
suspension bridge for ants
who travel the rope that
borders the edge. Focused,
they never lose their way,
never deviate into the web
of highways, the tempting
byways of the green
knotted network that forms
the bed. While live oak branches
bow in an elegant sweep
to the ground, pieces of sky
hide among the leaves overhead.
A blue jay startles herself
by landing too close to
the hammock. A mockingbird,
so enraptured by his own song,
lifts straight up from a fence post
at intervals in his singing.
A grey squirrel sits in
a patch of sun, holds
a toadstool in her paws,
turning it with her delicate
fingers as she eats her
way around the edge. This
is the business of the world.
Our business is not to miss it.

Rebecca Pierre

*This poem has been published in: Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina: A Guidebook by Georgann Eubanks. The book is described on Amazon this way:

“This concluding volume of the Literary Trails of North Carolina trilogy takes readers into an ancient land of pale sand, dense forests, and expansive bays, through towns older than our country and rich in cultural traditions. Here, writers reveal lives long tied to the land and regularly troubled by storms and tell tales of hardship, hard work, and freedom. Eighteen tours lead readers from Raleigh to the Dismal Swamp, the Outer Banks, and across the Sandhills as they explore the region’s connections to over 250 writers of fiction, poetry, plays, and creative nonfiction. Along the way, Georgann Eubanks brings to life the state’s rich literary heritage as she explores these writers’ connection to place and reveals the region’s vibrant local culture. Excerpts invite readers into the authors’ worlds, and web links offer resources for further exploration. Featured authors include A. R. Ammons, Gerald Barrax, Charles Chesnutt, Clyde Edgerton, Philip Gerard, Kaye Gibbons, Harriet Jacobs, Jill McCorkle, Michael Parker, and Bland Simpson.”

Literary Trails of North Carolina is a project of the North Carolina Arts Council

“Now if you’re ready Oysters dear, we can begin to feed.”

I’m sure that the oysters you will find at the 33rd Annual NC Oyster Festival on the island of Ocean Isle Beach did not voluntarily walk out of the sea like they did for the Walrus and the Carpenter in Lewis Carol’s “Through the Looking Glass” – but isn’t it fun to imagine that they did? 

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This year’s festival, held on Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20, is a great way to spend beautiful Fall days with your family. There will be music in the air both days starting at 10 AM featuring the following bands: Sawgrass, The Entertainers, Jaded Mayberry, The Lost Trailers, New Beginnings Praise Band, Sea Cruz and Craig Woolard Band. You can chow down on oysters and fried fish served by the Shriners or partake of a plethora of other foods and drinks that you will find in the festival area between Second and Third Streets. Be sure to leave enough room to participate in the Oyster Stew Cook-off and vote for your favorite stew. 

A favorite event at this festival is the Oyster Shucking Contest. Amateur and professional oyster shuckers take part in this event free of charge, The professionals, however, are participating in the North Carolina Oyster Shucking Championships and vying for the title of North Carolina Oyster Shucking Champion and a trip to the National Oyster Shucking Championship in Maryland. The winners in Maryland will go on to compete in the World Oyster Shucking Championships in Galway, Ireland.

The kids will enjoy the rides, Super Fun Slide, inflatables, face painting, airbrush tattoos and treats like ice cream and kettle corn. Arts and crafts booths will include handmade jewelry, woodcraft, painted glassware, Christmas ornaments, natural soaps, handcrafted clothing items and other items by local artists. 

Parking on the island is limited but you can catch a free shuttle from the corner of Highway 179 and Causeway Drive or from the Ocean Isle Beach Airport. There is a fee of $5 (payable at the event) for adults and children over eight years of age. Please leave your family pets at home – only service dogs are allowed on the festival grounds.