it looks like a water filled Halloween weekend is coming up. No, I’m not talking about rain. I’m talking about all the water based activities that are scheduled this coming weekend. As a result of cancellations because of the ‘no name storm’ earlier this month when we were wondering if it ever would stop raining, we can look forward to a water filled weekend this week. First of all will be the ever popular U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament. This weekend the tournament has a twist. Because the tournament now falls on Halloween, kids can participate in a Fish or Treat from 2 PM to 7 PM. The vendors at the Southport Marina will be prepared to welcome each and every costumed creature.

When we think of the US Open King Mackerel Tournament, those of us with little ones also think of Captain Charlie’s Kids Fishing Tournament. What a fun chance for kids to fish on the pier with their peers and dream of the day when they can join the adults on the boats. Those in the know will try to be among the first 100 kids to arrive and all of them will enjoy a fun experience in beautiful Southport, NC.

Halloween seems the perfect time for the Stede Bonnet Regatta with everyone decked out in pirate garb. You don’t want to miss the hijinks during this water race or the fun party time afterwards. Southport, NC will definitely be rockin’ on the water this weekend.


The history of pirates in the Cape Fear region is an interesting and exciting one. Both Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, and Stede Bonnet, gentleman pirate, plied these waters and plundered all up and down the east coast. In fact the two collaborated for a period of time. Stede Bonnet and his crew were eventually captured in the Cape Fear waters and he was hanged in Charleston, SC. Blackbeard was killed in a battle with sailors. The lives of pirates have been glamorized through the years in movies and on television, including the movies featuring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack. (Locals and some visitors know that Southport, NC has its very own Captain Jack) The pirate themed Stede Bonnet Regatta is held annually in Southport, NC at the end of October. The captains and crews of the participating boats all dress as pirates and a great pirate party is held after the event. The first weekend of August every year, pirates invade Bald Head Island, NC, for a three day event that celebrates all things pirate.


The Maritime Museum in Southport, NC gets into the act twice a year with an event for kids 7 to 10 years of age.


At the Maritime Museum in Southport, NC, you can also learn about the history of all things to do with the sea, including pirates, of course.


The N. C. Maritime Museum at Southport

The week long 4th of July Festival in Southport, NC begins today. Visitors from all over NC as well as all over the nation have begun arriving looking forward to taking part in the multifarious events. Southport is a beautiful sleepy little southern town, but don’t let that fool you. There is much to see and do in the area year round. The Maritime Museum is one venue that is open all year. You can get some information about it at this site:


The museum holds a schedule of special events for children during the summer months as well. Preregistration is required (910-457-0003) Here is some information about their Children’s Summer Series: 

July 3 & July 16 – 11AM – Noon: Squishy Fishes

Ages 4 through 6 with adult. Your kids will get messy and have fun learning about Gyotaku. They will create fish prints on textiles using flounder or sea stars.

July 8 & 22, August 5 – 8  AM – 10 AM: Kids on Deck! Aboard the Solomon T

Ages 8 to 12. Aboard a traditional NC wooden work boat and in the company of Captain Bert Felton, kids will bird watch off Battery Island, conduct scientific experiments and learn the history of the Cape Fear river.

July 9 & August 13 – 10 AM – Noon: Fish Prints

Ages 7 through 11. the kids will learn how to create fish prints using real and faux fish on paper and fabric. They will even decorate their own T-shirts.

July 10 & August 7 – 11 AM – Noon:  Little Explorers

Ages 4 through 6 with adult. You will take a walk along the Cape Fear River carrying your bucket for storing found treasures while learning about the history and natural environment of the region. There will be a story time after the walk and a time for identifying your treasures.

July 17 – 18 (two day class) – 10 AM – Noon: Colonial Days

Ages 7 through 11. Kids will meet costumed Colonial characters of the Lower Cape Fear while candle dipping, creating flags and learning about every day activities of Colonial kids. 

July 23 – 11AM – Noon: Little Pirates

Ages 4 through 6 with adult. Kids will hear a pirate’s tale, make a pirate flag and walk the plank!

July 24 – 10 AM – Noon: The Exciting Life of Sea Turtles

Ages 6 through 12. Guest instructor, Donna Micheaux, will talk about the life and life cycle of sea turtles and how you can help to protect the babies.

July 29 through August 1 – 10 AM – Noon: Pirate Boot Camp

Ages 6 through 10. find information here: 


August 6 – 10 AM – Noon: Nautical Girls: Mermaids, Sirens & Other Ladies of the Seas

Ages 6 through 10. The kids will learn about royalty and villains of the sea in mythology and literature, then create their own story of a water sprite and make a tissue mosaic.

August 14 & 15 (two day class) – 10 AM – Noon: Digging into History

Ages 7 through 11. Kids will dig for artifacts at a mock site and learn how archaeologists interpret history through found objects. They will meet real archaeologists and see artifacts from different historical time periods as well as learn subcategories of archeology.

If this information has excited a desire in you to volunteer at the museum, they will be happy hear from you. You can find some of their volunteer needs here: 





Summer Camp

School is out – or nearly so – and the kids will need something to keep them occupied. Summer camps are a great way for them to enjoy their time off from school. What the kids don’t realize is that while they are having fun at camp, they are also likely learning new skills that will keep their brains from turning to mush until the start of another year of school. Shhhh, don’t tell them. Brunswick County, NC abounds in summer camp programs, each with its own focus. There are pirate camps, horseback riding camps, ocean themed camps, farm camps and more. Check out a list of them below:

At http://southport.insiderinfo.us/kids-stuff/summer-camp/ you can find information about:

Bald Head Island Conservancy Camps:

Boiling Spring Lakes Summer Camp, Brunswick County Parks and Recreation Camps, Camp Seabreeze & Coastal Explorers at the Baptist Assembly in Caswell Beach on Oak Island, Greenlands Children’s Farm Day Camps:

Pirate Boot Camp and the Youth Sailing Program in Southport.

At http://leland.insiderinfo.us/kids-stuff/summer-camp/ you can find information about:

King Tiger Tae Kwon Do and Seidokan Karate Summer Camps, both in Leland, Summer Camp at Coastal Day School, and horseback riding camps at Wonderland Farm: 

At http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/kids-stuff/summer-camp/ you can find information about summer camps at Champion Karate Center in Shallotte.


It’s time to channel your inner pirate…

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


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/