OUTSIDE FUN

 

The weather has been extremely fickle recently and here is March – the most fickle month of the year. But I do believe we are finished with the days of extreme cold and are headed for weather suitable to spending time outdoors. I am well aware that many of today’s kids are absorbed with electronic devices, however, it really is good for them (and for us) to get them interested in enjoying the outdoors. There are so many opportunities for this in Brunswick County, NC. The first thought that comes to mind is the ocean. It is always there faithfully providing so many opportunities for enjoyment. In fact, Brunswick County, NC is filled with bodies of water in the form of lakes and rivers and streams as well as the Intracoastal Waterway. Opportunities abound for swimming, fishing, cast netting, boating, sailing, water skiing, surfing, kayaking and more.

There are wonderful parks all over the county. Some of these provide opportunities for watersports and most of them offer walking trails, hiking, horseback riding, exploring nature, having picnics, sports fields and more fun.

There are many team sports available for kids as well. These are provided by the Brunswick County Parks and Recreation Department and include football and baseball as well as tennis lessons. Team sports are also offered by individual town recreation departments. Do you have an avid swimmer in the family? Check out the Marlin’s Swim Team. Do you have a child interested in golf? Why not contact First Tee of Brunswick County?  There is so much to enjoy outdoors – get outside!

 

 

 

THE SPRING SAILING MIGRATION

Image from rudd.com (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/vacation-home-rental/oak-island/margaret-rudd-and-associates-inc-realtors/profile/)

Just as the birds migrate in the spring and the fall, so many people do the same thing – and often by boat. The Intracoastal Waterway stretches along the eastern coast of the US and offers them a much safer transport than the Atlantic Ocean. The intracoastal Waterway is what separates Oak Island and the other South Brunswick Islands from the mainland of NC. Those of us who live here are witness to these seasonal migrations along with that of the birds. I moved to Oak island more than 24 years ago and was so taken by the sight that I wrote a poem about it:

THE AWAKENING

Spring comes to the island,
not in the shape of green crocus spears
thrusting their tips through frozen ground and snow,
bursting with the energy of new life,
anxious to claim the spring.

Spring comes to the island,
not in the shape of daffodils
uncurling their golden trumpets,
playing a fanfare of beauty to usher in the season.

Spring comes to the island,
not in the shape of a robin,
it’s red waistcoat bursting with pride,
gathering twigs to build a new home
to feather its season of love and new life.

Spring comes to the island
in the color of white
shining in the sunlight,
in the shape of sails,
billowing in the March wind,
carrying the boats through the waterway
like their great white wings
carry the ibis out to sea.

Most travelers of the Intracoastal Waterway do not sail the distance without leaving their boats. Many make a road trip (or water trip) out of it and stop at interesting places along the way – sometimes staying overnight or longer. These folks take advantage of the available marinas scattered along the route. Southport has its share of these marinas. Here are a few for you to consider:

Deep Point Marina ( http://southport.insiderinfo.us/marina-boat-sales-service/marina/deep-point-marina/profile/)

South Harbour Village Marina (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/marina-boat-sales-service/marina/south-harbour-village-marina/profile/)

Southport Marina (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/marina-boat-sales-service/marina/southport-marina/profile/)

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Many years ago T. S. Eliot wrote: “April is the cruellest month” in his poem The Waste Land. He was not referring to income tax time, but for those of us who are required to pay into the IRS, he may as well have been. Luckily we live in Brunswick County, NC where there are so many interesting places and events available to us that can take our minds off of our tax troubles. Many of these events are free and those that are not usually serve worthy causes that benefit all of us. The water offers so much, be it the ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Cape Fear River, the lakes – it is all there for us to enjoy and we are blessed with the kind of weather that allows us to enjoy these things. We can walk on the beach, sit by the water and meditate, fish, go sailing, ride a ferry, swim, take out a kayak, sunbathe – whatever helps us be happy. We are also lucky in the events that are available to us to enjoy. They are as varied as the ways there are to enjoy water. Here are a few that are coming up this month.

You can take the kids or the grands to the Kids’ Art Day in Franklin Square Park:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/kids-art-day/profile/)

You can dress up (or not) and dance the night away at the Black-Tie-Optional-Gala in Southport, NC:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/black-tie-optional-gala/profile/)

You can test your endurance in the Oak Island Lighthouse 1/2 Marathon 10K/5K Run/Walk:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/oak-island-lighthouse-1-2-marathon-10k-5k-run-walk/profile/)

FEBRUARY EVENTS

Many visitors to Brunswick County, NC arrive during the summer months when they can take part in the variety of activities that are available during that time. They love the area for beaching, swimming, fishing, festivals, sailing, boating, kayaking – a plethora of outdoor activities. Those of us who live here permanently also enjoy these activities, however, we know a secret. We know that there are interesting and exciting things to do throughout the whole year. We have had a very mild winter this year – the kind we love. And even though we are experiencing some very cold nights recently, we know that will not last for long. We also know we can take part in some interesting events in spite of the cold. Here are a few that are coming up during the rest of the month.

A Perfect Knight is a mother/son event held in Boiling Spring Lakes: (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/february/a-perfect-knight/profile/)

At the Antique Appraisal Fair on 2/22 in Southport, you can find out the value of that unusual piece your family has been handing down for years:  (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/february/peo-annual-antique-appraisal-fair/profile/)

On 2/15, you can make all the necessary connections to plan your wedding at the Southern Cape Fear Bridal Expo in Southport:  (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/february/southern-cape-fear-bridal-expo/profile/)

 

NEW BEGINNINGS

A new year brings us much to think about. We need to decide to let go of those things that have not served us well in the past; to consider with what things to continue to move forward and improve; and what new things we might enjoy learning to do that will also expand our lives in some way. This is what new year resolutions are really about. Letting go is usually the most difficult decision and yet it needs to be the first step because trying to move forward with heavy baggage dragging us down is next to impossible. However, sometimes it is easier to first think about what we really want to do, which will in turn give us the impetus we need for letting go. There are numerous opportunities in Brunswick County, NC for learning new things – for turning our lives around – for learning who we are and how we can be an integral part of other lives.

A good place to start is at Brunswick Community College (http://leland.insiderinfo.us/college-university/schools/brunswick-community-college/profile/). At the college you can learn just about anything from learning to paint, to playing the guitar, to earning a GED or an associates degree, to estate planning and much more.

If you have an interest in local history, you might consider becoming a docent at the Old Brunswick Jail in Southport, NC (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/attractions/southport/old-brunswick-jail/profile/). The jail is administered under the auspices of the historical society and is a good starting place to more information.

If you have always wanted to learn to surf or to sail a boat, check out The Sail Shop on Bald Head Island, NC (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/boating-water-sports/surf-kayak/island-passage-the-sail-shop/profile/).

 

THANKFULNESS

There are many words that describe thankfulness, many ways to show thankfulness, and many things to be thankful for – especially in the NC Brunswick Islands. Water is everywhere here. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape Fear River to the Intracoastal Waterway to the many lakes – it surrounds us. It contributes to the saline scent of the maritime environment – something we miss when we travel. It provides venues for entertainment including; sailing, surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, boating, canoeing and fishing. It’s a virtual playground. It’s also exceedingly beautiful to contemplate. The towns are bird sanctuaries. We can hear the birds singing as well as the breezes singing through the trees – even with our windows closed – instead of the sound of traffic roaring past. The climate allows us to spend an inordinate amount of time outdoors walking, biking, hiking, running, on the water, by the water, on the beach, in a hammock. Even when the temperature dips, there is always the wonderful sunshine. What’s more, our towns, the county, the state have had the foresight to set aside large amounts of natural spaces for our enjoyment. Parks abound in Brunswick County, NC. Whether they are small, with a few trees and a bench or two, or hundreds of acres, they are here for our enjoyment. Here are a few for you to explore – and while you are at it, remember to be thankful for the air you breathe; for the fact that you woke up this morning; for your legs that allow you to walk; for your eyes that allow you to take in the beauty around you; for your lungs that allow you to breathe; for smiles and hugs and even for setbacks that eventually lead you to better things.

Brunswick Nature Park (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/sports-fitness-parks/parks/brunswick-nature-park/profile/)

Waccamaw Park (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/sports-fitness-parks/parks/waccamaw-park/profile/)

Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve (http://leland.insiderinfo.us/sports-fitness-parks/parks/ev-henwood-nature-preserve/profile/)

Water, Water Everywhere

The eastern boundaries of Brunswick County, NC are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the interior is rife with lakes and rivers making it the perfect place to spend time on, in and under the water. Whether you prefer boating, swimming, scuba diving, surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, fishing – whatever your idea of fun and relaxation, you can do it here. Here are just a few ideas:

Don’t miss the Brunswick Waterfest in Leland, NC today! (http://leland.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/june/brunswick-waterfest/profile/)

At this festival you can participate in events or enjoy fun for the whole family.

Perhaps you want to dive and explore sunken ships. (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/boating-water-sports/scuba-dive-snorkel/scuba-south-diving-company/profile/)

Scuba South schedules regular diving trips and you can go, too!

If Paddle Surfing is your passion, check out Coastal Urge on Bald Head Island. (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/boating-water-sports/paddle-surf/coastal-urge/profile/)

You will find everything you need to indulge your passion here.