Two Art Shows at DCAC Worth Checking Out

Frank Stick and COA Highlight DCAC Month
Eure Best in Show: Mike Bennett “Savannah” (oil on canvas)
Frank Stick Memorial Art Show Eure Best in Show: Mike Bennett “Savannah” (oil on canvas)

There’s a couple of events that are happening at the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) in Manteo in February and they’re really worth checking out.

First up, and it’s already in progress is the 40th Annual Frank Stick Memorial Art Show. The opening reception was last Saturday at the DCAC Gallery which is the old Dare County Courthouse.

The Frank Stick Art Show is open to anyone who is a member of the DCAC, meaning there is no preselection before the show.. Anyone can enter, and for a lot of young artists, it’s a great opportunity to get a sense of what is involved in a professional presentation.

The quality of the art is excellent and the themes addressed all encompassing.

Until recently the show was at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery in Nags Head. Glenn and Pat Eure are getting a little older and the display area at the DCAC Gallery is larger allowing for a little better showing of the art.

The other show that’s worth checking out will be opening this Friday in the vault at the Gallery. Keeping in mind that at one time the DCAC building was a courthouse, the vault was a gigantic safe where the most valuable evidence and records were kept.

Now it is the home to the monthly featured show, and during February it’s COA’s Jewelry Student & Alumni Exhibit.

The exhibit is always an outstanding demonstration of creativity and craft. The exhibit gives COA students a chance to show what they are doing with their art and to get the feedback so necessary to become successful in their field.

Both shows will run throughout the month. The Frank Stick Memorial Art Show ends February 24. The Jewelry Exhibit will be on display until February 28.

Pamlico Shipwreck Mystery Moves Closer to Being Solved

An image of the Pappy's Lane shipwreck during WWII.
An image of the Pappy’s Lane shipwreck during WWII.
Pappy’s Lane Shipwreck Yields Clues to Marine ARCHAEOLOGIST

For almost 50 years the shipwreck off Pappy’s Lane in Rodanthe has been turning to rust.

A forlorn, forgotten husk there was little to suggest it was ever anything other than some rusted barge that had grounded and wasn’t worth the effort to refloat.

Clearly visible from the shoreline, the shipwreck first caught Coastal Studies Institute Marine Archeologist Nathan Richards’ attention in 2010, but with no funds to really study it he had to wait.

When NCDOT presented their route for the Jug Handle to bypass the S Curves north of Rodanthe, the archeological survey team advising the transportation department felt the wreck might have some significance.

The state asked Richards to investigate and what he and his team of interns and graduates students discovered is an amazing story that begins in WWII.

Needing a landing craft that could transport up to a company of soldier at a time, the US government in WWII designed the Landing Craft Infantry Mark 3-LCI (L)(3). The extra L is for large.

The ship performed as hoped, except it was not well armed and without close arm support when troops went ashore, they were being slaughtered—that was especially the case at Tarawa—one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific campaign.

To remedy that, some of the LCI being built were converted to gunboats—LCS Gunboat. According to reports, the LCS Gunboat was the most heavily armed ship by size and weight in WWII.

Although it has not yet been confirmed, circumstantial evidence seems to point to the wreck being a LCS Gunboat and according to Dr. Richards at a CSI Science on the Sound lecture on Thursday night, the ship seems to be the USS LCS (L)(3)-123.

At the time it ran aground and was abandoned, probably in 1969, the ship was long past it’s glory days and had been converted to a fuel transport ship along the Inner Coastal waterway.

It has not yet been confirmed, but anecdotal evidence suggests it was used to pull two other ships to open water that had run aground but in the effort ran aground itself and was unable to refloat.

Coastal Studies Institute Looks at Pamlico Sound Shipwreck

Restored landing craft (LC) at a California museum.
Restored landing craft (LC) at a California museum.
Science on the Sound Looks at Pappy’s Lane Shipwreck

From a shipwreck and marine archeology to harnessing the energy of the Gulf Stream, Coastal Studies Institute on Roanoke Island is does very interesting work.

That’s why their Science on the Sound series always seems to be so interesting. And the lecture coming up this Thursday, January 25 falls into that “interesting” category.

On the north end of Rodanthe, in the shallow waters of Pamlico Sound there has been a deteriorating wreck for a number of years. Named for the road the is closest to it, the Pappy’s Lane Shipwreck has attracted the attention of CSI’s Dr. Nathan Richards and his intern team of marine archeologists.

The upcoming Science on the Sound will feature what has been discovered about the shipwreck.

Some things we do know. The ship probably sank sometime in the 1960s. It’s most likely use at that time was to tow barges filled with rock and ballast for the construction of NC12.

The team has identified the remains as a WWII landing craft; its designation LC stood for Landing Craft, but there were a number of varieties of the craft. LCI was Landing Craft Infantry able to land 200 men at a time. The LCS was used in support. There was also used as a weapon platform at times.

After the war there was little use for the ships and they were often sold off as surplus, the most likely fate of the Pappy’s Lane ship. Substantially deteriorated, there is no hope of salvaging the wreck.

The investigation of the wreck has been funded by NCDOT. Construction is about to begin on the Jug Handle bypass to the S Curves north of Rodanthe. The Jug Handle will swing into Pamlico Sound and reconnect with NC12 very close to Pappy’s Lane. The shipwreck is in the proposed route of the road.

Second Winter Snowstorm Blankets Outer Banks

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island after latest snowstorm. Photo, National Weather Service
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island after latest snowstorm. Photo, National Weather Service
Second Snowstorm in 2 Weeks Dumps Heavy Amounts of Snow

It’s official—the Outer Banks got more snow than any other place in North Carolina from our latest snowstorm.

Snow is an infrequent visitor to the Outer Banks, and to have two heavy snowfalls within two weeks of one another is just about unheard of.

This last snowstorm, though…it was a heck of a storm. ‘This band of snow will remain nearly stationary over the next couple hours,” the National Weather Service reported.

And Wow (!) did it dump some snow.

We’ve taken a look at the National Weather Service snowfall amounts for the region and nothing comes even close to the 9.9” reported at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo. Except the 9.5” in Southern Shores…or the 7.5” in Nags Head.

Unlike the previous storm, though, there was no bitter cold with the snow. The roads, although not perfect, were not nearly as treacherous as they were during the previous storm where daytime temperatures never got above freezing for five days.

The weather is warming nicely now, and within another day or so, there will be much of anything left. We’re getting back to normal now. The extended forecast is calling for daytime temperatures in the mid 50s and nothing below freezing for at least another week.

National Weather Service Reporting Stations Snowfall Amounts January 17-18

         Location                                   Amount              Provider

2 NW Roanoke Island Festival        9.9 in    0741 AM 01/18   Public               

2 SE Southern Shores                        9.5 in    0700 AM 01/18   Public               

2 SSE Southern Shores                     9.0 in    0747 AM 01/18   Public               

1 SE Southern Shores                        7.5 in    0915 AM 01/18   Emergency Mngr       

1 WNW Roanoke Island Festival    7.5 in    0416 AM 01/18   Public               

1 NNW Nags Head                             7.5 in    0705 AM 01/18   COCORAHS             

1 SSE Wright Brothers Nation        7.0 in    0901 AM 01/18   Public               


After Dark at All Saints-A Sure Cure for Winter Blues

Creating a stained glass sailboat at After Dark at All Saints.
Creating a stained glass sailboat at After Dark at All Saints.

The wind is blowing cold from the north on the Outer Banks, the days are shorter, but with After Dark at All Saints there is plenty to do in the upcoming weeks.

A wonderful community service from All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores, After Dark is a one month plus celebration of the joy of learning. Not the learning in dry textbooks from school days. No this is the real stuff, the things people really care about.

A Small Sample of Classes

Want to know how to create stained glass? There are two classes offered.

Curious about beekeeping? There’s a class. And a class on the history of beer, surf fishing, yoga, mahjong. With almost 90 classes scheduled between the end of January and the first week of March there are plenty of choices.

After Dark began as a community outreach effort n 2010. A few years earlier an annex had been added and church members felt it needed to highlight the congregation’s commitment to the community.

That first year there were 32 classes. That quickly doubled and in 2018 it has almost tripled.

What is perhaps most remarkable is the fees collected from the classes have all gone to Outer Banks organizations—fulfilling the original vision off giving back to the community.

Generally the class size is limited to 20, and unfortunately the more popular classes fill up very quickly. Some of the cooking classes are already filled, but there are still some great opportunities learn a skill or gain some knowledge.

All Saints Episcopal Church Registration Information.

Each class registration costs $23 per student.  For young people under 18, the cost is $12 per student.  Some classes may have additional, per-student fees to cover necessary supplies.  All class details are listed on this site.  No refunds will be offered unless the class is canceled by the instructor. 

Registration Now in Progress

8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday – Friday

Call – 252-261–6674 

or come to the All Saints Church Office at 40 Pintail Trail

Southern Shores, NC  27949


A New Standard for Bryan Cultural Series on the Outer Banks

Pianist Matthew Van Hoose in performance a Bryan Cultural Series performance at All Saints Episcopal Church.
Pianist Matthew Van Hoose in performance a Bryan Cultural Series performance at All Saints Episcopal Church.
Pianist Matthew Van Hoose Brilliant

The Bryan Cultural Series has been bringing some extraordinary artists to the Outer Banks for the past six years. With pianist Matthew Van Hoose they seem to have raised the bar to a whole new level Thursday night.-

Playing at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores, Van Hoose played qa beautiful, remarkable tribute to Beethoven and Chopin.

Beginning with Beethoven’s Sonata in F minor Op. 57 the Appassionata or Passion sonata, the complex and textured world of the master’s composition came to life.

Beethoven is often described as mercurial man given to extremes of emotion. Passionate and unpredictable, the  Appassionata seems a reflection of the man.

It is beautiful music, and as Van Hoose’s fingers flew across the keyboard, the composition came to life.

The Beethoven sonata was followed by a selection of Chopin nocturnes and his Barcarolle in F-sharp major, Op. 60.

The nocturnes are what Chopin is undoubtedly best known for—and they were everything anyone could expect from him…and played to perfection.

But the Barcorelle, patterned after the songs of Venetian gondoliers was a revelation for many in the audience.

A beautiful melody seemed to emerge from time to time from intricate chords of the piece, almost like a gondolier, singing to the night, emerging from beneath one of the many bridges of Venice.

The Bryan Cultural Series brings a variety of events to the Outer Banks, including lectures, musicians, the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Company and—next on tap—the Elbert Watson Dance Ensemble on Sunday, March 25 at First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills.

Currently living in Norfolk, Watson has toured the world as principal dancer with a number of dance companies and he continues to work with a number of dance companies as a choreographer. His style is a combination of ballet and modern dance.

Back to Normal on Outer Banks as Frigid Temperatures Retreat

Ducks, geese and sea birds at Kitty Hawk Bay escaping the north wind.
Ducks, geese and sea birds at Kitty Hawk Bay escaping the north wind.

With temperatures finally climbing above freezing it looks as though Snowmageddon is finally coming to an end on the Outer Banks.

Effects of Cold Temperatures and Heavy Snowfall

Not completely back to normal yet. Dare County Schools will be closed on Monday—that’s three snow days in a row. But county roads are still not completely cleared and the decision is a good one.

The main roads are cleared—and NCDOT, after what many considered a slow start, did put a number of plows on the roads to get them cleared. The problem is the secondary roads still have a lot of packed ice on them, and it’s doubtful if that will melt before noon tomorrow.

The kids are all celebrating, of course, but all that time will have to be made up at some point.

The snow certainly snarled things, but what really set this particular event apart from other was the extreme cold. We had four days in a row where daytime temperatures didn’t even come close to reaching the freezing mark.

Admittedly for someone living in Chicago or Bangor, Maine, that may not seem so odd, but here by the Atlantic Ocean, 250 miles or so south of the Mason Dixon Line, it’s not so common.

The storm also brought some very strong winds with it. At 2:20 a.m. Thursday morning Jennette’s Pier recorded a 74 mph gust with sustained winds of 63 mph. The measurements are taken on the pier itself, so winds on land are not quite as strong, but things were pretty lively for a while there including a thunder snowstorm.

The sounds are solid ice about 150 to 200 yards offshore, depending on where the winds are located. Kitty Hawk Bay, which is sheltered from the north winds, has more ice on it than areas where the waters are churned up by the winds.

Kitty Hawk Bay, though, is also where the ducks, geese and shorebirds have fled for protection.

The forecast for the next few days calls for moderating temperatures, and even a few above normal. We’ll take that and be ready for the next snow…just in case there is one.

Winter Storm Paints Outer Banks White

SnowStorm Transforms the Look of Outer Banks
Beach scene in Kitty Hawk after January snowstorm.
Beach scene in Kitty Hawk after January snowstorm.

The year 2018 has certainly come in like a lion. The winter storm that brushed the Outer Banks gave us a good shot of snow and has left some frigid temperatures in its wake.

And it looks as though we’re going to be in the deep freeze for at least the next three days.

Compared to other areas, there really isn’t all that much to complain about. Official snowfall figures are tough to come by for many of the Outer Banks towns but using the snow piled on top of the car measure 5” seems about right.

Farther north, in Corolla, there’s no doubt more snow fell, but we haven’t had a chance to check that out for ourselves yet. The roads have been covered in snow and ice all day. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get a look.

As the precipitation changed from rain to snow we did have some lightning, but that was about three or four in the morning so a lot of us slept through it.

The Outer Banks is transformed after a snow storm like what we just experienced. The snow seems to creep down the dune, thinning out as it gets closer to the beach and the salt spray of the waves.

With a north wind howling, seabirds and waterfowl shelter on the sound side, and looking out at sheltered waters like Kitty Hawk Bay there are 100s if not 1000s of various birds floating in the waters or perched on ice floes.

The look of the trees is perhaps the most startling change in appearance. Laden with snow, the trees and tree limbs have a graceful bend to them.Holly trees seem like something from a Christmas card, the berries intense red nestled among the green of the leaves and white of the snow

There won’t be much melting until Monday, so there’s still some time to enjoy a rare—if very cold—treat on the Outer Banks.

A Great Celebration to 2018 on a OBX Night

Queen Elizabeth II lit up to welcome in the New Year at the Manteo New Year's Eve celebration.
Queen Elizabeth II lit up to welcome in the New Year at the Manteo New Year’s Eve celebration.
Frigid Temperatures but Great Welcome to 2018

As the first ever New Year’s Eve Celebration on the Manteo waterfront proved, you can plan for everything but the weather. And wow did the weather throw us a curve last night.

It’s not as though the Outer Banks wasn’t in the same deep freeze the rest of the East Coast was experiencing, but this was the first time anything like this had been tried in Manteo.

Cory Hemilright, who has been bringing the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival to Roanoke Island Festival Park for the past few years and Todd Clissold, owner of Poor Richard’s, got together with the town and came up with a great plan.

There was live music—and Sassagrass and the Original Rhondels were excellent. Street vendors were read to go with hot soup, pizza and dinners. There was even an 8:30 ball drop so kids would have a chance to countdown to the New Year.

And it all went of without a hitch.

Except for the 26 degree temperatures, wind from the north at 16 mph and the wind chill approaching 11 degrees. Oh, and did we mention the snow flurries. It was cold…brutally cold.

But kudos to everyone involved and the small crowd that did make it out.

Yes it was very cold, but two roaring fires helped. A local church was there with hot chocolate. They were also selling cold drinks but that just seemed like it would piling in temperatures like we experienced last night.

A couple of businesses did stay open.

Poor Richards was doing a booming business. And on the corer of Budleigh and Queen Elizabeth Island Perks was so busy they finally ran out of milk for hot chocolate and lattes.

Cold or not, it was a great evening and a wonderful way to welcome in the New Year, and we hope this will be the first of many more New Year’s Eve celebrations on the Manteo waterfront.