Cape Fear Living Magazine Spring 2019

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Spring 2019

T ide able toT Connecting Cape Fear Cultures




Beck Fine Art presenting n at i o n a l ly of

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910.264.2392 | | 545 Castle street | wilmington, nc 28401

" Dr eamer " oil , 14 " x 11" - Da n Beck

" Mo or ed i n S out h p ort " acry lic, 8" x 10" - John Poon

"San d Blast" oil, 1 4" x 1 1 " - John Cook

"Drawn Like a Moth" oil, 1 6" x 20" - Bryce Cameron Liston

" You ng Dr ea ms " oil , 18" x 18" - E. Melinda Morrison

"Concealed within the Dark" oil, 1 0" x 1 0 " - Nura Mascarenas

" Cy bele " oil, 1 6" x 20" - Kevin Beilfuss

" C ol or Note s " oil , 2 0" x 2 0" - Louis Es cobedo

"Summer Sightseers" oil, 1 6"x 1 6" - Kim Engli sh

f eatur es // Spring 2019

4 3 Tide to Table

de pa rtmen t s // History & Legend 7


The flag that killed lincoln


Soul & Sound: exploring our waterways

Arts & Entertainment


taking the leap: at skydiving coastal carolinas

style + soul

Health & Wellness 54 57

mindfulness Health, Happiness + Inner-Harmony on the Coast

Home & Garden 20 26


the wilmington jewish film festival

Fashion & Beauty 18

travel & adventure

Southern plantation living Redefining waterfront living


From the community Saving coral reefs worldwide


Food & Drink 28

Craft beer in the port city


Sustaining momentum



tide to table

ca pe f ear l i vi n g / Spri ng 2019



writers & photographers

spring 2019

Publisher Leping Beck Erin Falls Dietitian and yoga Teacher in Charlotte, NC. Passionate about helping others discover their healthiest, best life, empowering clients to discover a balanced lifestyle that is flexible, fun and rewarding.

Shea Huse Boater, island hopper, and sun lover. Always exploring with husband and dog or advising biology and marine biology students at UNCW. Editor Colleen Thompson Editorial Assistant Sara Beck Graphic Design Samantha Lowe

Craven Inions Life-long surfer, cooking cosmonaut, and news junkie.

Naari Honor Avid vinyl collector, appreciator of the obscure, loves all things Poe and binge watches Star Trek reruns on the weekends. Enjoys discovering the hidden gems in Wilmington and eating insane amounts of seafood.

Director of Marketing Elizabeth Barrett Wiles contributing writers Erin Falls · Craven Inions · Naari Honor · Shea Huse Michael Raab · Hayley Swinson · Colleen Thompson Elizabeth Barrett Wiles · Terah Wilson

contributing photographers Amber Godwin · Jack Brandon Media · Jaclyn Morgan Gray Wells · Terah Wilson Michael Raab Dog-lover, photographer, documentarian, and musician. Finds interesting stories wherever he looks. Avid rock ‘n’ roll listener.

Terah Wilson Casual gardener, whiskey dilettante, and realtor. Always trying new things and looking for adventure.

for event submissions: published by Live Local 360 LLC

Terah Wilson Enjoys taking the scenic route and drinks way too much coffee. Has a deep appreciation for all-things vintage; spends Wednesday nights singing karaoke and loves a good glass of Prosecco.

All contents in this publication are the property of Incline Production Solutions Inc. Reproduction or use of the contents in this magazine without authorization by Incline Production Solutions Inc. is prohibited. Incline Production Solutions Inc. takes every effort to provide correct and accurate information that is published in this magazine. Incline Production Solutions Inc. accepts no liability on behalf of contributing parties for any inaccuracies or copyright infringement. Incline Production Solutions Inc. also cannot be held responsible for any services or claims provided by our advertisers. Cape Fear Living Magazine is designed as an art, culture, and community resource. Our staff loves to hear from our readers. Contact us at

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Written By: Michael Raab

I t wa s e ar ly 1 8 6 5 — t h e f i n al day s o f t h e C i v i l War . U n i o n f o r c e s w e r e p u m m e l i n g F o r t A n d e r s o n, a C o n f e d e r at e p o r t o n t h e C ap e F e ar Ri v e r i n c oa s tal N o r t h C ar o l i n a . W h e n C o n f e d e r at e t r o o p s w e r e ov e rw h e l m e d by s u p e r i o r f o r c e s an d b e g an r e t r e at i n g , a C o n f e d e r at e f l a g f e l l o f f t h e b a c k o f a s u p p ly wa g o n a s t h e y ab an d o n e d F o r t A n d e r s o n. Li t t l e d i d an yo n e k n ow t h at t h i s s e e m i n g ly i n s i g n i f ic an t f l a g l e f t b e h i n d i n t h e h e at o f r e t r e at w o u l d alt e r t h e c o u r s e o f Am e r ic an h i s t o ry.


In 1865 the flag was taken to the Indiana State Museum and remained there for nearly a century until it was released in 1962 to a private collector. Later, in 1995, Civil War historian author and local Cape Fear resident Chris Fonvielle came across the flag at a relics show in Richmond, Virginia. “It was the authentic Fort Anderson flag” he recalls. “I had randomly come across the historical grail that would become the centerpiece of our museum.” Fonvielle, a professor at UNCW, said the asking price at that time was $15,000. Purchase money was not available, and the flag fell into the hands of another private buyer.


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The flag was found by a Union soldier of the 140th Indiana Volunteer Infantry and turned over to his commander, Colonel Thomas J. Brady, who transported it to Washington D.C. The troops had planned to present the fallen flag to Oliver Morton, the Governor of Indiana, on the steps of the National Hotel— in a cosmic twist of fate, John Wilkes Booth was staying in the National Hotel at the very same time. For over a year, Booth had been working on plans to kidnap Lincoln, spirit him to Richmond, and use him as ransom in a trade for captured Confederate soldiers. Booth, an actor who occasionally performed at the Ford Theater and picked up his mail there, ran into theatre owner John Ford on the morning of March 17, 1865 and learned Lincoln would be appearing that afternoon at the Campbell General Hospital to visit wounded soldiers. It seemed to be the perfect opportunity for Booth and his group to kidnap the President, the plan being to subdue the driver of Lincoln’s carriage, have co-conspirator John Surratt take control and race for the city limits. Lincoln, however, bypassed the hospital visit at the last minute and instead went to the downtown presentation of the Confederate flag to Governor Morton. Booth arrived at the National Hotel to find Lincoln giving a speech to the assembled crowd. For the first time, Lincoln publicly expressed his support for black suffrage. Booth, a white supremacist and Confederate activist, was so incensed by the speech he vowed “that is the last speech he will make.” His plans for kidnapping Lincoln had turned into plans for assassination. On April 9, 1865, the Civil War officially ended when Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Army General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. Five days later, lifted by the news of the war being over, President Lincoln and the First Lady took a carriage ride to

the Washington Navy Yard and visited with officers and sailors aboard the U.S.S.Montauk. Later they planned to attend Ford’s Theater for an evening viewing of the British play, “Our American Cousin.” It was at this show that John Wilkes Booth pulled out a Derringer pistol and shot Lincoln. Another twist of fate still lay in store for the Fort Anderson flag. In 1865 it was taken to the Indiana State Museum and remained there for nearly a century until it was released in 1962 to a private collector. Later, in 1995, Civil War historian author and local Cape Fear resident Chris Fonvielle came across the flag at a relics show in Richmond, Virginia. “It was the authentic Fort Anderson flag” he recalls. “I had randomly come across the historical grail that would become the centerpiece of our museum.” Fonvielle, a professor at UNCW, said the asking price at that time was $15,000. Purchase money was not available, and the flag fell into the hands of another private buyer. In 2004 the Fort Anderson flag came back onto the market, this time via a collector through The Horse Soldier, a Civil War themed antique shop in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The price had now been escalated to $40,000, but it wasn’t going to slip away a second time... A group called the Friends of Brunswick Town came together and set out to raise necessary funds. From businesses to school children, civic groups to individuals, the donations came pouring in. Through an agreement with the seller, the Friends had until mid-summer to raise the funds. On June 27, 2005, the Friends of Brunswick Town finally purchased the flag and turned it over to North Carolina Historic Sites to be placed in the Fort Anderson/Brunswick Town Museum in Winnabow. After a journey of 140 years, the Fort Anderson flag—the same flag that killed Lincoln—is back home where it belongs ¶

M ichael R aab is a m u sician , p h o t o gra p her , a u th o r an d d o c u mentarian . T he 7 + min u te v i d e o o f “ T he F lag T hat K ille d L inc o ln ” can be seen at www.y o u t u be . c o m / watch ? v = -tc H e 4 Q l 4 S 4 & feat u re = y o u t u . be

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a r t s & e n t e r ta i n m e n t

T he

J ewish


W il m ington

F il m

F esti v al

In a city already brimming with culture and the arts, the 6th annual Wilmington Jewish Film Festival is a standout cultural success story.

Since its inception, the Wilmington Jewish Film Festival has played in Thalian Hall’s main stage, one of Wilmington’s most beautiful and historic buildings. The organization operates with around 50 volunteers working year round to plan the annual spring festival, summer series and other special events. Debbie Smith is going into her third year as president and festival chair and has seen the attendance and interest in the festival increase over the years. "It is an honor and privilege to represent the Wilmington Jewish Film Festival. Not only do we have the opportunity to bring our Jewish community together through our events, but we reach out to the non-Jewish community as well,” Smith says. “I feel strongly that the best way for people to get along is to have an understanding of and appreciation for other cultures. Through the medium of film we hope to educate and share our Jewish history and culture with the wider regional community." Each year the festival includes features, shorts and occasionally speakers accompanying the films. Three years ago a summer festival was added, and last November the Wilmington Jewish Film brought the North Carolina premiere of Who Will Write Our History to the festival as a special event. The festival got its start when Beverly Schoninger moved here from Denver, where the metropolitan area has a population approaching three million and like many American cities, has a Jewish film festival. Beverly thought it would be terrific if her new hometown of Wilmington had such a festival. She was referred to Bucky Stein and Frank Block who were both involved with the United Jewish Appeal of Wilmington. Stein is a well-known benefactor to the Wilmington community; one of his contributions is the Ruth and Bucky Stein Theatre in Thalian Hall. They were able to get seed money from the UJAW to begin the festival. Peggy Pancoe Rosoff


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joined Beverly as co-chair to work on publicizing the festival, and with that it was brought into being. “Our mission is to show film of Jewish content as a benefit to our non-Jewish attendees to have a better understanding of Jewish culture,” Stein says. “We look at the storyline, we look at the cinematography, we look at the acting… we like to look at every facet of it, so the quality of the movie is very important to us.” The festival celebrates Wilmington’s vibrant Jewish community and with that our region’s diversity. Each year’s festival offers a variety of features from the U.S. and other countries. Internationally acclaimed films from France, Israel, Poland and more offer viewers the best of Jewish filmic creativity. Ruth Ravitz Smith, a member of the board, sees the festival as a way to educate the community on the Jewish culture. “I grew up in New York, and everybody knew each other’s religion and we all shared in each other’s,” Ravitz Smith says. “As I became an adult and moved to Wilmington, religion has been a very important component of our community here. I think a lot of people never knew people who were Jewish growing up, and they didn’t necessarily know our history, our culture, our food, our traditions.” One of the festival’s goals this year is to increase both the number and the diversity of people attending. “I do foresee this continuing to grow and expand,” Ravitz Smith adds. “This is a community that is very tied to the cultural arts… we are a film town, and this just reinforces a whole other segment of the film industry that people wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.” From a base of Jewish themes both historic and modern, dramas, documentaries and lighter films are brought together, making the festival a colorful experience. The emphasis is on both variety and excellence so the whole festival is rewarding and each individual film

is an experience of its own. And for those who remember an oft-seen TV ad of yesteryear, we can say, “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Jewish film.” The festival is meant for everyone. The Jewish experience is in many ways universal human experience seen through a particular lens. Everyone is invited to enjoy! Some of the most fun and unusual features of the Jewish Film Festival are the dinner and dessert receptions which follow the films. It’s a place to meet old friends, make new ones, snack on delicious treats and in general just schmooze (Yiddish for relax and socialize). As part of the festival’s mission to serve and culturally enrich the greater Wilmington community, the festival has added educational daytime screenings of an age and theme-appropriate film for all New Hanover County 10th grade public school students, including transportation to Thalian Hall as an enhancement to their curriculum on the Holocaust.

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a r t s & e n t e r ta i n m e n t

The festival inspires devotion among those who participate. Along with the many new people who have joined the expanding and thriving project, the original founders are still active and vital members. Bucky Stein had a high-profile role from the beginning, overseeing the selection of the films. Three years ago he turned that leadership over to newcomers Barry Salwen and Mimi Kessler, but Bucky remains active in film work and is a generous donor to the festival. The past few years have included a dinner catered by Peño Mediterranean Grill along with the opening day feature film. The owner, Jamal Haddad, is of Lebanese and Palestinian descent. This crosscultural relationship further enhances the Wilmington Jewish Film Festival’s mission of promoting cultural diversity through higher visibility in Wilmington. This year’s Festival includes seven feature films and opens on Sunday, April 28th at 3:00 p.m. with the Film The Last Suit followed by a dinner catered by Peño Mediterranean Grill. The main character of the film is Abraham, an 88 year old Jewish tailor who travels from Buenos Aires to Poland to locate a friend who saved him from certain death at the end of World War II. After seven decades without any contact, Abraham will attempt to keep his promise to return to Poland one day. The Israeli comedy Hill Start is the second film showing on Monday, April 29th at 7:00 p.m. In this comic drama, Ora is in a coma as the result of a car accident. As her children and other family members try to help her regain consciousness, the viewer meets plastic surgeons, a wheelchair-bound marathon coach, a tough private investigator, a yoga instructor, a sensitive belly dancer and a big star in the Arab cinema. Rounding out the first week’s line up is Numbered, a collage of narratives and photographs of Auschwitz survivors who were tattooed with numbers in the camp. The significance of these numbers to the survivors and their families leads to painful yet ultimately


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uplifting stories of thriving lives. This film will be presented on Wednesday, May 1st at 7:00 p.m. and include some selected shorts. The second week of this year’s festival kicks off with the family friendly film Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel on Sunday afternoon, May 5th at 2:00 p.m. and includes a Kona Ice reception after the film. A story of sports and patriotism, this film tells the tale of Israel's national baseball team competing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic. Helped along by the “Mensch on the Bench,” the team discovers pride in representing Israel on the international stage. The same evening at 7:00 p.m. the film Golda’s Balcony will be shown. Actress Tovah Feldshuh gives a riveting performance as Golda Meir, portraying her life and her leadership of Israel during the fateful days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Golda’s Balcony is the longest running one-woman show in Broadway history come to filmit is not to be missed! Promise at Dawn will be featured on Monday, April 6th at 7:00 p.m. Follow the true story of French author Romain Gary as he recounts his life in this richly colorful tapestry of poetry and adventure under the influence of a very strong Jewish mother. From his youth in Poland to fighting for France in World War IIl, this life story leads to a quiet and memorable ending. The final feature film for this year’s spring festival, 93Queen, is showing on Wednesday, May 8th at 7:00 p.m. Tenacious ultra-Orthodox women challenge the status quo of their patriarchal community to create New York’s first all-female ambulance corps, resulting in an ideological tug of war with the observant men in their Borough Park enclave in this rousing story of female empowerment and cultural disruption. ¶

Visit the Wilmington Jewish Film Festival’s website at for more information, to purchase tickets or an All Festival Pass.

ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


fa s h i o n & b e au ty

Sty le+ 14

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So ul ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


fa s h i o n & b e au ty


If you had asked Amber Godwin 10 years ago what the next decade would bring her, the prediction would have been a bit off. Through some heartache and some faith, she has launched, set and anchored down in her unique—and beautiful—new venture. Anchor Beads seems like an appropriate name for a line of jewelry available to patrons throughout the Cape Fear and beyond. With its blue and green sea glass accents, intricate tribal patterns and classy-casual design, the jewelry is a perfect match for people of all ages and from all regions. It’s funky, yet elegant. It’s gracefully designed but also downright cool. The “anchor” in the name, however, is not a result of an attempt to market to a coastal, boat-loving audience. Anchor Beads’ owner, Amber Godwin, holds the word, the image and the significance of the word much closer to her soul than your local captain. In May 2014, Amber’s daughter Georgia was diagnosed with Leukemia. Amber was working in accounting at the time, sitting behind a desk day after day for a total of 13 years; a situation of which she was not exactly fond, especially given the added stress of having an ill child. A craftswoman by nature, Amber has an eye for all things bright and beautiful. The interest, however, stemmed from Georgia’s grandmother—Amber’s mother—who would find that jewelry-making was a project that was the highlight of her granddaughter’s frequent visits to her home. “My mom just kept buying little beads at Michaels, and Georgia would go over to their house and they would make jewelry,” Amber said. “She was so excited about it… they had so much fun, and I wanted to make necklaces, too. Georgia loved it so much, so I said let’s do that.” In the summer of 2015, Amber and Georgia began making jewelry more often as a fun activity to engage in together and a distraction from the situation at hand. But what she anticipated to be simply an amusing mother-daughter recreation turned into something far more. Georgia was hospitalized in the PICU in late 2015 and diagnosed


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with a rare and aggressive secondary HLH Syndrome. This jewelry-making pastime between the two now became Amber’s therapy while Georgia was on life support. Whether it was a healthcare professional at the hospital, a friend, a family member or someone who had heard about her wearable art around town, people took notice of the products of her “therapy” and wanted to don the items themselves; perhaps due to a combination of support for Georgia and the Godwin family and the obvious appeal of the beautiful work Amber was creating to aid her heart and soul. In turn, Amber began slowly selling her necklaces and donating a portion of her earnings to childhood cancer research. Georgia Grace Godwin died at the age of seven on December 10, 2015. Years later, Amber—and now her team—continue to honor Georgia’s life by creating their jewelry to help raise money for childhood cancer, with 10% of their proceeds going to the cause in her memory. The name "Anchor Beads" was derived from the verse the Godwin’s have read, spoken and engrained in their minds since Georgia’s Leukemia diagnosis. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure

Amber Godwin founder of Anchor Beads.

and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:19) Following Georgia’s death, the Godwin’s set up a nonprofit: Team Georgia, Inc. They hold a fundraiser each September called the “Anchor Run” and give the proceeds to the four local charities that were important to them during their journey with Georgia’s leukemia diagnosis. These charities include Riley’s Army, Beau’s Buddies Foundation, Ronald McDonald of Eastern North Carolina and the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital. Since 2016, they have donated just under $100,000 to these organizations. “This is a way to keep her alive in my heart and share her with others,” Amber says. “When people buy the jewelry, they can message me through my website, and they tell me that they are battling cancer or that they have a friend who has a child that was just diagnosed.” For Amber, this undertaking continues to be her therapy. A conveniently prosperous therapy. “Some people just love the jewelry itself, some people shop with meaning… you’ve got it all,” Amber adds. “It’s a full-time job, but it’s still fun.”

The Anchor Bead family is just that: a family. Amber works alongside her best friend and two other associates who have been by her side for three years. They design and make the jewelry together with Amber continuing to run the show. “It has been an awesome experience,” Amber says. “It has turned something awful into something good for me.” Amber and her husband now have seven-year-old and 22-monthold daughters. “Georgia will never escape our minds… we talk about her all the time,” Amber says. “We have such a firm faith in God, and we know where Georgia is, and that is our comfort. We know we will see her again someday.” Georgia’s heart of gold, sweetness, angelic nature, gentleness and special soul is reflected in the jewelry that is now made in her remembrance. Anchor Beads is available at shops throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Amber has even been shipping internationally of late— most recently as far as Australia. Jewelry is also available conveniently through the Anchor Beads website at ¶ ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


fa s h i o n & b e au ty

Amber Godwin

To donate to childhood cancer research, visit: St. Baldrick’s Foundation Reelin For Research

To purchase Anchor Beads locally: Monkee’s

1900 Eastwood Rd. #22 Wilmington, NC 28403 910.256.5886

Sandy Toes Boutique 206 N Topsail Dr D Surf City, NC 28445 910.541.2091


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P l a n tat i o n


W ith

Written By: Elizabeth Barret t Wiles


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C oastal


S t y le

Photography by: Gray Well s & Jack Brandon Media


T h e T o w n o f S t . J a m e s — also known as S t . J a m es P l a n t a t i o n — i s l o c a t e d along the so u theaste r n coast of N o r th C a r olina , j u st a few m iles f r o m S o u t h p o r t a n d a b o u t 3 0 m iles f r o m W il m ington . N estled in one of the f a st e st - g r o w i n g c o u n t i e s in the United S tates , this co m m u nit y feat u r es u n i q u e , s o u t h e a st e r n st y le ho m es . H e r e ’ s a p eek at one of the finest on the m a r ket .

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home & garden

With its southern-style exterior and coastal vibe accents, this St. James Plantation residence is one that stands out among its counterparts. Positioned at the end of the cozy cul-de-sac, the home is an eye-catcher yet offers the privacy and space expected in this exclusive, gated community. Located in Southport, NC, St. James Plantation is a town in itself featuring 81 holes of golf, multiple tennis courts, swimming pools, parks, a marina, and an abundance of dining options. The 4000-plus square foot home, designed by current owners Wayne and Susan Deutscher, features three bedrooms, three and a half baths and plenty of space surrounding the property for rest and relaxation. The house was built by the couple in 2006 with concentration on the screened-in porch, outdoor patio, and kitchen, which the Deutscher’s consider their “pride and joy.” Designed in collaboration with a now-retired designer and architect, the kitchen offers custom cabinets, granite countertops, a farmhouse sink, double wall plus warming ovens, microwave, Viking 6-burner gas cooktop, pot filler and built-in refrigerator and wine cooler. Upon entering the home, its expansive windows and cathedral and trey ceilings give the feeling of both elegance and comfort. The welcoming entryway and common area provide ample natural light,


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accenting the wainscoting and plantation shutters and providing the home that classic Southern—yet modern—charm. Filled with the artwork the couple has collected over the years, they consider themselves neither art collectors nor designers, despite the adornment of various paintings and photography throughout, accented by the beautifully designed crown-molding, hardwood floors, and handcrafted cabinetry. They no longer utilize the dry stack or wet slip at the community’s beautiful marina after selling Wayne’s 28-foot Searay Sundance two years ago. That fuel is saved for Mr. Deutscher’s 1950 MG TD replica custom car, which is housed, polished and admired in the three-car garage. He affectionately refers to the beautiful oldie as his “baby.” Perhaps he subconsciously considers it his child, as it took him nine months to build back in 1992. He now uses it to cruise the Cape Fear when he needs to enjoy the weather and just “get away.” With ample room for multiple vehicles, storage and working space, the garage also features a custom toolshed, which is the home of the wide array of gear used to care the “baby.” The backyard area, carefully designed back patio and intimate screened porch of the home leave plenty of room to enjoy the coastal atmosphere. The property is unique, however, as while there is an awareness of the close proximity of the nearby oceanside, the abundance of forestry and landscaping provide a feeling of a rustic, distant homestead.

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home & garden

The Deutschers know the area well, as Wayne served as a volunteer for the plantation’s fire department for seven years before he was elected to the town council, on which he will serve for another three years. Highly connected to the community, the couple has no plans to leave St. James Plantation— their only intention is to downsize and pass their beloved residence along to a lucky successor with the assistance of their well-known real estate experts. Jerry and Patricia Wisdo, the husband-and-wife broker duo representing the home, are affectionately known throughout St. James Plantation and beyond as “Team Wisdo.” In 2006, the couple moved from Winston-Salem to Southport with plans to enjoy the luxuries of their upcoming retirement. With one change comes another, as they were both still young in age and at heart and decided to seek a new venture. After receiving their brokers licenses in 2006, they joined Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty. In August of 2009, they joined the Willetts Team, with over 44 years of real estate sales and financial and marketing experience. ¶

F o r m o r e info r m ation on this ho m e and othe r s in S t . J a m es Plantation , H isto r ic S o u th p o r t , O ak I sland , B ald H ead I sland , C aswell B each , W inding Ri v e r , B oiling S p r ing L akes , o r B r u nswick C o u nt y and its m an y beaches : P at & J e r r y W i s d o C o l d w e l l B a n k e r S e a C o a s t A d va n ta g e

P a t: 9 1 0 . 5 0 8 . 4 6 8 0

J e r r y: 9 1 0 . 5 0 8 . 4 6 8 1

• •

pat w i s d o @ s e a c o a s t r e a lt y. c o m

j e r r y w i s d o @ s e a c o a s t r e a lt y. c o m

www.t e a m w i s d o . c o m 24

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serving clients in st. James Plantation and throughout the cape Fear, husband-and-wife Team Wisdo - Jerry & Patricia ensure that your next real estate transaction will be pleasant and successful.

To find the perfect home, make a speedy sale, or seek consultation on real estate in the region, please contact us... PaTricia & Jerry Wisdo coldwell Banker sea coast realty • 4911 Long Beach road, se • southport, Nc 28461 • 910.508.4680

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I am passionate about planning! Every goal, whether big or small, starts with a plan. I enjoy helping my clients transition through the stages of life. From young adults starting their families and careers to end of life planning, then helping their loved ones after they pass. No matter where you are on your great journey through life, I am here to help! Currently accepting and developing relationships, not just clients. 910.509.7287 | | 9111 Market Street, Ste A, Wilmington, NC 28411 ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


home & garden


W ate r f r ont

Written By: Naari Honor


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L i v ing


From the self-sustainable Arkup Livable Yacht to River Cities floating condominium community, developers are creating unique and affordable opportunities for living on the water. Port City Marina developer Chuck Schoninger has thrown Wilmington’s hat into this niche market by building a unique houseboat community through his company, Atlantic Houseboats, called The Strands. "We’re going to dock these houseboats at Port City Marina,” says Greg Marchi, Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Houseboat project. “We are building two special docks just for the houseboats, but it’s not going to look like your traditional dock.” The Strands development will not only provide the feeling of neighborhood living, but it will also resemble the look and feel of one. The site will have real grass, street signs, mailboxes and even a

small park. The houseboats come equipped with nine-foot ceilings and quartz countertops along with additional amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi access, a stainless steel dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, and a covered wet bar for some houseboat models. A water purification system upgrade is also available for an additional charge. The houseboats are capable of going short distances with a 90HP engine, and the Port City Marina will help to arrange tugboat options for longer distances. Residents will have full access to the marina and riverfront; however, access to The Strand community will be private, providing a quiet oasis for houseboat owners' and their guests' amid the bustling downtown Wilmington backdrop. Interest for the innovative floating community has ranged from those looking to fulfill their dream to live on the water to investors wanting to get in on the ground floor of a unique venture. "Our estimate,” says Marchi, “is twenty-five percent of people will be permanent residency, twenty-five percent will buy them as a second home, another twenty-five percent will buy them as a personal investment, and the remainder will be larger investors who say 'this is a great concept’ and want to get in early.” Aside from offering a unique investment opportunity, the downtown houseboat project provides an additional revenue source for local businesses including privately owned materials supplier 84 Lumber for building materials and North Carolina’s Sound Bank for future residents needing to secure financing for their new boat purchase. Atlantic Houseboats will also provide boat homeowners with a list of local contractors that can assist with any future home upgrades, renovations or repairs. "We really want to use local providers,” says Marchi. “When it comes to banks, when it comes to providers and even when we do our subcontracting, we are focusing on the local area." Future residents may have some concerns purchasing a houseboat as a primary or secondary home due to Wilmington’s vulnerability to hurricanes, but the Port City Marina claims to be one of the safest harbors on the east coast, reporting only one serious boat casualty during Hurricane Florence. Atlantic Houseboats also boasts that all of the boats are built to code; all safety measures have been implemented according to Coast Guard standards. The Marina plans to provide all residents with hurricane plan recommendations. What will it cost to purchase this unique living experience? The Southport one-bedroom model will cost $274,500, the Masonboro two-bedroom model will be below $300,000, and the cost for the Cape Fear three-bedroom model is yet to be released. The insurance is estimated to range from $4,000 to $6,500 coverage per year, and Atlantic Houseboats has identified another local business, Standard

Insurance of Wilmington, to help secure insurance for those who need an agent. There is a monthly $208 homeowners association fee and $950 boat slip rental fee; however, those who choose to buy now will get these fees waived for the next six months. The Strands plans to sell the slips in the near future to those who would like to own a slip. Owners of the houseboats also have the opportunity to dock their boat at their personal slips or in other marinas, if they prefer. The first one-bedroom, one-bath houseboat is scheduled to be completed by April of 2019 and will initially be used as a model to showcase what Atlantic Houseboats has to offer. The homes will take 90 to 120 days to build from the time of purchase, and new boat owners will get 10 hours of consultant time with a designer to make their new home uniquely theirs. "We've had a lot of interest from people who are retiring or downsizing," says Marchi. "They've always wanted to live waterfront and now they can live on water!" So if you are ready to buy that second home on the water you always dreamt about or simply want the experience living downtown while still being a part of a gated community, Port City Marina and Atlantic Houseboats might just be the perfect vessel for you. ¶

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Food& Drink

C r a f t i n

t h e

B e e r

p o r t

Written By: Craven Inions


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / Spri ng 2019

c i t y


You’re strolling down Front Street on a Sunday afternoon amidst a friendly crowd. Where should you go? One quick Google search for “breweries near me” populates a map littered with pins and possibilities. Wilmington’s been building a beer brand for years now. Currently the Port City is home to 17 microbreweries, and while New Hanover County is experiencing a surge in these pint-size operations, it’s not just Wilmington. Brunswick County residents are seeing suds rise in local libations too. As defined by North Carolina law, an operation can produce up to 25,000 gallons per year and still qualify as a microbrewery. Although that may sound like a lot, it’s a paltry sum compared to their mega-corporate counterparts that yield totals in the millions. This limitation on output dares brewers to employ the old adage, “quality over quantity,” and local owners aren’t shying away from the challenge.

The slew of selection at Wrightsville Beach Brewery is quite jaw dropping. Owner Jud Watkins shares a little insight about what goes on behind the scenes and explained how recipe creations take shape. “Sometimes we will plan out seasonal and experimental brews for our taproom; other times we find inspiration from the culinary world.” These are the pillars that comprise Watkins’ vision for the place. To him the reward is the intersection of many things he loves. “We get to marry passion, science and creativity in an innovative environment,” he says. “It’s personally fulfilling watching our friends enjoy the fruits of our labors as much as we do.” This blooming microbrewery culture stands as much a testament to the community as to the drinks themselves. Many formulas at these breweries maintain high

Bottom Right: Serving up a selection of craft beer at Wrightsville Beach Brewery. Owner Jud Watkins, gets his inspiration from the culinary world, like the Grapefruit Mindboggler - a Double India Belgium Ale.

thresholds for ingredient quality, but the secret spice that completes the recipe rests with the patrons. Upon entry at WBB, community immersion begins. Children dance to reggae music while dog owners swap canine stories. Outside seating puts folks side-by-side and spurs conversation. “What do you think of the band? Have you had the new seasonal?” Their event manager Sara Carter can vouch for that. She’s been with WBB from the start. She admires Watkins commitment to the local community, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Amid the turbulence, Watkins was on site at the brewery giving ice to those in need. While some places are the brainchild of passionate home brewers, others like Shallotte’s Red Hare branched off from larger establishments. The original Red Hare is in

Marietta, Georgia, but they’ve opened “Experiment Stations” elsewhere around the country. The brewers at Shallotte’s Red Hare installment wear that moniker proudly and are constantly pushing the envelope. When I caught up with taproom and events manager Byron McSweeney, they had just unloaded over a dozen cabernet sauvignon barrels. The barrels will soon be home to a sour batch being made on sight. Once the beer is ready, it will be transca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


Food& Drink

ferred to the old wine barrels for a duration of one to three years. Inside, the beer will take on a pinkish hue from the wine-stained wood in addition to gleaning it’s aromatic taste. The reason for the wide time window lends credence to the experimental concept. McSweeney admits they don’t know how long it will take, they’ll just know it’s ready when the time is right. Another unique facet to Red Hare’s operation spotlights an unconventional brewing technique that utilizes a local component— literally the air we breathe. It’s called a “cool ship.” This open fermentation system allows the production to take place exposed to air. Additionally, the brewers at Red Hare open all the windows in the building to create a draft and draw in the salty, humid air. The cool ship subsequently pulls particles from


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / Spri ng 2019

Byron McSweeney, taproom and events manager, Red Hare.

the air, infusing them with the beer and guaranteeing that particular beer to be the only one of its kind; you literally couldn’t produce it anywhere else. With a great location in downtown Shallotte, Red Hare is becoming a mainstay for locals. Nevermind that it sits in a renovated building across the street from Camp United Methodist Church where Shallotte denizens have congregated to worship since 1790. What’s it like being across the street from a church? “They’re some of our best customers,” McSweeney laughs. Red Hare is far from the only brewery in Brunswick. Check 6 Brewery in Southport opened their doors in 2015. It’s the culmination of years of brewing backstage now in brought to the forefront. Owners Noah Goldman and Tim Hassel started with their own homebrew recipes and quantified them on a larger scale, but Goldman says he’s always happy to try new things. Looking for trends in the tastes, Goldman acknowledges that it’s best not to go against the grain. He explains it’s about finding what people want and infusing your own spin on the final product. Some breweries offer full restaurant menus to accompany their beer, while others like Flytrap Brewery simply specialize in what they do best. Nick Carozza bartends at Flytrap Brewing and knows a thing or two about Wilmington’s beer scene. The way Carozza sees it, there’s a healthy competitive symbiosis among Port City brewers. Some smaller places suitably find their niches, attracting local foot traffic for instance, becoming the neighborhood bar while some larger establishments generate cross-town sales. Recognizing that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,

Flytrap found its niche in serving Belgian and American style ales to the Brooklyn Arts district as an afternoon and weekend gathering place for locals to meet up. Bottom Right: Flytrap owner Mike Barlas

promoting the local scene collectively also promotes individual places by proxy. “We don’t mind offering recommendations to customers for other places,” Carozza says. “It’s about helping them find the beer they want.” Flytrap found its niche in serving Belgian and American style ales to the Brooklyn Arts district as an afternoon and weekend gathering place for locals to meet up without much digital interference. Carozza attributes the lack of tvs and open floor plan as the catalyst for the conversations that are a Flyingtrap staple. The huge interest spike comes packaged with programs and seminars to encourage the trade. The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild held an event last month inviting guild members and micro-brewers to discuss methods for everything from canning to investor relations. The industry is only catching steam, and the facets of business administration will become necessary as hobbyists take their brews from their garage to Main Street.

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Food& Drink

Pl an you r

Microbrew Mecca North Carolina Beer Month is upon us. Every April, North Carolinians tip their hat to the brewers that call this state home. With over 250 breweries, North Carolina microbrewers produce more beer variety than any other Southern counterpart. From the cool mountain springs to the Carolina coast, April provides an opportunity for beer lovers to make the most of the state’s illustrious brewing culture. With so many events taking place, one could almost toss a dart at an NC map and just visit where it lands. For the more judicious traveler, here are details regarding a few upcoming events: Battle of Brews will be happening in Charlotte, April 3. Representatives from nearly all Charlotte’s breweries will be on - site trying to sell as much of one beer type as possible within a 5- hour window. The first team to kick their keg wins. It starts at 5 pm at the Carolina Beer Temple, 2127 Ayrsley Town Blvd. Cary’s Beer and Bacon Fest, combines two North Carolina passions on April 6. Who could pass up anything with beer and bacon in the title? Well they do say the swine is divine. Over 75 local beers, wine and ciders will be on tap for guests too. Event starts at noon. Around Southeastern NC, possibilities include: Calabash’s Coastal Craft Spring Block Party and Collab Release ( April 20), a Check Six Relay for Life fundraiser ( April 27), and the Mill Fest Homebrew Competition in Beaufort ( April 6.) Last but not least, North Carolina beer festival’s shining crown jewel, Brewgaloo, will be held in downtown Raleigh the final weekend of April. With events planned Friday and Saturday, Brewgaloo is poised to delight. Friday night features a sampler event from 6 - 10 pm. Advance tickets are limited and $45. Meanwhile, Saturday’s admission is free but food trucks and vendors will be accepting cash and credit options. To plan your excursion, visit carolina_beer_events/ for a glimpse at these events and many more.


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f a m i Ly - f r i e n d Ly L e a S h e d d o g S w e LCo m e ! food TruCkS and Live muSiC


b e e r ga r d e n a n d o u T d o o r S e aT i n g


D e c O R a t i O n s 9 1 0. 2 7 4 . 2 7 0 9 Carolina beaCh rd w i l m i n gto n , n C 2 8 4 1 2

1 03 T r i To n L n . S u r f C i T y, n C 2 8 4 4 5 9 1 0. 8 0 3. 2 0 1 9 w w w . S a LT y T u r T L e b e e r . C o m


Oak Island Annual Egg Hunt April 20 Wine and Swine BBQ Cook-off April 26 & 27

Book your holiday dinner party 1900 Eastwood Rd (910) 509-2026 ·

Coffee with the Girls May 21

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Food& Drink

T ide toT able

Written By: Colleen Thompson


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / Spri ng 2019


Photography By: Terah Wil son

They’ve been around since antiquity, highly sought after by the Romans who called them calliblepharis, literally meaning "beautiful eyelids," because of the sides of their mantles. Legend has it Emperor Vitellius feasted on a thousand of them in one sitting and Casanova ate 50 each morning to boost his libido. They were Gotham’s most celebrated export, a staple food for working classes and a natural filtration system for the city’s congested waterways. They’ve been called exotic names like Moon Shoal, Hama Hama and Kusshi to satisfy any ostreophile; we are, of course, talking about oysters. Like wine and terroir, where grapes are influenced by the soil, sunlight, and climate, so too are oysters, who have their own merroir. Each crustacean is influenced by the water it exists in, the algae it feeds on, the tides and currents, the mineral content of the ocean, rainfall and overall temperature. There are over 300 unique oyster species in North America, and each of them produces a particular taste: meaty, briny or sweet. The oysters we find along our North Carolina coast are in fact all from the same species, but each one is completely unique in taste. “Most consumers don't realize that every oyster on the east coast is the exact same species,” says Matt Schwab, owner of Hold Fast Oyster Co. “All of the variations you see in size, shape and flavor of the oyster are attributed to the water the oysters are grown in. The minerals and types of marine phytoplankton (oyster food) present in the water change quickly from farm to farm. This means that farms

only a few miles apart can grow completely different looking and tasting oysters. There is also the green-gill phenomenon, which occurs from New England to Florida. The bluegreen algae are the oyster’s primary food source, but with greater frequency in North Carolina, particularly in the winter months, and they produce a pale green shelled oyster.” Matt Schwab has a background in marine sciences and has always lived close to the water. While living in Richmond, Virginia, he began working with a friend who managed an oyster farm. “I quickly decided that this was the life for me and moved on to intern on a few different farms in the Chesapeake area,” says Schwab. “Seeing how successful oyster aquaculture had been in Virginia and seeing how underrepresented it was in North Carolina, I saw an opportunity and relocated my family to Wilmington in 2014. I spent about a year finding the perfect spot for my farm, and in May of 2015 I started Hold Fast Oyster Co and planted our first little oyster seed.” The oyster trend has been building for a few years now, and the market for local oysters in the Cape Fear region has never been stronger with over forty oyster farms in operation. Demand grows year upon year from consumers and local restaurant owners who have set up raw bars and seafood establishments specializing in local seafood. The demand has spawned a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators who are bringing oyster aquaculture back to life in the Cape Fear region inspired, rather than daunted by the challenges.

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Food& Drink Rising to the challenge is Carolina Mariculture, a small family oyster farm owned and operated by Jay and Jennifer Styron—entrepreneurs following their passion and seeing the potential on Cedar Island. “I was looking at options after retirement and just stumbled onto shellfish mariculture,” says Styron. He had also seen the rise of oysters farming and how it was taking off Virginia and knew it could work. “I found a gentleman that was experimenting with modern techniques growing oysters in Stump Sound and I just started talking to him and later joined the NC Shellfish Growers Association.” “When we first started, we had to explain to chefs why our product was different from the wild product they were so used to buying for much cheaper. Once we showed them our quality, consistency in size and ability to deliver year round, along with our flavor profile, they understood, so now there's less selling on the front end,” says Styron. Rowan Jacobsen, author of The Essential Oyster: A Salty Appreciation of Taste, predicted back in 2016 that "the oyster industry is now casting its eye down the Southeast coast and seeing paradise. More than 6,000 miles of shoreline unmarred by a single metropolis and all ripe for growing oysters." He wasn’t wrong. Aquaculture, or more specifically, mariculture, has been responsible for this rapid growth. The Oyster Restoration and Protection Plan for North Carolina was set up as a seven-step “blueprint” designed to combat habitat loss, overharvesting, poor


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water quality and other factors that had all contributed to the decline of North Carolina’s oyster populations in the past. “With low levels of wild oysters due to overharvesting, excessive development along our waterways and natural disasters such as Hurricane Florence, a lot of the restaurant industry is now switching to farmed oysters for more availability and a higher quality product,” says Ryan Gadow of Three Little Spats Oysters Co. “As a result of the increased demand, you’re seeing more and more farms popping up all along the North Carolina coast.” Working on the water comes naturally to Gadow. Both sides of his family have historically been waterman on the Chesapeake Bay, dating back to the early 1700s. “Our farm, Three Little Spats,located in Stump Sound, is in the most historic district for oysters in North Carolina,” says Gadow. “There’s a reason for that; our area is fed from a unique lagoon system. The fresh water from the marshes of the New River along with the salt water from the Atlantic Ocean gives our Permuda Island Selects a perfect balance in flavor.” The North Carolina Coastal Federation launched a campaign in 2017 to add 50 million oysters to the state’s sounds by 2020. With a single oyster able to filter 50 gallons of water, that’s enough to filter an estimated 2.5 billion gallons of water every day, providing cleaner water and better fish habitat and contributing to a stronger commercial and tourism economy. When it comes to choosing sus-

tainably farmed seafood, the oyster is pretty hard to beat. Unlike many farmed fish, these shellfish have no negative impact on their surrounding environment, and well-managed, family operations like Hold Fast, Carolina Mariculture and Three Little Spats are all contributing to sustainable seafood practices. “We have the most ecologically friendly industry in the State,” says Styron. “Our oysters and the gear they're in provide shelter to many other recreationally and commercially important species such as red drum, flounder and sea trout. We buy our juvenile oysters from a shellfish nursery, so we never need to harvest from the wild (there is about 15% left of the wild population there was in North Carolina in 1900). Our gear is purchased with personal capital, so our businesses don't rely on the government to keep us going. We also hire local people, which puts money back into the local economy.” Schwab agrees that the industry has come a long way in just a few short years. “The biggest push for change I've seen and have been working toward is to abolish the assumption that oysters are only safe to eat in "R" months (SeptembeRApRil). This belief hasn't been valid since the invention of modern refrigeration in the 1940's, but somehow it still persists.” Oysters really can be eaten all year round, and because of that, local chefs are getting behind producers and offering diners a variety of oysters from different locations.

“I tended bar for Chef Dean Neff at Pin Point while I was getting my farm established,” says Schwab. “He was the first to carry my oysters 3 years ago, and he's shown local farmers a ton of support. Chef Bobby Zimmerman at True Blue Butcher and Table does an oyster happy hour 6 nights a week and has an awesome local oyster selection. These 2 restaurants are the epicenter of the Cape Fear oyster scene.” Carolina Mariculture has also been well supported with Catch, Circa 1922, RX, Pinpoint, Boca Bay, Shark Bar, Moore Street Oyster Bar and Shuckin’ Shack all adding Permuda Island Selects to their menus. As for how the oyster farmers best enjoy their bivalves, that would be raw—slurped right off the shell. “Raw with a little mignonette is the best and simplest,” says Styron. “After that, charbroiled with garlic, butter, Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, white wine mixture and hot sauce to taste. Dab a spoonful of the mixture on each half shell oyster and place under the broiler until bubbly. ¶ ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


Food& Drink

Hold Fast Mezcal Mignonette Oysters A refreshing take on a classic oyster topping. Ingredients 1/3 cup rice vinegar 1 tbsp fresh lime juice 1-2 tsp honey 1 tsp fine chopped red onion 2 charred Serrano peppers 2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro 1 tsp Mezcal Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions Combine all ingredients and top each oyster with half a teaspoon of the sauce.

Char-grilled Oysters Chef James Smith (The Fork-N-Cork) Ingredients 2 dozen oysters shucked and separated but left in the half shell with as much liqueur as possible (I like to use a larger oyster with a thick shell so they don’t overcook)

1 lb unsalted butter ½ cup dry white wine ¼ cup minced garlic 2 tbsp minced shallots ½ Tbsp Kosher salt ½ tsp white pepper ½ tsp cayenne pepper 4 lemons (halved, grilled and juiced) 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano ¼ cup minced fresh parsley Crusty French bread

Directions Crank the gas grill up to high or get a charcoal grill red hot. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and add all ingredients except wine and lemon juice. Cook mixture until the garlic and shallot are thoroughly softened. Add in the wine and lemon juice and bring to a soft boil for a few minutes. Next, arrange the oysters on the grill where juice won’t spill and close the lid to the grill. Grill the oysters for one to two minutes. Once the oysters start to bubble, slather them with the butter mixture. BE CAREFUL, AS THE FLAMES WILL GET BIG during this slathering. Close the lid again for one to two more minutes. The bigger the oysters, the longer the cook time, which is why I go with bigger ones so there’s a little room for error, whereas the tiny ones will just cook to death quickly. Lift the grill lid and sprinkle with cheese and parsley, and close for maybe one more minute. Somewhere in between, coat French bread with butter mixture and grill slightly until crunchy.feeling frisky, and serve with toasted sourdough points. 38

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CATCH DIRTY SOUTH OYSTERS Chef Keith Rhodes (Catch Restaurant) Ingredients 12 shucked oysters on the 1/2 shell 2 cups of cooked collards or spinach 3 slices of bacon cut into fourths 2 cups of prepared pimento cheese 2 cups of dry cornbread stuffing 1 cup of Parmesan Cheese

Directions Place oysters on baking sheet lined with crinkled aluminum foil. Top oysters with the following in said order: 1 tbsp collards ½, tbsp pimento cheese, 1/2 tbsp cornbread stuffing, 1 piece of bacon, and 1 tsp Parmesan cheese. At this point you may cook them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or you can freeze and enjoy at another time!

Oysters Ida Fay Three Little Spats Oyster Co (Courtesy of Mike Slaton, who works with Evan Gadow) Ingredients One dozen oysters ½ Cup vegetable stock ¼ Cup tomato sauce 1 tbsp olive brine Pinch of Salt Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes Tabasco to taste Olive oil Chopped Parsley or Micro Greens

Directions Combine the vegetable stock, tomato sauce, olive brine and salt into a pot and bring to a boil. Add in oysters and steam them in the liquid until they pop open and the oyster liquor drains into the broth. This process should only take about five minutes. Next, remove from the heat and open up the oysters all the way. Discard the top shell. Loosen the oyster in the shell and place in a serving bowl. Pour the steaming broth over the oysters and garnish with a pinch of red pepper flakes, a drizzle of olive oil and chopped parsley or micro greens. Add a dash of Tabasco if you’re feeling frisky, and serve with toasted sourdough points. ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


Food& Drink

S u staining

Mo m ent u m

Written By: Craven Inions


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / Spri ng 2019


As with any ecological food web, survival for fishermen and seafood purveyors along Cape Fear’s coast hinges on the survival of the very wildlife they hunt for a living. As such, those in the industry recognize the pivotal need for a sustainable ecological infrastructure. Sustainability as it applies to seafood refers to efforts undertaken in promoting generational vitality within aquatic species commonly harvested for consumption, along with the waters where those creatures live. So, sustainable seafood is seafood that is either caught or farmed in ways that consider the lasting impact of harvesting those species, the ocean’s well-being and the fishing communities’ livelihoods. Movements promoting sustainable seafood began taking serious shape during the 1990s and now dramatically influence the way people get their seafood. Not all entrees are created equal—according to one local chef, it’s all about where you get it. Chef Joe Paxton runs the kitchen at Jinks Creek Waterfront Grill in Ocean Isle Beach. He’s worked in food preparation for over two decades and transplanted to the Cape Fear Region just a couple years ago. Following the move, Paxton vigorously explored ways to exhibit local seafood’s variety and vastness. In his mind, doing so would require prioritizing fresh, local and sustainable food.

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Food& Drink

Captain Robert 'Corbett' Holden displays the turtle shooters affixed on his nets aboard his ship, the C. L. Holden.

Menu items at Jinks range from a classic shrimp and grits to a less conventional spin on oyster rockefeller. Every piece of seafood, be it muscle, mollusk or fish, comes from a single source: Island Seafood, located on the mainland just over Odell Williamson Memorial Bridge. Paxton trusts the small family-owned business because they share his commitment for locally-grown sustainable seafood. Richard Craft owns and operates Island Seafood with his daughter and son-in-law, Macie and Chris Hipps. He turned a recreational hobby into a full-time enterprise and brought his passion for fish along for the ride. “Sustaining our local fish habitats is something my dad and all of us here care very much about,” said Hipps. She explains how size restrictions are implemented to ensure the correct species are caught. For example, only red drum between 17 and 28 inches in length can be legally caught and kept. Ideally, prohibiting harvest outside this range maximizes populations that are reproductively viable.

When aquatic wildlife extraction rates exceed reproductive viability, it’s called overfishing. According to one count in National Geographic, fishermen worldwide remove more than 77 billion kilograms (87.5 billion tons) from the oceans annually. The same National Geographic article explains how demand for seafood and advances in technology have led to fishing practices that are depleting fish and shellfish populations around the world. Many fishing methods have a negative associated symptom; bycatch, or the capture of unintended species. Those long lines skimming the water for grouper can alternatively and unintentionally catch sea turtles, avian wildlife or even just undesired fish. While some advances may have led to overfishing, there are those inventions which have significantly aided sustainable fishermen. Captain Robert ‘Corbett’ Holden owns a shrimp boat named for his grandfather. A third-generation shrimper, Holden’s traveled far for a catch but opines the best shrimp are right here in North Caro-

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Food& Drink

North Carolina’s shores are home to a spectacular seafood selection. Look for these local species on restaurant menus. Their indigenousness to this area increases the likelihood they’re harvested sustainably. Blue Crab Caught in rivers and sounds using wire pots and trawl nets. “Peeler” crabs are held in tanks until they shed their shells. Clams Harvested from sounds, or farm-raised by shellfish growers. Grouper Caught in the ocean using hook, line and gear. Oysters Farm-raised and available year-round. Striped Bass Caught with gill nets, seines and trawls in the ocean and sounds.

For an expanded list of seafood native to North Carolina and their seasonal availability, visit https://


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lina. He’s also quick to acknowledge just how much those shrimp have done for his family. They operate Holdens Seafood in Shallotte Point. “Keeping them around is what’s keeping us around,” he said. Holden elaborates on the devices his boat employs to prevent the catch of unwanted species. For starters, each net is equipped with two “turtle shooters,” spots in the nets through which shrimp will pass but not larger animals like sharks and turtles. The nets are also equipped with “fish eyes” that look different than turtle shooters but serve a similar purpose whittling down the catch by filtering out fish. Holden segues into regulatory agencies’ methods for controlling size, age and seasons during which fishermen can hunt. He said when his grandfather started in the business, they barely had any restrictions in the books. For the newest generation, it’s not a problem though. Holden said he’s happy to comply with anything to keep shrimp populations thriving. For Cape Fear fishermen and seafood purveyors, steps taken to ensure sustainability do not only afford their catch’s longevity, but also protect?? their own. Holden, Paxton and Hipps discovered this truth through their work, and they propel that passion by putting their money where their mouth is. As Paxton warns, fresh, local, sustainable food comes at a price. The low cost associated with with poor quality food production is directly responsible for the reduced health value of the foods people eat. “It might cost a little extra sometimes,” Paxton said, “but the end result is always worth it.” ¶




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Travel& Adventure

Soul & Sound E x p lo r ing O u r W ate r wa y s Written By: Terah Wil son


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / Spri ng 2019


There are few things more invigorating and mysterious than paddling out on cool, glassy waters at the break of dawn. Egrets and herons glide on the salt-infused breeze as they search for their morning nourishment, and the sun peaks over the horizon to tell nature it’s time to wake up again.

The Cape Fear Region offers many ways to reconnect and unwind

on the water. From exploring ancient swamps and paddling the

pristine waters around Masonboro Island to navigating the area with the Cape Fear Riverwatch, there is something for everyone,

so grab your paddles and get exploring.

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Travel& Adventure

Richly bathed in history, the Cape Fear River often entices adventurers searching for their next fix. Our first unique exploration opportunity will have you steeped deep into ancient cypress swamps and perusing the waters of Colonial rice canals. Cape Fear River Adventures and Captain Charles Robbins offers an intriguing look into backwater places that most wouldn’t dare to venture into. Using a combination of kayaks, canoes and skiffs, Captain Robbins guides you to discover some of the unknown mysteries lurking beneath our dark waters—from 2,500 year old cypress trees in the “Three Sisters Swamp” to old sunken shipwrecks, a trip with Cape Fear River Adventures will be a trip you will not soon forget.

If something more laid back is your cup of tea, consider Wrightsville Kayak Company’s Masonboro Island Adventure Tour. They will hook you up with everything you need to spend a day kayaking around and exploring one of the area’s greatest untouched havens. This is a self-guided tour (they provide you with a map) that launches from Wrightsville Beach. The map takes you past nesting grounds for loggerheads, green sea turtles and fishing spots for least terns and osprey. Paddle around the island or take a dip in the pristine waters that surround you. No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong. 48

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Cape Fear River Watch

For the ultimate experience in comprehensive exploration, look no further than Cape Fear River Watch (CFRW). CFRW is a grassroots organization that was founded in 1993 by a group of local citizens that wanted to be better stewards of our area’s most precious natural resource. One way the organization educates is through their Third Saturday Paddle Series. Experience the enchantment of the water as you explore the Lower Cape Fear River Basin and all the small rivers and tributaries that flow into it. This adventure will immerse you in unspoiled backwaters and all the wildlife that resides in its habitats while learning how precious the river ecosystems are. During a Third Saturday Paddle Series, you will join a group of other like-minded people who want to experience all that the river has to offer. Each month you will go on a new adventure. You can expect to visit places like Keg Island, Holly Shelter and the Black River. This is really the most comprehensive way to explore the inland waters of Southeastern North Carolina.

The Cape Fear Kayakers Club was established on August 27, 2013 by Walter Mayo. 1,800 members strong, the club is a local group of kayak fanatics and beginners alike that meet weekly on Wednesday nights at 5:30 p.m. under the Heide Trask bridge at Wrightsville Beach. The group paddles together through Motts Channel, Banks Channel, around Harbor Island and back, often stopping at Dockside Restaurant for refreshments before heading back to the bridge. In addition to the Wednesday night paddles, the group also regularly plans overnight excursions to areas throughout North and South Carolina. They frequent places like Bald Head Island, the Black River, Burgaw, Lockwood Folly, the Outer Banks and inland rivers and lakes. If you are new to kayaking this club will be a great resource, as they have many highly skilled and trained kayaking instructors ready to give you tips and advice to help you become a better kayaker. Âś

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Travel& Adventure

T a k i n g

t h e

Leap a t S k y d i v i n g C o a st a l C a r o l i n a s


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / Spri ng 2019


Written By: Hayley Swinson

Long Beach Road in Southport is an unassuming, treed country highway that stretches from the junction of 133 and 87 all the way to the Intracoastal Waterway, then continues to Fort Caswell under another name. Along this road you’ll find a scattering of businesses: a carwash, a restaurant here and there, a used car lot. Then suddenly, half a dozen massive warehouses appear behind barbed wire fencing, sheltering a large, open field paved in asphalt. This is Cape Fear Regional Jetport, located next to the Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle. To the left of the parking lot, there is an automated gate for cars and, even farther left, a pedestrian gate next to a large red and yellow sign: SKYDIVE ENTRANCE. Inside the fencing, I follow the white-striped walkway to the Skydive Coastal Carolinas hangar, feeling like Dorothy on the yellow-brick road to Oz. To my right, a bright orange King Air B90 rests on the tarmac, awaiting its next load of skydivers. On this rainy Monday, the hangar is quiet, though not without activity. I find Brian Strong, the owner, in the company’s primary hangar; he explains that today is a cleaning and maintenance day and shows me into their classroom. In front of each chair there is a lengthy waiver, printed on bright pink paper. Brian plays a cheery video for me of customers in freefall; they are smiling and laughing, having the time of their lives. Brian Strong has been a business owner for most of his life, starting with a sand-blasting and car/motorcycle painting business just after high school. But skydiving has always been his hobby. “After five years of skydiving I decided to get my pilot’s license, then started painting planes and skydiving at the same time,” he says. “Thirty-four years ago I started skydiving. Twenty years ago I opened my own [skydiving] business.” He originally opened in the Myrtle Beach area but quickly found that the town he’d chosen—Greensea, SC—was too remote for vacationers. A few years later, a friend convinced him to move the business to Southport, and the rest is history. In the twenty years they’ve been operating, Skydive Coastal Carolinas has seen a whole range of jumpers—from a 93 year-old woman who came with fifty spectators to several marriage proposals. They even have a six-foot by sixty-foot sign that reads “Will You Marry Me?” for custom-

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Travel& Adventure

Association (USPA)—recognized by the FAA as the authority in skydiving—which means they are held to the USPA standard. “Always check out the reputation of each parachute center,” Brian tells me. “We are meticulous on the maintenance of the aircraft. Picking a USPA drop zone is what’s important.” He explains that often the worst accidents that occur while skydiving are related to aircraft failure, not to freefall. “The customer is entrusting their instructor with their life. That is sometimes tough to do,” he says, noting that sometimes the toughest part of skydiving is recognizing that it’s going to be ok.

ers to use. One woman spent months deciding how to propose to her girlfriend, brainstorming together with Brian. Finally, she decided to buy a dime-store ring, propose on the plane, then “accidentally” drop the ring and dive out after it. The event went off without a hitch. A freefall from one of the Skydive Coastal Carolinas planes takes between 15 and 45 seconds, depending on altitude. In clear weather, the plane can climb as high as 14,000 feet, but any low clouds could put them closer to 11,000 feet. But even at 11,000 feet, you’re over two miles high. Two miles. I ask Brian if any of his customers have ever chickened out at the last minute, and he says that in twenty years, only eight people have refused to jump from the plane. “Everybody’s nervous,” he says. “It’s just normal to be scared.” He tells me about his first jump thirty-four years ago—that he doesn’t even remember leaving the plane.Then he goes on to say that the feeling of freefall is like nothing else he’s ever experienced. “It’s extremely hard to describe - it’s euphoric. When you leave that airplane, you feel like you’re floating on a column of air.” The most important aspect of the skydiving business is mitigating risk, and Brian explains the fail-safe parachute system. In the instance your chute malfunctions, there’s a reserve parachute to use. It will even open automatically if your main chute is not deployed by a certain altitude. Skydive Coastal Carolinas has staff specifically assigned to parachute packing to ensure proper procedures are followed. Expert packers can pack a chute in as little as seven to ten minutes. Of course, accidents do happen, but the most common injuries are broken ankles or legs—most often caused because the tandem jumper didn’t follow directions and pick up their feet on the landing, Brian explains. Skydive Coastal Carolinas is a member of the US Parachute 52

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On the entire east coast, Skydive Coastal Carolinas is one of the few drop zones with a view of the ocean, and the only one that allows experienced jumpers to land on the beach. Brian tells me that they get people from all over who come for the view. For newbies, he says not to wait for your friends to join you because they’ll keep you waiting forever. “When I made my first jump I made it by myself,” he says. “Don’t wait. It’s nice to just achieve this for yourself.” When I ask him if there’s anything else he would tell someone who is thinking about trying skydiving, he says that everyone should try it at least once. “And then you never know, you might just want to keep jumping, and jumping, and jumping.” ¶

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H e a l t h & W e l l n e ss


e x p e r t a d v i c e


Written By: Erin Fall s


Photography by: Lauren Villa Boudoir & Erin Fall s

The chatter of the mind can be all-consuming. What starts out as one thought can easily take a turn, leading you into a series of hypothetical questions and answers that may not serve your best interest or even make much sense. Fortunately, there is a way to keep this in check. Mindfulness is cultivating self-awareness of your thoughts and actions without attaching judgments. It can be a powerful tool in all aspects of life that requires practice, consistency and patience. Focusing on the present is not an easy task when we live in a future-obsessed, perfectionist-aspiring, multi-task driven society. We wonder why we often experience social disconnection, high levels of anxiety and stress, and physical manifestations of these emotional and psychological barriers such as high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and sleepless nights. Yet the answer is right in front of us. We have zero balance in the way we live. If we drive ourselves into a place of exhaustion and depletion without a checks and balances system, we are left in a state of helplessness, hopelessness and inefficiency. In order to take better care of our minds and bodies, we need to start looking at the bigger picture and asking ourselves some important questions.


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As a registered dietitian and yoga teacher, mindfulness plays an essential role in every exercise I run through with my clients and students. People come to me to help them make lifestyle changes. However, before we can make any changes, we must get to the root of the what, why and how. What are we spending our time thinking about? Why are we drawn to these particular thoughts? How are these thoughts affecting our mental, emotional and physical well-being? Beginning the process of mindfulness starts with turning inward, reflecting and focusing on the present state of one’s mind and thoughts. In a yoga practice, we can cultivate mindfulness through turning our focus to movement and breath, training our attention and awareness to the present moment and not allowing room for other unrelated thoughts to enter the mind. This ultimately encourages mental well-being, enhances emotional stability and can contribute to increased calmness, clarity and concentration. Practicing mindfulness may sound a little intimidating if it is unfamiliar, but it really does not have to be. Start small by getting quiet, being still and focusing on one thought. Often our thoughts, feelings or beliefs are tied to past experiences. As humans, we are conditioned to use our past as our personal database for how we make future decisions. While this is a logical way to think, know that this method does not always provide the correct solutions. Mindfulness is all about being present, so instead of basing every thought, feeling or decision on the past, see if you can let that go and give more of a neutral approach to the current situation and try your best not to form opinions about said thoughts. Once you have one thought in mind, try not to jump ahead or let your mind wander. This is where the real work comes into play because it is human nature to try to connect thoughts with other ideas and emotions, or get sidetracked by rationalizing, analyzing and bringing sense to everything that comes to mind. Focus on just this one thought and view it as taking up space inside your mind. The more thoughts you allow to occur at once, the less room there is available for other potential thoughts or ideas to come to fruition. Therefore, we need to be selective with the thoughts we allow to enter our minds and take up this valuable space. When we do not allow time for our minds to process what is happening, we lose sight of the big picture and our mind moves on autopilot. It is a challenging habit to break, but breaking this habit is what can lead us to rediscover the self-awareness we need to make sound decisions and meaningful connections with others including ourselves.

written b y E rin F alls M S , R D , L D N , R Y T is a registere d d ietitian an d Y o ga T eacher in C harl o tte , N C . H er passi o n f o r hel p ing o thers d isc o v er their healthiest, best life ins p ire d her t o create a b u siness , Planks & Pi z z a , f o c u se d o n em p o wering her clients t o d isc o v er a balance d lifest y le that is fle x ible , f u n an d rewar d ing – aka . , “ balance their p lanks with a little p i z z a .” E rin gra d u ate d fr o m U N C - C ha p el H ill with a B . A . in J o u rnalism an d a min o r in S panish . S he recei v e d her M . S . in N u triti o n fr o m W inthr o p Uni v ersit y after w o rking si x y ears in marketing an d reali z ing she wante d t o take things in a d ifferent d irecti o n . p l a n k s a n d p i z z a . c o m @ p l a n k s . a n d. p i z z a

Practicing mindfulness increases emotional regulation and therefore reduces stress. This leads to improved sleep, less anxiety, being less self-critical, improved concentration, better relationships with family and friends, increased immune function and increased clarity of the mind, to name a few. While everyone has something to gain from practicing mindfulness, practice being the key word, it must be practiced frequently and consistently in order to be truly effective. The cognitive benefits, in turn, contribute to effective emotion-regulation strategies and a happier, healthier, balanced life. ¶

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H e a l t h & W e l l n e ss Almond-Ginger + Espresso Energy Bites by Erin Falls, MS, RD, LDN

Ingredients 1/2 cup quick oats 1/2 cup old fashioned oats 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded 1/2 cup ground flax seed 1-2 tablespoons espresso powder 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 cup Big Spoon Roasters' Almond Ginger nut butter 1/3 cup organic raw honey 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil Š Erin Falls

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions 1. In a large bowl, mix together first seven ingredients and set aside. 2. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt Big Spoon Roasters' Almond Ginger nut butter, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla

Kitchen equipment needed

extract until it reaches a smooth consistency.

large mixing bowl

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir thoroughly to combine.

small saucepan measuring spoons

4. To create energy bites, use a tablespoon to scoop mixture into 1� balls.

measuring cups silicon spatulas (best for mixing ingredients without sticking)

5. Transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator.

ziplock or freezer bags for storage

Cooking + Kitchen Tips Use a KitchenAid mixer when mixing ingredients for a more even consistency. Melting the wet ingredients is a key step. Make sure you do not try to stir these without a little heat, or your energy bites will not be consistent. You can refrigerate energy bites for up to 10 days or freeze them for up to 3 months. 56

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H e a l t h & W e l l n e ss

H ealth , H a p p iness + I n n e r - H a r m o n y on


C oast

Written By: Hayley Swinson

Every year we make promises to ourselves. This year we’ll try that new diet. This year we’ll find an exercise class to go to. This year we’ll get better sleep. The list varies according to the latest health and wellness trends. Whether it’s a new group fitness class or the latest food designated a “superfood,” most of us are willing to try the year’s trends if only to motivate ourselves to achieve our resolutions. We’ve put together the top health and wellness trends for 2019 you might want to add to your list.

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H e a l t h & W e l l n e ss

Heart & Home Where you reside takes a direct hit on your overall well-being. A World Health Organization study found that up to 90% of our health outcomes are tied to where and how we live based on the observation of environmental pollution, air quality and healthy foods, among various other factors. According to a 2018 report by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), these “wellness lifestyle real estate and communities” came about in 2000, putting human health and well-being at the center of their home and neighborhood designs. Wellness real estate is broadly defined as homes and communities that are “proactively designed and built to support the holistic health of their residents,” according to the GWI report. Today the wellness real estate movement is a $134 billion industry with more than 740 projects underway in 34 countries. RiverLights, located in Wilmington, is just one of the Cape Fear communities that delivers wellness-centered living, located just five miles south of historic downtown.

Edible Weeds Edible weeds such as sorrel, dandelion greens and amaranth may be the next microgreens. Herbs and plants have many medicinal qualities, including micronutrients and vitamins that can supplement our diets, Devine explains. But while these weeds can be good supplements, it’s important to continue to live a healthy lifestyle and not expect any one food to cure all your aches and pains alone. Though edible weeds can be harvested in the wild, they are most often found in pill or powder form on the shelves of health food stores. “Dandelion root has a lot of detox qualities to it,” Devine says. “The only danger with any sort of food supplement like that is looking at whether it counteracts any medications you’re on.” Look for ground dandelion root and other edible weeds at Lovey’s Market, Tidal Creek Co-op or vitamin and supplement shops such as GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe.

Cannabidiol (CBD) As more and more states legalize the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes—and as a recent Farm Bill passed in Congress has expanded our ability to cultivate hemp—the plant’s derivatives


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such as CBD and hemp oil have come to the forefront. Most states have legalized CBD as long as it contains none of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This means that patients can seek pain relief using CBD without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or other pharmaceuticals. CBD has been used to treat everything from pain to acne to depression and anxiety, and while the research behind it is still slim, its growing popularity has encouraged more clinical trials. It’s important to note, however, that CBD is known to interact with several medications, so you should always seek the advice of your doctor before trying it. Visit local businesses Hemp Farmacy and Tree BD for more information or to buy CBD, hemp and other similar products.

Medium Chain Triglyceride/ Fatty Acids (MCT) Oil MCT oil, a staple in the Ketogenic diet, has historically been used for people with small intestine issues and difficulties absorbing food. “In a Keto diet, MCT oil is digested differently, rapidly absorbed and converted into ketones quickly. They give you a surge of energy, and they keep you fuller longer,” Molly Devine says. “The benefit of using MCTs as part of a weight loss plan is that you feel satiated for a longer period of time and are less likely to snack between meals.” For quality MCT oil, Devine recommends the Ketogenic supplement company Ketologic as well as Nature’s Path. You can usually find MCT oil at local health food and supplement stores such as Lovey’s Market, Tidal Creek Co-op and Whole Foods.

Less is More Following the 2014 publication of Marie Kondo’s The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, many people have been applying her logic to their overstuffed homes. This year, Kondo has begun her own TV show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, on Netflix, bringing her message and methods to an even wider audience. The correlations between a cluttered home and stress, anxiety and even depression are often discussed, but our materialistic culture has made it difficult to de-clutter or rethink the merits of retail therapy. This year, we are cracking the norm and changing how we think about “stuff ”.

For those looking to declutter in the Cape Fear region, check out Jam Organizing, Simply Reclaimed or Tranquiliving to get some local help.

Flotation Therapy Float therapy is a powerful tool for wellness, relaxation, pain relief and better sleep. As with any therapy, with regular use its benefits are enhanced. And float therapy is essentially that: floating. There are a number of benefits that come from three elements of flotation therapy: • Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) • Weightlessness / Counter-Gravity Stimulation • Meditation / Theta-State The National Institute of Health (NIH) supports meditation as a means for lowering blood pressure, easing symptoms of anxiety and depression and more. The latest floatation therapy research shows that during floatation the amygdala basically shuts off, “turning down” anxiety in the brain. Try out Aqua Float & Cyro and True REST Float Spa here in the Cape Fear.

HIIT and Group Fitness This year, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and group fitness continue on the upswing. While classes such as OrangeTheory and Barre Fitness are still popular, we should expect to see other sports and activities such as yoga and running to present their own versions of HIIT classes. Local running store Fleet Feet offers the latest information on running groups and training sessions around Wilmington. You’ll also find HIIT-style yoga classes at the numerous studios around the Cape Fear region such as Longwave Yoga’s Hour of Power or Prana Pump.

Focus on Healthy Sleep Habits This year, many of us will finally be focusing on getting some good shut-eye. “Sleep is imperative for body function,” Devine explains. “When we are chronically underslept, hunger increases… your body is craving sleep and energy, and mistaking that for sugar or caffeine is easy to do.” Sleepless nights can cause a whole host of problems: weight gain, inflammation, higher blood pressure and stress and anxiety, just to name a few.

Luckily, there is all sorts of new technology to help us get better sleep, including wearable sleep trackers, smart pillows and weighted blankets. There’s even an ice cream specifically manufactured with good sleep in mind! Not getting good sleep? Consult our local sleep experts at the Wilmington Health Sleep Center, Atlantic Sleep Center or SleepCare of Wilmington.

Unplugging from tech Did you know the National Day of Unplugging is March 1-2? Especially following the privacy breaches on Facebook and other social media, many people have begun to slowly unplug themselves from their tech. Turns out, sometimes the tech we use can be harmful to our health. “Cell phones, computers—they all have this blue light which really activates the neurons in our brains so we have trouble shutting down,” Devine says. “I recommend having a tech detox about an hour before going to bed.” She suggests reading a book or listening to music instead of browsing our phones or computers immediately prior to sleeping. Besides the issues with sleep and vision, too much social media time can cause anxiety because of the constant overflow of news and information. It’s important to practice mindfulness when using tech. Meditation, yoga and massage are all good ways to detox from tech and social media overload. Locally, check out Blue Ginger Spa for a great massage or try meditation and mindfulness counseling with Everyday Mindful by Jen Johnson.

Telehealth “Some people still like one-on-one, face-to-face interaction, but Telehealth allows us to reach a wider population of people when driving to a provider is not an option,” Devine says. The convenience of Telehealth also helps ensure a patient will show up to an appointment. Today, Telehealth is being revolutionized through apps and online portals and is championed by younger consumers looking for efficient, cost-effective solutions to a healthcare system that grows more costly every year. More and more healthcare providers offer a Telehealth option, and some companies such as RelyMD and Carolina Partners Direct Care are entirely web-based. But the convenience factor is clear— accessing healthcare directly from your smartphone or another device is easier, quicker and much more affordable. ¶ ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


f r o m theCo m m u n i ty

S av i n g

Worldwide Written By: Shea Huse


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Over the past two years, Szmant has transitioned from being a researcher and professor to an entrepreneur after she and colleague Dr. Rob Whitehead received a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which provided the necessary funding to begin their project, CISME Instruments.


Dr. Alina Szmant is a retired University of North Carolina Wilmington professor of marine biology whose research and teaching focused on coral reefs. Now as an entrepreneur and innovator she is using her expertise to develop a product to improve the ways we are able to research and collect samples and data on corals. Szmant grew up in Cuba and Puerto Rico, and she has always been an ocean lover. As an undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico, she spent a summer in a small marine lab in La Parguera; it’s where she embarked upon her first dive which ultimately led to her focusing her research on corals. “I was so scared until I saw the first parrotfish swim by, and then I was hooked,” says Szamant. “I changed my major from chemistry to marine biology, and as I began my research about tropical ecosystems, I was drawn more and more towards coral reefs and the corals that build them.” Szmant went on to earn her master’s degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and her Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. She taught marine biology at the University of Miami before coming to UNCW in 1999 where she

built her impressive career. Additionally, in 2013 Szmant received the American Association of Underwater Divers Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award. Over the past two years, Szmant has been transitioning from being a researcher and professor to an entrepreneur after she and colleague Dr. Rob Whitehead received a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which provided the necessary funding to begin their project, CISME Instruments. “In retirement, I wanted to try to get our last research invention to be widely available to other researchers working with corals,” she says. Previously all research and sampling done on corals meant removing corals from their natural environment or breaking off pieces of the organism, which can lead to disease or death. NOAA requested a proposal in 2009 for new technologies that would improve underwater research. “We proposed developing a new instrument to measure these metabolic vital signs of corals on corals in place and without doing them any harm. When NOAA selected our idea, CISME began. After lots of hard work and refinement, we have our novel diver-portable underwater respirometer, ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


f r o m theCo m m u n i ty

which we named CISME for Coral In Situ Metabolic,” explains Szmant. For anyone, starting a new business is a challenge, but after building an entire career as a researcher and educator, Szmant had to begin the transition into being an entrepreneur. “I am still working on this, and honestly, I would add reluctantly. I am a basic science person with no business experience other than negotiating prices for instruments I have bought over the years,” Szmant confesses. She adds that they are learning as they go but also that working in the Cape Fear region has greatly contributed to her success. A variety of local people and businesses have helped, but without the team in the machine and electronic shops at UNCW’s Center for Marine Science, they would not have been able to build CISME.


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Last year Szmant and CISME were selected to participate in the Cucalorus Film Festival business angle of the festival called Cucalorus Connect. CISME was one of the entries selected for the 10x10 Challenge. Their company was paired with a video production company to create a video that will endorse their product while also crowdsourcing “to come up with enough funds to cover the costs of the parts to build an instrument to give away to a deserving third-world research group working on coral reef management and protection,” says Szmant. Even in retirement, Szmant continues to educate by giving invited lectures about the tragic condition of the ocean’s coral reefs. She also trains colleagues and teaches graduate students at other universities about CISME so they can use her technology in their research, and she plans to lead more CISME training workshops to spread access and knowledge so her invention can be used by more and more researchers. She explains that their “biggest stumbling block is learning how to attract investment, and we have been told that what we need is a social investor; a person who is interested more in doing good in the long run than in immediate profit.” As a respected professor and researcher, and as an up-andcoming entrepreneur, Szmant continues to find success in the Wilmington community, but her “personal interest is in getting instruments into the hands of as many marine scientists as possible so that the data they generate can help protect and conserve what is left of the Earth’s coral reefs.” Dr. Alina Szmant is clearly dedicated to working to help save the coral reefs in any way she can. ¶

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