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Albemarle Summer 2021

Magazine

Mobile Kayak Biz Native Girl Helps Others Learn Joys Of Kayaking – Page 10


ON THE

COVER

Cassondra Ivey (left), owner of the mobile kayak rental company Native Girl Kayaking, is joined by her daughter Cate James, 12, while kayaking on Sawyer's Creek in Camden, Saturday, May 22. Chris Day/The Daily Advance

Contents Pasquotank, Chowan rivers crucial to area's history, recreation

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Mobile kayak biz native girl helps others learn joys of kayaking

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Teen commercial fisherman hooked on a career on the water

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Edenton Hatchery plays big role in effort to revive lake sturgeo

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Fish Hatchery does more than raise fish

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Recipe: Pasta al Limone

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H2OBX waterpark again making a splash after closing down

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USCG Auxiliary: Begin boating safety with the young

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Calendar

28

Back Porch

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ALBEMARLE MAGAZINE

is a publication of The Daily Advance, Chowan Herald, and The Perquimans Weekly, all Adams Publishing Group Newspapers. 1016 W. Ehringhaus St., Elizabeth City, NC 27909

EDITORIAL 252-482-4418 Publisher Sean O'Brien Editor Miles Layton and Nicole Bowman-Layton 252-368-9287 Correspondents Kesha Williams, Anna Goodwin Photography Nicole Bowman-Layton Miles Layton

STAFF

Nicole Bowman-Layton, Miles Layton, Chris Day, Reggie Ponder, Paul Nelsen

PRODUCTION Jasmine Blount

ADVERTISING 252-329-9670

Multi-media Account Executives Rich Houghton Lisa Bailey Bev Alexander

Front Porch

WATER IS LIFE

Water is the giver of life. Wherever there is a stream, you’ll find life. This edition of Albemarle Magazine looks at the water and its influence on the people who live in the region. Reggie Ponder takes a look at the waterways that have shaped this region -- the Chowan, Pasquotank and Perquimans rivers and a few others. The story adds a few historical tidbits that are quite fascinating. Chris Day looks at the Edenton Fish Hatchery, which has been helping conserve waterways throughout the United States since the 1890s. Its more recent efforts have focused on fish and amphibians. Kesha Williams and Anna Goodwin McCarthy both look at how the waterways provide a livelihood for people. Some people, like 17-year-old Wyatt Casper, are fishermen, making a living on catching the bounty provided by the waterways. Cassondra Ivey makes her living by helping people learn to kayak and enjoy nature’s beauty. McCarthy also looked at how the water inspires a local artist, whose pieces make the Dismal Swamp look not so dismal. Paul Nielsen looked at how the water entertains at the H2OBX waterpark. The pandemic forced the attraction to close during the summer of 2020, but its staff is ready for a great summer of 2021. Water safety and education is one of the cornerstones of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The group, which has several local flotillas -- like chapters or clubs in other organizations -- does a lot to ensure people have a fun and safe time on the water. We hope you enjoy this edition. We can’t wait to see you out on the water.

&

SUBSCRIPTIONS 252-329-9505

CIRCULATION Chuck Edwards

NICOLE BOWMAN-LAYTON & MILES LAYTON

Albemarle Magazine Editor

ONLINE

See Albemarle Magazine at DailyAdvance.com

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The Pasquotank River is seen looking east from the park at Mid-Atlantic Christian University at the far end of Poindexter Street in Elizabeth City, Wednesday, May 26. Chris Day/The Daily Advance

Pasquotank, Chowan rivers crucial to area's history, recreation Waterways played vital roles in region’s history By Miles Layton Albemarle Magazine Editor's note: The following story includes a little history as well as some fun facts and geographical information about the rivers in the Albemarle region.

T

he Pasquotank River received a National Underground Railroad Network of Freedom designation on Sept. 15, 2004, becoming the first waterway to be recognized for its role in slaves' escape to freedom. A marker in Elizabeth City's Waterfront Park recognizes that designation and notes that historians have found 35 runaway slave ads between 1791 and 1840 that mention the Pasquotank River. A network of slaves and free blacks, many of whom were experienced sailors and boat pilots, worked with white sailors and other supportive individuals of various races to arrange for slaves to escape by boat either to northern states or to the West Indies to the south. An important Civil War naval battle was fought on the Pasquotank. The Battle of Elizabeth City in February 1862 was a major loss for the Confederate gunboat fleet, sometimes known as the 'Mosquito Fleet." All the Confederate

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Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021


vessels were either sunk or disabled by the Union ships or destroyed by their own crews to avoid falling into Union hands. The Union Navy was able to take control of the port of Elizabeth City in the aftermath of the battle. Elizabeth City was founded in 1793 to provide a port at the southern end of the Dismal Swamp Canal, which had recently been completed. The canal, engineered by George Washington and constructed by slaves, was an important connection between northeastern North Carolina and the thriving international port in Norfolk, Virginia. The Pasquotank River connects to the Dismal Swamp Canal just north of Elizabeth City in South Mills. The river takes a sharp turn at Elizabeth City and becomes a shallow, slow-moving estuary between Elizabeth City and the river's mouth at the Albemarle Sound. The U-turn at Elizabeth City creates a natural harbor that long served as a port for commercial vessels and now provides a haven for recreational sailors as the famed "Harbor of Hospitality." The city's 48-hour complimentary dockage is a popular amenity for boats traversing the Intracoastal Waterway south in the fall or north in the spring. The Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) has two alternate routes through this area. One follows the Pasquotank River to the Dismal Swamp Canal and the other uses the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal and passes through Coinjock in Currituck County. The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal connects the Albemarle Sound in North Carolina with the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. Its construction was funded jointly by North Carolina and Virginia, and was completed in the 1850s.

The sun is seen rising over the Perquimans River in the Hertford area. Photo by Michelle Winslow

.

Chowan River

The Chowan River is formed just south of the North Carolina-Virginia state line by the confluence of the Blackwater River and Nottoway River. The Meherrin River also flows southeast from the Emporia, Virginia, area into the Chowan River. The Chowan River is significant historically because it is believed to have brought the first permanent European settlers into North Carolina. The Blackwater River originates not far from the Jamestown settlement in Virginia and early settlers left Jamestown via the

Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021

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The Chowan River is lined with cypress trees and marks the boundary between Chowan and Bertie counties. Photo by Sheila Evans


Blackwater and continued down the Chowan River into North Carolina. Chowan Beach on the Chowan River near Winton in Hertford County was a popular recreation area for Black visitors from all along the East Coast during the segregated era of the early and mid 20th century. The beach featured a swimming area, snack bar and dance hall, and attracted top performers such as James Brown, B.B. King, Sam Cooke, and The Coasters. In the middle of the Chowan River not far from its mouth at Edenton is Holladay Island, an uninhabited wilderness area that is equipped with camping platforms. The island is a remote camping getaway for canoe and kayak campers. In the early- and mid-20th century,, the Chowan River boasted a lucrative herring fishery. Large commercial processors were located in towns including Edenton and Colerain in Bertie County. The landing of river herring was placed under a moratorium beginning in the mid-2000s. Some biologists see the beginnings of a comeback for the fish as conservation measures continue. Fishing is the primary pastime on the Yeopim River, which forms part of the boundary between Perquimans and Chowan counties. Bethel Fishing Center, a convenience store, grill, boat ramp and angler-centered residential community, is located on the Yeopim River in Bethel in Perquimans. The river continues past the Snug Harbor subdivision to its mouth on the Albemarle Sound. Over the years the Yeopim has been a favorite of recreational fishermen and has hosted a number of bass fishing tournaments. The Perquimans River in Perquimans County wraps around downtown Hertford before flowing gently into the Albemarle Sound. Winfall Landing Park in Winfall and Missing Mill Park in Hertford are among the recreational areas on the river. Southern Baptists operate Camp Cale on the Perquimans River in the White Hat community. The river is also credited with inspiring the song "Carolina Moon" by Joe Burke and Benny Davis. The song was a hit for Gene Austin, Connie Francis, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, among others.

Little River

The Little River forms part of the boundary between Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. It is among 10 streams in North Carolina that are known by that name. The Little River arises within a swamp in western Pasquotank County and quickly widens as it approaches the Albemarle Sound. The river is popular for fishing and boating. The North River forms part of the boundary between Camden County and Currituck County. It is popular with sailors and anglers, and hunting is a popular pastime on game lands along the river's shores.

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Cassondra Ivey paddles her kayak in Sawyer’s Creek in Camden, Saturday, May 22. Chris Day/The Daily Advance

Mobile Kayak Biz Native Girl Helps Others Learn Joys Of Kayaking Cassondra Ivey helps over learn to enjoy kayaking, discover area’s scenic beauty By Anne Goodwin McCarthy Correspondent

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Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021


W

ith waterways offering natural sights that both captivate the eye and inspire the soul, it is no surprise the Albemarle is a favorite place for

kayakers. Cassondra Ivey discovered the joys of kayaking some years ago, and since 2018 she's been helping others do the same. Ivey is the owner of Native Girl Kayaking, a mobile business that offers both kayak rentals and guided kayaking tours. For customers who want to rent a kayak, Ivey will both deliver a kayak to where they want to explore and pick it up when they're done. Her kayaks can be rented by the hour, day or week. Through her business, Ivey gets to travel to a variety of waterways in the area. Whether it is the Dismal Swamp, Sawyers Creek, Waterfront Park, Edenton Bay, Queen Anne Creek or Lake Drummond, Ivey helps others learn to enjoy kayaking and discover the area's scenic beauty. Ivey said there are “many hidden gems” in the area for kayaking. “I like the remote areas the best,” she said. Renting a kayak is “a great way to experience kayaking before you buy gear,” Ivey said. She said the average price of a new kayak ranges from $400 to $1,500 and up. She said people on a budget can purchase used kayaks that are in good shape. Ivey suggests people consider three things before they start kayaking: What type of paddling they want to do, what kind of budget they have to spend, and whether it's more important for them to be stable or fast once they get on the water. “Make sure it is a good fit” before making a purchase, Ivey said. For recreational kayaking, Ivey recommends taking advantage of the calm backcountry waters that are “protected from wind and don’t have a lot of activity.” Ivey suggests people who are beginning kayakers hire a guide like herself to help. Ivey provides her clients with safety tips, including how to launch their kayak from a boat ramp or platform. “I will make sure you launch successfully,” she said. As the name of her business attests, Ivey is a native girl. She grew up across the line in Chesapeake, Virginia, so she was already familiar with many of the region's waterways. But it wasn't until when she was pregnant with her daughter that her mom, who lives on the Little River, introduced her to kayaking. Years later the trio of grandmother, mother and daughter still enjoy kayaking together. Ivey says kayaking is great way for friends and families to connect. Kayaking is also a great de-stressor, she says. Besides building up Vitamin D, achieving mindfulness, and experiencing nature first hand, “we all sleep better”

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SHOULD Cassondra Ivey (left), owner of the mobile kayak rental company Native Girl Kayaking, is joined by her daughter Cate James, 12, while kayaking on Sawyer's Creek in Camden, Saturday, May 22. Chris Day/The Daily Advance

after kayaking, she said. “Above all, kayaking should be fun,” she said. A holistic health care practitioner, Ivey co-owned a practice in Los Angeles, California, before moving to Hertford. She now also lives on the Little River, which remains her favorite place to kayak. Ivey said one of the best things about kayaking is the “connection to nature” it provides. She's seen all kinds of wildlife while kayaking, including bears, bobcats, alligators, beavers and herons. She describes the experience as both “fascinating and thrilling.” Ivey has taken groups of bird watchers on guided kayak tours. She also partners with charter fishing guide Jeff Onley of Albemarle Fishing Charters to give guided tours of area waterways. Ivey will give guided tours to people who wish to rent a kayak or people who have their own kayak and just want a guided tour.

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“I welcome all people that want to come,” she said. Ivey said most people enjoy the "community experience" of kayaking in groups. To accommodate them, Native Girl Kayaking can rent up to a dozen kayaks at a time and take up to a dozen kayakers on tours. Ivey schedules appointments for kayaking seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset. She generally offers kayaking from mid-April to mid-December, depending on the weather. “We don’t want people to be too cold,” she said. She also offers fall foliage tours, letting people experience the brilliant colors of the season first hand. “I make it safe and convenient,” Ivey said of kayaking. “Get out there and see some nature.” Native Girl Kayaking's fees for rentals and guided tours can be found on its website or by calling Ivey at 252-404-2266. For more information visit https:// nativegirlkayaking.com.

Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021


BE FUN! Cassondra Ivey discusses her mobile kayak rental company Native Girl Kayaking at the public boat access at Sawyer's Creek in Camden, Saturday, May 22. In the background, Ivey's daughter, Cate James, gets set to kayak with her mother. Chris Day/The Daily Advance Photo by Sheila Evans

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Wyatt Casper, 17, is shown with one of his fishing boats at a dock in Dare County. Casper has embarked on a career as a commercial fisherman, scouring the Albemarle Sound for flounder, speckled trout and striped mullet bluefish. Photo by Kesha Williams

TEEN COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN hooked on a career on the water

W

By Kesha Williams Correspondent

hile many other young people are leaving coastal communities for careers elsewhere, Wyatt Casper decided to cast his lot as a commercial fisherman at home in Dare County. Unlike many of his peers, the 17-year-old already is his own boss, operating two fishing boats on the waters of the Albemarle Sound. Of course being the boss means Casper's workday may begin at 7, 6 or even 3 a.m. It also means his workstation “doesn’t smell too good” (something you get over, he says), sunburn is likely, and standing for long periods is the norm. It also means there's no guarantee of a particular annual salary. And it means living on the edge season after season. But no matter: Casper said he's hooked. “I love being independent," he said. "You rely on yourself out there. I see the sun come up and see the sun go down on many days. It’s quiet when you are steadily moving to find the fish. You don’t hear much, only your thoughts." At 17, Casper can’t recall decades of fishing patterns like his older peers, many of whom have fished for years. But like them, he worked on the fishing boats of other owners, developing his skills before striking out on his own. Some of his relatives have also worked as fishermen, so he's been able to turn to them for advice. “I run the shoreline and fish where I've found them before," Casper said. "In the Albemarle Sound, we fish year round. What you find there depends on the season.

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But you can find flounder, speckled trout, striped mullet bluefish there. I see more speckled trout now that ever before." From time to time, he talks with other local young people who sign up to work on fishing boats for the summer. When they ask him to describe a typical day, Casper says he tries to be honest with them. Commercial fishing isn't easy, he says. In fact it can be grueling and somewhat risky. Fishermen aren’t likely to have soft smooth skin on their hands due to the wrenching work with fishing gear and ropes. Fish have their own defenses, Casper notes, so coming into contact with them poses some risk to the skin on your hands. Commercial fishermen also must be sticklers about time and preparation. They need to have the adequate supplies on hand to place dripping fresh fish in iced storage containers and then be able to get them quickly to market. Yet, doing a job you enjoy is worth the challenges of long sunny hours aboard a fishing boat, he said. “It is a huge relief for sure to drop off a load of fish at the fish market — O’Neal Sea Harvest — that buys my load," Casper said. "I’m super proud to know everything I’ve done has come from my hands. Every penny is earned with something coming out of this water." While many people in his age group are competing for their office's best window view, Casper cherishes the daily views he gets of North Carolina’s historic shorelines. And while his age peers may enjoy the chatter of work colleagues, Casper said he's comforted by the hum of his

Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021


boat moving through the Albemarle Sound. He also enjoys knowing the next day will provide the same thrills as the current one. Casper is also inspired knowing he's supplying a product people want — delicious, fresh fish caught locally. “Fresh local seafood, caught that day, tastes best," he said. "I think people who buy fish from this area are glad to know they are putting money back into their community." He also likes the fact that he's participating in an industry that also supplies fish to other regions. “Some of the fish caught here is iced and gets shipped up the Eastern Seaboard," he said. Some days are harder than others in his job, but Casper said he's proud to work in an industry that's rich in tradition and purpose. "The fishing industry is the heart of North Carolina’s coast," he said. "It’s just good to know you are feeding America." Dare County native Wyatt Casper routinely checks his net for holes before heading out to fish for striped mullet and speckled trout. The 17-year-old commercial fisherman takes pride in earning his income by catching fresh, delicious fish from the Albemarle Sound. Photo by Kesha Williams

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Edenton Hatchery plays big role in effort to revive lake sturgeon Hatchery also leads effort to restore other aquatic wildlife populations By Chris Day Albemarle Magazine

Jimmie Garth, the lead fish biologist at the Edenton National Fish Hatchery, is seen on the Tennessee River holding a lake sturgeon that was raised at the Edenton hatchery, during a recent fish sampling trip on the Tennessee River.

EDENTON — North Carolina’s dwindling population of lake sturgeon is getting a boost by a multi-agency effort that includes the Edenton National Fish Hatchery. The hatchery received its annual batch of lake sturgeon on Wednesday, May 26, said veterinarian and hatchery manager Sonia Mumford. The fry of sturgeon arrived about 30 days after being hatched at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hatchery in Warm Springs, Georgia. ‘They are tiny,” Mumford said. “What they look like are tadpoles.” The Edenton hatchery will grow the sturgeon to lengths of about 6 to 9 inches before they are released in the French Broad River outside Asheville. Some also will be released in the Tennessee River in Knoxville, Tennessee, Mumford said. Lake sturgeon, one of about two dozen species of sturgeon, were once prevalent in North Carolina and the Tennessee River, according to Mumford. “They were incredibly common in the late 1800s,” she said. Overharvesting, in part because of their prized eggs used as caviar and the fact they are good to eat, led to a depression in population numbers and to near extinction in North Carolina. Efforts to revive the fish began 19 years ago, and the Edenton hatchery has been involved the last six years. “This has been a longstanding program in the

Submitted photo

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Countined on page 20

Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021


Southeast,” Mumford said. “It seems like it’s going well.” One goal of the program is to generate a selfsustaining population of lake sturgeon that people can fish from, she said. For now, fishing for lake sturgeon is catch-and-release only in North Carolina. Lake sturgeon females do not sexually mature until about 18 to 20 years of age, which makes restoration efforts a slow process. That sounds like a long time, but lake sturgeon can live to be 100 years old. “We’re hoping they will outlive us,” Mumford said of the sturgeon in the program. Other program participants include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which has an annual lake sturgeon fishing season that runs through September. According to the Wisconsin DNR site, the minimum length of lake sturgeon that can be caught and kept is 60 inches. Other participants include North Carolina Wildlife Resources and state agencies in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The sturgeon program is one of several programs the Edenton hatchery will be involved in this summer. For instance, for the first time ever the hatchery will participate in a program to raise and release new populations of gopher frogs. The ground-dwelling frog thrives in the Sand Hills region of the state and is not listed as federally endangered. However, it is a protected species in North Carolina, Mumford said. The frogs prefer to live in the stumps of longleaf pines that inhabit the Sand Hills, which is formed of about eight counties in central North Carolina. Between the stumps they build extensive tunnel networks to move about. “They actually spend about 98% of their lives underground,” Mumford said. The hatchery is raising tadpoles hatched from eggs collected in Croatan National Forest. Mumford said she and other hatchery staff are already seeing hind legs develop on the tadpoles. Eventually, their front legs will develop, and they will lose their tails. Another annual program the local hatchery is about to begin is its striped bass harvesting. The bass are raised in ponds until they are large enough to eat dry feed from the surface and are eventually released to area waterways. Other hatchery efforts to sustain marine life include its work to revive populations of the endangered Cape Fear Shiner, a minnow-sized fish that is endemic to the Cape Fear River Basin. It's not found anywhere else in the world, Mumford said. “They could cease to exist” without the intervention of the hatchery and other agencies, Mumford said. The Edenton Fish Hatchery is located at 1102 W. Queen Street, Edenton, and can be reached by telephone at 252-482-4118. The hatchery is open seven day a week from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. between March and mid-December.

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Fish Hatchery does more than raise fish

Sam Pollock, assistant manager at the Edenton National Fish Hatchery, holds Speedy, a baby alligator, while discussing alligators at Dismal Swamp State Park in 2019. The hatchery was among more than 40 vendors that participated in a recent Dismal Day. Chris Day/Daily Advance file photo

Facility open for walking tours, has museum Staff Reports EDENTON -- The Edenton National Fish Hatchery, located at , has been producing fish for public use and restoration since the Hatchery was established in 1898. The Hatchery has a public aquarium and indoor classroom, which are currently closed to the public due to the pandemic. Updates will be posted to the Edenton NFH website, fws.gov/edenton, and on Facebook: facebook.com/Edenton-National-FishHatchery. A nature trail -- raised boardwalk through wetland -- is open to the public. It is about a mile long and can include glimpses at local wildlife, such as turtles. Visitors can fish from the deck at the end of the trail, which is Pembroke Creek. Although most hatchery lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you do the following: •

• • • • • •

Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on all federal lands. Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other groups. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick.

A child pulls a hook out of a catfish caught during the 2019 Edenton-Chowan Optimist Club’s Kids Fishing Derby day at the Edenton Fish Hatchery. Nicole Bowman-Layton/ Chowan Herald file photo

The hatchery also has staff that is available to give public presentations to groups and organizations. Before the pandemic, the facility hosted several fishing derbies for children, veterans and other organizations.

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D I RECTI ON S: U sin g a ve ge t a b l e peeler, rem ove four 2”-lon g stri p s of lem o n ze s t . T hi nl y slice ea ch strip len g thw ise i n to th i n st ran d s ; s e t a s i d e fo r ser vin g . Fin ely g ra te rem a ini n g zest in to a l a rge p o t ( l i ke a Dutch oven) . Cut lem ons in h al f an d squ eeze o u t e n o u gh juice to yield 4 ta blespoons into a smal l bow l; s e t a s i d e . Co o k pa s t a i n a n o th er la rg e pot of boilin g h eav i l y sal ted water, s t i rri n g o cc a s iona lly, until ver y a l dente (pasta wi l l f in ish co o ki n g i n t h e sa uce). Add c rea m to p o t with lem on zest a n d cook over m ed i um h eat , wh i s ki n g o fte n, until liquid is just beg innin g to si mm er, about 2 mi n u te s . Reduce h ea t to m edium -low. Wh i sk i n bu tte r o n e t a b l e s p oon a t a tim e until m el ted an d sauce beco m e s c rea my a n d em ulsif ied. Rem ove f rom h eat . J u st b e fo re pa s t a is a l dente, scoop out 1 ½ cup s pasta co o ki n g l i q u i d . Ad d ¾ cup pa sta cookin g liquid to c ream sau ce a n d re t u rn to m edium h ea t . Usin g ton g s, tran sfer spa g h e tt i to p o t wi t h sa uce. Cook , tossin g of ten a n d a d d i n g Parm e s a n l i tt l e by l ittle, until ch eese is m el ted, an d sauce is crea my, a b o u t 3 minutes. If th e sa uce looks tig ht , a d d 1–2 t able s p o o n s o f pa s t a cookin g liquid. ( C rea m sa uces ti gh ten u p ve r y q u i ck l y a s th ey cool, so it’s better to lean on th e sau ci e r s i d e o f t hi n gs.) Stir in reser ved lem on juice; season w it h m o re s a l t , i f n e e ded. Div i d e pa s t a a m o n g bow ls. Sea son w ith pepper, th en top w it h re s e r ve d l e m o n zest strips a n d f resh ba sil.

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Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021

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Dondero said being closed all of last summer was disappointing, so the waterpark was hopeful it could operate in some capacity in 2020.

The H2OBX Waterpark has more than 30 attractions on its 28-acre site in Powells Point. The park opened for the summer season on May 29. Paul Nielsen/The Daily Advance

H2OBX waterpark again making a splash after closing down for COVID in 2020 Waterpark reopened its doors on May 29 By Paul Nielsen Albemarle Magazine POWELLS POINT — The wait is over. After being closed all of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the H2OBX Waterpark reopened its doors on Saturday, May 29, for the summer season. The waterpark, which first opened in 2017, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Aug. 23. It will then be open weekends through Sept. 19. Based on the most current Centers for Disease Control and state and local regulation, H2OBX will operate at 100 percent capacity on its 28-acre site in lower Currituck. The waterpark has more than 30 attractions for both young and old and General Manager Damian Dondero said the upcoming season will be exciting. “We were hopeful that everything would turn favorable in terms of the vaccines and having this virus calming down,” Dondero said in a recent interview. “Thankfully, those things have happened and we are ready to be open again.”

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“When the pandemic hit, it turned everything upsidedown, us included,” Dondero said. “It was tough to not see our guests and it was tough to not hire our employees. We had the park ready to open last summer. When we knew that wasn’t going to happen, we started planning for this summer.” Dondero described H2OBX as a “world-class waterpark” in part because of its newness of having opened just a few years ago. “Some of the older ones are 30-plus years old, and they are great parks, but they are showing their age,” Dondero said. “We are like the shiny new penny. We have state-of-the-art attractions as regards to our slides and wade pools and flow riders.’’ Dondero said the Lazy River is the most popular attraction but that the Wave Pool is also a place “people enjoy.” “Some of our family raft rides are also very popular,” Dondero said. “What is great about those slides is that you get to ride with up to six people and you are all facing each other. You can see each other’s laughter and screams. That makes it a very fun experience.” The waterpark will have around 400 employees, including around 140 lifeguards. Dondero said employees come from Dare, Currituck, Camden and Pasquotank counties as well as from the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area. “We have a great staff,” Dondero said. “They go through extensive training so our employees can give our guests a positive experience.” The waterpark offers a wide selection of food and beverage choices, including craft beer and wine. All the craft beer selections are from breweries in North Carolina and Virginia. Dondero said the park’s crab cake sandwich can “rival anything on the beach.” “We have great food here,” Dondero said. “We have some wonderful eastern North Carolina barbecue. We have other things like giant turkey legs.’’ There are also 50 private cabanas that visitors can reserve for their day at the park. Dondero said that safety has always been a top priority and that the waterpark has stepped up those efforts this summer. That includes adding additional hand-sanitizing stations throughout the park. “Our safety practices have always been top-notch and we have made them even more robust,” Dondero said. “We have a cleaning crew that comes around regularly to all the areas.’’ Season passes are $109. Day passes are $36.99 for guests over 42 inches tall and $26.99 for those under 42 inches. Dare and Currituck residents get a $2 discount on day passes.

Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021


Duffy Danish, CEO of Port Discover, tries out one of the interactive exhibits at the science center geared primarily toward children. File photo/The Daily Advance

Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021

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The Revs. Jonathan Tobias (left), Malone Gilliam and Coast Guard Auxiliary Chaplain Jeffery Russell talk prior to the Blessing of the Boats Saturday at Edenton Bay. Photo by Nicole BowmanLayton/Chowan Herald

USCG Auxiliary: Begin boating safety with the young Group also offers boat inspections

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By Kesha Williams Correspondent rea elementary school kids are always pleasantly surprised when a uniformed member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary shows up to speak to their class. Education about boating safety is the USCG Auxiliary's primary responsibility and given the region's large number of waterways, school classrooms are a handy place to educate students about boating

safety. While choosing the right life jacket and how to stay safe when aboard a boat are valuable topics for boaters of all ages, they are especially so for youngsters. That's because the sooner youngsters learn those boating safety lessons the more likely they will be able to enjoy what Coast Guard Auxiliary members hope are years of outings on the water. Whether it’s a routine Saturday fishing trip aboard the family bass boat or a surprise ride aboard the neighbor’s new pontoon, boating safety measures matter. That’s a theme promoted by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in schools and other instructional sites where the organization’s courses are taught. Lucille Vogel is a public affairs representative with U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 16-01 in Elizabeth City, one of three flotillas in Division 16 of the auxiliary's Fifth District Southern Region. The other three are Flotilla 16-02 in Plymouth, Flotilla 16-04 in Cape Hatteras and Flotilla 16-07 on the Outer Banks. Vogel said the organization is authorized by federal law to augment and support U.S. Coast Guard operations. The auxiliary has no policing authority, Vogel explained. It's instead a diverse group of civilian volunteers honored to help serve their nation on its waterways. “Boating safety is our priority responsibility and augmenting the Coast Guard in its many different responsibilities," she said. "We promote boating safety through public education courses and presentations to civic organizations."

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Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021


Local Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas Flotilla 16-2 is based in Plymouth but has members living as far west as Edenton. It is the oldest chartered flotilla in North Carolina and the only flotilla in the western portion of the Albemarle Sound. It is led by Jeff Russell, who can be contacted via email at 5thsr.16.02@gmail.com . The flotilla’s website is http://wow.uscgaux.info/content. php?unit=054-16-02 . Flotilla 16-1 is based in Elizabeth City. The group is responsible for the Pasquotank River, Little River, Perquimans River and that portion of the Albemarle Sound adjoining them. More information can be found online at http:// wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=054-16-01 or via email at flotilla16.01@gmail.com . Flotilla 16-7 covers the Outer Banks. It is led by Timothy Glenn Baker and meets the fourth Wednesday of every month. The flotilla was named the 2019 Flotilla of the Year by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. For information, visit the website http://wow.uscgaux.info/content. php?unit=054-16-07 or contact Recruiting Officer John Linn Carter, 703-819-5216, johnny3obx@yahoo.com .

Rev. Malone Gilliam (left) and Rev. Jonathan Tobias (right) bless a boat Saturday, as Coast Guard Auxiliary Chaplain Jeffery Russell salutes during the Edenton Yacht Club’s Blessing of the Boats in Edenton Bay. Photo by Nicole Bowman-Layton/Chowan Herald

Auxiliary members also train for and conduct water safety patrols and air patrols, Vogel said. They also conduct free recreational boat safety checks. "We also train to do aids-to-navigation checks to help keep our waterways safe,” she added. Prospective auxiliary members must be a U.S. citizen, at least 17 years old and capable of passing a security check. Flotilla 16-01 in Elizabeth City includes 32 members. Like other flotillas, it includes trained members who visit boat dealers, marinas and boating stores to pass out informational pamphlets and fliers about boating safety. Vogel noted another important task of the auxiliary’s trained inspectors: completing free, vessel safety inspections on an annual basis. Life jackets and throwable life preservers are checked to ensure they meet Coast Guard specifications. “Vessel navigation lights are checked for proper operation," Vogel said. "Visual distress signals such as flares are (checked to ensure they're) within date and lights are operational. When a vessel passes the safety inspection a sticker is put on the vessel with the current year on it." Educating the public is an ongoing effort since new boaters are entering area waterways all the time. Keeping boaters aware of essential equipment aboard their boats saves lives each year, Vogel said. There are auxiliary units located in the 50 states of the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.


SUMMER

2021

Calendar JUNE & JULY EVENTS ArtWalk ELIZABETH CITY -- First Friday ArtWalk will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, June 4, July 2 and August 6, in downtown Elizabeth City. Enjoy artwork, artist demos and live music at several locations.

DOG Street Boys will perform from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 19, during Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6060 75th anniversary celebration. The event will be held at the post facility, 1433 North Road Street, Elizabeth City. Submitted photo

Penelope’s Prohibition Party

ELIZABETH CITY -- wailin’ wednesdays in pailin’s alley will be held from 6 p.M. To 9 p.M. Wednesday, june 9, in pailin’s alley in elizabeth city. Come out for a mid-week recharge with craft beer and live music.

EDENTON -- Edenton Historical Commission will host a fundraiser, Penelope’s Prohibition Party: A Murder Mystery and More, starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 19. Join the organization on the Barker House lawn for a COVID-friendly celebration of the end of Coronabition! Enjoy pre-packaged hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, jazz band and a murder mystery. Period costumes from the 1920’s are encouraged. Tickets are $50 per person and are available by calling 252482-7800.

Family Fun

Anniversary celebration

HERTFORD -- Hertford Downtown Family Fun will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 11, July 9 and August 13, around the Perquimans County Courthouse, 128 N. Church St. The event will features music, shopping and a relaxing time.

ELIZABETH CITY -- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6060 invites the public to its celebration of 75 years of service in the Elizabeth City area. The event will be held Saturday, June 19, at the VFW Post, 1433 North Road Street, Elizabeth City. Enjoy barbecue, which will be served from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at $10 per plate. DOG Street Boys will perform from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Wailin’ Wednesdays

Edenton Farmers Market Edenton Farmers Market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays at its facility on North Broad St. All vendors will wear masks and all customers are required to wear masks, especially inside the building. If someone does not have a mask, one will be provided upon entering the building. Masks are required unless you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask.

Community Prayer EDENTON -- The community is invited to attend monthly neighborhood prayer sponsored by Edenton-Chowan Community Against Violence. The group rotates the gatherings by Police Zones and invites all residents to join them as they pray for UNITY, PEACE and RESTORATION throughout Edenton. The prayer covering Police Zone 6 will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, June 14, at the Edenton Police Department, 301 N. Oakum St.. Police Zone 6 includes the following streets: East Freemason; East Carteret; East Gale; ; East Albemarle; North Oakum (Freemason to East Church) East Church (Broad Street to the Toning Mill); and Halsey Village . Everyone is invited.

Elder Abuse Walk CAMDEN COUNTY -- The Camden Center for Active Adults will host its first Elder Abuse Awareness Walk and Lunch at Camden Park, 125 Noblitt Drive, Tuesday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will feature a free lunch, free raffles, and a variety of speakers. Pre-Registration is required by May 28. Register at the center.

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Kids Night Out! ELIZABETH CITY -- Kids Night Out will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, June 25, at Knobbs Creek Recreation Center, 200 East Ward Street, Elizabeth City. The fun night is for children ages 5 to 12 years old. All 5-year-olds must currently be enrolled in kindergarten. Cost for a child to attend is $10 and pre-registration is required. For information, visit https://secure.rec1.com/ NC/elizabeth-nc/catalog or call 252-335-1424.

July 4th celebration HERTFORD -- A Customer Appreciation event will be held from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 3, at the Crawfish Shack, 305 Swing Gate Road, Hertford. The free event will feature swimming, fishing and Taz II Productions. Cooked crawfish and crawfish plates will be available for $12 per plate. Cooked crawfish is $10 per pound. Beer and wine bar for onsite purchases only. Bring your own floats, fishing poles, bait, chairs, and snacks for the kids.

July 4th Celebration EDENTON -- Edenton Tea Party Chapter NSDAR will host its annual July 4th Celebration starting at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, July 4, on the courthouse green in downtown Edenton, at the Joseph Hewes Monument. The ceremony includes a wreath-laying ceremony, a biographical sketch of Hewes by Annette Wright, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Hackney High. American Legion Post 40 Color Guard will present the colors and Boy Scout Troop 164 will hand out programs.

Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021


Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021

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Back Porch

DEDICATION TO WATER By Miles Layton Albemarle Magazine

T

his edition of Albemarle Magazine is dedicated to water – it’s everywhere in northeastern North Carolina. A sight familiar to many early-risers is a mist that clings to the water like a veil and a silence that echoes through the soul. Everybody has their own experiences and memories made when navigating the natural wonders of the region’s waterways. I live close, very close to Edenton Bay and the Albemarle Sound, so much so that I can see the bay from my front porch. As I walk across the courthouse green, the historic 1767 Chowan County Courthouse behind me and the Founding Father Joseph Hewes monument in front me, I have a moment of complete clarity and a sense of peace. Once, more than once, I’ve sailed or kayaked from a sandy beach in Bertie County across the Albemarle Sound and into Edenton Bay. When the wind is perfect, I’m amazed as I look down at the water while sailing through the Sound. I think, wonder and realize how small I am in the world. At that moment, the world becomes clear, problems become small. Once upon a time, starting at sunrise and ending around sunset, I kayaked from Edenton Bay to Perquimans County – almost made it to Hertford. Next time, I’ll carry suntan lotion. I’ve explored most every waterway on either side of the Sound and tiny barrier islands in places such as Roanoke Island and the Currituck Sound. These aquatic eco-culture mazes have borders of sea grass and sandy shores that never cease to amaze. Long-legged birds, turtles and an occasional water snake greets me as I paddle through the marshes. Biggest trip I’ve ever taken? Sailing from a marina near Oriental, across the Pamlico Sound and up multiple rivers, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway, to the Alligator River,

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where there are long stretches of nothing, but marshlands and ghost forests. Final destination was Edenton Bay over choppy waters and red flag warnings. That part of the voyage, which included my family, took all day and then some. New Year’s Day starting at sunrise, I kayaked between Ocracoke and Portsmouth. I could see passenger ferries and fishermen as I paddled onward while using the current, wind and waves to guide, even talk to me. When the wind shifted direction and became a bit stronger, the trip gained a bit of urgency, as I battled to return to Ocracoke’s shores, sun fading in the distance. Once, I got lost while navigating the Roanoke River’s many islands and coves – not such a bad thing. More than once, my small sailboat and even kayak has been overcome by the Sound’s waves, so I’ve had to swim to unknown shores and hike my way back to civilization. That said, there are many channel markers that know me on a first-name basis as I explore distant destinations. A few times when I’ve been out paddling deep in the Sound, I’ve been greeted by a pod of dolphins. Seeing these powerful peaceful creatures first hand, you gain a true perspective of your place in the universe. During our family’s tours, we visited the Ocean Pursuit, which is that trawler that is slowly sinking into a sandy beach near Oregon Inlet. We’ve been fishing at the edge of the world and all around Edenton’s hospitable shores. Our three children learned to sail, kayak and fish in Edenton Bay and the Sound. Waters in this part of the world have become treasured memories that our family shares. No matter where you live, who you are or want to do, take time to embrace the day by dipping your soul into the rivers, lakes and sounds that make our world a blessing from God.

Albemarle Magazine Summer 2021


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Albemarle Magazine: Summer 2021  

Summer 2021: Water Edition

Albemarle Magazine: Summer 2021  

Summer 2021: Water Edition

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