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spring 2011

LIVING B O AT I NG FI SHI N G DREA MING

THE CURE FOR SPRING FEVER Welcoming the Warmth with Wine, Food, Boats & Music

UP TO THE CHALLENGE Carpenters & Sailors Race to the Finish During Beaufort’s Boat Building Challenge

FROM LEGEND TO REALITY Tracking Down the Tale of Morehead City’s First Blue Marlin

Also Inside Marlins Baseball | Fishing Tournaments | Events Calendar & More FREE

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Quality and Reliability.

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OVER 250 BOATS IN STOCK!

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NCCOAST COMMUNICATIONS | 3


contents

m a g a z i n e

VOL. 5, ISSUE #1 SPRING 2011

Managing Editor Craig Ramey (editor@nccoast.com) Staff Writer Amanda Dagnino (amanda@nccoast.com)

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Sales Director Jamie Bailey 252.241.9485 (sales@nccoast.com) Account David Pennington Executives 252.723.7801 Ashly Willis 252.723.3350 Britt Hardy 252.560.0511 Creative Director Kim Moore (kim@nccoast.com)

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Operations Director Cristie Penland

Published by: NCCOAST Communications Phone: 252.247.7442 • 800.525.1403 201 N. 17th Street, Morehead City, NC 28557 nccoast.com

subscribe

NCCOAST Waterfront Magazine is distributed in four issues a year to select marinas, marine-related shops, visitor centers, advertiser locations and other high-traffic sites throughout North Carolina, and is also available by request at nccoast.com. See below for subscription information. Entire contents, ad and graphic design and nccoast.com copyright 2011 by NCCOAST Communications. Reproduction of any portion of this publication or its website without the publisher’s written consent is strictly prohibited. Information is as accurate as possible at presstime.

MOVING FORWARD Go the distance with a man who crossed the United States on foot before ending his journey at Emerald Isle’s Bogue Inlet Pier.

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REEL CONVERSATION Take a trip back in time with some Fabulous Fishermen as they recall the story of Morehead City’s first blue marlin and the birth of sportfishing on the Crystal Coast.

Layout/Design Lindsay Parker (lindsay@nccoast.com) Graphics Eddie Boné Mimi Davis Roze Taitingfong

ON THE WATERFRONT Cure spring fever with everything from Beaufort’s Wooden Boat Show, homes tours and Wine and Food Weekend, to the Crystal Coast Boat Show.

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TOURNAMENT TRAIL

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BUILD IT UP The National Boat Building Challenge puts sailors and carpenters to the test for a marathon of sawing, stitching and racing on the Beaufort waterfront.

The Governor’s Cup series is set to begin, including the most famous tournament of them all – the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

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ON THE HORIZON Spring is a time for fishing and baseball. Why choose just one when you can have both in the Morehead City Marlins baseball team?

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RIPPLING THROUGH 17 28 32 33

Name: ____________________________

Coastal Greens What’s Up Dock? In the Wake Business Services

Mailing Address: _____________________ State:____ Zip Code: ________________ Email: ____________________________ One-Year Subscription: Four individual issues of Waterfront Magazine - $10

Subscribe Online! www.nccoast.com

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ON THE COVER The perfect lines of a Carolina-built vessel cut through the waters near Cape Lookout National Seashore as spring approaches. (Photo by Scott Taylor).

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A

Taste OF THE

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MARINE SERVICE INC.

Outboard Repair Service Electronic Installations

Come See Our New Line of This is Southern cuisine like you’ve never had it before. From Shrimp and Grits to Fried Oyster and Andouille Sausage Gumbo, Classic Meatloaf to Angus Ribeyes, and everything in between, a meal at Floyd’s is one you will remember - and come back for more. Housed in one of Morehead City’s finest historic homes, Floyd’s offers intimate dining for two up to private rooms for small dinners or lunches. Or join us at the bar where you can enjoy a mixed drink, cold beer, and one of the finest wine selections on the Crystal Coast.

Floyd’s 1921 RESTAURANT • BAR • CATERING 400 Bridges St., Morehead City, NC

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Cape Pointe Ferry Service

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Just a SHORT WALK to the BEACH! Conveniently located in the HEART of Emerald Isle. This home has been well cared for and remodeled with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, new appliances & heat pump, metal roof, screened porch, double garage (without doors), storage building, large outside shower with hot water & dressing area, patio for entertaining or outdoor play, situated on a double lot a half block from the ocean. Walk or bike to most anywhere you want to go. This home has not been used as a rental. Owner/Broker, 252-717-9119

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Providing passenger service on a daily, year-round basis to Cape Lookout National Seashore/Cape Lookout Lighthouse, Shackleford Banks, Beaufort and Morehead City. Dolphin watching tours, beach excursions, historical boat tours around Harkers Island, and Sea Shell tours along Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout National Seashore.

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cape po nte marina & rv park Harkers Island, North Carolina

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Annual RV Sites • Boat Storage • Repairs Ramp • Lifts • Slips • Fishing • Shelling • Swimming

Cape Pointe RV Park is located along the Back Sound of Harkers Island, NC. With pristine coastal waters and gorgeous afternoon sunsets you’ll immediately fall in love with this beautiful property. We encourage you to come enjoy the best of the Crystal Coast and Down East along the beautiful waters of the Atlantic. With quick and easy access by boat or Cape Point Ferry Service, you can be at the Cape Lookout Lighthouse in a matter of minutes. Visit us today at Cape Pointe RV Park, while there stop by Cape Pointe Marina, a full service marina offering all of your boating and fishing needs. Also catch a ride on one of our ferry boats provided by Cape Pointe Ferry Service. These coastal RV lots are now available for purchase or annual lease. You’ll be amazed that waterfront living and vacationing can be this affordable. Hurry in while choice lots remain!

www.capepointemarina.com 252-515-2302 or contactus@capepointrvpark.com

• Boat Storage • Repairs • Ramp • Lifts • Slips • Fishing • Shelling • Swimming 8 |

OPEN YEAR ROUND

Cape Pointe Marina is a full service Marina offering Boat Storage, Boat Slips, Boat Ramp, Charter Fishing, Guide Service, boat repairs, gas, bait and tackle. We also have ice, limited groceries/food items, snacks, soft drinks, bottled water and beer. We offer local fishing knowledge and where they are catching the big ones.

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NCCOAST COMMUNICATIONS | 9


O

N THE WATERFRONT

The sun is coming to the Crystal Coast, and along with it comes the festivals, celebrations and excitement of spring. With so much to do, and so little time, we’ve made it easy for you to get a snapshot of some of the area’s largest spring offerings. Now, all you have to do is free up a little time, go outside and have some fun along the Crystal Coast. KINGS, QUEENS & PORK ON THE GRILL

SPRING PARADE OF HOMES

Claiming the title of the US’s largest whole hog barbecue cooking competition, the Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest has put the “Town with Old-Fashioned Courtesy” on the map. And on Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, the smell of pork will once again fill the air at Newport Park for its 32nd year. The event runs from 4pm to midnight on Friday and from 8am to 5pm on Saturday, offering a family-friendly array of carnival rides, arts and crafts, bake sales, live music and, of course, an abundance of barbecue to share with hungry diners. The fun begins on Friday with a parade through downtown Newport as the teams begin setting up their rigs for the busy night of cooking ahead. The pork simmers through the night and is judged in the morning, just in time to have plates available for lunch. On opening night, you won’t want to miss the excitement as boys and girls ages 3 and up compete for the Newport Pig Cookin’ King and Queen crowns. The park is open from 8am-5pm on Saturday and barbecue plates go on sale around 11am with sides of hushpuppies, slaw and beans for just $6, or in bulk (when available) at $6 per pound. Vendors, carnival rides and live entertainment rings out throughout the afternoon. Awards are handed out mid-day to the top 10 competitors and there are always a few surprises in the results. Admission is free and all money raised from the barbecue sales goes to nonprofit organizations. Since 1978 the event has raised about $700,000 for the community, benefiting various sports teams, school booster groups, churches, Scout groups and more.

As winter transitions into spring, folks will find great opportunities to get outside and start moving again in the two homes tours slated for the area in April. New Bern kicks off tour season April 8-9 with its Spring Historic Homes and Gardens Tour, featuring 13 homes and gardens that played a role in the town’s past and present. Patrons will be able to tour the living quarters of these homes, learning about the original architecture, renovations and furnishings. In addition, many downtown houses of worship will be open for tours, with some offering musical performances throughout the two-day tour. Be sure to stop by the Olde Pinnix Drug Store, across the street from the old train depot at Hancock and Queen streets, where you can grab a homemade bagged lunch to go or enjoy it in a quant tea room setting. Advanced tickets can be purchased for $15. Call 252-628-8558 for phone orders or visit newbernhistorical.org. The 14th annual Homes Tour, organized by the Friends of the Western Carteret Public Library, is planned for Saturday, April 16, and features six homes, including a renovated Cape Carteret “smart” house that incorporates ecofriendly technology and the elegant clubhouse at the Cannonsgate subdivision. New for this year on tour day will be a free Arts and Crafts Show and Sale at the Western Carteret Library coordinated by Liz Hutton. The Friends’ popular Book Cottage will be open, offering visitors an opportunity to browse for used books at bargain prices. The tours help fund projects such as a proposed $150,000 expansion slated to enclose the library’s front patio and double the

10 |

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current space available for programs offered to local children and teenagers. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 on the day of the event. To learn more, or to purchase tickets, call 252-393-6500 or visit carteret. cpclib.org. Can’t make it this spring? Never fear, the Beaufort Old Homes and Gardens Tour is just around the corner. In its staggering 51st year, this favorite will see droves of visitors take to the streets of our favorite seaport village on June 24-25 for a chance to peek inside some of the town’s grandest homes. The annual undertaking features private homes, bed and breakfasts, churches and other public buildings and a choral concert that traditionally kicks off the festivities on Friday evening. All buildings on the Beaufort Historic Site and the Old Burying Ground are also open for visitors. Tickets are $16 in advance or $20 on the day of the event. Details: 252-728-5225 or beauforthistoricsite.org.

PAIRING FOOD & WINE While we relish our history and brag about our beaches, there is one little known secret in Carteret County that locals enjoy with regularity – our amazing culinary offerings. The region’s chefs will be thrust into the limelight this spring, however, as the Beaufort Wine and Food Weekend converges on the small seaport village and spreads throughout the county. For seven years this unmatched festival has raised funds for the Friends of the NC Maritime Museum, the Beaufort Historical Association and the culinary program at Carteret Community College. And from April 27 to May 1, they’re at it again, showcasing awardwinning wineries from around the globe and pairing it with irresistible food. This year, west coast winemakers are being featured, including representatives from California wineries Gustavo Gonzalez, Robert Mondavi, Napa Cellars and Steele Wines and Washington winemakers Revelry Vintners and Hedges Family Estate, among others. The winemakers and guest chefs from around North Carolina team up with some of Carteret County’s most talented chefs for a whirlwind of activity. Enjoy four-course Winemaker’s Dinners and the Celebrity Grand Gala and Auction, learn about pairing at wine tasting seminars, get kitchen tips in cooking seminars and let down your hair at the popular Beer, Bubbles and Barbecue event at the Beaufort Historic Site. From formal to casual, the festival packs a variety of options into a short period of time, with one primary focus – your taste buds. To learn more, or to purchase tickets, visit beaufortwineandfood. com.

WORKING WITH WOOD For 37 years and counting the Wooden Boat Show, one of the largest public events held annually by the NC Maritime Museum, has been drawing thousands of visitors into the streets of Beaufort for a glimpse at the true artistry that is boat building. Forget steel and fiberglass, here, at least for a day, birch, mahogany, oak and teak will reign supreme – polished and shined in all their glory for visitors to enjoy. More than 50 vessels, less than 25 feet in length, are available for viewing each year, lining the streets and filling the museum’s watercraft center. On Saturday, May 7, the boats return, bringing with them a variety of options to participate in the fun. On Friday night a reception kicks off the event and on Saturday evening, the show floats to a close with a reception followed by the annual awards banquet and dinner. The wooden boats will be on display from 10am to 4pm, interspersed with demonstrations and displays of traditional skills, educational activities, boat model displays and the annual Boat Building Challenge (see page 26), which gives two-person teams four hours to complete a 12-foot skiff. While it can be fun to watch the craftsmen at work, it’s often much more fun when it comes time to test the vessel’s seaworthiness. On Saturday, free parking can be found at the museum’s Gallant’s Channel site, off of West Beaufort Road, and a free van shuttle will be available from 10am to 4pm to carry guests downtown. To learn more about the event, call 252-728-7317.

MUSIC & ART BY THE SEA Teaming art and music, the Beaufort Music Festival and the Beaufort Sister Cities Mural Competition have announced they will combine their efforts this year into a weekend celebration of culture and arts by the sea. For more than 20 years, the Beaufort Music Festival has brought throngs of visitors to this picturesque waterfront town for two days of free musical entertainment. From special music for the youngsters at the Beaufort Historic Site to rock, blues and jazz on the festival’s two main stages, the event brings together an eclectic offering with everybody’s tastes in mind. Keeping pace, many of the town’s pubs, restaurants and bars pick up the tab when the festival closes each evening at 10pm, offering live music inside (and out) for the visitors who are eager to keep the beat going. Planned for May 13-14, visitors to the musical festival will also have the opportunity follow along as artists compete in the annual mural competition. Sanctioned by the Beaufort Sister Cities organization, the winner of the contest is provided with a trip to France as Beaufort’s (cont. on page 12)

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NCCOAST COMMUNICATIONS | 11


O

N THE WATERFRONT

entry to the International Mural Competition held annually in Beauforten-Vallee. Maintaining the theme of the weekend, this year’s murals will focus on beach music. As always, the festival is free and open to the public. Comfortable clothing and walking shoes are suggested. Pets and glass containers should be left at home.

YOUR BEST BOAT FORWARD With a new name and a focus on drawing even larger crowds to the Morehead City Waterfront, the former Morehead City Family Boating and In-Water Boat Show, now simply the Crystal Coast Boat Show, takes float May 20-22, promoting one of the most popular recreational activities in Carteret County. Whether you’re looking for your first boat, buying up or just dreaming of the day when you can do either, the waterfront is the ideal place to be in May. This year’s boat show promises to be bigger and better than ever. Over the three previous years, it has experienced

(cont. from page 11)

constant growth and success and this year, the Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association is hoping expanded events will bring even more visitors to the area. Plans call to expand the ARTrageous Art Show that started last year and adding an Antique Car Show on Saturday, May 21. The JFW Gaffer Fishing Tournament will hold weigh-ins on the downtown docks from 3-6pm daily and the Pirate Treasure Hunt on both Saturday and Sunday will give the youngsters something to do while mom and dad browse for their dream boat. Things kick off Friday night with the Mutiny on the Bounty Party, but the fun really heats up on Saturday and Sunday with new and used boats in the water and on land along with a showcase of marine products and services, outdoor gear, fishing tackle, clubs, guides and conservation groups offering information, demonstrations and more. For more information on the boat show or treasure hunt, or to participate, call 252-808-0440.

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MOVING FORWARD 2,800-Mile Walk Comes to an End at Emerald Isle’s Bogue Inlet Pier

By Amanda Dagnino

On an almost monthly basis we’ll hear a tale of someone taking to the open road for one reason or another. They bike for MS, walk to raise funds for cancer research and march to the country’s capitol to make sure their voice is heard. But Jeff Rudisill did none of those things. The 69-year-old from Daleville, Va., took to the road alright – but instead of doing it for some other cause, he did it for himself. “I just kind of did it because I wanted to,” he said via telephone. “I read an article many years ago in National Geographic about a man who (had) done something similar and I said ‘hey that would be a neat thing to do.’” And for most people the story would end there. Rudisill, however, was haunted as he raised a family and managed a 34-year career with Wachovia Bank. The story, the notion of crossing the country on foot, came back to him time and time again. “And I guess the stars sort of lined up for me and everything fell in place,” he laughed. “And I did it – I did it for myself, for my wife, my three children and my eight grandchildren.” With a cart, camping gear, several pairs of his favorite tennis shoes and other provisions, Rudisill took to the road in Dana Point, Calif., on Aug. 31, 2010 only to arrive 2,800 miles and nearly five months later at the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier in Emerald Isle on Jan. 22. There were banners, well-wishers 16 |

and Mayor Art Schools ready with a key to the city – only the third to be presented in the history of the town. “I had no idea it would be that exciting. Mayor Art of Emerald Isle went all out. I

wasn’t expecting that at all and I’m still overwhelmed when I think about it,” Rudisill said. It was, he said, the perfect ending to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “I’m a little bit distraught now that it’s over,” Rudisill said. “It’s kind of interesting to unwind and recuperate from something like that. It’s such a nice feeling to be out there walking, taking everything in. Now I feel like I should always be up and doing something.” As an Easterner, it was the west that intrigued Rudisill the most. “One of my favorite states was New Mexico,” he said. “It had a western-Hispanic fla-

vor and the desert and the mountains were so peaceful. I liked the plains of west Texas a lot, too. The vastness of the plains and the emptiness of it has some real beauty to it. It’s so different from what we’re used to on the east coast. And poking along at my pace I found a lot of beauty in it. I guess I favored the area west of Fort Worth because that’s just so different. When you get east of Dallas you’re kind of getting into what we see all the time.” Through his entire journey, he said, it was the kindness of strangers that kept him moving forward. “People did things for me that made me question whether I would do the same for them if I was in the same situation,” Rudisill said. “They’d bring me food, give me money, invite me into their homes. And it wasn’t just every once in a while – it was every day acts of kindness.” He chronicled his journey via blog (walkingman2011.blogspot.com). Interspersed with his perspective and images from the road are shoutouts to family members on their birthdays and missed holidays and a special “for the students” section that asked questions of three classrooms that opted to follow him along his route as part of their curriculum. “It was one of those things you can’t fully explain unless someone experiences it,” said Rudisill. “But it’s certainly something that I’m glad I did.”

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Other than fishing, there is no other sport more popular for coastal visitors and residents than golf. Whether searching for a picturesque view or just another way to combine relaxation with sport, golf has taken hold of the hearts of many players along the coast. For some, that means finding a favorite course and mastering it, while others prefer to branch out and develop a more well-rounded ability by facing different obstacles at country clubs they have never played before. To help our readers in this quest, Waterfront has added Coastal Greens as a special spotlight on area courses. This edition is dedicated to the Country Club of the Crystal Coast in Pine Knoll Shores, The Golf Farm in Newport and Bear Trail Golf in Jacksonville. To be considered for the next edition of Coastal Greens, call 252247-7442.

Country Club of the Crystal Coast 152 Oakleaf Drive, Pine Knoll Shores,

game. Foust’s 19 years of experience can help develop your game or strengthen a particular skill, all while practicing in a serene setting with natural grass and a beautifully landscaped driving range. The Golf Farm is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to dusk and on Sundays from 1-5:30pm. For more information visit thegolffarminc.com.

252-726-1034. The Crystal Coast’s only island golf course, overlooking Bogue Sound, offering 18 championship holes of golf, swimming pool, clay tennis courts, restaurant, banquet facilities and much more. Golf and tennis open to public daily and when you play, you can dine with us too. Memberships available for residents, nonresidents and juniors. Now Bear Trail Golf Course is a beautiful offering a new dining membership with dues 18 hole semi-private facility located approxias low as $10 per month. Call for details at mately 6 miles southwest of Jacksonville. The course is situated within the new Southwest 252.726.1034 Plantation residential community. Future The Golf Farm 612 Tom Mann Road, plans call for the construction of approximately Newport, 252-223-FARM (3276). Learn from 500 spacious and comfortable homes, as well a pro at this USGA golf training center. as a clubhouse and swimming pool, that will Offering up a premiere driving range, putting provide a relaxing atmosphere for residents to green and help from LPGA Professional Nina call home. Call 910-346-8160 for tee times or Foust, The Golf Farm is Carteret County’s visit our website www.beartrailgolf.com for a hidden jewel when it comes to perfecting your listing of upcoming events.

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the one that

20 |


DIDN’T

get away

A Look Back at Morehead City’s First Blue Marlin

By Amanda Dagnino hoa, he doesn’t look like that anymore,” John Tunnell said, leaning in for a closer look at a black and white photograph taken on the Morehead City waterfront in

1957. “She doesn’t quite look like that anymore either,” Bob Simpson offers, pointing to a photo on the same page. And while no offense is intended, the 80-somethings giggle for a moment like teenagers as they browse the images of their youth. The two have come back to the starting point, The Sanitary Restaurant, to reminisce about that first blue marlin caught off of Carteret County’s coastline and the glory days of the Fabulous Fishermen – the first organization to promote offshore fishing in Carteret County. In 1938, Simpson explained, a blue marlin was landed off of Oregon Inlet, just north of Morehead City. Scientists of the day warned local anglers that this was merely a fluke, a chance encounter, and that there was no real population of the fish in nearby waters. A few white marlin perhaps – but any blue caught must have been an accidental passing. “During the 1950s a new crew working on Bogue Banks discovered a blue that had washed ashore,” Simpson said. “And it was taken to the waterfront and displayed at Capt. Ottis’ fish market.” The sight of the fish was all it took to motivate area residents. “We saw fishing here as the one thing we really had going for us that could bring people to the area,” said Simpson. “Fishing and the beaches. But it wasn’t publicized, nor was it recognized on the East Coast as a spot for fishing.” Charter boat captains, fishing pier owners, anglers and other business owners saw things differently, however. In the early 1950s a band of these movers and shakers had formed a small, casual club, the Fabulous Fishermen. When that blue washed ashore, the officers got together over coffee at The Sanitary and devised a plan. Tired of being slighted as a hotspot for fishing, Simpson and his peers decided to contribute $25 each and solicit additional donations in hopes of raising a $500 reward for the first blue marlin brought in. It was set up almost as a wager, Simpson remembered, with the club basically saying “we bet you can’t get one.” Tom Potter, Bill Strickland and Jerry Shumacher were at that groundbreaking meeting. So was Hubert Fulcher, chief of

police; Ted Garner, co-owner of The Sanitary; Dick Parker, auto dealer. The late Mary Simpson, Bob’s wife, handled the fundraising. “And she had solicited about $350 by the time Bill Olsen, working out of the Morehead City Yacht Basin, took an inexperienced fisherman offshore and returned that evening with a marlin,” Simpson said. It was Sept. 14, 1957 when angler Jimmy Croy heaved that 143-pound blue marlin aboard the Mary Z – a day that marked a new era for Carteret County and the fishing industry worldwide. By the time the pair arrived a crowd had gathered at the waterfront to see the catch and a bright red Radio Flyer (donated by Roses Department Store) loaded with silver dollars (ordered by Garner and restaurant co-owner Tony Seamon) was carted down to greet them. Simpson snapped the photo that memorialized the day in history. “But in all these years there’s one thing no one has ever mentioned to me,” Simpson said, pointing to the framed photo from the museum-like wall of The Sanitary. “Look at it – it’s upside down,” he adds, laughing at his own lack of knowledge. “They gave me a rope and told me to string it up. Well, I had no idea how to string up a marlin, but I did the best I could.” Regardless of how it made its way up on display, the

Opposite page: Bill Olsen, left, and Jimmy Croy are all smiles as they show off the blue marlin caught from the deck of the Mary Z in 1957. (Bob Simpson photo)

nccoast.com

NCCOAST COMMUNICATIONS | 21


fact that a blue marlin made it to land that day was a milestone in Morehead City’s history. No one knew exactly where the pair had found the fish, noted writer Bruce Paul in the history of the Big Rock Tournament, but many speculated that they had reached the Gulf Stream, where warm offshore waters merge with the cooler inland temperatures, probably near the stretch of ledges on the Continental Shelf known as the Big Rock. It was a phrase that Carteret County residents would know all too well before long. And exactly what the Fabulous Fishermen were hoping for. The first tournaments were loose at best. There were few rules, with some of those early anglers referring to the contest as a “free for all.” But it gained attention and steam as it progressed. “One of the more fun and crowd-building events was when we established the practice of firing my Lyle gun when a boat arrived with a marlin aboard,” Simpson said. The bronze cannon, which Simpson still fires each July 4th from his riverfront home, was like a siren, calling the crowds to the docks to see the massive fish as they were strung (tail side up) on the dock. The first few competitions became so popular that Morehead City Yacht Basin’s “Bump” Styron took over sponsorship and helped the Fabulous Fishermen with the planning phase. “Bump really saw the potential in the business it would bring to the area,” said Simpson. “He was a great help.” And as the number of annual entrants increased, the “fish tales” became more and more common along the Carolina coast.

“George Beswick once caught five in one day,” said Tunnell. “Heck, once we caught 90 in a year,” countered Simpson. Tales of the ones that got away, the one that never made it to shore and the young man who caught a tournament record-breaking blue marlin only to realize his fishing license had lapsed followed. But for these men, who once sat around the restaurant table musing about how they could bring the folks to their own little slice of heaven, the stories that come with the fishing are half the fun. Big game fishing is ideal fodder for a storyteller. And for many, the story is being told on the way to the bank. In his tournament history story, Paul said that the purse for the 1974 contest was listed as $800, but just 10 years later it had jumped to what was then an astonishing $70,000. The 2010 purse was up to $1.6 million and included a variety of species as well as a woman’s tournament. Entry fees for all levels in the 2011 tournament are $18,000. The figures are even staggering to those first visionaries who thought they had an inkling of the boon marlin fishing could be for the area. “We had no idea that it would be as big as it is, but we were hopeful,” Simpson said. “Maybe I’m bragging, but if there is anything singled out as being helpful to tourism along the Carolina coast, I’d say it’s fishing – from Wrightsville right on up to Hatteras and Southport. We really had no idea that it would grow to the size that it has and have as much impact as it has. We were aiming to benefit local business.” But the entire state is now benefiting by North Carolina’s active offshore fishery. A 2010 study from the NC Division of Marine Fisheries shows a direct economic impact of saltwater angling of $943,929,472, an additional indirect income of $319,250,048 and $339,542,720 in induced effect for a total of $1.6 billion a year. The study, which uses data from 2008, goes on to note that the industry is responsible for an estimated 17,758 jobs across the state. “You know, I’m proud of what we did,” Simpson said. “And I’m proud of all those people who worked with us and after us because they stepped up to the bat. We were told it was impossible – and we did it.”

Finds

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Additional photos courtesy of Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

22 |

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NCCOAST COMMUNICATIONS | 23


T

OURNAMENT TRAIL

PICKING UP

THE BILL Fish tales have served North Carolina sportsmen well – especially when it comes to blue marlin. Once considered to be closer to legend than fact, these majestic creatures began to surface in more and more stories along the Carolina coast around the 1950s. And as the number of stories grew, so did the number of anglers hoping to turn blue marlin legends into actual trophies. Today that search has evolved into one of the state’s most competitive sports as fishermen have the choice of seven billfish tournaments along the North Carolina coast. Known as the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Conservation Series, the 2011 tournaments begin in Hatteras with the Hatteras Village Offshore Open from May 11-14 and end with the Pirates Cove 27th annual Billfish Tournament held Aug. 16-19. However, the series finds its true heartbeat along the Crystal Coast, where anglers compete in four of the seven tournaments – Swansboro Rotary Bluewater Tournament (May 27-29), Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament (June 10-18), Barta Boys and Girls Club Billfish Tournament (July 14-16) and the Ducks Unlimited Billfish Tag and Release Tournament (July 28-30).

BIG ROCKIN’ & ROLLIN’ The most popular tournament of the Governor’s Cup Series is the perennial Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, which returns to the Morehead City waterfront this June for its 53rd year. Each year this week-long parade of the area’s biggest and best fishermen draws hundreds of anxious spectators and reporters to Big Rock Landing, where the luckiest of fishermen have a chance to weigh in blue marlin that tip the scales at 450 pounds, up to the record 831 pounds in 2000. This event’s popularity has also played a hand in swelling the cash prizes paid to the winners. The 2010 tournament marked the tournament’s 14th year in a row where the overall purse reached at least $1 million and there is little reason to think the trend won’t continue this year. Luckily for those unable to pony up an entry fee of up to $18,000 for all levels, this game of high stakes and giant fish is open to the public as well with daily weigh-ins on the Morehead City waterfront. While blue marlin are brought to the scales as soon as they are caught, gamefish weigh-ins of wahoo, mahi mahi and tuna occur Monday through Friday from 4-7pm and on Saturday from 3-6pm. It’s here where you’ll find spectators, fishermen and media outlets clamoring for a glimpse of these rarely seen and often elusive blue marlin. 24 |

Anglers Lured to Carolina Coast with Return of 7 Billfish Tournaments

Events for this year’s tournament kick off June 10 with the Lady Angler event at the Civic Center, followed by the Lady Angler Tournament from 8am1pm on June 11 and the Big Rock Captains Party that night from 7-9pm. Most captains are registered for the Big Rock by Sunday evening, with lines going in the water for the first time at 9am on Monday, June 13. Big Rock keeps fans up to date before and during the tournament with a running ticker of each hook-up, release and capture with its website, thebigrock.com. Additional information is also available at nccoast.com.

PAINTING SWANSBORO BLUE Memorial Day weekend kicks off big tournament fishing for the Crystal Coast with the Swansboro Rotary Bluewater Tournament. This hunt for blue marlin celebrates 31 years on the Swansboro waterfront on the weekend of May 27-29, following a 2010 tourney that included 55 boats from as far away as Maryland and a total cash purse of $142,000. Formerly a tournament for blue marlin and king mackerel known as the Swansboro Rotary King Mackerel Bluewater Fishing Tournament, the event is now divided, with marlin fishing in the spring and mackerel in October. Events for the Swansboro tourney begin Friday, May 27 with registration from noon until 9pm, followed by a captains and sponsors party at 6:30pm. Lines go in the water from 9am-3pm on Saturday and Sunday, with the competition drawing to a close during an awards ceremony Sunday night, beginning at 6:30. For more information on entering or to watch the weigh-ins visit kingbluewater.com.

TOURNAMENT TRAIL Big fish, big money, big excitement … The following is a sampling of the major fishing tournaments spanning from Oriental to Wrightsville Beach. E-mail your 2011 fishing tournament information to editor@nccoast.com. May 6-7: Reelin’ For Research. Charity fishing tournament in Morehead City for UNC Children’s Hospital Research Division. $1000 entry fee with proceeds donated to the hospital for cancer research. Captain’s meeting is planned for 7pm and a welcome cocktail party at 8pm Friday. Lines in the water at 8am Saturday, all fish must be weighed in by 6pm at Morehead City Waterfront. Awards ceremony at 7:30pm. Winners receive trophies and a gift pack. Not a cash tournament. Winner determined by aggregate weight of three largest meat fish (dophin, wahoo, tuna, mako). Details: reelinforresearch.org or info@reelinforresearch.org. *May 10-14: Hatteras Village Offshore Open, first NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament of the season with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Details: 800-676-4939.

nccoast.com


May 13: 13th annual Cape Fear Disabled Sportsman’s Tournament, 8am12:30pm. Open to anyone with any disability to join in on a free day of fishing, friends, food and fun. Offering a special welcome to any and all honored disabled veterans. Participants provided with rods, tackle, bait, refreshments, food, T-shirts and prizes. Kure Beach Fishing Pier, Kure Beach. Details: 910264-8397 or email dawsonfre@yahoo.com. May 20-23: 8th annual JWR Gaffer Dolphin Tournament, boundaries from Hatteras to Swansboro, with weigh-ins at Atlantic Beach, Hatteras and Swansboro. Details: hillsboroughsfc.com. *May 27-29: Swansboro Rotary Bluewater Fishing Tournament, NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Weigh-ins at Big Rock Landing in Morehead City and Casper’s Marina in Swansboro. Details: 252-422-9100 or kingbluewater.com.

*July 14-16: Barta Boys and Girls Club Billfish Tournament, NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament set on the Beaufort waterfront with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Kid-friendly event offers low entry fees, trophies instead of prize money and junior angler prizes. Details: 252-808-2286 or bartabillfish.com. *July 28-30: 22nd Ducks Unlimited Billfish Tag and Release Tournament, NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Weigh-ins at Big Rock Landing on the Morehead City waterfront. Details: 252-237-3717 or bandthebillfish.com. *Aug. 16-19: 27th Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament, NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament in Manteo with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Details: 252-473-1015 or pcbillfishtournament.

*Indicates a Governor’s Cup Billfishing Tournament

June 3-4: Fisherman’s Post Spring Inshore Challenge, Registration from 3-8pm on Friday, June 3, fishing and awards Saturday, June 4. Flounder and speckled trout divisions, as well as divisions for aggregate weight, senior angler, lady angler and junior angler. Wrightsville Beach Marina, Wrightsville Beach. Scales open Saturday, June 4, from 1-4pm. Details: 910-452-6378 or fishermanspost.com. *June 10-18: 53rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Total prize money tops $1 million, weigh-ins on the Morehead City waterfront. Details: 252-247-3575 or thebigrock.com. *June 30-July 4: Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament, NC Governor’s Cup Series Tournament set in Wrightsville Beach with prizes for marlin releases and weigh-ins for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Details: 910-686-9778 or capefearbluemarlintournament.com.

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NCCOAST COMMUNICATIONS | 25


FROM

National Boat Building Challenge Returns to Beaufort Waterfront

TO

hile thousands of visitors will flock to the Beaufort waterfront on Saturday, May 7 to take in the sights during the NC Maritime Museum’s popular Wooden Boat Show, there are others who will be there for a different reason altogether. Fifteen to 20 teams of two will focus their efforts instead on building a wooden boat of their own – and doing it in the fastest time possible. Welcome to the National Boat Building Challenge, an annual match of skills, endurance and carpentry that pits students, families and couples against each other for the coveted top building award. With provided plans and supplies, pairs build a seaworthy skiff in four hours – and then take to the water for a speed competition. That’s when things really get fun, said Susan Sanders, co-owner of Harbor Specialties in Beaufort, who implemented a similar program in Georgetown, SC, in 1996. The South Carolina event continues and a third event is held annually in Belfast, Maine, with the top builders of the three competitions coming together for an old-fashioned build-off, and national bragging rights, once a year. “There’s a group of us that have been involved since the mid 1990s,” Sanders said. “We had a naval architect design the boat and all three competitions have the same set of rules that the builders must adhere to.” When the $100 registration fee is paid, teams are given the plans, allowing them to make practice boats prior to the contest if they want. Competitors are judged on the time it takes to build their vessel, the quality of workmanship and the boat’s speed in a rowing contest. Rob Dwelley of Camden, Maine, otherwise known as the 26 |

“commissioner,” comes into town to oversee the event, Sanders said. And a panel of judges critique the resulting work. “It is serious competition, but it’s a lot of fun, too,” she said. “And we’ve had a wonderful response, just wonderful. A lot of people from Down East and all over the county are coming down to see what’s going on. And a lot of them are competing, too. We’ll have people hang around all day just to see who finishes.” Now in its fourth year, Sanders is expecting teams from area middle schools, high schools and community colleges, as well as a slew of private teams. For student teams, the wood is precut for safety purposes, but grown-ups are merely given the wood, the plans and a workspace. “We get a lot of father and son teams and that’s always nice to see,” she said. “And a lot of friends coming out to show off their skills and workmanship.” To keep costs down, Atlantic Veneer, primary sponsor of the event, donates the majority of the wood necessary for the competition and teams are required to bring their own tools. Additional sponsors help raise money for the tent rental, prize monies and necessary costs. “It has been a huge success,” Sanders said. “In fact we’ve applied for nonprofit status and are just about to donate our first $1,000 scholarship for someone interested in pursuing an education in boat building or marine services.” First place winners take home a $500 prize, second place earns $300 and third place winners earn $200. Plus, as Sanders pointed out, they have a new boat to take home and enjoy. To learn more about the challenge, or to register, contact Sanders at 252-241-4485.

nccoast.com


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W

HAT’S UP DOC?

MARCH Sat. 19: FunFest. This fundraiser for the NC Seafood Festival at the Crystal Coast Civic Center includes dance music, food and a silent auction. Details: 252-726-NCSF. Marine Mammals are Amazing! 10am4pm. NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Details: 252-247-4003 or ncaquariums.com.

Swansboro Oyster Roast & Pig Out. 58pm. Swansboro Rotary Club. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door. Details: swansbororotary.com. Fri. 25: Traditional Boat Handling. 9am1pm. Learn handling traits aboard traditional small craft with the staff of the NC Maritime Museum. Reservations are required. Cost is $95. Details: 252-728-7317 or ncmaritimemuseums.com. Sat. 26: Huge Craft Fair. 9am-4pm. The History Place. Details: 252-247-7533. Build a Boat in a Day. 9am-3pm. NC Maritime Museum. Reservations are required. Details: 252-728-7317. Otter Party and Art Show. NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Details: 252-247-4003 or ncaquariums.com. Sun. 27: Adult Learn to Sail. 1-5pm. Learn the basics aboard stable sailboats. Reservations required. Cost is $95. Details: 252-7287317 or ncmaritimemuseums.com. Irish Open Golf Tournament. Golfers take the greens in teams of four in support of the Beaufort Music Festival. $300 per team. Details: info@beaufortmusicfestival.com.

APRIL 1-2: Newport Pig Cookin’. Good old North Carolina barbecue at Newport Town Park. Details: 252-241-3488. Fri. 8: Friday Free Flicks. 7pm. Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation. Details: 252-354-6350. 9-10: Contemporary Boatbuilding Carpentry. 9am-5pm. NC Maritime Museum. Reservations required. Details: 252-728-7317. 10-11: Fort Macon Civil War Reenactment. Free. Details: 252-726-3775. 12, 19: Beach Hike. 2pm. Fort Macon State Park. Details: 252-726-3775. 15-17: Oriental In-Water Boat Show. Vendors representing new and used boats, varied maritime products and services and more. Details: orientalboatshow.com. 28 |

Sat. 16: Publick Day. 9am-4pm. Beaufort Historic Site. Free. Details: 252-728-5225. Build a Boat in a Day. 9am-3pm. NC Maritime Museum. Details: 252-728-7317. Oriental Tour of Homes & Gardens. 10am4pm. Tickets are $20. Details: 252-249-9838. Tue. 19: Community Nights. Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center. Details: 252-728-1500. Kayak Local Waters. 9am-2pm. NC Maritime Museum. Reservations required. Details: 252-728-7317. Nature Hike. 10am. Guests will gather at the visitor center lobby at Fort Macon State Park for a nature hike to explore native plants and animals. Details: 252-726-3775. Sat. 23: BHA Easter Egg Hunt. 11am. Children age 7 and under will enjoy a little Easter fun at the Beaufort Historic Site. Prizes and refreshments follow. Details: 252-728-5225. Earth Day – Partnership for the Planet. 10am-2pm. Fort Macon State Park. Tue. 26: Heritage & History Field Trip – Shackleford Banks. 8:30am-1pm. NC Maritime Museum. Reservations required. $25. Details: 252-728-7317. 27-1: Beaufort Wine & Food Festival. Weekend full of wine and food pairings, workshops, dinners and more. Details: 252-728-5225 or beaufortwineandfood.com. Fri. 29: Marine Life Cruise. 9am-Noon. NC Maritime Museum. $25. Details: 252-7287317. 30-May 6: Free Sailboat Rides. 1-4pm. Free rides are offered by the NC Maritime Museum. Details: 252-728-7317 or ncmaritimemuseums.com. Sat. 30: Lookout Spring Road Race. 8am. Sponsored by the Lookout Rotary Club. Registration begins at 7am. Details: 252-7267070.

MAY Sat. 7: 37th Wooden Boat Show. NC Maritime Museum for a day full of demonstrations, lectures, races, competitions and more, all centered around some of the most elegant wooden boats still in action. Details: 252-7287317. Mon. 9: Kayak Local Waters. 9am-2pm. NC Maritime Museum. Reservations are required. Cost is $40 or $20 with your own kayak. Details: 252-728-7317.

Tue. 10: Bird Hike. 10am. Fort Macon State Park. Free. Details: 252-726-3775. Wed. 11: Beach Hike. 2pm. Fort Macon State Park. Free. Details: 252-726-3775. 13-14: Quilt Show. The Crystal Coast Quilters Guild shows off their stuff at the Crystal Coast Civic Center. Details: 252-247-3883. Fri. 13: Friday Free Flicks. 7pm. Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation. Call 252-354-6350 one week prior for movie title. Sat. 14: 2v2 Beach Volleyball Tournaments – Summer Series. 9am. Western Ocean Regional Access in Emerald Isle. Age 16 or over. Preregistration required. Details: 252-3546350. Capt. MAC Beach Run. Carteret County Parks and Recreation Dept., this 5K and 1mile fun run benefits the Military Affairs Committee. Details: 252-726-6350. Sun. 15: Adult Learn to Sail. 1-5pm. NC Maritime Museum. Cost is $95. Details: 252728-7317. Tue. 17: Community Nights. Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center. Details: 252-728-1500. Thur. 19: Beach Jive After Five. 5:30-7:30pm. Western Ocean Regional Beach Access, Emerald Isle. Free. Details: 252-354-6350. Fri. 20: Traditional Boat Handling. 9am-1pm. NC Maritime Museum. Reservations required. Cost is $95. Details: 252-728-7317. 20-22: Crystal Coast Boat Show. Downtown Morehead City. Features marine products and services, boat manufacturing, gear, fishing tackle, outfitters and more. Details: 252-8080440. 21-22: Traditional Boat Building Carpentry. 9am-5pm. NC Maritime Museum. Cost is $135. Details: 252-728-7317. Tue. 24: Heritage & History Field Trip – Carrot Island. 9:30-1pm. NC Maritime Museum. Reservations required. Cost is $25. Details: 252-728-7317. Fri. 27: Marine Life Cruise. 9am-Noon. Trawl and dredge with a Duke University research vessel. Reservations required. $25. Details: 252-728-7317. 28-29: CCAC Spring Show. Beaufort Historic Site. Expect painting, photography, wood carving and much more. Details: ccacc2010@yahoo.com.

JUNE 8-11: Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge Exhibit Grand Opening. The NC Maritime Museum. Details: 252-7287317. Wed. 8: World Oceans Day. NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Details: 252247-4003.

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Morehead City Marlins Ready to Round the Bases Baseball fans have spoken and the Morehead City Marlins are listening. Following an inaugural 2010 season that saw an average attendance of 1,161 fans, the Marlins are ready to play ball once again with a home opener slated for Wednesday, June 1. “We’re definitely looking to move forward in 2011,” said owner Buddy Bengal. “Those numbers were based on a limited year, because the stadium didn’t finish until May. This year our numbers should be higher.” Blending the Crystal Coast’s love for baseball and billfishing, the Morehead City Marlins quickly won the hearts of locals and visitors with a dugout full of promising talent that included Rodney Quintero, who made four appearances with the Marlins in 2010 before signing with the Houston Astros last July.

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Fans made their love and support for the team official in February after forming the MHC Marlins Club. Originally formed to support the team and bring an added level of enthusiasm to the bleachers, the group has since taken the role of helping the club recruit host families and temporary jobs for the players. “We were approached with this idea at the completion of last season by a number of our host families,” said Marlins General Manager Christopher Marmo. “They had a wonderful experience last year and wanted to become more involved within our organization. Our new support system will help each player get more acclimated in Carteret County within a short period of time.” As a member of the Coastal Plain League, the Marlins are made up of college baseball players hoping to gain experience in a wooden bat league during

the offseason. The result is a win-win for players searching to improve their game and for fans, who get to kick back with a few hot dogs, popcorn and an experience that’s sure to bring them back for more. The Marlins finished the 2010 season with a record of 34-20, including a streak in the second half that topped the Coastal Plain League with a record of 19-7. Morehead City’s sluggers are on track for another banner year as well, moving into spring with the return of head coach Jay Bergman, at least three players from last year’s roster and verbal commitments from players at Dartmouth, Cornell, Rice and the University of Florida.


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IN THE WAKE ... BOTTLE ISLAND

Local boaters have raised their glass time and time again to a small island found at the westernmost point of Emerald Isle. This relatively new island, now accessible by foot at low tide, was a buried treasure only afforded to boaters up until a year ago. Each visitor took advantage of the island’s windswept trees, decorating them with bottles, coconuts, flags, hats and other memorabilia. Each unknown contributor has left a light hearted whimsical statement, all becoming collaborators on what some would call an original work of coastal art, while others might call it a dump. But as we all know, art’s true definition lies with the beholder …. (Photo by Tom Mullen)

Send submissions of your favorite waterfront scenes in color or black and white to 201 N. 17th Street, Morehead City, NC, 28557, or by e-mail to waterfront@nccoast.com. All digital photos should be at least 300 dpi. 32 |

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A D V E R T I S E R 70 West Marina .................................................... 2 Al Williams Properties.......................................... 5 All About Canvas.................................................. 7 American Marine ................................................ 18 Artistic Tile ........................................................... 5 Beaufort Historical Association .......................... 23 Bear Trail Golf .................................................... 17 Big Kahuna Pools, Spas & More .......................... 9 Blue Moon Bistro ............................................... 13 Burleson Marine Services, Inc. ........................... 6 Cape Lookout Lures ............................................. 7 Cape Point Marina .............................................. 8 Cape Point RV Park .............................................. 8 Cape Point Ferry .................................................. 8 Casper’s Marina ................................................. 27 Century 21-Waterway ......................................... 27 Chatlee Boat & Marine ......................................... 3 Coastal Carolina Regional Airport ...................... 34 Coastal Dredging ............................................... 31 Country Club of the Crystal Coast...................... 17 Crab’s Claw Restaurant....................................... 15

index

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Crystal Coast Lady ............................................. 13 Deaton Yachts .................................................... 18 Dudley’s Marina ................................................. 27 Edgewater Linen ................................................. 14 EJW Outdoors .................................................... 34 Fishing Village, The ........................................... 31 Floyd’s 1921 Restaurant ....................................... 6 Golf Farm ........................................................... 17 Goose Creek Marine............................................. 7 Gull Isle Realty ................................................... 25 Hamad Realty ..................................................... 35 Harbor Specialties .............................................. 12 Island Ferry ........................................................ 13 Island Furniture .................................................. 22 Island Traders..................................................... 12 Liftavator ............................................................ 15 McQueen’s Interiors ............................................. 6 Morehead City Yacht Basin ................................ 14 Mud Bucket Dredging ........................................ 23 New York Corner Deli ......................................... 31 Oriental In-Water Boat Show .............................. 19

Pacific Beachwear .............................................. 29 Precision Marine Power ....................................... 2 Racing Realty ..................................................... 27 Red Rickshaw ..................................................... 27 ReMax – Mary Catherine Thomas ........................ 8 Sanitary Restaurant ............................................ 34 Shoco Marine..................................................... 18 Sound Furniture ................................................. 23 Stamper’s Jewelers ............................................. 13 Starling Marine .................................................. 33 Swansboro Rotary Club ....................... Back Cover Trident Funding Corp. ........................................ 23 Triton Marine........................................................ 2 Watermark Homes of North Carolina .................. 27 Wayfarers Cove Marina ...................................... 34 West Marine ......................................................... 5 Whaler Inn.......................................................... 15 World Wide Marine Training .............................. 18 Yardworks ............................................................ 9 Yopp Brothers .................................................... 31

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