Shooting The Breeze


Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!




Latest Comments

Devildog (Protecting N.C. H…): Steve, Devildog, it is not a philosophy, but proven facts that Mr. Scott speaks of.. Negative. Dr…
John G (Year In Review – …): 100th Anniversary of the Mirlo Rescue.
Steve (Protecting N.C. H…): Devildog, it is not a philosophy, but proven facts that Mr. Scott speaks of..
Devildog (Protecting N.C. H…): Steve, I respectfully take issue with this statement: Overwash may be an inconvenience, but it is …
Steve (Protecting N.C. H…): Well said Michael Scott! More people need to realize that dune lines have been strangulating Hatteras…
Salvo Jimmy (Protecting N.C. H…): Michael Scott, Good analysis and I pretty much agree. Especially the dunes. Seemingly a long t…


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Hatteras marinas: Closest to the Gulf Stream?

Friday 29 July 2016 at 4:34 pm

Recently, a friend shared an old post card  that features Teach's Lair Marina in Hatteras village -- the village also known as the Blue Marlin Capital of the World.

The postcard, circa the mid-1970s, pictures a brand new marina, the southernmost in the village, with only a smattering of houses between it and the ocean beach.

In the text, the post card notes that Teach's Lair "offers year around service in dual ramps, dockage, self-service gas, camp sites, shower houses, restaurant, tackle shop, complete with tackle, bait, marine supplies, groceries and wearing apparel."

Then comes this simple message, used for years to promote sportfishing on Hatteras Island, "Teach's Lair is the closest marina to the Gulf Stream from Maine to Florida."

Well, maybe not so much so anymore if a long-term solution can't be found to the shoaling in Hatteras Inlet that seems to have just gotten worse over the past few years.

It's reached the point lately, that if the winds and tides are not  exactly right, vessels -- even those run by experienced local captains -- can find themselves bumping bottom on the shoals in the inlet.

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Let's keep the lawyers out of the Rodanthe bridge solution

Friday 22 July 2016 at 5:32 pm

A group that was recently formed  to oppose the North Carolina Department of Transportation's plan to build a 2.4-mile bridge out into the Pamlico Sound to bypass portions of Highway 12 in north Rodanthe that are prone to being washed out has gotten a lot of media attention about its recent news release that it has retained an international law firm.

Save our Sound OBX burst onto the scene shortly before DOT conducted public hearings last month on its preferred alternative for bridging the area-- the so-called "jug-handle" bridge.

The proposed bridge bypasses a hot-spot just north of Rodanthe –  called “S-turns” by surfers and “S-curves” by coastal engineers -- renowned for great waves and a huge annual erosion rate, respectively.

When Hurricane Irene struck the Outer Banks in August 2011, a section of Highway 12 between S-curves and Mirlo Beach was breached, as well as a section of road a little further north in Pea Island.  The area in north Rodanthe was damaged again by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and has been regularly overwashed in northeasters.

Last week, Save our Sounds OBX distributed a news release that Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, which it says has more than 1,200 lawyers in 18 offices located in major cities throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America,  has agreed to represent the group in its fight against NCDOT.

“We are honored that Gibson Dunn has agreed to represent us in this matter," the organization said in the release. "This important project is being rushed through the federal permitting process without any concern for taxpayers, residents, or the permanent environmental damage the bridge will cause to Pamlico Sound, including destroying one of the top windsurfing and kiteboarding locations in the world.”

Rushed through the federal permitting process?  Really?

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Help the Buxton VFD put their chief over the top

Friday 15 July 2016 at 5:03 pm

This will be a very short blog from your usually long-winded editor, which seems appropriate for the subject this week --- Bryan Perry, chief of the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department, is a man of few words.

The guys in the Buxton VFD heard about a way they could honor their chief and they decided to go for it, even though they feared their leader would not approve of being singled out for recognition.

Anyway, the Buxton firefighters got together and made a short video nominating Perry for recognition in the Stand up and Stand Out initiative, sponsored by Firehouse magazine and

The initiative is designed to recognize the outstanding volunteer firefighters across the country and to encourage membership and participation in volunteer fire departments everywhere.

The guys were so concerned that Bryan wouldn't like the idea that they didn't tell him about it until it was a done deal and they told him then only because the contest rules required them to.

The chief, they knew, would insist that he didn't deserve any more recognition than any other volunteer in his department, on Hatteras Island, or anywhere else.

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Beach manners -- a matter of etiquette and the law

Friday 01 July 2016 at 3:38 pm

Years ago, I used to write a summer column on beach etiquette -- not every year, but fairly often. I haven't done in it in a while, and I was reminded by several recent encounters on the beach that maybe it's time to publish something on this topic again.

So here it goes.

And this isn't a column just for our visitors -- sometimes even locals need reminding about beach manners. Also, it's not just about etiquette -- in addition to manners, beach drivers need to know the law and obey it and use some common sense. So my list in this column includes a mixture of all three.

First, all drivers need to know that all the state’s traffic laws for driving on a paved road apply to beach driving -- buckle up, observe speed limits, open containers of alcoholic beverages are prohibited, current driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance and license plate are required.

And they also need to know that the National Park Service requires a permit for driving on the beach. (For more information on permits, go to

Do not drive recklessly by cutting “doughnuts” or defacing the beach. Never drive on the dunes.

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