Wind, of course, is the most important condition needed for flying a kite. Ideal winds for kite flying are around 6 mph to 17 or 18 mph. Below these wind speeds, specialized kites that are designed for light winds are required. When the winds are blowing at 20mph or more, kite flying becomes an aerobic exercise!
With our consistent coastal winds, it would be difficult to find a better place to fly a kite than the Outer Banks. From the tall sand dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head to our award winning beaches, kite enthusiasts can expect high flying adventures on the Outer Banks.
If you’re a novice, walking into a kite store to make a purchase may seem confusing or downright overwhelming. But, the good news is that there are four basic types of kites with a unique fifth variety that falls into one of two existing categories. The types are: (1) single line, (2) fighter kites, (3) dual line stunt kites and (4) quad line stunt kites. The fifth type, power kites, uses either a two line or four line control system.
A replacement for the Bonner Bridge, connecting the northern Outer Banks with Hatteras Island, is finally going to be built. Twenty-five years after the bridge’s life expectancy has passed, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) have reached an agreement that will allow a new parallel span to be built just to the west of the existing bridge, and the old bridge will be demolished.
To their credit, NCDOT has done a remarkable job of keeping the existing bridge open, but it is becoming increasingly expensive to do so. With an agreement in hand and sighs of relief all around, construction can finally begin.
One of the most fulfilling parts about living on the Outer Banks is taking part in raising money for various charities. It’s almost always local charities, because one of the things that defines the Outer Banks community is that we take care of our own. National charities and nonprofits do not have as strong of a presence in the local community.
There are a number of different ways that local organizations go about raising funds, but there are some things they all have in common: they have to be fun, it doesn’t hurt to have food, wine and live music, and there has to be something truly unique about each one.
I was hooked the first time I went to Ladles in Kill Devil Hills and tasted their turkey chile. It’s just spicy enough to get your attention but not enough to kill the flavors of beans cooked to perfection and plenty of ground turkey. That bowl guaranteed a return visit.
When Laurie Harvin and Vicky Katona opened their doors in December of 2014, I remember remarking to a friend that it seemed like a dangerous, maybe even foolhardy strategy for an Outer Banks business.
OK, I must admit I was wrong and here’s why: The soups are created fresh everyday, sandwiches and salads are prepared when ordered and the prices are very reasonable. The result is tables filled with happy customers, occasional lines at the register and it’s become an instant new favorite place to meet for a delicious lunch or quick and nutritious dinner.
On the road to Wanchese, there’s a large modern building that appears to rise from the marsh. The Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) building is 90,000 square feet and a wonder of engineering. Locally, it has become an important part of Outer Banks life with schools and nonprofits taking advantage of its facilities. Beyond Dare County, it has developed a reputation in scientific circles for the cutting edge research of the resident scientists, and much of their research focuses on what’s happening along our coastlines.
With a February 2015 announcement that a large section of the ocean off the Kitty Hawk shoreline would be available for commercial wind energy development, North Carolina moves towards the top of the list of potential energy production from a renewable resource. The Kitty Hawk site is one of three sites off the North Carolina coast identified by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The site, located 26 nautical miles offshore, will be barely visible from the beach.
Any application of commercial wind energy is a number of years away, the permitting process is complicated and time consuming, and any project of this size is extremely expensive.
The Dunes Shops in Kitty Hawk was the first strip mall on the Outer Banks. This location has been home to several local businesses, and it’s doubtful that any of the current tenants are originals. Although updated, the simple design still retains a relaxed quality that brings shoppers back to a time when life was less hectic.
A belief that life should be savored more slowly is at least one part of the reason why Necla (pronounced Nay-shlah) Rader’s coffee shop, Outer Bean Juice & Java, is such a good fit.
Thursday, March 19th – Sunday, March 22nd, 2015
The Taste of the Beach is fast approaching, and it’s one event that locals view as the kick off to approaching warm weather. This annual event reinforces that Outer Bank’s celebrations are a bit unconventional, yet are undeniably original and entertaining. It all starts with a kickoff party on the evening of Wednesday, 3/18, with the main festivities falling into place the following four days. The festival includes multi-course menu presentations, progressive dinners, tapas crawls, cook-offs, cooking classes, wine tastings, brewery tours and more!
Having a gourmet restaurant as our next door neighbor is quite nice. The restaurant, combined with their very successful catering business, is the vision that Chef Wes Stepp had when he first opened his doors 12 years ago. “I wanted to give people really creative food, in a casual atmosphere that focused on fresh North Carolina products,” said Wes.
There is a real flair to Wes’ preparation, but he never seems to lose sight of what the food means to his guests. Fresh, coastal and an innovative approach to preparing southern cuisine is what brought folks to his restaurant and the consistency keeps them coming back.