Beach Bites

BY Mary Catherine Logan Marimar McNaughton & Kelly Pitman

Let them eat lobster!

Harbor Island Lobster Fest

Come June during the annual Lobster Fest no neighborhood so amiably comes together like Harbor Island.

For more than two decades this block party has had neighbors feasting on freshly imported Maine lobster as a part of the Wilmington Church of the Servant’s largest fundraiser for outreach projects.

For the second year Don Hickey is carrying on the tradition of the Harbor Island neighborhood party in place of Rev. Joe Cooper who as a resident headed things up for 21 years. Around 300 people turn out with covered dishes and still-warm desserts to Live Oak Drive the evening of the event ready for fellowship with both old and new friends. “It’s been a tradition for over 20 years now to have this party out in front of Joe’s house on Harbor Island ” said Hickey. Tables are erected decorations are strung and a lobster steamer from the church is brought down to cook the fresh lobsters on the spot. The intimacy of the event much resembling that of a family reunion lasts well into the evening when friends finally call it a night. “This is a great way for the neighborhood to spend an evening together ” said Hickey. “People look forward to it every year.”

Anyone is welcome to purchase a lobster from the Church of the Servant. Live lobsters are available for $18 apiece cooked lobsters for $20. For those wishing to pick up their lobsters in Wilmington a lobster pack including coleslaw corn on the cob and a roll is $23.

To order call the Lobster Line at 910-538-3241. Lobsters should be ordered by May 26. If attending the Harbor Island neighborhood party notify the phone correspondent or make note of it on the application. — Mary Catherine Logan

New Adventures


Geocaching pronounced geocashing could be called the new technological thrill-seeker’s sport. Players use a GPS device to pinpoint their exact location based on longitude and latitude coordinates. Next they retrieve from Internet sites the coordinates for the locations of containers that have been hidden all over the world. These containers hold log books and trinkets. You never know what you’ll find. Geocachers have recently found their way to our own Wrightsville Beach. Cachers have stashed boxes along the Loop in the Arboretum and near Motts Channel to name a just a few locales.

All you need to do to join in is get a GPS navigator and a list of coordinates from

Once you’ve registered yourself through the Web site you can share your geocaching experiences with other cachers all over the world. Log on cachers. The game is afoot! — Kelly Pittman

Fore Score and 15 years ago

Coastal Classic Celebrity Golf Tournament

The 2007 Coastal Classic Celebrity Golf Tournament marks the 15th anniversary of the popular golf event. The proceeds from this year’s classic will go to benefit the construction of New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s new Surgical Pavilion. The Voltage Brothers in concert on May 4 at Mayfaire from 6–9 p.m. will commence the weekend. The tournament will begin with a shotgun start Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. at the Country Club of Landfall’s Pete Dye Golf Course. Tickets are $20 and are good for both days of play. Purchase them at the tournament at First Citizens Bank branches or at the Medical Center Foundation. Feel free to come out and see the stars! There will be opportunities for autographs and photographs and evening performances by celebrity guests. For convenient parking a shuttle service will swing by the Wachovia bank on the corner of Military Cutoff and Eastwood Road every 15 minutes. — Kelly Pittman

Different Strokes

Paint Wilmington! 2007

During the week of May 5–12 join Walls Fine Art Gallery for Paint Wilmington! 2007. The art gallery has invited 10 artists to gather for a week of painting their individual interpretations of the low country. “Eat lunch” with the artists daily Monday May 7 through Friday May 11 from 12:30 – 2 p.m. although instead of food guests will digest information provided by the artists in their unique form of presentation. After a week of painting the final exhibition will be open to the public Saturday May 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday May 13 from 2 – 6 p.m. through the end of the month. For more information visit: or
— Kelly Pittman

Get focused

WBM photographers Allison Breiner & Joshua Curry share tips for taking great photos on your summer vacation

Take multiple photos of the same subject to ensure you’ve recorded it well.

Keep your backgrounds simple so as not to detract from the subject matter.

Placing subject matter in the right or left side of the frame can add a dramatic effect to a photograph. Most automatic cameras however focus on the center of an image. So check your owner’s manual on how to lock the focus on your subject.

When shooting close-up portraits outside on a sunny day turn your flash on in order to fill in shadows on your subject’s face.

Go back to the same place at different times of day to see how the light changes the subject matter.

Choosing between a horizontal and vertical format is one of the most basic aspects of composition but some people forget that they have a choice. Turning the camera 90 degrees changes everything. Try it!

Be aware of your camera’s minimum focusing distance especially when using a disposable or point-and-shoot camera. This tells you how close you can be to your subject and still focus.

Catch a glimpse

2007 U.S. Laser Masters National Championships

Sailors near and far will paint the seas in colorfully clad sailboats for the U.S. Laser Masters hosted this year by the Carolina Yacht Club.

This competition differs from most due to its unvarying boat selection. All contestants must use a Laser vessel manned only by one person at all times. “This race is comparable to NASCAR ” said Arland Whitesides. “If you made everyone race in the same kind of car it would become a much tighter race; it’s truly a test of skill.”

The three-day event expected to pull in around 70 competitors kicks off Friday morning and lasts well into Sunday with a practice day for sailors to be held on May 17 in front of Crystal Pier. A complimentary dinner at the yacht club will be served Saturday night for all participants and their families.

The competition will hold four races each day with awards according to age and sail types. Trophies will be awarded to overall winners of the races.

To sign up for the competition visit Entry fees are $110 inclusive of three days of competition a Saturday night dinner and memorabilia from the event.

For those interested in watching the boats sail the seas the race will be visible from Crystal Pier May 18 – 20. For more information call 256-3396.

Dig It

Surf-Sun-Sand Volleyball and  Bocce Ball Tournament

Come get sandy in the sun! Saturday May 19 Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation will host the 27th annual Surf-Sun-Sand Volleyball tournament. Captains will meet at the park at 8:00 a.m. Play will begin at 8:30 a.m. Players can form four- or six-person co-ed teams but rosters can include more. There will be divisions for novice and intermediate skill levels. Cost to play is $95 with a $10 discount for New Hanover County residents. If volleyball is not your sport but you’re looking for outdoor recreation there will also be a bocce ball tournament held the same day. The cost is $45 for nonresidents $35 for New Hanover County inhabitants. — Kelly Pittman

Start your paddles

Third Annual Wrightsville Beach Challenge

Saturday May 12 intermediate to advanced kayakers will compete in the third Annual Wrightsville Beach Challenge. The six-mile race starts at 10 a.m. at 275 Waynick Blvd. across from the Blockade Runner Hotel and participants will paddle to Crystal Pier and back. Interested in competing? Fill out the entry form found at The entry deadline is Thursday May 10 at 5 p.m. The cost is $35 per kayak. Proceeds will be given to the Cape Fear Community College Boat Building School which is one of the last traditional boat-building schools remaining on the east coast. The school is holding a public raffle to give away five Greenland-style handmade wooden paddles. Entrants should bring their own kayak and must be experienced to ensure a safe race. — Kelly Pittman

Harmony in nature

Jazz in the Park

Bring the entire family to the Wrightsville Beach Park for a picnic and an afternoon of jazz music. On Sunday May 6 the Cape Fear Jazz Society will hold its 11th annual Jazz in the Park from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. The concert is free and funded in part by a grant from the Landfall Foundation and other local businesses. Bring a lawn chair blanket and picnic basket to hear four hours of continuous jazz by local artists including the Chris Lother Quartet the Laura McFayden Quartet and the U.S. Air Force Heritage Rhythm in Blue Jazz Ensemble. Feel free to bring your own food but there will also be sandwiches and ice cream for sale provided by the Wrightsville Beach ice cream cart. If it rains the concert will be at the American Legion Hall at 702 Pine Grove Drive — Kelly Pittman

Peaceful waters

Swimmers and surfers have a resolution they can agree on

Surf zones on Wrightsville Beach have finally come to a peaceful resolution with both surfers and swimmers. The new regulations create no-surfing zones within 200 yards of each of the 13 lifeguard stands on the beach strand with swimming allowed on all areas of the beach.

The new rules also give ocean rescue director Dave Baker the authority to deem any area of the beach a no-surfing zone temporarily such as during major holidays when the beach is crowded.

Regulations will be in effect spanning Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. while lifeguards are on duty. On busy weekends the regulations may last later than 5 p.m. Buoys and a flag system used by the International Lifesaving Association will mark the zones. Checkered flags indicate a change in the use of the area and will be placed at the end of no-surfing zones. Yellow flags with a black ball will mean a no-surfing zone.

More information on the surfing regulations is available at Sweetwater Surf Shop Surf City Surf Shop and other local businesses. The town Web site and also have information concerning the zones. — Mary Catherine Logan 

Cabin fever reliever

Harbor Island Garden Club’s second annual homes tour

Coastal architecture and eclectic interiors will be featured during the Harbor Island Garden Club’s second annual homes tour on Saturday May 19. Five private homes – from the channel to the ocean – will be opened to visitors. — Marimar McNaughton

Proceeds from ticket sales ($25) will seed the beds of a new children’s garden at Harbor Way Gardens. Contact Linda Brown 256-8472 [email protected] for reservations.

Busby Home Sand Dollar Lane

Blending year-‘round living for the Busby family of four with a getaway for extended family and friends in the adjoining guest wing the craftsman details of this rambling Shingle Style home are found in the coffered ceilings beadboard wainscot board and batten paneling and inlaid woods and are matched by stunning views from every room of the majestic Atlantic Ocean.

The Hammocks Shore Drive

The summer lodge of Annie Gray and Charlie Lane is graced by the laughter of children and grandchildren. The exterior inspired by New England seacoast styles belies the humble core of a two-story flat-roofed house believed to have been built in the 1950s. The house received its first makeover in 1984 and another in 1991 when local builder Nick Garrett added a lavish bedroom topped by a widow’s walk.

Logan Home Auditorium Circle

This historic site was once a sublime setting where cotillions and parties were held fishing excursions were launched from hotels auditoriums and casinos and marine technology testing was done before D and Lara designed and built a spacious island plantation-style house with sweeping views of Banks Channel to Masonboro Inlet on four levels for themselves and their three very social teenage children.

Ratcliff Home North Channel Drive

A breezy Victorian Key West style is found among the palm trees behind the trellised arbor white pickets pale blue shingles and trim porches of this three-story home with a retro shabby chic interior cobbled from distressed furnishings and family pieces. Though he is not a pro Jim Ratcliff built this home for his wife Tammy and their five children complete with a backyard playground.

Diggs Home North Channel Drive

French Country charm comes home to roost in this feathered nest. The eclectic mix of Old World furnishings and contemporary accessories is home to Scott and Linda Diggs and their two children. The diminutive gardens extend the provincial tone down to the waterside where a hedge of Indian hawthorn outlines the back lawn and frames the boat dock. In minutes the Diggs are into the channel under the bridge and out to Masonboro Island.