Many don’t know that there are a few things that the visitor can do while visiting the coast, so we thought a handy recap on fishing, surfing, and a FYI on rip currents might be of some help..so here goes!
For one thing, how many know it is advised to turn off all seaside lights in the evening? There is a reason for this, and it doesn’t have to do with saving electricity! Actually, the lights can be confusing to the sea turtles, who may be trying to lay eggs during your visit. The turtles depend on the moonlight for navigation, so additional lights can create a problem. Turn it off, and help a turtle out!
If you do come upon a sea turtle laying her eggs, or possibly in trouble, please call one of the local sea turtle rescues or even 911..the 911 operator for coastal areas can put you in touch with the right person, if you are unsure who to contact. We have combined a list of sea turtle rescues and they can be found under our links tab on this website. If you notice that we are missing any, please let us know so we can add them, okay? We want to be a quick resource for visitors, and a complete listing is crucial for the sea turtles that frequent our beaches.
Words of Wisdom from the Pier Witch
If you are pier fishing or just enjoying the pier view, Surf City Ocean Pier pulled together this handy little list for us. They also have a Facebook page, and we always enjoy hearing from “The Pier Witch”!
*Ask when you don’t know.
*When you clean fish throw anything your not keeping back into the water not the trash can….crabs have to eat too.
*if you don’t want it ….rather its a fish or other sea creature release it alive unharmed …
*you don’t have to cut the tails off sting rays or beat the heads of sharks just because your tired of catching them.
*be respectful of others around you ….move coolers and carts behind you so other can fish the rail.
*clean up your trash
*Thow cigarette buts in the trash can not the water
*use bronze hooks rather than stainless steel …that way if the hooks are left behind in a fish it will eventually rust out.
*everyone wants to see a big fish landed …but for your safety its best to stay back till the fish is on the deck …..usually everyone can see and touch and take pictures once the hooks are out and gaffs and nets are put away.
Surfing and good manners…
NC Culture was fortunate to find some suggestions of do and do nots for novice surfers, thanks to Brad Goodman, of Tazy’s Burger and Grill, in Wilmington. Brad is an avid surfer, and if he’s not in the restaurant preparing fresh healthy food, he can surely be found indulging in his favorite pastime at Wrightsville Beach! Thank you, Brad, for pointing us in this direction, and answering some strange questions from a non-surfer! Tazy’s can also be found on Facebook, too, where they often post daily specials, etc.
We are going to post the basics here, however, if you want a more complete explanation of the “rules”, please check this great link that OBX Surf Info provided for us..very clear and concise for the novice or just someone wanting to refresh their memory before vacation time sets in. We would like to mention that OBX Surf Info updates their site for surfing conditons twice daily, with a total of six locations checking in, and this is done by someone who actually goes out on the beach and verifies the reports…pretty dedicated folks over that way!
1: Observe “right of way”..there are some exceptions or variations to this particular rule, so see the website for details.
2: Don’t “drop in”..this has to do with catching a wave in front of someone either about to or already riding it.
3: Paddling Rules..some excellent points are made regarding this particular set of rules.
4: Do NOT, if at all possible, ditch your board…a loose board can quickly become a hazard for other surfers.
5: Don’t “snake”..this pertains to cutting around someone to get to right of way (see rule 1)
These are only the top five suggested rules to honor. You can find more information at the website mentioned above, some of which are especially designed for the novice. We hope that folks just beginning to enjoy this sport find this helpful..now, go catch a wave!
One of the requests that both organizations below mention is a plea to not feed these horses. They are wild, number one, and do not need to be encouraged, as they could potentially become a problem if they take it upon themselves to raid your picnic basket, etc. They also both request that folks keep a respectable distance of at least fifty feet. We have posted the info that directly pertains to the horses…for more beach ordinances, etc, please check with the local Chamber of Commerce, etc.
Wild Horses etiquette in regards to the Rachel Carson Reserve
Do not remove or disturb plants or wildlife and do not feed the wildlife or horses.
Leash and clean up after your pets. It is the law and unrestrained dogs are susceptible to potentially fatal horse kicks.
While observing feral horses, keep a safe distance away (at least 50 feet).
Corolla Wild Horses
A very special thanks to Corolla Wild Horse Fund for helping us to locate the laws surrounding the Corolla horses, with a special shout out to Susan for her phone time. You can also find the more direct information by simply clicking this information page from Corolla Wild Horse Fund.
Luring, enticing, seizing.
A: It shall be unlawful for any person to lure or entice a wild horse out of a wild horse sanctuary, or to seize and remove a wild horse from a wild horse sanctuary, except for the purpose of treatment under the care and supervision of a licensed veterinarian or to remove a shunned colt from a wild horse sanctuary when the shunned colt is certified by the animal control officer to be a nuisance or dangerous to persons or property. It shall further be unlawful for any person to lure, attract or entice a wild horse to come within 50 feet of any person or for any person, other than an animal control officer, law enforcement officer, wild horse sanctuary officer or veterinarian rendering treatment to a wild horse, to intentionally come within 50 feet of a wild horse.
B: Possessing or harboring.
No person shall possess, harbor or keep in possession by confinement any wild
horse. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the keeping of wild horses in a
licensed veterinary hospital or other location for treatment under the care and supervision of
a licensed veterinarian.
It shall be unlawful for any person to molest, torture, torment, cruelly beat, needlessly
mutilate or kill, wound, injure, poison or subject to conditions detrimental to its health or
general welfare any wild horse within a wild horse sanctuary, or to cause or procure such
action. The words “torture” and “torment” shall be held to include every act which causes
unjustifiable pain, suffering or death; but such terms shall not be construed to prohibit an
animal control officer, law enforcement officer or licensed veterinarian from destroying an
injured wild horse in a humane manner.
D: Notice of injury to authorities.
It shall be unlawful for any person injuring a wild horse to fail to notify immediately
the animal control officer or sheriff’s department.
E: Destruction of wounded or diseased wild horses.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, a wild horse which is badly
wounded or diseased may be destroyed in a humane manner by an animal control officer,
law enforcement officer or licensed veterinarian.
F: Feeding, riding and petting prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person to feed, ride, pet or approach with the intent to
feed, ride or pet any wild horse.
G: Assistance by wild horse sanctuary officers.
Wild horse sanctuary officers duly appointed by The Corolla Wild Horse Fund shall
be charged with assisting in providing for the safety and welfare of the wild horses and to the
extent necessary in the performance of these duties shall be exempt from these regulations.
H: Complaints; violation.
The complaints of two or more persons, residing in different residences, or the
complaint of any law enforcement officer shall be prima facie evidence that such violation of
this article has occurred.
Rip Currents and how to recognize them:
Dr. Bogus (Richard Ehrenkaufer) allowed us to use his photograph of a rip current for this part of our post. The muddy streak leading away from the beach clearly shows the rip current, as it stirs up the bottom. However, please be aware that not all rip currents are this easily seen, and be sure to pay attention when the alerts go up, okay?
Large waves, coming one upon the other, is the usual cause of a rip current. As the water piles up on the beach, the water follows the path of least resistance for its’ return, creating a trough of rushing water. Although many of us have heard the expression “rip tide”, there actually is no such thing. A rip can occur anytime you have these waves piling up on the beach. An onshore wind can create confusion as to identifying rip currents, too, as the surf becomes “jumbled”. One helpful visible aid in spotting a rip is that, due to the drop in the ocean floor caused by the rip trough, waves do not easily break in the area, and the strong rip current itself tends to lower the surf created by incoming waves. In reality, people may actually be drawn more to these areas, due to the surf appearing to be calmer. Other visual aids include a line of murky water, such as in the picture above, or an outgoing line of debris, etc.
If you are caught in a rip, do not fight it! A rip takes you out, not under, so ride it out. Do not struggle to swim back to shore, etc.. the best steps to take are to wait until the power of the rip loosens, swimming parallel to the beach, then swim back in to shore. If you are being pulled further and further out, the rip current awareness page recommends you turn around and wave your arms, and try to catch the attention of someone on the beach for aid.