Friday, July 2, 2010

This Summer At Cape Point?

Without question, the largest single draw at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area is Cape Point. It is here, and within Diamond Shoals which stretch sometimes for miles in a Southeasterly direction, that the nutrient rich waters from the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Currents collide creating one of the most dynamic beach systems found anywhere on the Seashore.
The nature of the ever changing beach and submarine structure also draws alot of sea life which translates to attracting fishermen and their families to this special stretch of sand. It's not all about fishing though. The western edge of the Point begins an area we refer to as "The Hook" where the beach bends from a North to a Westward direction and offers excellent swimming and shelling as well as "other recreational activities of a similar nature".

It is here that every Spring and Fall, drum fisherman from all over the world congregate to catch and release the majestic Red Drum. Often fishing into the dawn hours and battling chest high waves and sometimes sharks, here you'll find some of the most skilled surf fisherman anywhere.

Since these draconian closures began as a result of the NPS pandering to SELC and company, perhaps the most often asked question on this Island is "when are they going to open the Point?" I got hit with it twice yesterday as I shopped for victuals.

At the time I was asked, the answer should have been next week. (last plover fledged plus three weeks as per the decree of forced consent) Now I'm not so sure.

You see, there are Oystercatcher still out there. All hatched but NPS has a penchant for extending closure times for these birds for sometimes weeks at a time. The "weak flier" excuse has kept many areas closed that should have been opened weeks earlier. And considering Cyndy Holda's decidedly anti access views, I'm not going to hold my breath on that one.

The other issue is turtles. Check out this weeks resource management report available at and you'll find nests have sprung up on both sides of Ramp 45 and directly in front of and to the South of Ramp 44. Once they hit hatch window in about six weeks, full beach closures go into effect which will close both ramps to Point access. The only ray of hope is that the nest East of 45 is not close enough to close the Salt Pond Road. if a turtle nests in the Hook, though the nest will rot, it could keep the Point closed until sometime in September effectively killing any hopes of salvaging the remaining portion of the summer season.

How this plays out will depend on decisions made by people we pay who were directed by Congress to establish, develop, and maintain this Seashore for the purpose of recreational pursuit, not a damn wildlife refuge.

Tight Lines,



  1. Just wait until nest NH14B hits it's window, as it is located at the northern end of the Frisco Pier parking lot.

    This one should close off some beach in front of rental homes, as well as some of the surfing beach near the pier. Walking to the south will not be allowed, if said nest goes 50 days.

    Yet another user group or two will get their firsdt taste of CD closures, and I fully expect daily violations and expansions, since the pededstrian user group seems mostly clueless.

    Keep an eye on this one, to be sure....

  2. good one will be interesting!