July 31, 2003

Driving on the sand

The N&O has a whole article on it. It will disappear long before we go, so I'm reprinting it here.

A little deflation protects expectations

When driving on beach, let some air out of the tires and go easy on the gas pedal

By JOE MALAT, Correspondent

For decades, serious surfcasters have used traditional four-wheel-drive "beach buggies" to chase roving schools of fish along the oceanfront.

Now, the modern version of the beach buggy is a new breed, a sleek sport utility vehicle.

Contemporary surf fishermen use their vehicles to haul groceries and children during the week, surf tackle and coolers on the weekends. Compared to the vintage beach cars, these modern chariots are mechanical wonders, but some specialized driving techniques are necessary for successfully negotiating the beach.

For many SUV drivers, the first beach-driving event is a white-knuckle, raw-nerve nightmare. But driving to your favorite fishing spot on the beach should be fun, and a few "tricks of the trade" will help any off-road rookie get off to a confident and enjoyable start.

First off, let's dispel a myth: Driving on sand is nothing like driving in the snow.
Munching through slippery snow requires traction and tires to dig in. The opposite is necessary for negotiating soft sand. A successful, and happy, beach driver wants to ride on top of the sand and maintain "flotation."

Make those tires float by deflating them. Most experienced beach drivers suggest 20 to 24 psi (pounds per square inch) per tire. The magic number depends on factors such as the weight of the vehicle, power of the engine and the condition of the sand.

Regular radial tires, with a non-aggressive tread, excel on the beach, and the natural bulge of a radial's sidewall is enhanced when the tire pressure is decreased to give the tire a wider footprint.

Trust a veteran
John Newbold, a 71-year-old resident of Nags Head, has been driving Outer Banks beaches for more than 30 years. He works part-time in a Nags Head bait and tackle shop and chases fish on the beach from Corolla to Ocracoke every chance he gets.

"I like to drive the beach so I can have all of my gear, bait, coolers, rods, reels, and tackle with me wherever I go," he said. "When I'm after stripers or drum in the fall, I'll run from Oregon Inlet to Hatteras Inlet. When the fishing is hot, I might fish for speckled trout, drum, bluefish, flounder and sea mullet all in the same day."

His preferences are shared by thousands of serious surf anglers.
Newbold's Ford Expedition could pass for a mobile tackle shop, with a front-mounted cooler-and-rod rack and custom-made cabinets for buckets, sand spikes, lures, tackle and hooks in the back. Every item is neatly stowed.
For Newbold, beach driving is a means to an end, and he has learned how to avoid getting stuck in the soft sand so he could spend more time fishing. He was glad to offer some advice.

"Deflate your tires to the right pressure," he said. "Be sure to engage four-wheel-drive, usually high range for most vehicles, and go slow!

"Avoid sudden stops, jack rabbit starts, and sharp turns.

"Easy does it.

"If you get bogged down, don't spin your wheels. It might be necessary to get out, clear the sand from around your tires and maybe let out some more air."

Freedom, with rules
The Outer Banks offers surfcasters a multitude of opportunities to drive the beach, but there are some restrictions.

Vehicles are allowed on the beach in Corolla, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head only during the fall, winter and early spring. Beach driving is permitted year-round at designated locations within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

Beach driving is free in all of the above areas, except for Nags Head, which requires a $25 seasonal permit. (On the southern N.C. coast, Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is expected to charge a fee for driving on the beach, probably starting Jan. 1.)

The towns of Duck, Southern Shores and Kitty Hawk do not allow vehicles on the beach at any time.

Be sure to use the designated crossover ramps for beach vehicles; all ramps are clearly marked. In the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the numbers at each beach ramp correspond to the approximate number of the mile marker on N.C. Route 12, south of Nags Head.

Be ready to dig out
Remember that no matter how experienced or prepared a driver is, there's always a risk of getting stuck. And don't count on AAA, the traditional roadside security blanket, to help with a vehicle that's bogged down at the ocean's edge.

"We will gladly provide our members with a tow if their vehicle is within 75 feet of a publicly maintained road," Sarah Bembry, a spokesperson for AAA Carolinas, said.

Beyond that, you're on your own.

Many experienced beach drivers carry a tire gauge, tow strap, shovel, a jack and a couple of 18-inch square pieces of half-inch plywood for a jack pad. Without a firm base, the jack will disappear into the sand.

If a cell phone is your only piece of safety equipment, there are several service stations along the entire Outer Banks that will rescue you, but that help doesn't come cheap.

Jarvis Williams, a Hatteras Island native who operates Cape Point Exxon in Buxton, the average cost of sending one of his wreckers out on the beach is about $150. That rate is typical among most of the local tow-truck operators but is subject to change.

"That figure might vary, depending on the type of vehicle, how heavy it is and where it's stuck," Williams said. "We pull out everything from small two-wheel-drive cars to trucks with campers on the back.

"And I have to charge more if the vehicle is in the water. I've had to get 'em when most of the vehicle was under water, and most of the time they got stuck because they didn't deflate their tires."

If an Outer Banks surf fishing and beach driving trip is in your future, be sure "TIRE GAUGE" is at the top of your equipment list, and, as John Newbold says, "Easy does it."

Posted by Bigwig at 11:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


New poll up at the main site, for a cider.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MMMMM, mouthfilling

Come October, I'm eating nothing but Mr Brainís Faggots. I'll need someone to bring a camera.

Calling all Mr Brain's Faggot Fanatics! Do you dare to eat Mr Brain's Pork Faggots in a famous public place? DONíT BE SHY, send in a photograph, along with your name, address, email address and become a member of our Faggot Photo Gallery.

Posted by Bigwig at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 25, 2003

Internet Access

Yes, we're going to have internet access. How else do you think we'll update the blog? I figure it will be mostly fishing pictures, but no matter.

Got a phone call into this guy for a week's worth of access, and possibly a wired/wireless network, though I don't know how many of you would actually geek out enough to bring a laptop.

But, assuming you might, how many have laptops, and are they wireless or not?

I'm bringing mine in any case, because I'm a sad, sad individual. Also it has all my cd's copied to the hard drive, so I can leave them at home this year.

I know we can get dialup for something like $20 from an ISP in Kitty Hawk, so I may do that if no one else is bringing their electronic leash.

Posted by Bigwig at 05:01 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack


I think I've found a combination beer and rod holder that everyone can be happy with. It might be a little pricey, but it looks to be worth it.

Thanks to Quit That for the pointer

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July 24, 2003

bad casting

charlie...you're an asshole! (i will cut you!)

Posted by Kevin at 07:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Official Beer of the 2003 Ocracoke Fishing Trip

Image courtesy of http://mybeer.saranac.com

Posted by Kehaar at 04:19 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


yep, i'll be bringing the heaver again and i have even added another to the arsenal...a 12' heaver to go along with the 11' i had last trip. i picked it up in rodanthe when laura and i were there a week back. should be interesting. i fished it the two weeks we were there and was surprised the difference a foot makes on a rod. this one is much stiffer at the tip and has a longer butt end. i easily landed 20lb. rays in the surf. but the one thing that was missing was the send-off following each cast. nothing like hearing "kick his ass, sea-bass!" as the weight soars over the tops of the breakers to land 70yds. out! be ready for some back-lashing fun!

Posted by Kevin at 12:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Beer Contest

I've set up an online poll so that you can vote for which beers to take on the trip. New pool every few days until sometime in September.

You can see the first one here.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ferry Booked

Okay, Clif, Adam, and Dallas: we are booked for the noon Cedar Island Ferry on Oct. 11. We have to be there by 11:30. It's $15.00 per vehicle. I told them we'd be driving Clif's Honda and Adam's Explorer. Clif's car is under my name and Adam's is under his own. Confirmation numbers are ****** and ****** respectively. Haven't been able to get ahold of Ocracoke yet, but we're pondering coming back on the 10 a.m. ferry on the 15th. Progress is being made...

Posted by Kehaar at 11:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 23, 2003


hey gang. i think i will drive around saturday morning. since they have completed the by-pass around williamston and the bridge from mann's harbour, the drive is quite nice. the big drum are not in the sound as of this past sunday night. this is a concern. let's hope they are holding off-shore somewhere waiting for the fresh water to back off. black drum as well as blue fish have always been there for us, so this year should be no different. the tides look favorable for some good shots at night fishing, so i'm going to try to keep the "day" beer consumption to a minimum! (fat chance) i still love that picture of charlie and the surf...it sums up the last trip great.

Posted by Kevin at 07:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 22, 2003

Tide Tables

Tides for Ocracoke IslandTides for Ocracoke Inlet
Saturday, October 11thSaturday, October 11th
03:11 AM Low Tide02:35 AM Low Tide
07:06 AM Sunrise07:06 AM EDT Sunrise
08:57 AM High Tide08:56 AM High Tide
03:55 PM Low Tide03:13 PM Low Tide
06:34 PM Sunset06:34 PM EDT Sunset
09:13 PM High Tide09:10 PM High Tide

Sunday, October 12thSunday, October 12th
03:24 AM Low Tide03:08 AM Low Tide
07:07 AM Sunrise07:07 AM Sunrise
09:30 AM High Tide09:29 AM High Tide
04:29 PM Low Tide03:51 PM Low Tide
06:33 PM Sunset06:33 PM Sunset
09:46 PM High Tide09:44 PM High Tide

Monday, October 13thMonday, October 13th
03:36 AM Low Tide03:40 AM Low Tide
07:08 AM Sunrise07:08 AM Sunrise
10:06 AM High Tide10:03 AM High Tide
04:59 PM Low Tide04:29 PM Low Tide
06:31 PM Sunset06:32 PM Sunset
10:22 PM High Tide10:20 PM High Tide

Tuesday, October 14thTuesday, October 14th
03:59 AM Low Tide04:14 AM Low Tide
07:08 AM Sunrise07:08 AM Sunrise
10:44 AM High Tide10:38 AM High Tide
05:24 PM Low Tide05:08 PM Low Tide
06:30 PM Sunset06:30 PM Sunset
11:00 PM High Tide10:57 PM High Tide

Wednesday, October 15thWednesday, October 15th
04:30 AM Low Tide04:50 AM Low Tide
07:09 AM Sunrise07:09 AM Sunrise
11:25 AM High Tide11:16 AM High Tide
05:53 PM Low Tide05:51 PM Low Tide
06:29 PM Sunset06:29 PM Sunset
11:41 PM High Tide11:38 PM High Tide

Thursday, October 16thThursday, October 16th
05:09 AM Low Tide05:30 AM Low Tide
07:10 AM Sunrise07:10 AM Sunrise
12:11 PM High Tide11:59 AM High Tide
06:28 PM Sunset06:28 PM Sunset
06:34 PM Low Tide06:39 PM Low Tide

Friday, October 17thFriday, October 17th
12:28 AM High Tide12:26 AM High Tide
05:54 AM Low Tide06:18 AM Low Tide
07:11 AM Sunrise07:11 AM Sunrise
01:01 PM High Tide12:49 PM High Tide
06:26 PM Sunset06:26 PM Sunset
07:30 PM Low Tide07:33 PM Low Tide

Saturday, October 18thSaturday, October 18th
01:20 AM High Tide01:22 AM High Tide

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Ferry Booked

For noon on October 11th. I'm #7 of 48 possible spaces, so there's some room left. All noon passengers have to be there by 11:30. Figure that it's at least an hour and 15 minutes from New Bern.

And here's the house information, again.

Posted by Bigwig at 04:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fishing Gear

As for the Gear, I think the Long Sleeve T-shirts went over well last year. We will keep the front design the same. Sort of the "trip logo", we will put a Drum on the back in honor of Sid. Does anyone have a good saying to put on the back? Suggestions are welcome.

Also, I have available Columbia Fishing shirts, which are very cool. I wore the short-sleeve version last year. Check them out here:

and here:

I can get these at cost. Any interest?

Sorry, I forgot the prices....
My costs are $26.00 for the long sleeve and $24.00 for the short sleeve.

Posted by Clif at 08:52 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 21, 2003

Fishing Charter

I'm definitely game for a fishing charter. So count me in! I have been wanting to participate in this trip ever since its first year. This is going to be a great time!!! Look forward to catching up with all you guys, drinking lots of beer, and thinking about nothing (except the big fish I'm gonna catch).


Posted by Dallas at 04:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fishing Charter

Hey, gang. An informal poll: how many of you are interested in chartering a fishing boat while we are in Ocracoke? For those of you who haven't been with us on one of these fishing outings before, we usually fish off the beach. The idea has been floated to do either a full or half-day charter this year. We might catch some bigger fish if we do that. The cost is probably going to be right around $75-100 per person. Leave a comment below and I'll start looking into the various charters. You can check out some of the information about them on this page:


Getting excited about the fishing trip. Clif came up to Greensboro for lunch and all we can talk about is the fishing trip. We are already planning on what kind of beer to take. No Rolling Rock this year, sorry gang. And no more Harris Teeter brand Mt. Dew. Glad we have some newbies coming this year.

Posted by Kehaar at 02:20 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

New Addition

Russell is coming. He'll be with us Saturday and Sunday, leaving late Monday.

So, technically, the house is full for the first two days. There'll be floor space available if we have to squeeze in another one or two people who want to stay.

Posted by Bigwig at 01:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


You can find the ferry schedules here. I'm planning on taking the noon ferry from Cedar Island on Saturday.

As far as I know, Charlie, Cliff, Adam and Dallas are also on that ferry.

The direct # for reservations for the Cedar Island to Ocracoke Ferry is supposedly 1-800-856-0343, but I haven't been able to get thru yet.

Posted by Bigwig at 12:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

sid - i'm rather impressed with you internet wizardry... you the man. I'll try and figure the paypal thing out tonight and mail it to you. Looking forward to it. - adam

Posted by Adam at 12:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Map to the House

Click on pic for larger image

Note that the last bit of road to the house is unpaved. I've no idea what the condition of the road is.

Posted by Bigwig at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

Pictures from last Year

Taken by Adam while we were at the inlet. Kind of a rainy day.


My Drum

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