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UNCLE JACK'S WEBLOG
Saturday, November 8, 2014
October was a winner
       Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. are back in Charm City after spending almost all of October in idyllic South Nags Head. He can report that the weather was nothing short of spectacular almost every day and they made the most of their prolonged opportunity to enjoy some off-season fun in the sun. He will let the pictures tell most of the story.
       As he said in his last blog entry Uncle Jack was especially interested in the outcome of this year’s Nags Head Surf Fishing Tournament ---the 64th running---for what it might suggest about the impact of beach renourishment on surf fishing in the town. He mentioned last time that the winning team in 2011, the last year before renourishment, caught no less than 170 fish with a point total of 336. In 2012, fishing from the newly renourished beach, the winning team caught 38 fish for 97 points. Last year, again fishing from the renourished beach but in miserable conditions of heavy surf, strong winds and massive seaweed, the winning team caught but 7 fish for 93 points.
       This year weather and surf conditions were nearly ideal but the winning team managed only 27 fish for 101 points, another huge drop-off from 2011. There could be other reasons, of course, for the precipitous decline in the number of fish caught in the Nags Head tournament but Uncle Jack will continue to suspect that the radically altered beach and foreshore following renourishment might be an important contributor. Next year’s results could prove him wrong, of course.
       As has been their wont for the past few years they spent a lot of time on Roanoke Island, especially in and around Manteo which has metamorphosed into a worthy destination for sightseers, walking enthusiasts and history buffs over the past couple of decades.       They drove onto the island over the old bridge from Mann’s Harbor for the first time in many years and were stunned by the beauty of the tree canopy over route 64 that has developed from the saplings planted back in 1984 for the 400th Anniversary celebration. Uncle Jack strongly recommends that visitors coming to Roanoke Island from the west try taking the old bridge at least once just to enjoy this visual treat.
       As beautiful as Baltimore is at this time of year they can hardly wait to get back to Sonag for the first couple of weeks in December. The fried oysters at O'Neal's in Wanchese alone will make the trip worthwhile.


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Contestants in the 2014 Nags Head Surf Fishing Tournament fished diligently for two days but to little avail. The catch was way down but nobody seemed to care very much because the weather was flawless.

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After the serious fishermen packed up and left on Friday afternoon this non-competitor managed to land a nice puppy drum, much to the delight of his wife and daughter and Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J.

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These turtles lurk under a footbridge at the Pea Island visitors' center where he and Mrs. U.J. enjoy walking. He suspects they lie in wait for edible tidbits dropped by passers-by.

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Jennette's Pier enjoyed booming business in October thanks to the flawless weather. The same was true at the Outer Banks pier where they lunched at Fish Heads a couple of times. Excellent pulled-pork sandwiches and PBR at $2 a can.

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This oceanfront house across the street got moved back 19 feet to make room for an addition while we were there. Fascinating procedure to watch. Like a big, clunky ballet.

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Intrepid tourist tests the water in late October. She and many others found it eminently swimmable. Another good reason to visit the Outer Banks in the off-season.

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These deer showed up in Uncle Jack's back yard one day. Hung around for quite a while munching up grass and shrubbery. Much quieter than lawn mowers.

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Meanwhile back in Baltimore this pair turned up in Mrs. U.J.'s daughter's back yard. The way the deer are proliferating they could yet provide a partial solution to the problem of world hunger.

posted by Uncle Jack at 7:13 AM

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Except for short hiatus in Baltimore Uncle Jack has lived in Nags Head for over 45 years. He was a columnist for the Outer Banks Current and its successor, the Outer Banks Sentinel, for 20 years. A collection of his columns is available from Amazon Kindle under the title Uncle Jack's Outer Banks. He and Mrs. Uncle Jack, aka Sue, live in South Nags Head whence he observes and sometimes comments on the passing parade.
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