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A magazine exploring the exceptional nature of Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Letter from the Publishers

We live in complicated times. Instinctively, when the world’s complexities threaten

to overwhelm us, we close ranks, gather together those we love, and remember what
truly matters. We’re so gratified that now, more than ever, families are embracing Bald Pu b l i s h e r s
Head Island as their chosen place to relax, recharge and find solace. M. Kent Mitchell Mark D. Mitchell

M a n ag i n g E di t o r
The island, with its unspoiled natural beauty and simple pleasures, provides an ideal
Lauren Frye
backdrop for both rest and discovery. This is, in part, because the distractions are
fewer here than on the mainland, and the pace is undeniably slower. Bald Head
Island’s inherent peacefulness allows us to notice things as if for the first time—the
flash of color on a painted bunting’s wings, the sapphire brilliance of the night sky,
the rhythmic lap of water against a kayak paddle.
havenE x e c u t i v e E di t o r s
Christi Golder Teri Kelly
Each story in this, the seventh annual issue of Haven, explores a different facet of
what the island offers visitors and residents. “Just Passing Through,” an article about C h i e f C o n t r i bu t o r s
migratory animals that visit the island each year, affirms the importance of the island’s Odette Embert Arnold Trisha Howarth
habitat to countless wildlife. A story depicting Captain Charlie Swan, keeper of the Jason Frye Elizabeth Humphrey
Cape Fear Light for more than 30 years, celebrates the quiet dignity of a man bound David Gessner Morgan McGuire
by duty and a love of place. For all its colorful history, the island also serves as a setting Jennifer Glatt Jenna Ricketts
Jeff Harrison Cheryl Shelton-Roberts
for creating new memories, as shown in the lighthearted piece “Getting Married on
Virginia Holman Kelley Sellers
Bald Head Island.” Jennifer Wilson-Mathis

Ph o t o g r a ph e r s
A very personal essay by acclaimed writer David Gessner, called “Once More to the
Cape,” examines why some beaches captivate us for a lifetime. Finally, it would be hard Ron Chapple Chip Henderson
Libby Cullen Millie Holloman
to find a family more entwined in Bald Head Island’s history, or more committed to
Woody Fulton Harry Taylor
its future, than the one featured in “House of Harmony.” The newly finished Peterson Christi Golder Brooke Thomas
home, 25 years in the making, captures all that the family’s come to love about the Walker Golder Jack Upton
island in its elemental beauty, simplicity and balance.
G r a ph i c De s ig n - Modular Graphics
Whether you’re a property owner yourself or newcomer to Bald Head Island, we Pr i n t i n g - Lane Press
hope you enjoy the stories this edition of Haven has to share. A companion piece, the
Front cover by Walker Golder
Armchair Guide vacation planner, offers everything you need to plan your Bald Head
Back cover by Jack Upton
Island vacation, starting on page 121. New and returning vacationers will appreciate
the wide assortment of charming rental properties, from cozy cottages in the maritime Ba ld He a d Isl a nd Limited
forest to spacious homes along the beach. P.O. Box 3069 / Bald Head Island, N.C. 28461

For guests and longtime islanders alike, Bald Head Island reveals itself slowly, in its
own time, and we slow down to match its pace. The island is at once wild and subtle,
powerful and calm, ancient and new. If we are willing, it soothes us and transforms
us, and we are made the better for it.

Warm regards,
Haven is a publication of Bald Head Island Limited. Copyright 2010. All rights
reserved in all countries. Bald Head Island Limited has endeavored to ensure the
accuracy of this publication; however, we cannot be responsible for misinformation
or typographical errors. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission
is strictly prohibited. Bald Head Island Limited does not necessarily agree with the
viewpoints expressed by authors of articles or advertising copy.
M. Kent Mitchell Mark D. Mitchell
Inquire as to whether there is a property report required by federal
President / CEO Executive Vice President law for any lot of interest to you. If such a report is required,
procure it and read it before signing anything. No federal agency
Bald Head Island Limited Bald Head Island Limited has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This is
not an offering to residents in New York, New Jersey or other
 jurisdictions where prohibited.
5 Finders Keepers
Whether you decide to indulge or stick to
simple pleasures, there’s something for every- On the cover
one in this island shopping guide. Enjoying a paddle through
Bald Head Creek.

12 Meet the Neighbors

Step inside the Peterson family’s maritime for-
est home, where Asian design and hand-hewn
craftsmanship combine with sublime results.

26 Environments 36
From birds to butterflies, get acquainted with
some of the migratory animals that stop over on
Bald Head Island each year.

36 Excursions & Expeditions

Old friends reunite and new friendships are
forged during an unforgettable “Girls Only”

45 Developer
As new shops and services spring up on the
island, Bald Head Island becomes a more
interesting place to live or visit.

49 Snapshots
Say “I Do” to three picture-perfect island wed-
dings, each with their own distinctive style.

63 Cape Fear Station

Discover the legacy of the Cape Fear Light, and
of Captain Charlie, the man who tended it.

69 Folio 12 69
Think you’ve seen everything there is to see on
BHI? Check out the drama that unfolds after
the sun goes down.
104 Calendar of Events
81 The Hammocks & Traditions
For Hammocks owners, Bald Head Island’s Plan your next vacation around your favorite
fractional ownership neighborhood offers out- island tradition or find a new one to explore.
standing value, with all the comforts of home.

109 Real Estate Resource Guide

88 Diversions Learn more about The Island Agency,
What makes a good golf foursome? We BHI’s oldest and most successful real
followed seasoned players on a round at the estate company.
Bald Head Island Club course to find out.

121 Armchair Guide

98 Last Word
Author David Gessner explores his connection
Vacation Planner
Find the perfect spot for your island getaway
to Bald Head Island, which began long before
with this comprehensive list of homes for rent.
he set foot on its shores.

143 Island Directory and Maps

Everything you need to know about
Bald Head Island in one handy guide.

finders keepers

Indulgences Photography by Harry Taylor

For many, Bald Head Island is a place of simple pleasures. Lingering over sunrises
and sunsets. Showing children and grandchildren the wonders of nature. Simply
hanging out with friends and family because, especially these days, free time truly
is a luxury. But that doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally indulge your refined tastes.
Besides, you may wish to have another memento of your island time to add to those
cherished memories. So if on your nature hike, you wander off the path and into an
island boutique or gallery, so be it. In both venues, new discoveries await.
LIFE IMITATES ART, WHICH IMITATES LIFE. Bird-watching is actually an art
form, and it takes talent to uncover native species in their natural habitats…
far more to snap pictures of the elusive ones. After your outdoors session,
duck into The Woods Gallery and Turtle Central to take home a stunning
sculpture or piece of art to call your own. Additonal items pictured here may be
found at the Maritime Market and Riverside Adventure Company.

A STRAIGHT SET OF CLUBS. Play your cards right and you’ll build lifelong
memories of lounging around the cottage, passing hour after happy hour with
people you cherish. If your competitive streak is still itching to be scratched,
take your game—and new set of irons—out onto the Bald Head Island Club
course and take your housemates on for a memorable 18. Items pictured
here may be found at the Bald Head Island Club Golf Shop, Canopy Outfitters,
Dockside Convenience Store, Island Hardware and the Smith Island Museum.
OUTSTANDING IN THEIR RESPECTIVE FIELDS. Pick a bouquet of simple wildflowers for your table and press one perfect bloom into
a book for a special keepsake. Let Mother Nature further inspire your surroundings with a lovely necklace of semi-precious gems
and stones, carefully picked from the many options at the island’s boutiques. Items pictured here may be found at Canopy Outfitters,
Maritime Passage and the Silver Peddler.

meet the neighbors

House of Harmony
By Jason Frye
Photography by Harry Taylor

Morning Light sits proudly but unobtrusively on three shady lots among the live oaks in Bald Head
Island’s maritime forest. Here, Harper and Plunkett Peterson have built what will soon be their
year-round home. Large enough to hold their five children when they visit but intimate enough
for just the two of them, Morning Light is a tribute to the interweaving of design and desire, art
and aesthetic. The Petersons, along with Wilmington, N.C., architect Michael Moorefield and
builder Gary Hewett, were careful to plan and build a home so well integrated with its environ-
ment, it could have grown out of the earth alongside the trees that encircle it.
Morning Light rests in a clearing not much bigger than its footprint. Landscaping is minimal:
the once thick underbrush has been thinned to make room for lush native species like sabal
palm and wax myrtle, and a simple gravel driveway leads to the crofter and garage. It is easy to
lose the house through the trees as the grey paint and blue trim take on the hue of the sky, but
the remnants of a massive oak scavenged from the forest marks the driveway and lets you know
you’ve arrived.

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“It was important to us to leave the land as untouched as we
could,” Harper says of the planning that went into the welcoming yet
unassuming home. “We wanted to celebrate the trees and the forest,
be able to invite them in or go out and mingle with them.”
The forest is celebrated everywhere in Morning Light, thanks to
Harper’s craftsmanship and Plunkett’s eye for design. Throughout the
home they built fixtures as well as furniture from salvaged wood, and
worked to repurpose other found items as art, building materials and
inspiration. A bench Harper made from a slab of old-growth pine and
two pine logs waits at the top of the flagstone stairs he laid. On the
front porch a hollowed-out cypress stump hangs from the ceiling and
houses a light. Harper even hand carved the Morning Light nameplate
for Plunkett years ago when they were first dreaming of this house.
The home is designed around the first-floor common area that
includes the kitchen, dining room and living room. This area gives
the sense of being on the forest floor under the trees—the deep
brown hardwood underfoot is the fertile earth of the forest floor.
Beside the entry, the glassless frame of a 15-light window laced with
bamboo has been repurposed as a shoji screen, suggesting the idea of
undergrowth. A wall of windows floods the room with dappled light
as it filters through the leaves and twining branches of the live oak
that is almost close enough to touch. The oak’s branches stretch out
of sight, but the exposed rafters and ridge beam carry their essence
through the room.
Within the large common room, the Petersons created several
intimate spaces through the placement of furniture. The shoji screen
defines a foyer. A butter-yellow couch paired with a bench Harper built
cluster around a wood stove in a cozy conversational arrangement. A
matching love seat faces the forested property out the floor-to-ceiling
windows, creating a perfect perch to watch birds come and go. Another
intimate nook off the kitchen houses bookshelves and a window seat
that has become the favorite napping spot of Luna, the family dog.
A table and chandelier of Harper’s design define the dining area.
The chandelier is one of the first things you notice when entering
the room. Harper fashioned the large piece from a beam salvaged from
an old bar in Wilmington, N.C., and it was outfitted with bare bulbs

This page, top left: Harper’s Mozart-inspired chandelier. Top right: The
Petersons tucked birds’ nests into nooks and corners throughout Morning
Light. Bottom: Bamboo reeds woven into the window frame shoji screen
can be changed to reflect the season. Opposite page: The colors found on
and around Bald Head Island inspired the palette in Morning Light.

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I treasure what front eaves face
and all that north windows frame…
…such kindred natures need share
neither root nor form nor gesture.
Enjoying Pine and Bamboo, Po Chü-i (772-846)

hung at different heights by Plunkett. Harper jokes that the bulbs are
the opening notes of a favorite Mozart symphony, but they look like
bright, low-hanging fruit, fat and ripe and ready to be picked.
The dining room table, built on-site by Harper and his builder,
anchors the room. Made from a solid plank of Brazilian mahogany,
the table is 13 feet long, three feet wide and four inches thick. It sits
on a thick trestle of old-growth pine from the same era. The color
coaxed out of the contrasting woods looks like sand and forest soil,
a perfect representation of the land on Bald Head Island.
Harper’s style of furniture making is an extension of the design
of the house itself: American primitive meets classical Asian. The
symmetry, simplicity and proportion of every element is celebrated.
In his many tables and benches, Harper made no effort to disguise
cracks and cheeks in the wood—part of the wood’s beauty lies in its
flaws, the rest in the near-perfect proportion of his design. The same
is true with the structural elements of Morning Light. Throughout,
exposed rafters and ridge beams glorify the construction rather than
hide it. Outside, the rafter tails and ridge beams extend beyond the
confines of roof and wall and announce themselves to the outside
world much like they would in China or Japan.
A true testament to Harper and Plunkett’s teamwork and design
forethought, Morning Light is a perfect reflection of their personalities.
Plunkett’s personality is big—wide open like the rooms in the home.
Her welcoming, never-met-a-stranger manner pulls you into her orbit
where the conversation never stops, never drops a thread, and never
dulls. Her laugh rings through the rooms and rises to the rafters. Her
smile is afternoon light through the windows. Harper is the small space,
the cozy nook off the kitchen, the loveseat by the window. Harper’s
orbit is smaller. The conversation is for the two of you, not secret, but
intimate. He draws you in with his low voice, and when he speaks, he
looks you in the eye. His laugh is soft, only heard a seat away. His smile
is the subtlety and complexity of the bird’s nest in the rafters.

Harper and Plunkett drew on many sources of inspiration for Morning

Light to convey the elements of harmony and tranquility they love
about the island throughout their home.

Left: Naturally finished wood throughout the house emphasizes the

Petersons’ love of the forest. Above, right: Luna naps in a sunny nook off
the kitchen. Below, right: Light floods Harper and Plunkett’s office.

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“There’s a certain flow and continuity to classical Chinese and
Japanese architecture that appealed to us,” Harper says. “We wanted
to keep each space in harmony with the next.”
“We love the relationship between wood and stone, large and
small, inside and out, and we tried to maintain it throughout,”
Plunkett adds.
One of the ways they maintained that balance is through the use of
found and salvaged material. Throughout Morning Light the Petersons
have used driftwood, birds’ nests, antlers and other items—many of
them found on the island—as art and building material. A bowl of
shells found on South Beach. A single antler on a newel post on the
deck. A bird’s nest tucked into the rafters by the stairs, one in the
branches of a driftwood tree on the screened porch, another in the
corner of a window. A piece of driftwood hangs between the dining
room and living room, making a transom of sorts and providing
an interesting visual separation between the spaces. Pieces from an
antique Thai opium bed appear throughout the house as transoms,
wall hangings and part of the outdoor shower.
This use of found materials speaks to Plunkett’s decorating scheme.
“We wanted to emphasize the forest outside,” she says. “We wanted
you to feel like you’re outside when you’re inside. The connection
with nature and place is very important to us and our house needed
to reflect that.”
The palette Plunkett used for Morning Light could have been
taken from outside as well. The living room walls are the soft green
of the underside of sun-filtered leaves. The butter-yellow couch is
the morning sun. In the kitchen and dining room, the walls are fair-
weather cumulus clouds, linen-white and peaceful. The light-blue
kitchen island is the sky at noon. The dark-blue walls in the guest
rooms are the sky before sunset.

As with most homes, the emotional heart of Morning Light is the

kitchen. Distinctively modern—stylish and European, but with
Shaker sensibilities in the design and use of materials—the kitchen is
spacious and easy to work in. The cabinets, with flat drawer fronts and

This page, top left: Plunkett’s impeccable style accentuates every room.
Top right: A wooden vessel sink and driftwood towel hooks create a refined
primitive look. Bottom: The master bath feels like an oasis. Opposite page:
Harper’s creations in the guest bedroom include the bed and tables.

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simple wooden pulls, are made from leftover flooring and wood trim
and are simply finished to let the wood grain be the focal point. The
countertops are concrete—a thousand-year-old material now coming
into vogue as a component of modern design. A sleek glass cook-top
built into the concrete counter provides a no-profile cooking space,
and groups of steel ball bearings embedded in the concrete create a
built-in trivet for hot pots and pans.
“The countertops are art to me,” Plunkett says. “To take a material
like concrete and make it beautiful and functional is the definition
of art. The ball bearing trivets were the idea of the countertop artist,
as was the integrated drain tray by the sink.”
If the emotional heart of Morning Light is the kitchen, then the
architectural heart is the common area from which the rest of the
house radiates. Off the kitchen are the pantry and a powder room,
both with the requisite driftwood accents. An office and guest suite
adjacent to the common room are comfortable and well-appointed.
Near the front door are stairs leading to a second guest room and the
master suite, both of which have windows overlooking the common
room. A screened porch off the kitchen and dining room grants access
to the crofter and to stairs leading to the deck off the master suite, as
well as the sleeping porch on the second floor.
In the upstairs guest room, a simple set of Z-braced shutters,
not unlike those you would find on a 150-year-old home, open to the
common room below. The master suite features a 15-light window
(the mate to the window-cum-shoji-screen below) that stretches nearly
floor to ceiling, and a bank of square windows, all without shutters,
shades or curtains, overlooking the common room. The effect is airy
and open, and the positioning of the windows helps maintain privacy
in the bedroom while allowing light from the bedroom skylights to
filter down into the main part of the house.

In nearly every room the Petersons have brought the outdoors inside,
but in others they brought the inside outdoors. On the main floor,
a large screened porch filled with Harper’s furniture creations and
Plunkett’s quirky found art provides the perfect spot to entertain,

Opposite page: The sleeping porch is an ideal spot to read or dream the
afternoon away. Above, right: Sitting high in the trees, the sleeping porch
provides a bird’s-eye view of the forest. Below, right: Harper’s pine table is
the centerpiece of the screened porch.

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enjoy an aperitif in the evening light or savor breakfast al fresco.
The most prominent feature on the porch is another table built
by Harper. Long and narrow, the table’s top is a single slab of pine
harvested in the early 1900s. The table has knotholes and a live edge
where the bark has been removed but the board’s edge retains the
natural contours of the tree. The legs of the table are debarked cedar
logs, making it appear as if the deck was built around them. Benches,
side-tables and tall display columns Harper refers to as plinths, all
built from old-growth pine from the same sawmill as the table, mix
nicely with the outdoor dining chairs placed around the table.
Upstairs, off the master-suite deck, sits another screened porch
that Plunkett refers to as “the sleeping porch.” Here the centerpiece
is the antique opium bed from Thailand. Once colorfully painted
T h e Pe t e r s o n s but now faded with time, the posts and headboard still show hints
of color: hazy blue the color of opium smoke, copper the color of the
Like the roots of the live oaks that surround their forest clouds at sunset, and red faded to the pink of cherry blossoms. The
home, the Peterson family’s roots on Bald Head Island sleeping porch puts you in the middle of the trees, and, from the bed,
run deep. Harper and Plunkett’s relationship to the island a 270-degree view of the canopy of the maritime forest makes you feel
dates back to 1984 and continues to grow as they plan like you’re in a bird’s nest waiting to take flight for the first time.
to spend more time here in their new home. Above the bed, a piece of Peruvian art, constructed from tightly
Harper’s dad, affectionately known to everyone as rolled coils of newspaper and magazine pages, forms a billowy, child-
“Pops,” was a fixture on the island for many years. Ask
like cloud. The dreamy quality of the piece is the perfect complement
any Bald Head Island old-timer about Pops and they
to the room.
inevitably have a colorful tale to tell. “Everyone knows
Pops,” Harper says. “In the early days, my dad was the
In many ways, the bed is a metaphor for the work Harper and
first person you’d see when you got off the ferry. He’d Plunkett put into the house: ideas enriched by desire; things reused,
have his chair and umbrella set up, and he’d rent golf repurposed, reinterpreted and recurring. The Peruvian art is the home
carts, bikes and canoes to visitors.” itself: a dream where inside and outside intertwine, a place of high
The Petersons parlayed that early business ceilings and subtle echo.
venture into the store now known as Riverside “Harper worked on the house for two-and-a-half years, acting as
Adventure Company, and eventually opened the sister designer, contractor, carpenter and furniture maker along the way,”
stores Canopy Outfitters and Maritime Passage in
Plunkett says. “But we’ve been talking about the house for 25 years.”
Crew’s Quarters. They recently expanded their island
“It’s a long time to have a project on your mind,” Harper says,
businesses to include The Kayak Shack.
Harper and Plunkett’s influence also runs deep in
“and I think we got it right.”
the island’s history. They’re credited with co-founding
the now famous July Fourth Golf Cart Parade—an iconic
island experience—and were one of the first couples
to be married in the chapel.
Their children—Addie and Alex Corrigan, and
Lily, Kit and Will Peterson—spent a large part of their
childhood on Bald Head Island. “I have so many great
memories here,” says Lily, 31. “I’m glad we have this Jason Frye is a freelance writer living in Wilmington, N.C, with his wife
house to come home to now to relive those memories Lauren. He holds his MFA in creative writing and longs to live in the
and make more.” maritime forest and write poems in the Chinese shan-shui tradition.

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Live eXPLORe viSiT
Real Estate Listings Island Information and Images Vacation Rentals

Paintings, pottery, jewelry and other fine art from more than 25 artists

Located in Crew’s Quarters at 12A Maritime Way near the Maritime Market

Please call for hours: 910-454-4892

If you’re looking for island real estate,
we’ll help you find your way.
A t The Island Agency, the affiliated real estate sales company of Bald Head Island Limited, we offer
the largest selection of new and resale properties in all the island environments, from the beach to the
harbour and everything in between. As the island’s oldest and most successful real estate company, we have a
comprehensive understanding of the island’s past, present and future, and are devoted to offering clients an
unparalleled level of professional, personalized service.

Only The Island Agency has two convenient locations on the island and one at the Deep Point Ferry Terminal
in Southport, so we’re always right here and available to assist you, seven days a week. So whether you’re buying,
selling, or just looking, turn to The Island Agency for all your island real estate needs.

See our special real estate section on page 109 to learn more about The Island Agency.

1-800-346-4184 • •

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Walker Golder

By Virginia Holman

Bald Head Island plays host to visitors year

round. Some folks arrive by ferry, sailboat or
yacht. Others skip over for a brief escape from
Wilmington and Southport to climb to the top
of Old Baldy and enjoy a leisurely bike ride
around the island. Lucky visitors get to stay
for a week or two, and a few fortunate souls
luxuriate year-round on the island.
In addition to hosting human visitors from
all around the world, Bald Head Island also
plays host to a variety of migratory birds and
other animals each year. These island guests
arrive under their own steam; some swim and
others fly tens of thousands of miles to dine,
to rest and rejuvenate, or to set up summer
households of their own. These honored guests,
along with the island’s 10,000 acres of unde-
veloped beach, marsh, and pristine maritime
forest, ensure Bald Head Island’s reputation
as not only a splendid vacation spot, but also
as a site of great ecological significance.

Great Egret Ardea alba

Great egrets appear en masse annually on
Bald Head Island, lured by the abundant bait
fish in Bald Head Creek.

haven 27
Walker Golder

Painted Bunting Passerina ciris

In an average year, more than 100 pairs of painted buntings nest on Bald Head Island. Males, like the
one shown above, are more vibrant than their mates.

Walker Golder
Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus
Scores upon scores of monarchs stop over on Bald Head Island,
en route to their wintering grounds in Mexico.

Summer Residents fierce battles with each other. monarch butterflies appear on the island.
Painted Bunting If you look closely in the lower reaches of Some hatch here but many come from farther
the bushes, you may see a painted bunting’s north and stop at Bald Head Island as they
One summer resident of note is the vibrant nest. Female buntings build a soft cup-shaped migrate to Mexico. These butterflies have
painted bunting. Like many summer resi- nest of grasses, moss, hair and bits of bark. never been to Mexico before, but they know
dents, the painted bunting enjoys a shaded Painted bunting populations have fallen the way—the directions are encoded in their
home along the edges of Bald Head Island’s in recent years due to destruction of coastal DNA. Some populations travel as far as 3,000
pristine maritime forest. habitats and the male buntings are routinely miles to get to their overwintering sites in
Male painted buntings are hard to miss trapped and exported overseas from Mexico Mexico.
with their flashy carnival colors—vivid blue as cage birds. How can you tell the difference between a
head, bright red breast, yellow and green butterfly that’s just hanging out on a summer
plumage. They are aptly named, as the male day and a migrating monarch? The migrating
looks touched by the brush of Gaugin. He is Late Summer Guests monarch will often be quite high in the sky
the dandiest of all the island birds. Female Monarch Butterfly and heading in a steady southerly direction.
painted buntings are a more modestly colored A monarch that’s hanging out in the garden
green, with lighter green to yellow bellies. One of the loveliest summer visitors to Bald will flit about in many directions.
These birds are always dressed for dinner! Head Island is the regal-looking monarch In the evenings, if you’re looking and
Don’t rely solely on your eyes to spy a butterfly. These butterflies grace many of the you’re very lucky, you may see tens and some-
painted bunting. The males defend their ter- beautiful plantings of lantana, verbena and times hundreds of monarchs gather together
ritory by singing from a high branch, so close zinnias along South Bald Head Wynd, South to roost in a tree branch. They gather together
your eyes and listen for the call, which is a sharp, East Beach Drive and in Harbour Village. to stay warm through the night.
percussive, “tsick!” Then open your eyes and Indeed any place inland that has nectaring By late October almost all the monarchs
look up, where you’ll likely see a male, claiming flowers is going to be a monarch magnet. have headed south to Mexico.
his territory. Males will occasionally engage in In late August and early September

haven 29
Walker Golder
White Ibis Eudocimus albus
Converging by the thousands on nearby Battery Island to nest in the spring, ibises frequent Bald Head Island
during the day to feed in the creeks.

Day Trippers egret, the juvenile blue heron and the white nest of about three eggs in shrubs or trees and
White Ibis ibis. The white ibis is easily identified by its take turns incubating the eggs and feeding the
long red downward-curving bill, and red legs juveniles. You’ll often see the ibises roosting
White ibis are day trippers to Bald Head and feet. Ibises can be seen throughout the together in trees in the evening and it makes a
Island. They typically nest on Battery Island, spring and summer in sizable groups hunched splendid sight, as if the tree is awash in massive
a small island in the Cape Fear River about over like shell-seekers as they forage for food white blooms.
halfway between Bald Head Island and in the salt marsh. They feed on crabs, snails, Battery Island is a globally important
Southport. Ibises will fly as far as 15 miles to insects, and small fish by probing the marsh Audubon Sanctuary. In fact, 12 percent of
forage for food each day and return to their with their bills. They are often at the creek the worldwide white ibis population nests
nesting sites at dusk. If you look west from mouth and all along the edges of the marsh. each year on Battery Island—that’s between
Bald Head Island over to Battery Island on A group of ibises can regularly be seen on the 9,000 and 12,000 mating pairs. The island
a summer evening, you will often see flocks sand island at hole #7 on the Bald Head Island is tightly patrolled and entry onto the island
returning to their nests in a long ribbon Club golf course. Ibises in flight are identifiable is prohibited as the ibises will abandon the
across the sky. by their long ribbon-like formations and their area and their young if disturbed. But you
A number of white wading birds frequent black tipped wings (only visible in flight). can go view ibises by boat, with your camera
Bald Head Island—the great egret, the snowy Both the male and female construct a and binoculars.

Walker Golder

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Walker Golder

Red Knot Calidris canutus rufa

Red knots have perhaps the longest range of any visitor to Bald Head Island, summering in the
Canadian Arctic, resting briefly on the island, then wintering in South America.

Virginia Holman is a book author and magazine writer who teaches at UNC-Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College. She’s also an
avid sea kayaker who recently completed a circumnavigation of Bald Head Island.

Doug Ledgett
Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta
Led home by instinct, a loggerhead turtle mother will return to the
beach where she hatched to lay her own nest.

Overnighters if you see plastic in the water, or blowing on you pay close attention during mid-May and
Loggerhead Turtle the beach, please pick it up! again in September, you will likely spot red
Another threat is the red fox. You’ll notice knots, which can be identified by their rela-
The pristine beaches of Bald Head Island lure that many of the turtle nests on the island tively short, straight tapered bill and reddish
many visitors, both human and reptile alike. have wire cages around them. This is to keep head and breast feathers. If you’re very lucky,
In the deep of night, beginning in May the population of red foxes on the island from you may see a “tangle of knots” (a large group
and lasting through August, giant female log- digging up and eating the eggs. of red knots) execute a fast-moving dance in
gerhead turtles, some with shells spanning the air, banking and wheeling in the sky like
three feet across, crawl up the beach and lay a single pulsing animal.
a nest of dimpled white eggs, each about the Foodies The red knot eats mollusks, crabs and
size of a golf ball. Red Knot insects, but its primary source of food is
About 65 days later, the nests come to a protein-rich horseshoe crab eggs. One of the
“boil” and the baby turtles emerge to make Bald Head Island sees its share of snowbirds main feeding grounds for these birds is in the
their way to the sea. Though it is possible and jet setters, but few travelers go quite as Delaware Bay. Unfortunately, due to overfish-
you may stumble upon a loggerhead emerg- far as the red knot. And, like many of you, ing of the horseshoe crab, its population has
ing from the sea or a clutch of young turtles the red knot arrives at the island ravenous for dwindled precipitously.
skittering to the ocean, your best chance of some excellent seafood. You’d be hungry too In 1980, the East Coast red knot popula-
viewing these magnificent creatures is on if you flew under your own power for 19,000 tion was estimated at 100,000. By 2006, that
a Turtle Walk with the Bald Head Island miles a year! These modest-looking snowbirds number had fallen to a paltry 17,000. In the
Conservancy. have an enormous migratory range, wintering United States, efforts are underway throughout
Mature loggerhead turtles can swim at in South America and nesting in the brief the red knots’ flyway to prevent overfishing of
speeds up to 20 mph and, in the Atlantic, have summers in the Canadian Arctic. the horseshoe crab and to keep this bird from
a migratory range as far north as Newfoundland The average lifespan of a red knot is about becoming extinct due to starvation.
and as far south as Argentina. They can grow 10 years, though some banded birds have If you see red knots, view them from a
to 300 lbs. and live between 30 and 50 years. lived 16 to 20 years. A 15-year-old red knot distance and let them feed undisturbed. After
Plastic bags are a major threat to logger- is known as a moon bird, because it has flown all, it takes a lot of calories to keep this very
heads. To the turtles, these look like delicious enough miles in its lifetime to have landed special bird aloft.
jellyfish. When a turtle mistakenly eats a on the moon. ———
plastic bag, it may choke or, if the bag is fully Head out Beach Access 42 and walk To learn more about the migratory animals
swallowed, the turtle’s belly will feel full and along East Beach nearly any month of the year that visit Bald Head Island, visit the BHI
it will cease eating and eventually starve. So and you’ll see a variety of sandpipers. But, if Conservancy’s website at

haven 33
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33 55.872’ N - 77 59.772‘ W

Across from red Cape Fear River buoy #20

Offering easy ICW and ocean access via a

deep-water shipping channel with federally
maintained navigational aids

Accommodates boats up to 102’

with 10’ draft at MLW
Ice-free basin with lighted entrance channel
The 82-slip Deep Point Marina, located next door to the new Bald Head Island Ferry
30-, 50- and 100-amp electric hookups
Terminal, is convenient to Southport’s shopping, restaurants and historic district,
Gas & diesel fuel and marine pump-out available
and offers easy ocean access.
Cable TV • Wi-Fi • 24-hour security

Situated on the Cape Fear River, the Marina offers fuel and transient dockage
as well as daily, monthly and annual slip rentals.

For slip rentals and rates, call 1-910-269-2380 or use VHF channel 16.

Visit us on the web at

haven 35
excursions & expeditions

This one’s
for the
By Odette Embert Arnold
Photography by Millie Holloman
Of all the things my college roommate and I have in common,
perhaps the most significant is this: We love the beach and we love
summer. How fitting, then, that we are here on Bald Head Island
for a girls’ getaway with our teenaged daughters on the first days of
their summer vacation.
I met Laura at Myrtle Beach, S.C., the summer between my sophomore and junior years at
The University of North Carolina. We were both working there for the summer, and I learned
that she was coming to Chapel Hill as a junior transfer in the fall. A couple of minutes into our
first conversation, we realized we would be living in the same apartment complex—and as it
turned out, our front doors were literally a couple of inches apart.
It was the beginning of a practically inseparable friendship for the next two years.
Senior year, we shared an apartment, a major, and more jaunts to the coast than we should
have. I remember the adrenaline rush we’d get at even the slightest hint of warmth in the air,
and it wouldn’t be long before we were eastbound out of town.
After graduation, Laura went to Atlanta, Ga., and I moved to Raleigh, N.C. We kept in
touch, but the distance made it hard to get together regularly. Once we became parents, however,
we became a bit more intentional with our visits because we wanted our children to grow up
knowing each other—especially our girls.
My daughter Maggie is almost 16 and Laura’s daughter Charlotte just turned 14—younger
than we were when we met, but not by much. Being mother to a teenaged daughter is another of
our common threads these days, although Laura also has two young sons. This getaway, however,
is for girls only.

No boys allowed.

haven 37
Maggie and I wake up on the island, having come the evening before show Jon and Kate, Plus Eight is on the island with her eight children.
to get the house ready and get a jump on relaxation after all the When we get to the cottage, Maggie and Charlotte immediately jump
demands of the school year. We haven’t seen Laura and Charlotte in on bikes to go investigate. They come back triumphant, saying they
a year and although the girls have always hit it off, I am keenly aware saw the entire brood at the Shoals Club pool.
that teenaged girls can and do change dramatically in the space of A quick walk over to the beach to take in the ocean, and it’s soon
twelve months. I am eager for their arrival, fingers crossed that they time for dinner. We decide on Eb & Flo’s. Casual, overlooking the
will get along as they always have. harbour, it’s the perfect place to kick off the summer season. Laura
We can’t bear to wait for the tram to bring them to the house, describes the antics of Charlotte’s younger brothers in hilarious
so we’re at the marina early to greet the ferry. It’s Charlotte’s first detail while I give her a preview of what to expect in high school
visit to Bald Head Island, and Laura’s first in more than 15 years. these days. The girls are up and down, going for drink refills and a
I watch their faces as they arrive and take in the beautiful harbour walk down the docks.
setting. “We’ll be back in a little while,” they call over their shoulders.
“Mom, I’m going to take them down the beach road, okay?” says Laura raises her eyebrows to ask me if this is a good idea.
Maggie, climbing into the driver’s seat, permit tucked into her jeans “Harmless,” I assure her. It’s part of the beauty of Bald Head
pocket. She narrates all the way back to the house, giving Charlotte Island. There is a sense of safety and security here that doesn’t exist
a personal tour of the island she loves. in many coastal resorts.
In the second seat, Laura and I practically pick up mid-conversa- Back at the cottage, we have a glass of wine on the porch and
tion from when we last saw each other. With the sea breezes cooling a bit more chit-chat, but no late night for the moms. The teens,
the air and the sun glistening off the water, we share that familiar however, are a different story. At 1:30 a.m., I’m awakened by giggling
giddiness at being together at the beach. The years since college seem outside the bedroom door and when I call to them, they shriek and
to have vanished. take off upstairs. As I grumble and try to fall back asleep, I think
In the front seat Maggie tells Charlotte about the buzz in our local about their immediate comfort level with each other and gratitude
Wilmington, N.C., paper. Reports are that Kate of the TV reality mitigates my grouchiness.
Being on Bald Head Island is like being in the
company of good friends—comfortable and
comforting, effortless and endearing. It brings
out one’s true, best self. Being on Bald Head
Island with good friends—well, life just doesn’t
get much better than that.

haven 39
Shopping, a.k.a. retail
therapy, doesn’t have to
be serious business. It’s
good to try something
silly on for size.

Summer is for sleeping in, although my body clock won’t let me get Charlotte chimes in, “I know! My mom, too!”
away with much anymore. I’m up before 7:00, but being a little lazy Sensitive to being portrayed as “no fun,” Laura and I take a running
about it. Laura soon joins me and we take a beach walk as we discuss start and jump in, pleasantly surprised at the water’s warmth so early
our plans for the day. We decide to set up camp at the Shoals Club, in June. Later we discuss how fortunate we feel that our girls still want
since it gives us the pool, the beach and lunch all in one spot. When to hang out with us. Asserting independence is a very natural part of
the teens come downstairs ready to go, Maggie is wearing one of the teen years, of course, but except for the occasional roll of the eyes
Charlotte’s bathing suits and Charlotte is wearing a pair of Maggie’s over a “mom comment” and the glance that asks “Are you really going
shorts. I smile remembering Laura and I “shopping” each others’ closets to wear that?” our daughters seem content to be with us.
on occasion back in college—a right and ritual of roommates. And that’s in large part what this trip is all about.
An idyllic summer day unfolds warm and sunny, with bright The four of us are dangling our feet over the side of the pool
blue skies and low humidity. We eat lunch, then Laura and I retreat when the aforementioned reality series entourage very quietly slips
to poolside lounge chairs to look at mindless fashion magazines and by us and takes over the kiddie pool on the lower level. The girls
trade notes on skin care for women in their 40s who have spent way can’t resist rushing over to check them out, but out of respect for
too many unprotected hours in the sun. And of course we cover the their privacy—plus the presence of bodyguards and a pool staff that
topic all moms discuss ad nauseam whenever their children are not won’t let anyone near—they leave the family to enjoy their vacation.
within earshot: their children. Maggie and Charlotte do text their friends back home, though, with
The girls get in the pool and I notice they have attracted the at- reports of the celebrity sightings.
tention of some boys their age. I make a mental note and turn back Next the girls want to surf, so we go back to the cottage, grab
to my magazine. In a few minutes, they are calling to us to come a couple of boards from the garage and head across the street to the
swimming with them. beach. The waves are breaking onshore so there’s nothing to ride,
“Mom, you never get in,” says Maggie, exaggerating in true but it doesn’t matter. It’s just about being in the water, and not in a
teen fashion. classroom, on a carefree summer day.



Whether looking for a special memento of your time on the island, a gift of appreciation
for your hosts or the right touches to complete your décor, the Silver Peddler shines.
Located beside the Maritime Market · (910) 457-6900

haven 41
We have dinner reservations at the Bald Head Island Club and
decide we’ll dress up a little for a girls’ night out. Laura, a city girl,
has a different idea of “a little” than I do. I live in a casual beach
community, so when she pulls out a dress with sequins on it and
insists it’s nothing fancy, I give her the same grief I delivered earlier
when she spread out her array of hair and beauty products across the
dresser. It’s always been a point of teasing for us—I am nowhere near
her league with such things, but I am smart enough to capitalize on
her expertise and ask her to do my makeup.
We have a lovely meal at the club, apparently still not caught up
on each others’ lives judging by the amount of chatting and laughing
going on. The boys who were at the Shoals Club pool earlier are also
in the dining room, and only then do we find out that they asked
our girls if they wanted to get together later. The girls, however, are
not interested. Another wave of gratitude is shared.

It’s our last day on the island and we’re determined to get the most
out of it. We have reservations for spa treatments at noon, so we spend
part of the morning in Maritime Passage, a nearby island boutique.
We try on clothes and accessories, giving each other frank opinions,
and make a few purchases. Laura outdistances me in this category,
too, but I know I’ll be back in a few weeks so I’ll have another chance
at the white sundress.
On to Island Retreat Spa and Salon, the perfect complement to a
successful shopping venture. Newly opened and beautifully outfitted,
the spa is an ideal addition to the island. Maggie and Charlotte get
pedicures sitting side-by-side, while Laura and I go our separate ways
for facials. The setting is serene, the services are decadent, and we all
leave feeling refreshed and spoiled.
We grab lunch at the Maritime Market Cafe, and then go back
to the cottage to get our bikes. I want them to see a bit more of the
island before we have to leave, so we ride along South Bald Head
Wynd and they are captivated by the elevated, panoramic ocean
views. Before departing, we’re drawn to the beach once more to take
mother-daughter portraits in the fading golden light.
As we walk back to the cottage to await the tram, I suddenly
realize that besides the mother-daughter, friend-to-friend bonding,
I have been harboring another agenda: I am hoping a love of Bald
Head Island will become another of the things that Laura and I share.
Nearly on cue, I hear her say to Charlotte, “You know, this is sort
of like all of the beaches we usually visit, all wrapped up in one. We
need to come back with daddy and the boys.” I smile, satisfied.

Odette Embert Arnold is a freelance writer who feels incredibly lucky to write about the things she loves. When she isn’t hanging out with friends
on Bald Head Island, she is delighted to be at home on Wrightsville Beach, N.C., with her husband and teenaged daughter.

On all accounts,
mission accomplished.

haven 43



NU RT U R E N AT U RandEshe will return the favor.

You’re never too young or too old to learn to appreciate the wonders of nature. The Bald Head
Island Conservancy offers a variety of educational programs designed to preserve and protect the
natural resources in and around Bald Head Island. Activities include camps, nature walks,
kayaking trips and a renowned Sea Turtle Protection program. Most programs are free and
open to the public. For more information, please call (910) 457-0089 or visit


A Tale
of Two
Bald Head Island’s
New Shopping District
Inspired by Aspen
“Back in the Day”
By Christi Golder
Photography by Jack Upton

As the story goes, during the ’60s the Mitchell

children, all 10 of them, spent countless hours
piled in the back of the family station wagon,
traveling cross-country with their mother
Cynthia. “We’d line up on the bench seat of
our Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser alternating one
butt fore and one aft in order for us all to fit,”
describes Mark Mitchell, developer of Bald
Head Island, and number five in the family
birth order. “Every so often our mother would
say, ‘OK, time to switch,’ and we’d all trade
places. It was that crowded.”
Mark’s brother, Kent, also a developer
of the island, and sixth in the sibling lineup,
remembers it well, too. “We were so packed
in, our feet had to be intertwined,” he says.
According to the brothers, who grew up near
Crew’s Quarters, a Houston, Texas, it was important to their
mixed-use residential parents that they appreciate the world beyond
and retail space located their own neighborhood. To that end, each
along Maritime Way, is summer their mother would organize a family
home to Canopy Outfit-
trip and get them where they were going. The
ters, Maritime Passage
and The Woods Gallery.
family patriarch, George Mitchell, would then
leave his hectic work schedule to fly in and
meet them at their final destination.

haven 45
One of their favorite travel spots was have items that sell for less than $20, for those
Aspen, Colo., where the family still owns a wanting a small memento of the island to take
vacation home. “Growing up, we spent a lot home with them,” says Shawn. Serious collec-
of time in Aspen and it left a big impression tors haven’t been disappointed either—works
on us,” says Kent. “The whole town exudes in the four-to-six thousand dollar range by
The Mitchells cultural events and recreational activities. We internationally recognized artists sell regu-
always envisioned that Bald Head Island might larly. Recently, an original painting by North
envisioned that someday have a really interesting recreational, Carolina native Bob Timberlake fetched well
commercial and artistic mixture, too.” into the five figures.
Bald Head “Aspen’s sense of place is genuine, which “I try to look at the gallery as an experi-
Island might is a big part of its appeal,” says Mark. “The
various enterprises there developed organically,
ence first, and a store second,” says Shawn.
“I have an opportunity to talk about art in
someday have a as an extension of the community, to meet its a casual, unintimidating way. That’s been
needs and interests. That’s our desire for Bald enormously rewarding.”
really interesting Head Island. We want to cultivate and nurture Ongoing Meet the Artist events, Smith
an authentic sense of place, not something Island Art League shows, and close ties with
recreational, contrived. That doesn’t happen overnight. It the No Boundaries artist colony held annu-
evolves naturally over time, in response to the ally on the island are other ways the gallery
commercial and desires of residents and visitors.” is working to strengthen the connections
On the island today, on a much smaller between artists and the community.
artistic mixture. scale than Aspen, you can see this idea taking The Woods Gallery is named for Kent
hold. Since opening their doors in the last year, and Mark’s mother, Cynthia Woods Mitch-
The Woods Gallery and Island Retreat Spa ell, a longtime patron of the arts. While the
and Salon, both located along Maritime Way, gallery showcases a variety of styles, from
are, in their own individual ways, making the whimsical still life paintings to abstract mixed
island a more vibrant place to live or visit. And media works, the focus of the gallery is to
this couldn’t please the Mitchells more. exhibit regionally inspired coastal landscape
Along with the support of island residents paintings. “I continue to experiment with the
and visitors, the Mitchells attribute much of collection, frequently changing the mix of
the businesses’ early success to the entrepre- work, and hope the gallery enriches the island
neurial spirit of managers and employees, experience for both residents and visitors,”
who’ve worked tirelessly to get the businesses says Shawn.
up and running. No one deserves more praise Just up the way lies Island Retreat Spa
for her efforts than Woods Gallery Direc- and Salon. On a typical summer day, Island
tor Shawn Best. In just a few short months, Retreat will see 30 to 40 clients. “Even though
Island Retreat Shawn pulled together a tremendous selection we’re busy, the energy in the salon is very calm,”
of works by artists with a connection to Bald says Spa Manager Rene Curtis. “Island Retreat
Head Island. has a totally different feel than most mainland
“The talent pool in our area is really salons. Our customers come in in flip-flops
quite remarkable,” says Shawn, who enjoys a and are so laid-back. The island itself appeals
personal relationship with most of the artists. to the relaxed, spiritual side of people, and
“People coming into the gallery want to know the atmosphere in the salon is an extension of
the story behind the art, the work methods that.”
and process of the artist,” she continues. “I’ve Rene says the salon already has a steady
watched artists paint several of the paintings base of regulars and is seeing lots of referrals.
we have in the gallery. It allows me to share “We’re building great relationships with our
insights with others that can add to the ap- customers,” says Rene. “They keep telling us
preciation of an artist’s work.” they’re thrilled to have us here.”
Woods Gallery
The wide variety of art for sale gives Walking through Island Retreat’s tranquil
anyone a reason to stop in and browse. “We setting, it’s not hard to see why the spa has

“I try to look at the gallery as an experience first, and a store second,” says Woods Gallery
Director Shawn Best.
been so well-received. Original artworks on to have a spa on the island. Based on the customers for years,” says Kent. “The island
loan from The Woods Gallery grace the walls initial reception, that’s definitely proving to wouldn’t be the same without them.”
throughout, while subdued lighting and com- be true,” says Trisha Howarth, Hospitality With space currently available for sale
fortable furnishings complete the ambience. Sales & Marketing Director for Bald Head or lease along Maritime Way, as well as in
Rene and Spa Manager Isla O’Donnell Island Limited. “Customers are telling us the Merchant’s Row, the Mitchells say they’re
both give high praise to the staff at Island spa completes the ‘island experience.’” actively looking to attract additional small
Retreat, where every employee was hired as And that’s exactly what Kent and Mark businesses to the island. Discussions are well
a referral. “We have extremely talented and hoped would happen. “These new businesses, underway with several third-party entrepre-
loyal service providers who have been in the including Island Parcel Service, [a shipping neurs who are interested in delivering goods
industry for many years,” says Isla. and receiving center that recently opened in and services that surveys suggest owners and
Along with hair cutting, coloring and Merchant’s Row] show that Bald Head Island visitors would welcome.
styling, Island Retreat offers massages, mani- can support additional services and stores,” “Admit it, who wouldn’t like to see a
cures, pedicures, facials, and other esthetic says Mark. cute little coffee shop open up on the island?”
treatments. Massages and pedicures are the The Mitchells credit the owners of older says Kent. “No doubt,” agrees Mark, smiling.
services most requested by property owners established businesses on the island, such as “Aspen would have nothing on us then.”
and vacationers. “Of course, we spend a lot of Riverside Adventure Co., Maritime Passage,
time with bridal parties, as well, doing hair and Canopy Outfitters, Silver Peddler and Island When not writing or editing all things Bald
makeup the day of the wedding,” says Isla. Hardware, with paving the way for the recent Head Island, Christi Golder can be found
“We’d been hearing from property owners wave of shops. “The owners of these businesses on the water with her husband Walker and
and vacationers for years that they would love blazed a trail and have successfully catered to son Will.

haven 47
a r e y O u t ry i n g tO perhaps yOu are COnsidering

stay COnneCted? taking the pLunge?

C O r p O r at e r e t r e at s

Weddings · FunCtiOns
r e u n i O n s · pa rt i e s

m ay b e y O u n e e d h e L p W i t h Or, dO yOu just Like tO be

team buiLding? Catered tO?

Bald Head Island lImIted

Group events



Gett n
Mr d r e
a l H ea
B d an d
Is l d
Picture your dream wedding. Does it take place on a pristine beach
with ocean waves lapping at your bare feet, or in the forest under a canopy of ancient oaks
dripping with Spanish moss? Maybe you’d prefer to take your vows in a picture-perfect
chapel guarded by a centuries-old lighthouse, or in a festive marshside pavilion overlooking
a winding creek. You might think these dreams would take you around the globe, but all
these locations can be found right here on Bald Head Island. The weddings that follow
showcase the creative ways couples have used the natural splendor of the island to create
an unforgettable wedding day. We hope you find some inspiration to make your dreams
come true, too.

Photography by M illie Holloman

Emily & Ray
Emily and Ray Liotta didn’t know exactly what they were looking for when they first set
out looking for a wedding venue. They just knew they wanted it to be special, and they
figured when they saw it, they’d know. Emily, who works as an engineer in Wilmington,
N.C., had been to Bald Head Island on a site visit and was immediately struck by the quiet,
natural beauty. “I couldn’t wait to come back with Ray,” Emily explains. When the couple
returned to the island together, they both knew immediately that they had found their
wedding spot. They toured the island, and true to form, they were both captivated by the
oceanfront setting of the Shoals Club. “As soon as we saw that amazing gazebo, we just
looked at each other and said, ‘This is it!’” says Emily. The rest, as they say, is history.

Emily (right) and bridesmaid Kathryn Adorable flower girls Michelle (8) and Emily and dad Douglas share a lighthearted
peruse magazines while getting ready for Ava (4) take their jobs very seriously. moment before their trip down the aisle.
the big moment.

The shades of blue in the cake, designed by Presenting Emily and Ray Liotta. A bouquet of willow branches serves as
Sweet T’s, bring to mind the sky and ocean. a decorative place to hang seating
assignment cards.

Emily and Ray share a first dance to Simple white flowers enhance the “beachy Ray was on top of the world, literally,
“Wildflowers” by Tom Petty, one of their elegance” theme Emily envisioned. after Emily said “I do!”
favorite songs.

haven 51
“We feel like Bald Head Island
found us,” says Emily.

Natalie & Kevin
The story of Natalie and Kevin Welborn is all about love at first sight—both with each other
and with Bald Head Island. They met on a blind date and knew instantly they’d found
their lifelong companions. When Kevin proposed, Natalie had her heart set on an island
wedding but was having a hard time finding just the right place. That’s when a co-worker
suggested Bald Head Island. “We fell in love the minute we stepped off the ferry,” says
Natalie. “It was perfect.” Also perfect, according to Natalie, was the peaceful and serene
feeling Bald Head Island offered. “I was completely relaxed and calm all weekend,” she
says. “I loved the way it felt like I was on vacation.” Family and friends who had traveled
from Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania agreed. “We’re planning an island reunion for the
near future,” says Natalie.

haven 53
Natalie’s choice of bright pink dresses True to their desire, the couple takes their Natalie hangs out with flower girls Julian (5)
for the bridal party reflects her vows with the ocean as backdrop. and Riley (7) following the ceremony.
cheerful personality.

Florist Kim Fisher brightened the Natalie and Kevin sneak away from the Dozens of mirrored stars add a magical
ceremony seating with baskets festivities to steal a kiss on East Beach. touch to the Shoals Club gazebo.
full of snapdragons.

Kevin and mom Pat enjoy some mother/son Natalie’s all-pink bouquet includes ranun- Ring bearer Grant (3) takes a break from his
time on the dance floor. culus, hyacinth and pink parrot tulips. responsibilities to enjoy a piggyback ride.
Natalie and Kevin’s dream of
getting married on an island
came true when they discovered
Bald Head Island.
Shannon & Hunter
For Shannon and Hunter Hillenmeyer, one of the best things about getting married on
Bald Head Island was the ability to spend quality time with friends and family. Since they
live in Chicago and had guests coming from all across the country, having time to recon-
nect with everyone was key. “Being in a place where there’s nothing to worry about and
nowhere you have to be really helps keep you connected to the present,” says Shannon. “The
moments we remember most from our wedding are the quiet ones spent with family, being
relaxed and not taking anything too seriously.” From their small ceremony at the sweet
Village Chapel to their festive reception at the Harbourside Pavilion, the entire wedding
was infused with a sense of intimacy. “This wedding couldn’t have happened anywhere
else but here,” says Shannon.
The Village Chapel nestles among live The lovely bride stops to have her Shannon’s bouquet, created by Kim
oak trees in the maritime forest. portrait taken in front of Fisher, mixes delicate white
blooming hydrangreas. and green blooms.

The handsome groom touches his new The wood detailing inside the chapel L-R, Sammy Hillenmeyer,
wedding band. creates a warm, intimate atmosphere. TJ Hillenmeyer, Anna McFarland
and Hudson McFarland.

The little details, like lush floral Shannon and Hunter savor their first Lights and bunting transform the Har-
arrangements, create a sophisticated dance as husband and wife. bourside Pavilion into a magical setting.
table setting.
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  Ê   6 " , -


haven 59

None are as dramatic as this one.

The point of Cape Fear, without question one of the most spectacular locations on the Eastern Seaboard,
is the setting for the magnificent Shoals Club. Members and guests enjoy two pools, fine dining, direct
beach access and parking, men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, an Events Pavilion, and recreation programs
designed for all ages and interests. For membership information, please make it a point to call 1-800-722-6450.

"`Ê >`Þʈ}…Ì…œÕÃiÊ>˜`Ê-“ˆÌ…ÊÏ>˜`ÊÕÃiՓ



Tours & Preservation - - 910.457.7481

Call for rates and hours of operation.

cape fear station

The C ape Fe ar Lighthouse:
C ap’n Charlie’s

By Cheryl Shelton-Roberts

Representing three major eras of the U.S. Lighthouse Service, three shipping point, had become apparent. To answer this need, the U.S.
different towers have illuminated Bald Head Island with completion Lighthouse Service (USLHS) constructed the towering Cape Fear
dates reaching back to 1794, 1817 and 1903. The most recent one, Lighthouse on Bald Head Island, at the end of Federal Road.
the “lost” Cape Fear Lighthouse, rose nearly 170 feet skyward on A keen $70,000 was appropriated in two $35,000 increments to
the southeast tip of Bald Head Island. Only the foundation remains get the lighthouse built. The tower rose dramatically out of the sand,
of the giant, white, steel skeleton tower that held a prized first-order its spider web-like bracing and eight massive supporting columns
Fresnel lens. The Cape Fear Light Station was the pride of 30-year rendering it a truly imposing structure. The black ironwork of the
veteran Principal Keeper Captain Charles Swan. lantern room housed a Fresnel lens illuminated by an incandescent oil
At the turn of the twentieth century, drastic changes were oc- vapor lamp. In its lofty watch room, a keeper on duty kept constant
curring in the channel through the meandering Cape Fear River, vigil for shipwrecks. Families of the nearby life-saving station as
making it extremely dangerous to navigate. The need for a tall coastal well as the keepers’ families were kind to anyone in need of help. If
light to serve as a guide around the treacherous Frying Pan Shoals a wreck were spotted, keepers used signal flags to send out the alarm
and into the river to the Port of Wilmington, then the state’s chief immediately to the Cape Fear Life-Saving Station, pilots in Southport

haven 63
T h e C a pe F e a r F i rst Or de r
Fr esnel Lens
The Cape Fear lens was a first-order
apparatus with an interior diameter of
6-feet-1-inch composed of 24 flash panels,
also called bullseyes. After the Cape
Fear Lighthouse was razed in 1958, the
U.S. Coast Guard relinquished control
of the first-order Fresnel lens to an
antique dealer in Southport, N.C. For
decades it was picked over by souvenir
hunters. One-by-one its precious crown-
glass prisms were taken out of its frame,
destined to become paperweights or
sun catchers. Recently the Old Baldy
Foundation, stewards of Old Baldy
Lighthouse, obtained the remains of
the artifact for restoration and future
exhibit. Over a century ago, this same
lens had been the object of endless hours
of cleaning by its keepers.

Above: The Cape Fear Light, built in 1903, was demolished

in 1958 after being decommissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Left: Cap’n Charlie and family on the steps of the
lighthouse keeper’s cottage.

N.C., and tugboat companies. All sprang into action. job, so they gave us an oil stove. That was a cold place up there.”
The principal lighthouse keeper for the Cape Fear Light was Swan also talked of the hardships of the job. “I lost one man
Captain Charles Swan, or Cap’n Charlie as he was known to island- from walking up the steps just about six months before I came out
ers. His dedication, work ethic and love of Bald Head Island made of service. He died of a heart attack. He dropped dead just shortly
him a legend in his own time. Cap’n Charlie came from generations after he got up there—just started to talk and fell over…We never
of seafaring men—his father had also worked for the USLHS. His had anybody hurt there in all that painting danger; nobody got hurt
valued work colleagues were Assistant Keepers James Smith and or fell. We never had any bad accidents.”
Devaney Farrow Jennette, also from generations of seafarers. The The man Cap’n Charlie lost was Assistant Keeper Devaney Farrow
three families lived in the small wood-framed oceanfront cottages Jennette, who died in 1932 at the change of command. Keeper Swan’s
near the lighthouse and worked together as one family unit. daughter, Marie, and granddaughter, Thelma Margaret, have admitted
Many stories of Cap’n Charlie’s generosity and dedication still that Cap’n Charlie was never the same after Devaney’s death.
exist. Ethel Herring wrote in Cap’n Charlie and Lights of the Lower Cape Cap’n Charlie, wife Marie, and his children loved and enjoyed
Fear that “Dr. and Mrs. Hearst from New York had an unfortunate Bald Head Island even when there were no modern facilities or
boating accident off Bald Head Island.” Mrs. Hearst fell from their recreational facilities. His daughter, also named Marie, spoke of her
yacht while she and her husband were sailing several miles northeast life as a keeper’s daughter. “I lived in Southport and went to school
of the island. Dr. Hearst threw her a life preserver with a line attached during the year and spent summers on the island with ‘Papa.’”
to the boat and dragged her to shore because he was unable to pull “Oh we loved it,” daughter Marie continued. “The island was
her into the boat. Mrs. Hearst was severely weakened and had to our playground and the Atlantic Ocean was our swimming pool.
be carried to Cap’n Charlie’s I shadowed him everywhere
house where his wife Marie he went. There was a small
cared for her. The lifesaving space by his desk in the keep-
crew and Cap’n Charlie helped er’s quarters where I slipped
Dr. Hearst right his boat. The into and quietly stood and
couple paid their tremendous 2 watched him write in his
gratitude by writing letters of “The lens was so balanced you could log every day. And when he
accolades and sending gener- take your little finger and move that had first watch, that’s from
ous gifts to the children at whole thing around, even though sundown until midnight, he
Christmas. it must have weighed three ton.” sometimes didn’t want to eat
Sheafe Satterthwaite, early so I took his supper up to
former professor with the him. That lens was beautiful!
Center for Environmental He cleaned it just so and we
Studies at Williams College, children never, ever touched
Massachusetts, spent time anything.”
with Cap’n Charlie and his family in Southport. He reports that Cap’n As times changed and technology advanced, the U.S. Coast
Charlie kept the Cape Fear Lighthouse burning and in good repair for Guard destroyed Cap’n Charlie’s light by dynamite blasts in 1958 in
the entirety of his career. There were only 11 days the light didn’t burn deference to the new lighthouse built across the Cape Fear River on
during World War I, when German submarines were near the island. Oak Island. The old tower resisted destruction—Cap’n Charlie was
Sattherthwaite’s notes contain many quotes from Cap’n Charlie holding her up, some say—and it took several blasts of dynamite to
about different aspects of the job and lighthouse. “The light itself finally bring her down.
came from France,” said Swan. “At that time we didn’t know how to Cap’n Charlie said of the destruction of the tower, “It kind of
make that kind of [crown] glass. It has prisms and they magnify. It hurt me when they blew up my light [1958]. I got the vestibule door.
was 87,000 candle-power and burned [kerosene] oil. Later it had a They gave it to me for a souvenir.”
mantle light—oil pressure, you know. It had a six-inch mantle. The Keeper Swan considered his purpose in perfect sync with the
light was on exhibition at the World’s Fair in Chicago. It was brought light’s: “Serve my God, serve my country, serve my family.”
right here from there and put in the lighthouse.”
“We had to watch all the time, night and day,” continued Swan. Cheryl Shelton-Roberts is co-founder of the Outer Banks Lighthouse
“The lens was so balanced you could take your little finger and move Society and editor of its newsletter, Lighthouse News, since 1994.
that whole thing around, even though it must have weighed three A UNC -Chapel Hill graduate, she has written a dozen books on lighthouses
ton. The lighthouse had a stove at the top and had a smoke stack up and has served as a consultant on maritime documentaries for UNC-TV,
high. It burned so much wood, and hoisting it up 169 feet was a hard The History Channel and HGTV.

haven 65
Hot dogs to

From basic to extravagant, gourmet to down-home, the Maritime

Market offers everything you need to satisfy your hunger, thirst
and cravings. Conveniently located on Maritime Way in the center
of the island, the market offers all the staples, plus fresh meats and
vegetables, a large deli and an extensive wine selection. You can
even pre-order and have your groceries delivered.

Please call (910) 457-7450 or view a grocery list at Yes, we have that!
rP izzas

ty S

e-T ia l
a d pec
h M S

Cafe & Pizzeria

e e …




Federal Road
S te

e y nd

Bo hW
nne e ac
tW dT
dine Wynd

w ar Maritime Way
West B


sc a

Hours Vary Seasonally

e ac



8 Maritime Way · 910-457-7445


ad South Bald Head Beach


W y nd S o uth

Bring on the Night

Beautiful by day, Bald Head Island displays more visual drama after the sun goes down: the dark

mystery of the forest canopy, the dance of light in the marina basin, the warm glow of a cart

streaking past. Along with protecting turtles, a village ordinance requiring that porch lights on

oceanfront homes remain baffled during nesting season (so turtles don’t confuse them with the

moon) brings another benefit: virtually no light pollution and near perfect conditions for star gazing.
Walker Golder

haven 69
E b70& F l o’s S te a m B a r
haven 71
Brooke Thomas
Walker Golder

Federal Road haven 73
S o74u t h B e a c h
haven 75
Walker Golder
shoot !



Indigo Plantation Marina

Your Homeport on the Mainland

Make A Purchase
Of Historical Significance.
Spend a little island time going back in time, and
take home a memento in the bargain. The Smith
Island Museum of History houses artifacts that
chronicle the lives of the rogue pirates, river pilots,
soldiers, sailors and surfmen who once occupied
these shores. Its attendant gift shop raises funds
and awareness for the Old Baldy Foundation.
Please call (910) 457-7481 or visit
Located on the Intracoastal Waterway in charming Southport, the for hours and more information.
marina is convenient to the seafaring town’s shopping, restaurants and
historic district, and offers easy ocean access.

Slip memberships are available in the Indigo Plantation Yacht Club.

Slips may also be rented on a daily, monthly or annual basis. For more Smith iSland
information on yacht club memberships, please call The Clubs of Bald MuseuM of History & Gift sHop
Head Island Membership Sales Office at 1-800-722-6450.

To reserve a slip, call (910) 269-2380. Proceeds from admission to climb Old Baldy Lighthouse and sales from the gift shop benefit the Old Baldy Foundation.

Harry Taylor

Old Baldy Lighthouse haven 77

The Bald Head Island Marina is a convenient base for
mariners cruising the Intracoastal Waterway, Cape
Fear River or Atlantic Ocean—and for those who
simply wish to explore and experience the island.
The 10-acre, protected harbour is framed by floating
docks and surrounded by charming Harbour Village.
Slips are available for lease on a daily or monthly basis.

33 52’ N – 78 00’ W
2 miles east of ICW Mile Marker #307
Near Cape Fear River Buoy #13 A
Offering easy ICW and ocean access via a
deep-water shipping channel with federally
maintained navigational aids
Accommodates yachts to 100’ with 7’ draft at MLW
Ice-free basin with lighted entrance channel
30-, 50- and 100-amp electric hookups
Some slips with cable TV
Restrooms, showers and laundry in
centrally located bathhouse
Gas and diesel fuel available via high-flow pumps
Convenience store, restaurants & inns
located harbourside

Membership in the Bald Head Island Yacht Club

includes exclusive use of a boat slip in the marina.
For more information, please call 1-800-722-6450.



For slip rentals call

1-800-234-1666 ext. 7380, 1-910-457-7380
or use VHF channel 16.
haven 79
Named for local mariners who guide ships safely upriver, the River Pilot Cafe will not
steer you wrong. Come in for your choice of regional favorites for dinner and specialty
drinks in the lounge. The atmosphere is casual; the views of the lighthouse and Cape
Fear River are quite grand. Hours vary seasonally.
Located near the harbour in the Administration Building. For more information call
(910) 457-7390.
the hammocks

A Hom e for A l l R e a sons

Fa m i l i e s Sh a r e W h at The y L ov e a b ou t The H a m mo ck s

Several years ago, Jim and Becky Compton owned a second home in Atlantic Beach, N.C.
They loved having a vacation getaway, but the upkeep was more work than they’d bargained
for. “Whenever we went there to vacation, three-quarters of the day was spent cleaning and
getting the house ready,” says Jim. Then they discovered The Hammocks.
A fractional ownership community centrally located on Bald Head Island, The Ham-
mocks offers the turnkey vacation experience the Comptons were looking for. Twelve other
families also own fractional interest in the Compton’s Hammocks home, meaning each has
a real estate deed and time each year in the home. Each season, Hammocks homeowners get
seven consecutive nights in their home—a total of 28 days per year.
Now when the Comptons use their vacation home, they get to spend time playing tennis
or golf or going kayaking instead of cleaning. They find they have more time to enjoy hanging
out on the beach with kids and grandkids, making for an easier, more relaxed vacation all
Unlike their Atlantic Beach home, Jim loves that The Hammocks offers turnkey owner-
ship. “We just walk in and walk out,” he says with a comfortable laugh. “No more time spent
cleaning.” Along with housekeeping, The Hammocks property manager handles repairs,
maintenance and many services, such as reserving tee times or making dinner reservations.

By Elizabeth King Humphrey · Photography by Libby Cullen

haven 81
Hammocks homes are
built around a beautifully
landscaped courtyard,
creating a cozy but private

Lisa sees The
Substance Meets Style
In addition to the ease of vacationing in his Hammocks home, Jim Hammocks as
loves the home itself. “It’s a very attractive house,” he says. “I think
it has a lot of eye appeal.”
The Hammocks neighborhood is located in the island’s maritime
“one of the best
forest, tucked among live oaks and sabal palms. Arranged alongside
peaceful pathways with lush landscaping, the 23 homes nestle together
in small groups in a semi-circle formation. Front porches with rocking
values you can get,
chairs face the crescent-shaped boardwalk and provide a neighborly,
friendly feeling. Views from each home vary and can include forest, and a good way of
golf course or ocean vistas.
The Comptons’ home is a traditional Hammocks plan with the
master bedroom and living space on the first floor and the guest
getting introduced to
Bald Head Island.”
bedrooms on the second floor. A crofter, above the electric cart
garage, provides the family with additional room to accommodate
any last-minute guests.
The reverse plan situates all the bedrooms on the first floor, with the
great room, a half-bath, kitchen and a roof deck on the second floor to
maximize views. A welcoming foyer allows access to each bedroom.
Both floor plans are open and spacious with an entryway that
reaches to the second floor. Each home has a high level of finishes,
articulated with details like intricate tile designs in the bathrooms and Take the worry out of maintaining
kitchen. The homes also have ample covered porch space, a balcony, your second home with Bald Head
and a screened porch that is accessible by at least two rooms. Island Limited’s Facility
Maintenance department. Our
Family Values team of licensed technicians and
For many, like Lisa Plourde, the Bald Head Island ferry offers a de- electricians can handle all your
home maintenance and repair
compression zone that allows her to leave her worries on the mainland.
needs in a professional, timely and
About four years ago, Lisa, a Realtor/broker with Prudential Carolinas
courteous manner. We handle
Realty in Chapel Hill, N.C., her husband Bob and their 6-year-old appliance and HVAC system
son Thompson purchased The Hammocks home they share. replacements as well.
While the family also owns a lot they plan to build on, Lisa sees
The Hammocks as “one of the best values you can get, and a good To find out more, call us at
way of getting introduced to Bald Head Island.” Lisa says Bob calls 910-457-7330.
Bald Head Island “the Martha’s Vineyard of the Carolina Coast,” a
reference to the natural landscape and relaxed lifestyle for which both
islands are known.
In the past four years, Lisa, Bob and Thompson have gotten to WORRY-FREE MAINTENANCE
know many of their neighbors and rarely miss a day at The Ham-
mocks. The family has such affection for their island home that they
plan Christmas and New Year’s celebrations on the island whenever
Lisa speaks fondly of being able to bring Thompson to The Ham- 
/9Ê / 

mocks for carefree, happy childhood vacations. “We love taking part in

haven 83
Above: The large, open living spaces are perfect for gathering with family and friends. Bottom left: Hammocks homes come in two- and three-bedroom models.
Bottom right: Architectural details add interest and sophistication to these comfortable homes.

“There is a positive
decompression when
I’m on Bald Head
Island,” John says he
tells his colleagues.
“There is no calendar
or watch when I’m
here, and I like it
that way.”

programs at the BHI Conservancy, looking for deer at sunset, climbing

Old Baldy, biking and just exploring the island,” she says. As a mother,
she is relieved at the relaxed pace of The Hammocks in contrast to the
bustle of Chapel Hill. “It’s a safe place for children,” Lisa says.
Purchasing a home at The Hammocks also provides access to
the various clubs on the island. The Hammocks Club, exclusively
for homeowners and their guests, features a pool, fitness room and (%2%
clubhouse. The oceanfront Shoals Club features beach access, a pool, '//$4().'7%2%
dining and recreation, and the Bald Head Island Club offers dining, 4/(%,09/5
golf, tennis, croquet, swimming and fitness facilities. '%44().'3342!)'(4
The whole Plourde family appreciates the activities available to
them, including the option to do nothing at all.
“Anything you need, it’s here,” Lisa says.

It’s Good to Share

“Each time we arrive, we are as excited as the first time,” says Colleen
Sooker, who has been visiting Bald Head Island for 15 years with John,
her husband, and their two children, Meagan, 12, and Sean, 15.
The Sookers, who live in Gallatin, Tenn., share ownership of their
Hammocks home with their good friends Cathy and K.C. Jones, who /0%.-/.n3!4s(/523-!96!293%!3/.!,,9

haven 85
The whole Plourde
family appreciates
the activities
available to them,
including the option
to do nothing at all.

“Anything you need,

it’s here,” Lisa says.

live in Berlin, Conn., with their children Connor, 13, and Shannon,
14. This arrangement gives the Joneses and Sookers precious time to
visit with each other while getting to enjoy some vacation time in
Above: The Hammocks Club features a clubhouse with
one of their favorite spots.
workout room and business center as well as a swimming
pool and hot tub. Below: A play area for kids makes The What do their children like best about their time in The Ham-
Hammocks an ideal choice for families. mocks? “Everything,” Sean says, his face lighting up.
The adults appreciate the hassle-free, peaceful time they enjoy
together. Moreover, sharing ownership costs makes it a great value.
To underscore their appreciation for the relaxed nature of their
visits to Bald Head Island, Cathy tells the story of her first Fourth of
July visit to the island. While waiting for fireworks to start, she was
surprised to look up and down the beach and only see a handful of
people. “When do the crowds show up?” she asked.
The families all agree that the unplugged atmosphere attracts them,
and the home and amenities keep them coming back.
“It’s our house every time. We know the set up,” Colleen says.
“It’s comfortable.”
“There is a positive decompression when I’m at Bald Head,” John
says he tells colleagues. “There is no calendar or watch when I’m here,
and I like it that way.”

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a Wilmington, N.C.-based writer and a certified

Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach. She blogs for,, where she contemplates finding creativity in every-
day places, and is a regular guest blogger at


We understand your vacation time is precious. That’s why at The Hammocks, your time is all yours.

With fractional ownership of a Hammocks home, you enjoy all the benefits of a vacation home for a
smaller financial commitment than whole ownership. And because we take care of all home
maintenance for you, you can spend your time on the island exploring, playing, or just kicking back.

As a Hammocks owner, you’ll enjoy four weeks of vacation in your home each year—one in each
season.You’ll also get year-round membership to the onsite Hammocks Club, as well as the
Bald Head Island Club and oceanfront Shoals Club.

What will you do with your time?

To learn more, call The Island Agency at 1-800-346-4184 or visit


T he sky threatens to call off the round this morning. A blanket

of clouds and the occasional raindrop has four golfers watching
with a wary eye and wondering if today is a good day for golf at the
golfer here, hops into the cart he’s sharing with Laura Hendrick. He
smiles at the prospect of a rain-free round.
“Laura,” he says. “How long have you been playing?”
Bald Head Island Club. Laura, a Bald Head Island resident and the youngest of the group,
“There’s an onshore wind,” says Dave Shadday, a BHI Club fishes her glove out of her golf bag. “Ten years,” she says. “And I think
member and resident of Indigo Plantation, Bald Head Island’s sister I’m finally starting to figure this game out.”
community on the Southport mainland. “It’ll blow those clouds out
in a few minutes. I think it’s going to be a fine day for golf.” He used ··············
to live on Bald Head Island and still plays golf here twice a week, so Today is the first time this particular foursome has played together,
he knows the island and the course. although they’ve played in various combinations plenty of times. Dave,
In a moment, the onshore wind punches a hole in the clouds to Bob and Harry play in a larger men’s group twice a week, and Laura
the north and a bright patch of blue sky opens in the midst of the plays with a regular group of ladies. They’ve crossed paths in the golf
grey clouds. shop, the Pelicatessen and the dining room, but not on the course, so
“It looks like the wind is doing us a favor for once,” says Bob today will be an experiment in just what makes a great foursome.
Hart, Dave’s cart mate today. Bob lives on Bald Head Island and
plays here three times a week. ··············
The wind freshens and the clouds dissolve in earnest over South- At the first hole, they decide to play from the gold tees, the third longest
port. Harry Aylor, an Indigo Plantation resident and twice-a-week set on the course at 5,546 yards. Laura declines the offer of playing

Company By Jason Frye
Photography by Chip Henderson

from the red ladies’ tees. “I’m one of the fellows today,” she says, “so sinking a beautiful birdie putt—Laura has integrated herself into the
I’ll play the golds. Besides, I’ve got 20 yards on you guys.” foursome and they can all get to the business at hand: golf.
The heckling starts, good-natured of course, and the remarks fly
as fast and as far as the ball, a good sign the chemistry is favorable. ··············
Dave tees off. A great foursome starts with a great course, and that is exactly what
“Is that as far as you can hit it?” George Cobb set out to create in 1972.
Harry’s shot. Drawing on his experience as consultant for Augusta National,
“Maybe you should have played the reds.” Cobb laid out a beautiful course on Bald Head Island. Starting seaside
Bob gazes down the fairway and Dave chimes in, “What’s taking and moving inland through the dunes and forest before returning to
so long? We don’t have all day.” the sea, a round of golf takes you on a tour of the island. By shaping
“Yeah we do,” Bob fires back, “we’re all retired.” the holes according to the dictates of the terrain, Cobb created a
“Laura, you’re sure you want to play with us today?” Harry asks. picturesque, playable golf course that blends in with its environment
She only looks at the three of them, then tees up and hits her so well you may forget the round of golf for a moment and lose yourself
drive. After her ball comes to rest a dozen yards ahead of theirs she in the serenity of nature.
replies: “Yeah, I think I’ll do OK today.” Laura keeps up the pace Cobb’s dedication to preserving the harmony between course
with her game and her retorts, another sign the group is gelling. and natural surroundings certainly shows. Two ospreys have made
With her performance on the first hole—enduring the light- nests here; red-tailed hawks, great blue herons, night herons, ibises
hearted teasing, playing from the gold tees, out driving them and and egrets are common sights on the course. The occasional alligator

haven 89
drifts in one of the ponds or lagoons. Deer cross the fairways and on top of her game, but, at the end of the round, only a few strokes
greens and watch golfers from just inside the tree line. separate everyone. They’re all athletic, they’re smart and play to the
strength of their games, and their rate of play (and lack of shots in
·············· the rough) shows it.
On the par-3 second, Dave’s drive frightens a doe and her two fawns, still Harry calls himself the comic relief in the group, but jokes, net-
spotted, from the woods near the green. She leaps, lands on the green and tling and laughter flowed freely between everyone for the duration
dashes into the safety of the woods opposite. The fawns walk across the of the round, rising and falling in the morning air, but never to the
green, their ears alert and their tails half up, and follow their mother into detriment of any player or to the flow of the game.
the woods. Everyone hits their drives, unfazed by the interruption. The same can be said for the morning’s conversations. How’s your
“We see deer out here all the time,” says Bob as he repairs the son? When did you move here? Did you read about such-and-such in the
dent his ball left in the green. Still bent, he turns to repair the hoof paper? Never interrupting a shot, never slowing the pace of the round,
prints the doe left when she landed. She and her twins watch from they catch up, get to know, and enjoy the company of one another.
the woods. “It’s just part of the game here.” The humility of the group goes a long way to foster good chem-
“The serenity of this course and all the wildlife really make this istry. Look at the leader board at any of the tournaments and you’ll
a special place to play,” Dave adds. “I’ve been playing here since 1985 find their names. Dave was the Club Champion five times, the
and it’s never gotten old.” Senior Division Champion six times, and he shares the senior tee
The par-5 third continues to deliver Cobb’s promise of a bucolic course record of 68 with Thad Wester. Laura was the 2007 Ladies’
course. Surrounded by near-constant birdsong, the animals take little Club Champion and the 2008 Ladies’ Match Play Champion. Bob
notice the course is here. That is quite a testament to the course design has a hole-in-one on 16. Harry is consistently at the top of the leader
and maintenance. By nature, a golf course is a series of manicured board. Despite the accomplishments of the group, they leave that all
meadows, artificially watered, and mown by men on machines, but behind them and play to have fun.
this course feels different. The cart paths on most holes are cedar chips “It’s not about keeping score,” Harry says. “I mean, it is, but it’s
that release a spicy scent and crunch like leaves underfoot as the carts not about who beat who or who had the most birdies. Golf is about
roll over them. It all makes a round of golf here one part sport, one playing against yourself and trying to improve your game. Who won
part communion. in the group isn’t important…”
Dave has honors on five and drives one just right of center. The “It is if there is lunch on the line,” Dave interrupts.
ping of his driver on the ball silences the birds, but their chatter is back “Ok, it’s important if there is lunch on the line, but we’re playing
as soon as the ball is in the air. Laura is next. The boys watch as she tees to have fun,” Harry continues. “Tournaments are about keeping score
up. The birds’ chatter stops; the boys’ chatter stops. She swings, fluid, and winning and losing, but golf is about enjoying the friends and
easy, and, right on center, drops it ten yards past Dave. She lets her swing the game, in that order.”
say everything as she moves away from the tee. “That’s why he buys us lunch all the time,” Bob adds with a
The silence holds for a moment. sly grin.
“Well, I’m not too excited to follow that,” Harry says, stepping
up to the tee. ··············
“I’m not too excited about it either,” Bob adds. As they round the corner to the tee box on seven, an osprey sitting
Harry and Bob drive, and all four balls are clustered together on a limb turns to watch them. Laura pulls a rangefinder out of her
a couple of hundred yards ahead. Three birdies and a par later, we golf bag and peers through it at the huge bird. He watches her then
move on to the next hole. turns back to watching for fish in the water hazard.
That’s the way it is among friends, even new ones. The catcalls “Beautiful,” she says to Harry. “I was hoping to see him today.
rise and fall, the conversation ceases as someone lines up a shot, and There’s one more on 13 with the biggest nest.”
always comes back as the ball flies toward its target. Moments later, on the green, the osprey’s cry draws their eyes
to his upward-circling flight. With Old Baldy and the clear blue sky
·············· behind him, and the emerald carpet of the course beneath him, he
The mix of personalities is the biggest determining factor in the making rises on the thermals and leaves to hunt the marsh. You couldn’t find
of a good foursome, and Dave, Bob, Harry and Laura combine to a more perfect marriage of nature and sport.
make a great one.
“Dave’s got the experience, Bob’s got the equipment, Laura’s ··············
athletic and on top of her game, and I’m here for comic relief,” explains They emerge from the forest and look out at South Beach from the
Harry. “We’re a good mix.” top of the dune ridge at the par-3 16th tee box. A flock of laughing
What he says rings true and points to some of the personality traits gulls takes flight at the sight of them, calling out as they leave.
that make a good group. Harry credits Laura with being athletic and “It gets tricky here,” Dave says. “Sometimes I’ll hit a driver. The

Top left: Dave and
Laura compare shots
after both sinking
birdie putts on one.
Top right: The new
foursome shares a
high five after a
competitive yet
congenial round.
Below: Blue skies
dominated the game
despite the day’s
overcast start.

haven 91
wind really makes this hole long sometimes. I’d bet one is playing “tournament golf” to get her out of trouble. The green proves tricky
30 yards shorter right now.” today, with everyone misjudging the speed and falling short of the cup.
The wind is blowing in from the ocean, crossing from left to Harry misses his shot at eagle, but sinks the only birdie of the hole.
right, and, true to his word, Dave uses his driver and leaves the ball
long and left. Laura is the only one who plays it with enough finesse, ··············
hers the lone ball on the green in regulation. “I’ve really enjoyed playing with you guys today,” Laura says as she
“I think I figured out who won,” Dave says. tees up her ball for the last time. “It was a blast.”
“We’ve got two holes left,” Laura says, “You can still make a She hits her typical drive of the day, dead center and long.
comeback.” “Well Laura, we play every Wednesday and Friday at 8:30,” Dave
The playful heckling they’ve been knocking around today is just says, watching her ball roll even with his.
an extension of the give and take of conversation. These four have it “You just want to take my money,” Laura says.
down. They are at ease with each other, at ease with themselves, and “No, I’m just telling you when not to be here because I think
at ease with the game. you’d end up taking all of mine,” he says.
That’s how it has been all day. Quips and needling, the conversa-
·············· tion of old and new friends, and some high-quality golf. Going onto
On 17, the final par-5 of the day, Harry takes out his driver. the green on 18, no one is certain of the score, but here in the rumble
“Step back everybody, he’s about to turn it loose,” Bob says. of the surf and the rustle of the flag in the pin, it doesn’t matter.
And he does, wailing the ball for a 220-yard drive just left of the Nothing does.
center of the fairway. Most players will try for the green with three iron
shots, but Harry’s aggressive play could land him an eagle if it pays off.
The others hit their tee shots, ending up short of Harry. With their
second shots, Harry hits the green but Laura ends up in the rough to the Jason Frye is a freelance writer living in Wilmington, N.C., with his wife
right, only the second time today she’s been off the fairway. The third Lauren. He holds his MFA in creative writing from UNC -Wilmington
shot finds everyone on the green, with Laura hitting a shot Dave calls and wishes he could play golf as well as the group featured here.

George Cobb’s course design
plays upon the natural beauty
of Bald Head Island.

haven 93
The Bald Head Island Club has all the amenities of a traditional country club—
including championship golf, tennis, swimming, croquet, a fitness center, Golf Shop
and superb dining—plus a relaxed, coastal ambiance. It’s classic, in the truest sense.

Located within view of the ocean at 1 Saltmeadow Trail, just off South Bald Head Wynd.
For information and reservations, please call (910) 457-7300.
haven 95
We understand that vacations are all about taking it easy.
That’s why at Bald Head Island Limited, we take the work out of booking your vacation, so you can focus on the fun.
With nearly 100 rental homes, cottages and condominiums on our program, Bald Head Island Limited has the largest
selection of island homes available for rent in every environment. So whether you’re looking for a cozy cottage for two
in the maritime forest or a spacious beachfront home for your entire family, we’ve got you covered.

Turn to the Armchair Guide section at the back of this issue to browse our large selection of accommodations, or you
can visit to take a virtual tour of all our homes and view photos, floor plans and maps. After
you’ve found the perfect spot for your vacation, you can book online at, or call one of our
knowledgeable rental relations coordinators at 1-800-432-RENT.

Bald Head Island lImIted

P ro Pe rt y m a n ag e m e n t

96 >RO
haven 97
have never been much of a collector, and have never considered
myself a connoisseur. In my home you will find no albums filled
with stamps nor will I bore you about the slightly fruity, yet
chalky, taste of my Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982. It may be
that I lack a certain instinct, or gene, for collecting, though lately I’ve
come to realize that rather than missing it entirely, it may just be that I
have channeled this instinct in a somewhat less conventional manner.
I had this epiphany last summer while walking the coast of Alaska,
my feet chomping along volcanic rocks that sounded and looked like
quarters. I was hiking alone, except for a curious sea otter that floated
on its back, leisurely eviscerating a spider crab, when it occurred to
me just how much of my life I have spent walking by water.
For starters, I had the good fortune of spending childhood
summers on Cape Cod, and the walk from my house to the beach,
and then down the beach to the rocky bluff, was not just my first
walk but one I still find a way to get back to each and every summer.
That early love led to a determination to always live near water, a
goal that I have had surprising success with, even when the rest of
my life was in shambles. After college, I moved back to my old Cape
Cod neighborhood with my oldest childhood friend, Dave, and my
childhood beach was an easy walk away. (Footnote: During that
year Dave made a similar pact with himself, and he currently rents
the house of Cheech, of Cheech and Chong fame, on the California
coast near Malibu, the walk north from his house being one I’ve
also added to my collection.) My vow was harder to keep during six
land-locked years in Colorado, but I managed to find a daily stroll
up a copper-colored creek into the mountains. After that it was back
to Cape Cod and the old beach, where I suspected I would spend the
rest of my days.
Until circumstances brought me to Wilmington, N.C. We moved
here six years ago, and at first I worried that I would not be able to
keep my old vow. We solved this problem by renting in the off-season
on Wrightsville Beach, then packing everything into storage and
heading north to Cape Cod for the summer, a nomadic existence

last word

Once More to the Cape

by David Gessner

that we kept up for five years, and that had many drawbacks but That was five years ago and since then I have visited the island
one gigantic plus: we always lived within a good Frisbee toss of the many times and made dozens of walks up to the Cape Fear, but it
water. The walk to the southern tip of Wrightsville, with my newborn has not lost any of its charm. With arms swinging you work your
daughter in her fancy Swedish papoose, quickly became a sentimental way up the coast. Sanderlings skitter along, occasionally stopping to
favorite of my walk collection. But it wasn’t until our second year poke for mole crabs, while pelicans follow their diving rod bills down
here that I discovered a walk that I now keep in a very special case into the surf. More than a few times I have watched the glistening,
in the cellar, along with only my original Cape Cod walk and a few rubber-ball backs of dolphins as they burst out of the water, living
precious others. That was when I first visited Bald Head. embodiments of the notion of exuberance. “Water and meditation
It is a strange thing how a place that is in no way home can feel are always wed,” wrote Melville, and South Beach is a good thinking
like home. I came to Bald Head to teach a writing conference and beach, particularly in early morning or the off-season.
had no real connection to the place. That is, I had no history here and Of course it gets better when you hit the Cape itself. Walking
was a thousand miles from my true home ground. So why did I feel is about movement but on the best walks it isn’t just your feet that
so good, so happy here? It could have been the gnarled trees or the are moving. I was about to write that you feel like you are walking
way the light shafted down through those trees or the fact that the inside a painting once you reach the tip of the Cape, but a painting
walls inside Captain Charlie’s, where I had the good fortune to stay, does not move. A symphony might be closer, for certainly there is
felt old and sea-soaked like those of my home back on Cape Cod. It something symphonic about the jangling light, the swirl of terns,
could have been those things, and certainly they played a part, but gulls, and pelicans, and the great moguls of water that churn up as
looking back I think it was something else. I think it was the fact the two currents meet and rumble. I suspect I am not the only one
that early the next morning I launched myself on a walk that rivals who feels that all that movement and energy get something moving
any in my collection. inside, that all that excitement sparks a similar excitement, a feeling
You will know this walk most likely. My goal, if so crass a word of both calm and wild anticipation.
can be used for an activity at once athletic, contemplative and spiritual, Standing on that edge where waters clash and mix you have the
was the tippity tip of the Cape Fear. But my feet made the sensible feeling you are in a very special place, and as it turns out, you are.
decision not to take the direct route. They led me down into the During my third year in North Carolina I decided to connect my
darkness of the maritime forest, where trees grew sideways and ferns old beach to my new one in the South by following the migration of
profused, and where it was impossible not to fall under a spell of early ospreys that left their nests on Cape Cod in early September. Aided
morning wonder. (Trust me, I am not a “wonder” kind of person, but by satellite telemetry, I managed to follow several birds as they made
I will dare even my most hardened New England friends not to feel a their way down the East Coast and then on to Cuba and Venezuela.
little gooey in that place.) My exit from the forest is best not discussed One of those birds, a particularly plucky, first-year female named
in this publication, as it could land me in the Bald Head pokey, but Tasha, was inclined toward long distance flights, and used Bald
suffice it to say that I followed a trail that is no longer a trail, and Head, and the tip of Cape Fear, as her launching pad for her trip
that it led me up into the dunes, emerging from one world—hidden, south to Florida. Riding winds from the north she skipped landing
claustrophobic, dark—into another—open, vast, and lit by a sun just in South Carolina and Georgia entirely. As the last and easternmost
creeping over the horizon. point north of Florida, Bald Head is in fact a jumping-off point, a

haven 99
Beer Ice Chips
(and other boating essentials)

(910) 454-4864 • 6A Merchant’s Row

Call for hours.

Full service shipping and receiving center. UPS and FedEx authorized shipper. Please stop by and use our
business PC, send or receive faxes, make color copies and send out packages. Gift wrapping also available.

launching pad for many birds that don’t feel like detouring west and the island, and am indeed now typing these words from the second
inland, and instead head straight south over ocean waters that some floor of a delightful treehouse of a home in the Sumner’s Crescent
ornithologists call “the Bay of Georgia.” neighborhood, within easy striking distance of the beach. It’s still
One of the things that the experience of following the osprey early morning and I’m not through my first cup of coffee but soon my
migration did for me was to connect many places I considered special. daughter will wake up, along with my niece and nephew, and we’ll all
This included places I had long known, like my old beach on Cape walk out to the Cape to see what’s cooking in the great broiling froth.
Cod, and new places, like la Grand Pierda, the dazzling mountaintop Who knows what birds or other creatures we’ll see today?
in Cuba where I watched dozens of ospreys fly overhead, but also places Of course our connection to places deepens as we begin to
I was starting to get to know, like Bald Head Island. The next year I connect our lives to them with stories. But what I find fascinating is
would stand out on Cape Fear and watch an osprey head south and that I felt at home here even before the stories came. Right away, on
hear myself saying out loud, “Good luck,” knowing it would need it that very first morning, I knew that the walk was a keeper. From the
for its marathon trip ahead. And so this new cape was linked to my first steps I suspected that I’d be adding it to my collection, and by
old cape as well as to more exotic Southern places like the jungles of the time I reached the Cape I knew it would have a place in that glass
Venezuela and a certain mountaintop in Cuba. case where only the best ones are kept. It may not ever be my daily

walk, but that’s okay, too. That lets me look forward to breaking it
this way my walk to the tip of the Cape Fear has gained out on special occasions.
a layer of natural history, and as the years pass it has
also begun to accrue a little personal history. One David Gessner is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the Uni-
year I walked the beach with several of my graduate versity of North Carolina Wilmington, where he is editor-in-chief of the
students and we watched snow white gannets dive like blazing arrows literary journal, Ecotone. He is the author of six books, including Return
into the broiling surf. Another I stood around a bonfire with a group of the Osprey and Soaring with Fidel. His essays have appeared in The
of undergrads, all of us gathering closer and closer to the flames as New York Times Magazine, Best American Nonrequired Reading,
the freezing November night wore on. I have come out here repeat- the Pushcart Prize anthology, and This I Believe, an anthology of pieces
edly with my family, have taught many talented writing students on originally performed on All Things Considered.

Visit the Vehicle Sales & Maintenance showroom to discover
our wide selection of E-Z-Go carts for sale. Long term as well
as daily, weekly or monthly golf cart leases are also available.

Our expert staff maintains and repairs electric, gasoline and
diesel powered vehicles. To learn more, call or stop by today.

261 Edward Teach Wynd, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
261 Edward Teach Wynd, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (910) 457-7255
(910) 457-7255

haven 101
An Island Agency Featured Builder • (910) 457-7400
Learn more at

An affiliated company of Bald Head Island Limited · (910) 457-7400

Visit us on the web at
BHI Construction

Join the Club(s)
Maximize your island experience
S h oa l S C lu b ba l d h e a d IS l a n d C lu b
with memberships in our various clubs.
From docking to dining, playing the
I n dIg o P l a n tat Ion YaC h t C lu b ba l d h e a d IS l a n d YaC h t C lu b
links to poolside lounging, joining the
clubs means joining in on the fun.
1-800-722-6450 · 88 Keelson Row

Bald Head Island lImIted

MeMber ship sa le s

The Island Professionals Sm

haven 103
Make the most of your

Bald Head Island getaway

by planning your vacation 2010

around our special events

and holiday weekends.

of Events
& Traditions
A pri l 2- 4 M ay 9 -13 & Se p t. 12-16

Easter Celebrations
Celebrate the spring’s sweet weather with
an Easter getaway to Bald Head Island.
Weekend events include a cook-out for the
whole family at the Harbourside Pavilion,
Easter egg hunt, brunch at the Shoals Club Full-Immersion
and island-wide Parade of Homes hosted
by The Island Agency.
Wellness Program
The Bald Head Island Center for Wellness
offers an unparalleled combination of nutri-
tion, exercise and behavioral instruction in
an equally unparalleled setting. Participants
work with a dietician, lifestyle coach, personal
trainer and gourmet chef to learn a holistic
approach to healthier living.
Bald Head Island Limited and its associated companies are not affiliated in any
way with Bald Head Island Center for Wellness, LLC, and are not responsible for
its programs, advertising, activities, representations, or claims.

104 For more information and a full list of events, check out our online calendar at
M ay 28 -31 J u ne 3 - 5

Memorial Day 19th Annual

Weekend Bald Head Island
Get summer started off right
with a relaxing and fun-filled
Fishing Rodeo
Memorial Day getaway. This fishing tournament for wahoo, dolphin
Weekend activities include and tuna, as well as a catch-and-release
the annual Memorial Day billfish category, has been an island
Party at the Shoals Club, favorite for nearly 20 years. Join
a crab-crack at the the fun as a competitor
Harbourside Pavilion, or a spectator.
an island-wide Parade
of Homes hosted by
The Island Agency, and
fun events for kids of
all ages.

J uly 2- 4 Aug us t 6 - 8

Fourth of July Pirate

Bald Head Island knows how to
do the Fourth of July right, with Weekend
activities designed for everyone Celebrate National
in the family. Weekend highlights Lighthouse Day with a
include the highly anticipated weekend full of pirate
Golf Cart Parade, fireworks fun for all ages! Events
cruise, island-wide Parade include a pirate “inva-
of Homes hosted by sion,” live entertainment,
The Island Agency, games, magicians and
Uncle Sam Fun pirate school for the
Run, picnics kiddies. Hosted by the
and more. Old Baldy Foundation.

or see the Monthly Bulletins and Holiday Event Brochures, available online and on the island. haven 105
Go A Little

Fruitti Full-On

(910) 457-7450
This is no time to be serious. Vacation is all about fun,
and the Shoals Club recreation department is all about
pool games and sand-sculpting contests. Scavenger
hunts and ice cream socials. Fun runs, cool crafts and
no-parents-allowed Kids’ Night Out.
We offer daily and weekly
programs for children, teens
and adults of all ages.
Call (910) 457-3701

ICE CREAM SHOPPE for more information.

Se p t e mber 3 - 6 Se p t e mbe r 24 -26

North Carolina
Wine & Food
Labor Day Weekend Weekend
Celebrate North Carolina
& Beach Music Grape Appreciation Month

Extravaganza by enjoying the best of

our state’s wine and food
offerings. Weekend events
Come dance the weekend away with our include wine tastings, a
signature beach music bash! Weekend events wine dinner and a sparkling
include the Coastal Carolina Beach Party, wine brunch.
Texas Bar-B-Q, annual Labor Day Party at the
Shoals Club, island-wide Parade of Homes
hosted by The Island Agency, picnics and
much more.

O c t ober 29 -31 Nov. 25 -28 & Dec. 24 - 31

Oktoberfest Thanksgiving,
& Halloween Christmas &
Weekend New Year’s Eve
Create a new holiday tradi-
Enjoy two holidays in one during tion this year on Bald Head
our Oktoberfest and Halloween Island. Events include a
celebration. Adults will enjoy Thanksgiving Brunch at the
classic German food, beer and Shoals Club, an island-wide
music while kids of all ages will Parade of Homes hosted by
love our island-wide trick-or-treat The Island Agency, Christmas
event and other spooky Hallow- Eve dinner at the Shoals Club,
een activities. You’ll also enjoy wine tastings and New Year’s
an island-wide Parade of Homes Eve celebrations.
hosted by The Island Agency.

For more information and a full list of events, check out our online calendar at
or see the Monthly Bulletins and Holiday Event Brochures, available online and on the island. haven 107

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R e a l E s tat e R e s o u r c e G u i d e
R eal E state R es o u rce G u ide

We are
T h e Isl a n d Prof e s sion a l s

Since 1993, discerning clients have turned to The Island Agency

when buying or selling real estate on Bald Head Island. The island’s
largest, oldest and most successful real estate sales and listing
company, The Island Agency is credited with more island sales
through the years than all other competitors combined. We’re simply
the company buyers and sellers have turned to, time and time again.

As the only agency affiliated with Bald Head Island Limited, the
island’s developer and master planner, we offer intimate knowledge of
the island’s history, new real estate releases, current market conditions
and plans for the future.

Our professional team has more than 25 sales executives, assistants,

managers, marketing professionals and administrative staff dedicated
to matching clients with the perfect property.

Se rv ic e s for Bu y e r s
If you’re interested in learning more about real estate for sale on Bald
Head Island, The Island Agency provides customized, personalized
assistance. Whether you’re considering a home, homesite, or fractional
ownership property, we’ll listen to your specific desires and identify
listings that meet your requirements, saving you time and money.

As an Island Agency customer you’ll be the first to know about price

adjustments to properties, new listings, special purchase incentives
and financing programs.

We’re the only company offering the Island Passport Package, a two-
or three-day stay on the island that allows you to immerse yourself
in the way of life here and tour properties for sale. Booking your visit
and real estate tour is as easy as calling The Island Agency at 1-800-
346-4184 or emailing
R eal E state R es o u rce G u ide

R eal E state R es o u rce G u ide

Se rv ic e s for Se l l e r s
If you’re looking to sell a property on Bald Head Island, we’ll work
closely with you to determine a pricing strategy for your property
based on a comparative market analysis, keeping in mind your
individual motivations and timeline.

Before you list your property we’ll make you aware of any minor
improvements that would appeal to buyers. Once you list your
property for sale we’ll continuously communicate buyer feedback
after showings.

Your property will receive exposure through a variety of marketing

programs, including a regularly updated interactive Web site; email
blasts to potential purchasers; DVD mailings; professionally designed
publications sent to a database of qualified potential purchasers;
public relations efforts designed to secure editorial placements in key
publications; and dozens of relationship-building events such as open
houses and receptions.

Our marketing materials are top-notch, but the word-of-mouth

advertising is even stronger. Year after year, nearly one-third of our
sales result from referrals by property owners or friends.

Meet The Island Professionals

Whether you’re buying or selling a property on Bald Head Island, the Island Agency’s
professional sales managers and executives understand that you have individual
interests and concerns. When you work with The Island Agency, you’ll receive the
personalized attention you deserve.

Jeff Leonard, Executive Director of Sales

Native to the area, Jeff is responsible for all island real estate sales ventures, including homes,
homesites, fractional ownership and membership sales. Prior to coming to Bald Head Island, Jeff
advanced through more than 18 years of experience in coastal Carolina real estate sales, including
amenity communities in Charleston and Myrtle Beach, S.C. Jeff’s past experience includes ownership
of a national real estate franchise, as well as serving as a consultant with an Atlanta-based management
firm. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife and three children.

Ken Mowbray, Sales Manager

Born and raised in the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area, Ken has been a regular visitor to Bald
Head Island for years. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, Ken returned to Wilmington and
was co-owner of Astral Travel Service for 24 years, and then was in general real estate brokerage
with Prudential Wrightsville Beach for two years. The father of three, Ken enjoys sun, surf, outdoor
activities and spending time with his family, a lifestyle he says is perfectly suited to Bald Head Island.
He is delighted to be able to blend his passions with his profession.

Will Morris, Commercial Sales Coordinator

Previously from New York City, Will found Bald Head Island by way of Florida where he was in the
telecom industry as a sales operations manager. Very familiar with company back office operations,
Will brings years of process control and database utilization to the team. Will is responsible for sales
data reporting, coordinating special real estate events both on and off the island, and facilitating
commercial leasing and sales. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife Megan and their children,
Addison and Aidan.

Hart Rist, Sales Manager, The Hammocks

For the past 20 years, Hart has been recognized consistently as one of the top resort real estate
professionals in the Myrtle Beach-Grand Strand area, in both sales and sales management roles. He
joined Bald Head Island as Sales Manager for The Hammocks, our co-ownership vacation home
community, in August of 2003. A Virginia native, Hart is a graduate of the University of Richmond
and Bethany Theological Seminary. Prior to entering the real estate industry in 1983, Hart served as
both a minister and church executive.
R eal E state R es o u rce G u ide

Garrett Albertson, Sales Executive

Garrett and his wife Donna owned and operated Theodosia’s Bed and Breakfast Inn on Bald Head
Island for five years. They now live across the river in Southport where they have lovingly restored
a historic Victorian home. Their love for the island still draws them back with their children and
grandchildren. Garrett’s real estate experience includes an exciting project on the harbor in Charleston,
S.C. More than forty years of Garrett’s life were devoted to ministry in Presbyterian churches in
Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh and New York.

Elyse Brown, Sales Executive

Originally from Ohio, Elyse has lived in St. Louis, Baton Rouge, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo and Sparta,
N.J. Her professional experience includes sales/leases of commercial and residential properties and
management of rental properties. She has had extensive real estate training through her relationship
with two national real estate companies. Elyse attributes her success to her listening skills, her ability
to relate to her clients’ personal needs, her professional approach, and her personal commitment to her
clients’ success in finding the perfect property.

Jim Brown, Sales Associate

A Kentucky native, Jim is a graduate of Arkansas’ Harding College and the North Carolina Realtors
Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. He began his association with Bald Head Island in 1991 as property
manager, and switched to real estate sales in 1995. Now approaching his tweny-fifth year in the real
estate business, Jim is also active in professional, public service and civic organizations in Southport
and Brunswick County. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife, children and grandchildren,
and occasionally officiating weddings on Bald Head Island.

Steve Hunter, Sales Executive

Steve comes to The Island Agency with 27 years of real estate sales experience. A resident of North
Carolina and full time realtor for the past 22 years, Steve relocated to Southport, N.C., in 2002
and enjoyed five highly successful years on Bald Head Island helping families discover the beauty
of the island and the unique qualities the island has to offer. By listening carefully to his customers’
preferences, Steve assists them in finding island properties that will suit them for years to come.
In addition to his work, Steve enjoys offshore fishing and walking on the beach with his wife Rene.

John Liles, Sales Executive

Originally from Virginia Beach, Va., John traveled west to attend New Mexico State University. After
becoming a golf professional at the Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., John transitioned
into real estate. Making his way back to the East Coast, John now lives just a short ferry ride from Bald
Head Island in Southport, N.C. The beautiful surroundings and relaxed atmosphere are what drew
him to Bald Head Island.

Doug Oakley, Sales Executive

Originally from Georgia but a N.C. resident since 1976, Doug discovered Bald Head Island in 1993
when his career in medical packaging materials brought him to Wilmington. Doug and his wife Jane
have made the island their full-time residence for the past 12 years. An avid sailor, fisherman and
private pilot, Doug truly enjoys helping people bring the Bald Head Island lifestyle into their lives. In
his spare time you can often see Doug flying over the island taking pictures or cruising the creeks and
backwaters with his fly rod waving.

Keith Suttle, Sales Executive

A Wilmington, N.C., native, Keith has been visiting Bald Head Island since the ’60s when his Boy
Scout Troop would camp on South Beach near Captain Charlie’s Station. He’s been involved with
Bald Head Island since the building of the golf course in ’72 and continued working with the club in
conjunction with his golf tourism company during the ’80s and ’90s. Keith is highly impressed with
the manner in which Bald Head Island has been developed and looks forward to seeing the community
continue to grow in harmony with the natural surroundings.

Jennifer Johnson Weiss, Sales Executive

Formerly from Augusta, Ga., Jennifer moved to Wilmington, N.C., after graduating from the
University of Georgia. While in the area, Jennifer worked in the corporate office of Reeds Jewelers as
a diamond associate. She then moved to Dallas to be a merchandise analyst for Zales Corporation.
Deciding that Dallas was too far from her family and the beach, Jennifer moved to Bald Head Island
as a full-time resident. She enjoys spending time playing ball with her dog, playing golf, reading on
East Beach and dining at the Shoals Club.

JR Williamson, Sales Executive

Originally from the Atlanta area, and searching for a coastal community to call home, JR discovered
Bald Head Island in 1999. Captivated by the serenity and peacefulness of the island, JR decided almost
instantly, “This is it!” While in Atlanta, JR worked with commercial and residential developers, from
the planning and marketing process in the development, to overseeing the efforts of the sales teams.
With over 18 years as a Multi-Million Dollar Producer, JR’s experience makes him a valuable addition
to The Island Agency team.

Patricia Wingfield, Sales Executive

Patricia moved to Bald Head Island in 1987 and started working in real estate on day one as a resident.
Patricia has owned island property on the river, golf course, creek and in the maritime forest. Prior to
coming to Bald Head Island, she worked as a Sales Specialist with AT&T. A former member of the
Bald Head Island Fire Department and Recue Squad, Patricia now shares her time between the island
and downtown Wilmington, where she purchased and then renovated a historical home.
R eal E state R es o u rce G u ide


Patricia WingfielD - Patricia spent many days look- would spread the word. Garrett immediately set up a virtual tour
ing at properties with us over the course of several months and and then responded quickly to my feedback and suggestions.  No
was able to provide useful insight on each one. I felt like she doubt this has been a tough economic market during the last two
really knew the island and could give us an “ insider’s view” on years, however I feel that I have experienced a level of dedication
everything. Since we bought from Patricia, she has consistently and enthusiasm from this group that I would not have found with
maintained contact with us by sharing news and events on BHI. any other. I would wholeheartedly recommend Garrett Albertson
Patricia has continued to be extremely helpful well after we and The Island Agency to anyone considering buying or selling
purchased our house, offering to check on things while we are property on Bald Head Island.
away. We have greater peace of mind knowing she is available Jeff Sides, Cary, NC
should an emergency arise.
Walter and Rhonda McNairy, Raleigh, NC Hart Rist - For over five years now, Hart Rist has been the
face of The Hammocks community to us. As an owner himself and
Elyse Brown - Dear Elyse, a nationally-recognized expert on fractional ownership, he has a
Buying, closing on and restoring a new piece of property is not easy unique perspective of just how special The Hammocks is to those of
as you know. Without your expertise, your acute attention and us who call it our second home. But it’s his desire to want all of us
most of all your kindness, our efforts would have been difficult. We to feel a part of the community – long after the sale is done – that
both thank you for all your help – you are an outstanding agent. sets Hart apart. That smiling face in Unit 40 each Saturday at the
Jerry and Marie Suyes, Deltaville, VA
weekly wine and cheese socials is a catalyst for everyone feeling at
home – whether it’s an existing owner or a visitor wondering what
Jennifer Johnson Weiss - Two years ago, Jennifer met The Hammocks is all about.
us at her office and told us what was available on Bald Head Mike and Sue Stevens, Morrisville, NC

Island. Within minutes, Jennifer determined our needs and made

suggestions. Her enthusiasm for BHI was contagious and her unas- Jim Brown - Our property on Bald Head Island had previ-
suming demeanor made our visit fun and relaxing. We soon made ously been listed with another agency, but did not sell. After listing
the decision to purchase at The Hammocks. Our home is beautiful with Jim Brown of The Island Agency, we were successful in the
and the fractional ownership concept is perfect for our family’s first season. We live in Colorado and Jim was very helpful coordi-
needs. Four weeks of vacation, one for each season, gives us the nating all aspects of the sale, including the land survey and wetland
chance to experience BHI throughout the year. Bald Head Island mapping. We really do appreciate everything Jim did for us.
is truly a magical place and our home at The Hammocks already Stanley and Karen Kitzmiller, Crested Butte, CO
holds so many of our family’s happy memories.
Kathy and Pete Godfrey, Culpeper, VA Keith Suttle - We have had the pleasure to have Keith
Suttle introduce us to Bald Head Island. He reminds me of an old
Doug Oakley - The Island Agency is professional, and friend that you haven’t seen for awhile who is so welcoming to see
knowledgeable in the market, and their customers.  They under- again. His vast knowledge of the island has me on a personal tour
stand their business well and take the necessary steps to make it each time we visit. Keith is now a friend I enjoy getting together
painless for their customers—a big plus. But what makes them with each time we visit BHI.
even more special is their people. Their people will take the time Angela and Greg Somer, Cary, NC

to get to know you and your family personally, and become your
“ island friend and confidant.”  We got to know Doug Oakley John Liles - The efforts of John Liles enabled us to fulfill a
five years ago when we first visited the island, and he is now an promise we made to ourselves when we were married on Bald
extended member of our family on the island. Head Island in 1996. We knew that one day, we would start
 Yannis and Myrto Tsavalas, Cleveland, OH a family legacy on the island and through John’s diligence, we
finally found the home to make it possible in the fall of 2008. John
Garrett Albertson - From the beginning, Garrett actively advised us for three years until we found the ideal home
outlined a marketing plan to me and discussed an appropriate for our family. We truly appreciate both his thoroughness and his
target price based on other listings. Within his plan he mentioned patience which allowed us to become part of the Bald Head com-
the specific people that he would contact about my unit that he felt munity at a time which was perfect for us. Thank you John!
would see value in the property and may have local networks that Paul, Laurie and Justin Tracy, Wilmington, NC
W e’r e H e r e for You

The Island Agency is the only real estate company with offices located on Bald Head Island,
providing immediate, accessible service seven days a week. We have two highly visible locations
on the island—harbourside near the ferry landing, and in the center of the island beside the
Maritime Market. A third sales office is conveniently located at Deep Point Marina, Bald Head
Island’s mainland ferry terminal.

Whether you’re buying, selling, or just looking, turn to The Island Agency for all your island
real estate needs. Visit us at one of three convenient locations:

4 Marina Wynd (near the island ferry landing) 4 Maritime Way (near the Maritime Market) Deep Point Marina (on the mainland in Southport)

Toll free: 1-800-346-4184 • Local: 910-457-7400

Email: • On the Web:

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