Friday, June 22, 2018

Bald Head Island, North Carolina

Old Baldy is the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina. It has maintained its original form and location for over 187 years. The most important purpose of Old Baldy was to mark the Cape Fear River entrance for the maritime sailors.  It was never intended as a light for Frying Pan Shoals. Old Baldy was built in 1817 of soft red bricks covered with stucco.  In the early days the lighthouse keeper would white wash Old Baldy every two years. When Old Baldy was deactivated in 1935 the lighthouse was abandoned. The white wash protected the stucco. When it was discontinued large pieces of the stucco began to fall off the lighthouse. Occasionally someone would come along and patch the lighthouse with new stucco; however, they did not use the same stucco as was used in 1817. In 1817 Old Baldy was completely white. Today Old Baldy looks like a patch work quilt of different stuccos.  

Bald Head Island, historically Smith Island, is a village located on the east side of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County, North Carolina, United States. 

Compared to the city of Wilmington to the north, the village of Bald Head Island is small and somewhat remote. It is only accessible by ferry from the nearby town of Southport

In just 20 minutes, the Bald Head Island Transportation, Inc. passenger ferry transports you from Deep Point Marina in Southport, NC, to the shores of Bald Head Island.

As the ferry approaches the island you can see Old Baldy in the distance.

A walkway leads up to the lighthouse where you can take a tour up to the top of the lighthouse.

Old Baldy is one of the oldest lighthouses that has 108 wooden steps leading to the top. 

The view is amazing once you reach the top of the lighthouse and look out to the island.

Today, Old Baldy Lighthouse and the adjacent reconstructed keeper’s cottage are open to the public. Throughout the year, you can take a ferry to Bald Head Island, and then climb to the top of Old Baldy. Every year during the first weekend in August, Pirates invade the island and Old Baldy in celebration of National Lighthouse Day.

Monday, June 11, 2018


Fort Bragg hosted the 2018 Armed Forces Men's Soccer Championship at Hendrick Stadium June 2-10. This event is conducted every two years and featured teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force along with athletes from the Coast Guard competing on the Navy team.





The week started off with an Ice-Breaker Social held at the Iron Mike Conference Center. 

June 3rd was the Opening Ceremony.

The Garrison Commander COL Kyle Reed gave the opening remarks.

The first match started shortly after the ceremony.

Here is a recap of the matches during the week.  

Match 1: Navy 2 - USMC 1 (OT-PKs 5-3)

 Match 2: USAF 2 - ARMY 1 (OT)

June 5th :
Match 3: USAF 4 - USMC 2

 Match 4: NAVY 2 - ARMY 1

 June 7th
Match 5: USAF 3 - NAVY 1

 Match 6: ARMY 2 - USMC 1

June 9th
Consolation Match Army 1 - USMC 0
Official Forfeit Due to Injuries

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Benson

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Benson

Championship Match USAF 5 - NAVY 2

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Benson
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Benson

In the end the Air Force won.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Benson



I had an awesome time covering this event. I really enjoyed capturing each team in action as they played hard to represent their branch. Congrats to all the players. I met some amazing athletes this week.   

Photo Credit: Top End Shoot