legend has it that blackbeard, stede bonnet and the likes would hang in the marshes of north carolina waiting to attack ships. if the merchant ships were lucky enough to see the top sail of a pirate ship peeking over the tops of the live oak trees, they’d hightail it to safety. i spent a lot of time at topsail beach as a kid during the summers. never saw any pirates, but i got ambushed by an angry crab one time. i was walking in a foot or so of water and it locked onto my toe; i screamed like a girl, flung my foot out of the water and ol’ captain pinchy fingers went flying through the air as i hightailed it back to mama and cried. oh, by the way — topsail isn’t pronounced “top-sail.” it’s “tops’l.” if you go there and call it “top-sail” the locals will roll their eyes and think you’re an idiot as they gladly accept your yankee dollars.