A lot of people drive across the White Oak River at the Highway 24 bridges in Swansboro. A far smaller number visitors venture up the White Oak in a boat. The zig and zag of the mostly marked channel in the White Oak tends to limit the number of out of town visitors. There are only a handful of folks who regularly kayak on the White Oak between the Croatan National Forest Access in Cedar Point and the bridges. Up river where I am the number dwindles to almost zero. read more »
Sports and Recreation
Big coastal rivers always have a mind of their own. The White Oak River near our home is no exception. While I can make some educated guesses as to what its mood is by using the telephoto lens on my favorite camera, I never know what is really happening until I get out on it with either my skiff or kayak. When you factor in the riddle of coastal weather, things can get interesting on the river. read more »
Kayaking on a warm summer morning reminds me a little of cross country skiing on a cold winter morning.
In both cases your mind is telling you that by doing nothing you'll be more comfortable. If you just stay inside and enjoy either the cool or the warmth, life will be good. Unfortunately I have never created a memory worth saving by sitting around inside.
The reality is that if you have done either cross country skiing or kayaking very much, you know that you will have lots of fun once you get started. I've been cross country skiing when the temperature was below zero and had a great time.
I've also been kayaking when the temperature on shore was pretty nasty, and found that things were actually quite pleasant out on the water. I've gotten calls from my wife wondering why I am still out on the water when it is so hot and miserable.
The truth is that if the water temperature is in the mid to low eighties and the air temperature is around ninety, you'll likely be more comfortable on the water especially if there is a nice breeze.
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An updated version of this post can be found at this link.
Living on one of North Carolina's coastal rivers is a true pleasure, and I have written about it before including this post, How to Enjoy a Coastal River.
I am reminded of how wonderful the river is each morning when I look out towards it from our dock behind our home. Part of my morning routine is to check the tide level on one of the dock pilings and survey the water surface.
Then I try to gauge the winds out on the river. If it is really windy out on the river, it is pretty easy to catch from the visible whitecaps. However, it can be very calm in our inlet, look calm on the river and still be pretty windy on the river once you are out there. About the only way to really know how windy it is on the river is to get in the boat and head out to the river. read more »
The NC coast has seen plenty of wind recently. Sunday, May 22, was no exception.
After church service and lunch, I decided to take advantage of the warm day and not so strong winds by paddling my kayak out into the White Oak River.
Getting in the water isn't much of a challenge, I just slide my kayak through the little opening in the salt marsh cord grass that you can see on the left side of this picture behind my pickup truck. Of course the only reason there is an opening in the cord grass is that I keep using the same spot to launch my kayak.
When the kayak isn't in the water, it is usually on my dock or hiding in the garage during cold weather.
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This has been just a great week to get an early spring taste of the waters of the Crystal Coast. We have seen a number of days when our afternoon temperatures were in the eighties.
On Wednesday, I managed to take our boat out on the river twice. The second time was later in the afternoon and turned out to be our first fishing trip of the season. It was a wonderful day to be on the water.
Actually anyone who picked the week of March 20, 2011 to be at the beach can pick my next set of lottery tickets. I don't think you could ask for better beach weather. On my Wednesday morning trip out on the water I noticed that the water temperature was almost 70F.
Seventy degrees is actually my spring coolness threshold for kayaking. So Thursday evening after I finished work, and after the water had another day to warm, I decided to take the kayak out for its first spring run.
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Friday March 4 my wife dropped me at the vehicle ramp by Inlet Drive and Bogue Ct. on Emerald Isle. I often stop there for a quick walk out on the Point which is one of my favorite places. If you have a look at the current Google map of the area or the picture that I took in November 2007, you might think that a quick walk is all that you could get.
Sometimes you need to remember that just because something is on the Internet does not mean that the information is correct.
The truth as of March 5, 2011 is that there is 1400 feet of sand stretching from the vehicle ramp at the Point to the water by Bogue Inlet. That is a lot of sand not to show on a map.
It took me longer than expected to walk out to the water and back so I knew that if I took the time to explore, I might end up hitching a ride back to Bluewater Cove since my wife has a limited tolerance for aimlessly driving around subdivisions while I am wandering.
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