Sports and Recreation

Sand as far as the eye can see

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We are lucky here in the Emerald Isle area of North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks to have some wonderful beaches.

It is a little hard to tell from the picture in the post that the sand you see is actually part of a beach.  However if you keep walking, you do eventually get to see the water.

The two sand and water pictures were taken at the Point at the western most end of Emerald Isle on November 6, 2010.  About seventeen months ago, in June 2009, I wrote another post about the Point that was entitled, "The Ramp to Nowhere."  The sand at the Point had almost completely disappeared.  Water and waves were even threatening homes near there.
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Time for the Armada of Spot Fishermen

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This picture was taken last weekend.  I suspect if you travel across the Emerald Isle Bridge this weekend, you will find several more boats anchored along and in the Intracoastal Waterway.

While I did not get to drive over the bridges at Swansboro yesterday, I heard reports that  there were plenty of boats chasing spots there.

When we crossed the bridges Thursday afternoon, there were no fishermen, but it was choppy with a fair breeze.

The day before when we tried our luck at fishing, we had to hide behind an island to find some quiet waters.  It was too windy to head out to the Point and Bogue Inlet so we settled for trying to keep pinfish off our hooks. 

I ended up eating most of our shrimp for dinner the next night.  I enjoy catching and eating spots about once a year.  I don't enjoy the crowded fishing and people anchoring in the channel.
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Sulphur Butterflies, Fishing, and Humidity

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If it wasn't humid enough for you before last night, I am sure the 1.5 inches of rain that we got will do the trick.

It is about time to say enough with the rain.  We have gotten close to 4 inches of rain in the last five days.  We have had well over a foot of rain since the third week in July.

If we get some more rain, I might switch my yard from centipede grass to rice paddy.  It is good thing we live and sand, and that the water drains off easily.  If this much rain hit the mountains, there would be flood, and our insurance rates would go up here on the coast. 

I am sorry, but that's pure coastal insider humor.  The last few hurricanes to hit North Carolina have done most of their damage inland, but our insurance rates have gone up and some insurers like State Farm are backing out of the area.

I have gotten to really "appreciate" August's humidity in the last week.  As is the case with almost all homes in Carteret County outside of Beaufort, Morehead City, and Newport, our home is on a septic system.  We have been in our home four years, so now is a good time to have it pumped.
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A Crystal Coast Kind of Day

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I am back from a little break in writing, and yesterday was a great day to gather my thoughts before posting

Saturday evening we received seven tenths of an inch of rain which was a nice addition to the three inches of rain we received early in July.  With the latest rain came cooler temperatures and lower humidity.

An early morning bike ride was my first choice to take advantage of the great weather.  After a few miles on the bike, I retired to the swimming pool for some cooler exercise.  Then I decided to invite my friends, Gail and Dean, on a boat ride.  The invitation was quickly accepted.

Given this is still part of our busiest week of the year, we decided to head up the White Oak River instead of out the inlet.  That turned out to be a great decision.  We only saw a couple of boats, and we enjoyed some wonderful sights such Bald Cypress trees encroaching on the river.
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An evening sunset on the river

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I will have to admit to being lazy yesterday.  A boring day of desk duty at the real estate office and a visitor-less open house the next day got me to the point of needing my batteries recharged.

I actually do much better when I am busy.  I would rather do anything than sit at a desk waiting for the phone to ring.  Sitting in a house waiting for someone to drop by is equally mind numbing.

Before the heat got bad yesterday, I took the boat down to Swansboro harbor.  It was a perfect morning cruise.  I went down the river at almost 30 mph on a perfect plane, and came back up almost as fast.

When I got home, I was saddened to see that the fiddler crabs had stolen one of my nice tomatoes.  We are getting three or four a day, but I still do not like to lose one to the crabs.
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Just what the Doctor ordered

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After a winter which bedeviled the whole east coast, there comes a time when you need some beach time.  Yesterday was the time and the place.

The weather also cooperated.  After a quick morning boat ride from Bluewater Cove up the river to River Oaks Plantation, I managed to finish up some trimming around the yard.  We dropped the pine branches and palm fronds at the trash transfer station and headed over to the beach.

It was great to see a nice crowd of folks in Emerald Isle.  The Dairy Queen was packed, and there were plenty of visitors wandering the Island.  We were surprised to see the Eastern Regional Access parking lot filled to the brim.

We traveled on up the Island to my personal favorite spot, Third Street Beach.  There we only had to share the beach with another couple of people.

The water was really low and had exposed the sandbar that runs parallel to the shore.  While I consider May 1 early for getting in the water, I waded over to the sandbar and had a great time taking pictures.  read more »


Down the White Oak to Swansboro

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While weather can easily change, you know that we have turned the corner when temperatures at night do not get out of the sixties.  The sixties are just right for sleeping, and I plan to enjoy them as long as they last.

We will need temperatures at night in the seventies and eventually eighties to really warm the area's waters, but we are finally off to a good start.  When I see that our morning temperature differential is twenty five degrees Fahrenheit compared to my old stomping grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I feel safe in saying that we are on track for spring and summer.

There are some other signs of spring.  One was our trip yesterday down the White Oak to Swansboro.  It was the first time since fall that I had been down the river in the skiff while I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt.  It was a pleasant ride, and we recorded it with my GPS tracker, the i-gotU.
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