Travel and Tourism

Laid Back Swansboro Christmas Shopping

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This morning I was happy to see the water ice free at our dock on Raymond's Gut.  The water behind our home just off the White Oak River is a good indicator of the weather.

A quick trip earlier this week to the mountains of Virginia gave me a taste of all the snow that I wanted.  While the couple of inches was nothing like the twenty plus inches of snow Roanoke got last year just before Christmas, it still took nearly two hours to clean the driveway.

While some might say, just let it melt, I subscribe to the Canadian theory of keeping a clean driveway to avoid ice build up.  read more »


Toys for Tots Marsh Cruise

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Thursday afternoon we took a couple of toys over to Hammocks Beach State Park and got treated to a wonderful cruise of the marshes close to Huggins Island and on the way to Bear Island.

It is an area that I often frequent with my fishing buddies, but it was nice to have a tour guide to hear the local history.  I had no idea that Cow Channel which leads to Bear Island got its name from the fact that the early residents used to lead their cow through there at low tide so they could graze on Bear Island.

I also had not heard that Bear Island got its name from someone transposing some letters on an early map.  The original name was "Bare" Island.
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A great evening beach visit

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One of the great pleasures of living in the Cape Carteret area is that impromptu beach visits become part of your life.

Getting over to the Emerald Isle beaches takes just a few minutes. There are enough beach access points that you can afford to be a little picky about which beach.

Sunday afternoon after church was pretty quiet.  We got some phone calls from the kids that kept us inside on what was a gorgeous day.  I also had to deal with a couple of real estate calls scheduling showings for my 165 Hadnot Farm Rd listing.

A little after five PM, I could hear the beach calling me.  Actually I heard a particular beach, Third Street, whispering my name.  It did not take long to convince my wife that we both needed a beach walk.  We were soon in the car and headed toward the island.
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Emerald Isle's Crowds of Summer

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I am not going to deny that the two lane bridge between Cape Carteret-Cedar Point and Emerald Isle gets backed up a few times during the summer.

I will readily admit that I heard rumors of a weekend this summer when the wait to get across the bridge was thirty minutes.  I do remember that a couple of summers back something happened, and there was a significant bridge delay.

However, today I took offense at someone's description of summer traffic in Emerald Isle.

"Emerald Isle is a congested knot of traffic during tourist season.   You'd never want to try to go to the grocery store, etc in the summer!"

Those of us who actually live here in the area know that the above comment has no relationship to reality.

As my mother used to say, "It was just someone saying something to hear their head roar."  read more »


Unbelievable Beauty on the River

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Sometimes you get lucky, and you are in the right place at the right time for a great photo.  Other times you have to work at it to be there when you know the light will be right.

Wednesday morning I knew would be my only chance to get out on the water for a few days.  My wife was scheduled for some surgery on Thursday.  With the jobs of chief nurse, cook, bottle washer, and house keeper, my water time would be limited for a few days.

With that in mind Wednesday morning I managed to roll out of bed at just after 6 AM.  I was actually dropping my boat in the water at 6:20 AM for the quick trip out to the White Oak to catch the first of several sunrises.

The first sunrise I captured was looking east from the White Oak to Silver Creek Plantation.

Next I got a spectacular shot of the sun rising into a tree a little farther down the river.

The picture at the top of the post was taken just this side of the big island in the White Oak.
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Friday on the Emerald Isle Bridge & Bogue Inlet Concerns

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A little before noon today I headed out from the house to run a few errands.  I stopped by the Buck's Corner produce stand to augment our tomato supply since we are having guests this weekend.

After having a discussion about good ways to cook tomatoes, I headed off to Emerald Isle to get some gas for my car.

I am often accused of thinking of excuses to drive over to the island just so I can ride across the bridge and check out the traffic on the Intracoastal Waterway.  I will actually accept a guilty plea on that charge.

Sometimes riding across the bridge is just what I need to perk up my day.  Today I was more curious about how many boats would be out on the ICW since the forecast was calling for storms today.

As you can see from the picture looking towards Cedar Point, traffic on the ICW had already started building by noon.  We may or may not venture down towards Swansboro this weekend since it looks like there is going to be lots of boat traffic this weekend.
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A view worth a thousand words

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There are sights that renew the soul.  One of them for me is driving back from Emerald Isle just after I get on the bridge.  It is hard to say which direction is my favorite since both east (shown above) and west views are almost hard to describe with words.

Actually the colors in the picture attached to the post remind me most of my first visit to Nova Scotia where the whole world is blue and green.  The biggest difference between the waters along the Southern Outer Banks and the waters around Nova Scotia is that you will not turn blue in our waters this time of year.  You cannot say the same for Nova Scotia.

We lived in Nova Scotia for a few years, and it is one of the most beautiful places on earth, but the waters are not exactly warm enough to qualify as swimming waters.  My wife always seem to have a slightly blue kid on her lap when we were near the water in the summer.  read more »