Down the White Oak to Swansboro

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Sat, 04/24/2010 - 11:47.

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.

Last night I merged the trip with pictures that I took while we were on the water.  Now there is a nice Google earth trip which clearly shows the marked channel on the White Oak and pictures to help folks who are new to navigating the river.  The 3D icon on the right side of the homepage is the best way to view the trip.

In addition to going down the river, I tied up my tomato plants and found that first green tomato of the year.  Some friends and I have an annual contest to see who gets the first ripe tomato.  In 2008, I got my first green tomato on April 27.  That year my first ripe tomato came on June 1.  In 2009, the first ripe tomato was June 5.  I am hoping to beat June 1, but we will need some heat for that to happen.

Besides tomatoes and boating, I mowed my yard for the first time.  I am pleased to report that is almost a month later than the first mowing in Virginia where we have another home.  This time of year, the yards on the coast are not nearly as green as the ones in the Piedmont of NC, the Shenandoah Valley and the Roanoke Valley in Virginia.  That's fine with me, since you often have to mow those bluegrass yards twice a week in the spring.  I like our slow growing, weed-like centipede grass that we have on the NC coast.  I have more time for fishing.

There was one final sign of spring, in the last couple of days we have seen signs saying the local strawberries are ripe.  While this is about a month later than last year, it is still nice to see the first of our local produce.  Now I can start anticipating all sorts of fresh local foods.  It is a good thing since we are now to our last local sweet potato.

While we did not get a full afternoon on the White Oak like we did last year on April 24, the expectation is that we will make that happen next week.

I am already purging my memories of the winter of 2010.