Morning on the River

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Tue, 08/09/2011 - 01:56.

It is August in North Carolina.  We're in the eastern part of the state,  It is the time of year that it never cools down at night.  On top of that, the water in the ocean has warmed close to shore, and the water in the river is just warm everywhere. There has been little rain since early May.

August is a time of year when you have to plan your activities and work around the daytime heat.  This is the month when I do outside things at certain times of the day.  I rarely deviate from my daily schedule because to do so means  you can be cooked alive.

We are in the heart of summer's heat. It is a moment on the calendar when we just get by and plan for times when it will be nicer outside. This has been an unusually hot summer following a very cold winter.  Normally it is rare for the parts of Carteret County near the water to see many high temperatures over 91-93 degrees.

This year has been different, we have had a number of days when the high temperatures were in the mid-nineties.  We have also seen a handful of days in the upper nineties. I even saw a reported temperature of 99F for Beaufort, NC.

 Our heat is nothing like that which has descended onto to Texas and Oklahoma, but with our humidity, anything over 92F is very hot and even dangerous if you are not used to working in it.

Being from the South, I often write about the heat,  It is a topic that gets as much ink here as snow does in the North up by Boston.  I just wish that we could bottle some of this August warmth for use in the winter.

When I first moved back to the South from Canada, the heat was the enemy.  I could hardly mow a yard without sweating in anticipation.  Now I just view a hot day as an adversary that I need to defeat. 

It takes some planning, and the ability to listen to your body, but I now know how to survive mowing even in the nineties.  The sweat comes, but with it comes the pride of being able to finish a job in heat that at one time would have sent me into hiding in a dark, air conditioned room.

If you mow a large yard like mine in August in the South, you either learn to survive, or they cart you away.  I drink lots of fluids before I begin, try to get started with the job before 9 AM, and I pace myself.  I know that  rushing will just cause me to overheat, so I take my time, rest in the shade if needed, and drink plenty of fluids both while I am working and after the challenge is whipped.

I don't mind mowing because I reward myself with some special time that seems to make the heat go away.  My reward is to go onto the river early in the morning.

A fast ride down the river early in the morning makes me forget about the heat.  On August 8, I even fished for a few minutes while I was out in the marshes on my early morning trip to the other side of the Intracoastal Waterway near Swansboro.

You see some great things on the river early in the morning.  But I am easy to please so a glassy surface on the  river is all I need to see, and a ride on the river is hard to turn down even when I am delaying the start to a busy day.

Once in a while I will see some crabbers working the river, but for the most part the river is mine early in the morning.  Usually I will see a few herons hanging around the marshes.  There is always a jumping mullet or two putting on a show.

But really what makes morning on the river so special is the beautiful blue where the sky and water almost melt into each other.  The world seems to have been doused in blue water colors.  The heat doesn't matter as much because there is always a breeze at 30 MPH in s skiff.

The river feels like my own place early in the morning, and the ride gives me a sense of purpose.  After getting back from my river trip, I can work on my tomatoes or mow while the early morning cool of the river still lingers in the back of my mind, and then in the heat of the day I will stay inside unless I go walking the beach where I know there is a breeze.  Mostly hot afternoons in August are like rainy days. For me they are a time to do web work or write.

August is time when we usually go to the beach late in the evening.  August 9, our plans are to head to the beach once the worst of the day's heat has disappeared. However, unless it is too windy, I will likely be on the river early that morning.

I often get back from my boat ride before eight o'clock which is usually when my wife makes it to the table for her coffee.  Somehow that makes my ride is even more enjoyable because I have accomplished even before the day has started for others.

You need the right place for a convenient early morning boat ride like mine, and I have no doubt that a waterfront home with a lift is about the best thing you can do for your mental health.  I  certainly don't regret the sacrifices we have made for ours..

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