One of the great advantages of living here on the Crystal Coast is that we do not have to pay attention to the weather forecast.
I am sure there are folks in Raleigh who looked at the cloudy with chance of thunderstorms forecast and decided not to come to the coast for the weekend. Even I thought that I might be doing some rainy day chores.
About 9 AM this morning I decided the weathermen were all wrong and that the chance showers today was less than minimal. I stuck a cooler in the back of the car and headed off towards the beach.
I made a quick stop at the automatic ice machine on Highway 58 and at a convenience store on Emerald for a cold soda. Then I headed down the beach.
I was pleased to see that the extension of the bike trail east along Highway 58 is pretty well finished except for some minor cleanup. According to my odometer the bike trail extends about two miles east of the town offices. There were plenty of people out taking advantage of the new trail.
My destination, Third Street Beach, did not take long to reach. I was pleased to see a couple of parking spots. As I was changing to my beach sandals, I saw a familiar face packing a vehicle in preparation to leave the beach. It was another real estate agent from Bluewater GMAC grabbing a few hours on the beach before work.
That is another advantage of living at the beach. You get to sneak in beach time around your schedule.
I was surprised to see so many people fishing on the beach. There must have been ten rods in the water. I had come prepared to fish, but it was too crowded around my favorite hole.
My rod stayed in the car, and I decided to take a long beach walk. It turned out to be a great decision. The sky and water were absolutely stunning. Once I got away from the beach access, the beach was almost empty with only an occasional walker.
There were so many birds along the beach that I had a hard time choosing which to photograph. I still ended up taking lots of pictures. I managed to make some selections and post a number of bird and beach pictures on Picasa Web Albums.
After about an hour on the beach, I decided to finish my errands. That required stopping by Captain Willis Seafood for some softshell crabs. Then I stopped by Food Lion for a few staples and when I got across to the mainland I visited Windberry's Produce Stand for some tomatoes, new potatoes, and local blueberries. I also swung by Clyde Phillip's Seafood to take advantage of the fresh shrimp that came in on the boat on Friday.
With my cooler full, I headed home. It did not take me long to whip up a couple of softshell crab sandwiches. What a great treat on a nearly perfect beach day.
All that we need for complete perfection is for the slight chill in the water to disappear.
I just hope the warm water arrives in time for the return to the beach of our friends Richard and Leigh who have been suffering through a cold German spring.