Crystal Coast

The sand came back

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It took less than a month, but the sand that I reported lost in the post, "A Bite Out of Third St. Beach," seems to have been replaced by waves that are likely cousins to ones who took it away.

My wife and I went for a walk up at Third Street on Wednesday November 9 and discovered that plenty of sand has returned to the beach.  I am pretty sure that there is now more sand on the beach than I saw at any time during the summer of 2011.

Never knowing what you will find is one of the neat things about walking on a beach.  It is rarely the same place twice.  The beach can even change as you are walking on it.

Lots of times, as the sun starts going down, the light on the beach will change.  What looked like a perfectly normal beach just a few minutes earlier will turn into a very different spot.
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Getting a lot like Fall

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As October disappears into memory, our weather forecast has been trying to drag us out of some really pleasant late season warmth.  We are even seeing about as much color in the leaves as ever reaches the NC coast.

My most recent trip to the beach on Emerald Isle was just like a late summer trip.  The temperature was almost 80F as I walked around the Point and observed the most recent changes to the beach.

Most of our threats of rain in late October have gone largely unrealized.  We received no rain the last weekend of October while much of the east coast was being soaked or covered in up to thirty inches of snow.  However, we did get cold enough for a small patch of very light frost to show up on the high spot in our front yard.
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A Bite Out of Third St. Beach

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I tend to watch my favorite beaches pretty carefully, and on October 14, my wife and I went up to Third St. Beach on Emerald Isle for one of our regular visits.  We were really surprised by the changes in the beach.

While I have seen a lot of sand movement this fall, what happened at Third St. is the most dramatic that I seen especially considering it happened quickly, and during a time when there were no named storms around.

Perhaps just catching this change makes me guilty as charged when it comes to being on the beach a lot.

A couple of days ago a friend suggested that my activities were beginning to look a lot like those of a beach bum.  I took it as a compliment.  Actually in a very quiet real estate market, walking the beach is good research.

I have another strong defense.  Taking a hike on the beach is also good exercise and a great way to get a little fishing in during the fall.   read more »


Weather that should be bottled

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There are reasons that fall is my favorite time here on the Southern Outer Banks.  The weather is hard to ignore as a key part of the equation that makes things so nice as the seasons turn.  Fishing, fewer crowds, and festivals also play a big part in making fall special.

The wonderful weather we experienced last fall is still a pleasant memory, but fall of 2011 is working hard to make it fade.  We missed the first Episcopal Lobster Festival, but we already have tickets for the Lobster Festival at Saint Francis by the Sea in Salter Path on October 15.  Once we have eaten our lobsters there this year, it will mark five years in a row we have managed to enjoy fresh Maine lobsters here on the coast in the fall.
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Finally hope of clearing weather

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Finally we might see clear skies after what seems like a month of dampness.  The week of September 19, my rain gauge recorded 6.2 inches of rain.

After a front passes through Friday evening, September 30, it looks like we might start to dry out.

With all the precipitation, at least I didn't have to water the new sod that I placed around the flagstones leading to our dock. I think it is already growing.

Weather is always something that we want to change.  This summer until Irene, we could not buy a drop of rain. Now in the last sixty days we have seen between fifteen and twenty inches of precipitation here along the banks of the White Oak.  read more »


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Rumbles along the Crystal Coast from the tail end of Lee

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Thunder is rumbling along the coast the morning of September 7, 2011.  We are just catching a bit of the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.

Some of the thunder and lightning has been impressive, but we actually were in need of some rain.  Ten days after Hurricane Irene dumped over ten inches of rain on us, things were starting to dry out.  I actually ran our sprinklers yesterday and watered my surviving tomato plants.

As noon has slipped up on me, there appears to be some blue sky to the west of us over Swansboro.  The rain has stopped at least for now though the forecast says that thunderstorms might re-develop this afternoon.

The morning's rains brought us somewhere between one half an inch and three quarters of an inch of precipitation depending on which one of my rain gauges one can believe.  Likely I will just average it out and say that we got a little over six tenths of an inch of rain.

The temperature actually dropped briefly to the mid-seventies. We have not been below 80F for a number of days, and as the morning finishes we are just now recovering to 80F. It will be warm this afternoon.
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Getting Ready for Irene

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Fall of 2011 will mark the beginning of our sixth year living here on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks.  If the current forecast holds, it will mark our closest encounter to date with a hurricane.

Hurricane Irene is scheduled to come ashore somewhere between Cedar Island and Hatteras Island as a Category 3 hurricane. Irene will then run up the Northern Outer Banks before taking a bead on my college roommate who lives on the NJ shore. 

Of course we won't really know the exact track until closer to Friday, August 26. There seems to be more uncertainty in the forecast than ususual because some of the climatic features that do the hurricane steering are weak. Irene has the potential to make up her own mind about where she makes landfall.
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