Crystal Coast

Coastal produce season starts with strawberries

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In coastal North Carolina the first we see of our farmer operated produce stands is when the strawberries get ripe each year.

In spring of 2007, our first full spring on the Southern Outer Banks, the strawberries were ripe on April 13.  In 2008 we actually got strawberries in late March.  Both 2009 and 2010 were later than this year by a few days.
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First Light on a Spring Morning

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There might be nothing nicer than a spring morning.  With the first rays of sunlight hitting the water, and birds singing in the distance, it is a great time to be walking around outside.

I will admit to wishing for another fifteen degrees of warmth.  This morning in Bluewater Cove, we were at a comfortable 55F. However, if I had my choice of overnight temperatures, I would likely pick 70F. 

I am not going to complain about the slightly cool edge to the day's first light temperature.  It is only April 13, and we will have plenty of warmth soon enough here on the Southern Outer Banks.  Right now is a favorite time of year for me since we can play what I like to call the "Heat Pump Game."
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And the water did come back

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In my last post, I wrote that April might be the cruelest month.  It turns out that I was a little hasty and harsh with my judgment. A day or two after I declared my displeasure with April, things turned around completely.

April 8, I had an absolutely stellar hike along the beach. I even got some saltwater on my feet. I got so warm that to cool off I waded into the ocean water which is still probably hovering around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  It actually felt great.

While April 9 wasn't as nice a day, it certainly wasn't anything to complain about considering the weather most people are seeing. Pulaski, Virginia got the first strong tornadoes in their history which shows you just how fast life can change. Our nasty weather consisted of a few rolls of thunder just before bed and about .25 inches of rain which we needed.
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Waiting for the water

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April might be the cruelest month of spring.  I think many boaters along the Southern Outer Banks would vote with me on that.  The air temperature feels like we should be out on the water. The beautiful blues of the water are tempting.

Unfortunately, the water seems to stay calm only for brief moments like this early morning picture. Then sometimes, as it has done in the last few days, the water just disappears, and you wonder what happened to all those predictions of rising sea levels.  High tide looks a lot like low tide.  About the time my thoughts wander to my kayak which could easily handle the low water levels, the wind starts blowing.

While boating on the coast is often a grab the moment kind of endeavor,  it is much worse in April.  While one trip in March helped a little with erasing the memories of the cold boat rides that I had this winter, I really would like to go out and just enjoy the warm Carolina sun on my back.  read more »


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Waves on Bluewater Cove's Inlet

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If there is one thing you can count on during a coastal spring, it is wind. On April 3 we arrived home from a recent trip to the west and north. We came back a day early because of the forecast that there might be severe storms on April 4 or 5.

It turned out that April 4 was a day of continuous strong winds. Lots of times the winds aren't aligned to blow in our inlet at Bluewater Cove, but April 4 was not one of those days.

We don't have a wind sock here in Bluewater Cove, but on April 4 there was a young lady sitting on a bench facing right out Raymond's Gut towards the White Oak River.  I was on the far side of the water stalking herons when I saw her sit down and start reading a book in what I estimated to be 30 MPH winds. 
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March 29 Frost by the River

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Most people likely don't need any convincing that this has been a tough winter and something of a rocky start to spring.

If you were on the borderline, the morning of March 29 should seal the deal.  This is the latest frost down by the water that we have had since we have been living along the shores of the White Oak River.

A couple of times we have had frost on the "high spot" in our front yard, but it has never made it down to the water.  When my kayak has frost on it, you know something is wrong with the weather.  I don't usually have it outside until the weather gets nice.

Last week I went kayaking and even fishing the day before. Now we have a morning of frost, and I suspect some very chilly river waters.  read more »


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First White Oak River Kayaking of 2011

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This has been just a great week to get an early spring taste of the waters of the Crystal Coast.  We have seen a number of days when our afternoon temperatures were in the eighties.

On Wednesday, I managed to take our boat out on the river twice.  The second time was later in the afternoon and turned out to be our first fishing trip of the season.  It was a wonderful day to be on the water.

Actually anyone who picked the week of March 20, 2011 to be at the beach can pick my next set of lottery tickets. I don't think you could ask for better beach weather. On my Wednesday morning trip out on the water I noticed that the water temperature was almost 70F.

Seventy degrees is actually my spring coolness threshold for kayaking.  So  Thursday evening after I finished work, and after the water had another day to warm, I decided to take the kayak out for its first spring run.
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