North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks & Crystal Coast


Summer 2017 Wraps Up

While I have not had the time to write like I have been accustomed to doing, it has been a wonderful summer perhaps with the exception of surf fishing which seems to have been slow. Fishing on the White Oak River has been very good since August 1. Several of us in the neighborhood have brought home drum, flounder, and trout.

We have had plenty of sunshine, enough moisture, and just a few rainy spells. Aside from a few really hot days, it has been a really good beach summer. While we had the threat of a couple of hurricanes, nothing has materialized to threaten the Crystal Coast. While we are not completely out of the hurricane season, we are starting to relax a little.

The waters did stay stirred up with lots of wind for longer than normal this season, but that is a minor complaint in what has been a very successful summer for our beach community.

The big excitement in early summer was
the dredging that took place in Bogue Inlet. The old channel on the West side of the Inlet became problematic to get through and a new channel was dredged in early summer and eventually marked. However, the channel seems to have a mind of its own and kept boaters guessing for much of the summer.

We have enjoyed some magnificent beach evenings this year. All our beaches have remained in good shape throughout the summer with some minor changes that are not surprising. Third Street beach was steep with a bench of sand for much of the summer and then the high waters from Jose and Maria took away the bench and smoothed the slope of the beach. The same high waters created a bench near the Point. It not unusual to have changing sands on our shores.

Our last hot spell peaked on September 21 with the temperature approaching 90F before lunch. Then the heat broke with an afternoon of storms which drove the temperature down over twenty degrees in a couple of hours. We got an inch of rain out of the storm. Since that our weather has steadily improved. The last two weeks have delivered only one-tenth of an inch of rain while temperatures remained in the upper seventies to low eighties in daytime and dropped as far down as 50F at night. Most of morning temperatures have been around sixty degrees Fahrenheit. It has been wonderfully fall like with the heat pumps hardly running.

The day after the hot weather broke, I went fishing in the White Oak in our skiff. We fished hard all morning with my partner focusing on using live bait while I stuck with artificial lures. Just before noon I switched to a white Gulp shrimp. On the first cast and the first twitch of the Gulp, a drum hit and I had once of the nicest battles that I have had in a long time. The drum peeled line off my reel five or six times before we could slide the net under the 22 inch fish. Folks in our neighborhood have been regularly catching drum all through August and September. I got my first drum of the season, a twenty-one inch one on August 1. Now that October has arrived, some trout are also being caught.

It appears spot fishing season has already started slowly with a few boats showing up around the bridges. The season is starting earlier than last year which was later than normal (pictures taken
November 3, 2016 and October 8, 2011 and October 8, 2014). Still the best of the fall fishing should be ahead of us as long as the fall weather continues dry and storm free.

It has been a great summer for taking pictures. I have had the opportunity to snap some wonderful pictures like the one of the sulfur butterfly in the hibiscus. Many of those great pictures have been included in the 2017-18 Kindle version of our travel guide for Emerald Isle. This album, created September 16, 2017, comes from photos taken during my most recent hike at the Point.

Our five star-rated 152 page 2017-18 travel guide with 65 images continues to be well received. The Kindle version is only $3.99 and has 128 color images. It is also free if you have Kindle Unlimited. The Kindle version works on practically everything including the iPhone and iPads. The paperback versions have been very popular locally. If you are in the area and want to have a look at a paper copy, stop by the Emerald Isle tourist bureau or drop by the bookstore in Emerald Plantation to purchase a black and white copy. The color version is available at the Emerald Isle Town Office. This is a recent review of A Week at the Beach The Emerald Isle Travel Guide. The black and white paperback is $7.95 and the full color version is $19.99. Both are Prime eligible from Amazon. We released the updated print books on August 15, 2017 and the updated Kindle version was published on September 20, 2017

If you just need some quick information about the area head for
our free online guide to Emerald Isle. Either way, remember this is a great area to visit even late in the fall. Fall is our best season and can last until December. Lots of visitors get hooked and end up put down some roots along our sandy beaches.

Why we love it here?
While no place is perfect, the Crystal Coast presents us with many options besides beaches that make life here very appealing.

Living by the water is not for everyone, but we really enjoy everything from
waves on the beach to the warmth of an evening on the beach or even the power of the ocean you feel standing in the surf.

The magic of the river or our other waters is never far away. Sometimes the big water calls and other times I get seduced by the river and the fog. There are few places where you can have such wonderful November days on the beach.

In the summer there are times when
the heat will not seem to go away but there are ways to deal with the heat or humidity and even escape our paltry crowds.

We typically have plenty of summer weather, but we do have four seasons here including
some cold weather every few years. That just makes the other three seasons besides winter seem even nicer.

Crystal Coast, Salt Water on Your Feet site also has a number of articles for people considering a move to the Crystal Coast.

To make life even better here on the coast, I would recommend a visit to our wonderful church home at
Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church. We love to have visitors especially during our monthly fellowship luncheons.

Our quiet spot sheltered by Bogue Banks, the Croatan National Forest, and the Cape Lookout National Seashore is a very friendly and scenic area with a great future. Right now it is the spot for us and sometimes I think I am living in a time and place that cannot survive the pressures of the modern world forever. I am just happy to be here now and able to share it with my children and grandchild.

This is
a link to a simple map of the area. There are more detailed ones in our Emerald Isle Travel Guide.

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