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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Found the Crystal Coast



I guess a wandering polar vortex could not be counted on to stay far enough to the north to leave us alone.

We did get iced over in late January here along the North Carolina coast.  Some people complained about everything shutting down in anticipation of our icing event but the reality is that we ended up in a lot less pain than folks farther south who ignored the snow and ice warnings.

We have thawed out from our icy adventure.  Fortunately we only have to endure significant snow or ice about once every three or four years. A taste of winter will not do us in but we are eagerly anticipating the better weather of spring and the activities that come with it.

It is normal to still be on a roller coaster as far as weather goes since this is February. However, we know things will get better and it will soon be time to think about enjoying the beach.

To get in the mood for better times on the coast, try our new $2.99 Kindle picture book, 100 Pictures, 1000 Words, A Crystal Coast Year.  It is the best of the 40,000 images that I took last year.  The book includes a link to a website where you can buy higher resolution versions of the images for only 99 cents.

You can get experiment with some similar images that I am letting people download for free as long as they do not use them commercially.  One of the images is the icy one of Raymond's Gut used in this post.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Almost Winter On The Coast

Winter Marsh in Raymond's Gut near Swansboro, NC

As much as I want to complain about our almost winter weather, I just cannot do it.  My friends in Tay Creek, New Brunswick got a big shot of snow this past weekend which is normal for them in the middle of December.

However, we got rain.  For much of the weekend our temperature stayed around 64F.  They are also scheduled for more snow.  During the same time we are looking forward to temperatures in the sixties with a few days in the seventies.

It was nice enough on this past Saturday morning that I took my skiff out on the river for a few minutes.  It was not cold enough for gloves when I took the boat out.  It is hard to call it winter if you can zoom down the river at 30 MPH and still not need gloves.

We are also still enjoying our gardens along the Southern Outer Banks.  We are getting some of our winter marsh visitors but they are not hanging around all day like they often do in our coldest months January and February.

Winter will come when it comes and until then we will enjoy the weather that we have.  If you want to compare the colors of the winter marsh to a fall marsh, click on this link and you will get to see a picture of the same area taken in the fall.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall Is Finally Here

Great Egret Along Raymond's Gut
After an extended return visit, summer has appears to be in hiding.  Our favorite season, fall, seems to be here to stay.

The crowds, heat, and humidity are gone.  The water is still warm and inviting.  Fall and winter vegetables have been planted, and the fish are starting to visit the beaches, inlets, sounds, and rivers.

It is a great time to visit some of my favorite spots along the Crystal Coast portion of the Southern Outer Banks.

Check out any of my other blogs featured here for more information even details about a nice new restaurant that recently opened in the area.

If you are ready to start planning your next vacation, you can now buy our Emerald Isle travel guide in paperback as well as Kindle version.

Come visit, you might start a new tradition of fall vacations.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Is Here On The Crystal Coast

Beautiful Surf at Hammocks Beach State Park
The tomatoes are ripe, the humidity is here, the heat pumps are running, and we are all headed for the water.

That pretty well defines summer here on the Crystal Coast and June has already been a great time to enjoy the beaches here along the Southern Outer Banks.

The over seven inches of rain that we have received in June has managed to wash away any thoughts of a dry early summer.

Fortunately the rain has not been of the day long variety so it has still been possible to enjoy the area's beaches.

We even took the ferry from Cedar Island over to Ocracoke Island and then worked our way up to Nags Head.

I managed to stay in the same hotel that I checked into to watch the first step on the moon. As a college student, I spent a fair amount of time camping on Ocracoke in the summer of 1969.

Visiting beaches which seem like old friends is a great way to start the summer.

If you haven't planned your beach vacation yet, there is still plenty of time and you can get the absolute best information in our $3.99 Kindle book, A Week at the Beach, The 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide.  The book is also available in paperback.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We are ready for summer

I am ready for summer but I cannot say that it is because of our winter.  Considering that we did not see any snow this year like our last real winter in 2011, it is hard to complain very much about our weather.

However, we have had our share of cold days and our spring has been somewhat cooler than last year.  Still when you live in an area where warmth is the expected norm, you can get a little impatient when the last two weeks of April only have five days above 70F instead of nine days like April 2012.

Whatever the reason, spring is well underway and summer appears to be lurking just over the horizon.  Those of us who are avid fisherman are ready for the new season.

I finished two books this spring so I am ready for a little play time.  Living in North Carolina is always a treat and that is especially the case when you live along the Crystal Coast.

Once a quarter or so I will do a simple post here, but I keep this site alive mainly because it makes a nice landing spot for people who want to see what I have been writing recently.

Most of my posts show up here in a day or so, and there is a large archive of older posts here that still have useful information.  If you are curious about me, you can find a little information on the about me section of my Crystal Coast Life blog where I normally post at least three times a month.

During most of the year I do a summary post at my Coastal Paradise site at least once a quarter and during the warmer months, once a month.  Posts on that site generally have links to my other articles spread back through them.

There is a simple explanation of most of my sites at this page.  If you need to get in touch with me, visit my contact me page.

If you are looking for information about vacationing on the North Carolina coast, please give our 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide - A Week at the Beach a try.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Greetings from the Crystal Coast


Most of my blogging is done at my CrystalCoastLife.com blog and my Typepad blog, View from the Mountain.  Once a quarter or so I will do a post here, but I have kept the blog alive mainly because it makes a nice landing spot for people who want to see what I have been writing recently.

We're now past the middle of February 2013 on the Crystal Coast.  This month brought a little brush with winter which set me to dreaming about warm summer waters.  We live close to nature here on the Southern Outer Banks as the larger area is often called.  Changes in the weather are a big part of life on the coast and this year like most years we have had plenty of changeable weather.

Most of my posts show up here in a day or so, and there is a large archive of older posts here that still have useful information.  I am now also writing for ReadWrite web.  You can find a list of those articles at this link.

During most of the year I do a summary post at my Coastal Paradise site at least once a quarter and during the warmer months, once a month.  That post generally has links to my other sites spread back through it.

There is a simple explanation of most of my sites at this page.  You can find quick travel information for the Emerald Isle area at my Welcome to the Beach site.  If you want more information about the beach, the best solution is to buy our $4.99 Kindle Book, A Week at the Beach, An Emerald Isle Travel Guide.

If you want to find out more about me, visit my homepage or my LinkedIn public profile.  If you want some detailed history on me, buy our book The Pomme Company.  I've recently written an article, A Piedmont Awakening, on the Feathered Flounder.  There is some information in the article about my early life.

If you want to send me a message, visit my contact page.  If you have comments or need more information on the area, send me a note, I try to be responsive and a good ambassador for the area.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer in the Cove

Bluewater Cove
In the seventies I lived in Canada along the shores of the Bay of Fundy.  Some of our neighbors were people who would come for the cool summer weather along the Nova Scotia shore.   Their summer in the cove was often punctuated with mornings of fog and days of cool rain.

Forty years later my wife and I live along North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks which stretch south of Ocracoke Island.  Our little piece of that world often called the Crystal Coast is one of the more unique areas of beach that remain within a six hour drive of our nation's capital.

While many beach areas along the east coast have waterfront areas that have wall to wall high rise condominiums, the beaches of Emerald Isle have maintained their low density housing with mostly beach homes as the predominant rental choice in the area.  The town of Emerald Isle, which is a large part of the island of Emerald Isle only has one small waterfront hotel which is two stories high.  There are a few condominium developments that reach up four or five stories high, but there is no very tall building in the town.

What the town does have is miles of uncrowded beaches. The summer populations swell the year round population of just over 4,000 people.  Since we are just a few miles from Emerald Isle's beaches, it is no surprise that summer visitors have something of an impact on those of us living just upriver from the beaches.

Mostly the impacts that we see from our visitors are minor such as more crowding in the grocery stores when people check in for their beach weeks and more people on the beaches.

Life here is dictated far more by the weather than by the number of people who come to visit the area.  Like many areas of the east coast we have been under a dome of very hot weather since late June 2012.  Fortunately we've have strong breezes that help to keep us from the worst of the heat.  Our July weather while usually warm can cool quickly to the point n that we can have a few nights when we sleep with open windows like we did last July.

When we have hot weather here, people do their outside work early and then take to the water.  Our ocean waters do warm to the mid-eighties, but a breeze off those waters is a cooling one when the air temperature has been pushed to the lower nineties.

We are lucky that most of summer weather can be classified as beach weather.  Most of us moved here to live a life without walls.  When the heat is on, some respond by heading out beyond the beaches into the ocean.  Others head to the uncrowded beach out beyond the yellow houses at the Point on Emerald Isle.

In a county where water is more than half the area, water is what summer is all about in our cove.  Whether it is the community swimming pool, the White Oak River, Bogue Sound, or the Atlantic Ocean, people spend much of their summer time either on or in the water.  Usually the rest of their time is spent planning how to get to the water.

Life moves to a rhythm of tides, sunshine, clouds and wind.  The tides are much smaller than those along the Bay of Fundy.  The sunshine is more frequent and the clouds and wind are more conducive to beach lovers.

Life here in our cove just off the White Oak River is one that comes close to defining a perfect summer experience. While we have heat and humidity, they are the two elements that make our waters so inviting.

If our area sounds interesting, try our travel guide to Emerald Isle.