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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Yet Another Amazing Crystal Coast Fall

Looking Across Sound to Bogue Inlet & Bear Island
Fall is an amazing season here on the Crystal Coast.  If you ask residents, you would fine them in near unanimous agreement that fall is the best time of year.

My post, Fall Belongs to the Southern Coast, shows that I am in complete agreement.  The picture at the top of the post was taken October 1, 2014 from the dock at Hammocks Beach State Park.  The area from the dock to Bear Island on the right on the horizon is one of the most beautiful areas in the world.  It is one of my favorite places in the fall.

I have been writing about nice fall weather on the North Carolina coast is for a long time.  One of my earliest posts, That Fall Feeling, was written in 2008.  The next year I wrote, Savoring a Southern Fall.  A year later came Fall Pleasures on the Carolina Coast which was published on Saturday, October 09, 2010.   The next year on Saturday, November 12, 2011, I wrote Fall on the Crystal Coast.  We were gone to Canada in early fall of 2012, but I did manage to write, Quiet Waters in November of that year.   Sometimes it is hard to write about fall when summer is still hanging around like it did 2013.  Eventually I did manage a post entitled Fall On The Coast Hits Its Stride.

Fall is a great time of year at the coast, do not miss it.  A visit to the Crystal Coast in the fall can make the winter seem a lot shorter and show you that fall does not end when the leaves are gone from the trees.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Is Already Slipping Away

White Oak River, July 2014
Just as we are getting used to summer, another July Fourth slipped by us, and I noticed that we are already past the middle of July.  Summer is already half over and we are on the down slope to fall.  It will only be another three or four weeks before the majority of our summer visitors start to disappear.

Schools and jobs will call everyone back to home, but as many know, the beach gets even better as the season slips into the fall.

It has already been a great early start to summer.  We had almost as much perfect clear and dry weather as our yards and gardens could stand. Now we seem to be getting more than our fair share of rain.  Still there will be lots more perfect beach days for everyone to enjoy our great beaches.  Some people who visit will find a special beach to love and end up having a great beach vacation that they will remember for years.

The Crystal Coast got off easy with Hurricane Arthur and probably had a record weekend just a couple of days afterwards.  For me it has been a summer with beautiful waves on the beach and some unbelievably scenic times kayaking out on the river.  There are always plenty of other fun things to do while at the beach.

The summer weather has brought us  plenty of humidity and heat, but we have also had the surf to cure both.  Those warm humid evenings have made for some wonderful beach evenings.  Whether I have been on the oyster rocks catching drum or standing on the beach flinging metal into the surf, I have had a great time.  I have also enjoyed some great cruises into the Swansboro marshes in our skiff.

I hope summer does not disappear too quickly.  Like many folks I am just getting warmed up. Today looks like a wonderful day for a hike along the beach in our world without walls.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring Is Sliding Fast, Beach Season Next


We had a cold spring and one stormy late April weekend, but the great weather has finally found us.

Blue skies and beautiful blue waters to match rescued us from the grip of some northern weather that had lost its way.

Finally, a week late, the first local strawberries arrived on April 24 and I am not far from picking my first ripe cherry tomato of the season.  The gardens are moving along faster than the fishing.

My two April kayak trips have resulted in nary a nibble, but conditions were windy so I did not stay out on the river long. I have heard of some fish being caught from the surf recently.

Our last weekend in April was a wonderful one with plenty of possibilities.  Our choice for the last April Sunday afternoon was a quick visit to Beaufort, one of our favorite places to visit.

We had a great time but walking by the water just made me want that much more to answer the call of the river or get back to one of our irresistible beaches.

I am hoping for a long beach hike on Friday, May 2.  I expect to get my feet wet since the water has warmed so much since by mid-April beach hike.

If you what an overview of the information that I provide about the Crystal Coast, visit my Life Along The Crystal Coast Page.

Many locals will tell you that there is no better way to see the area than through my eyes and their extensions, the lenses of my cameras. If you would like to see some of those pictures of the spectacular scenery in our area, check out our recently published $2.99 Kindle book, 100 Pictures, 1000 Words, A Crystal Coast Year. It is worth clicking on the link just to see the free sample of seven pictures. I picked the best 100 pictures from the over 40,000 that I took last year. Kindle reader software works on just about every platform including iPads and iPhones.

If you would like to subscribe to my monthly Crystal Coast newsletter, just scroll to the bottom of any 2014 post on my Crystal Coast Life blog and register.

We will be releasing a new printed version of our Emerald Isle Travel Guide before the middle of May.  Watch this space for more details.

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.