We all have dreams that we chase. One of my first ones was to live close to the water. As a youngster wandering the quiet woods of Forsyth County several decades ago, I had visions of being able to walk outside and fish from my backyard. As close as we could get in those days was damming up a small stream or riding our bicycles to one of the local farm ponds. Those waters were ones where we had great fun, but I knew from our annual trips to the North Carolina coast that there were waters which dwarfed those small ponds. Some magical memories were made during those weeks we enjoyed lazy summer days in those early beach cottages. Yet life can and often does lead in different directions from your dreams.After college I managed to live for a few years along the shore in Maritime Canada, and later we spent a couple of years in Halifax, Nova Scotia where I could see the harbor from our bedroom. It is likely that those sojourns along the water combined with those early beach trips made it nearly inevitable that I would try to find a spot on North Carolina's coast.
It was a trip to Beaufort for our thirtieth anniversary that really got me interested in living by the water once again. The charm of Beaufort's waterfront and the easily accessible water all through Carteret County were two powerful arguments for finding a spot along the Crystal Coast.
We did want to make certain we were settling in the right spot. We ventured up to Virginia's eastern shore, tested the communities all down the northern Outer Banks to Ocracoke and even looked as far south as Southport and Oak Island.
None of the other spots had what we really wanted in a place to live. However at the time, it was hard to define what type of home we wanted along the Crystal Coast. Before we had our priorities settled, we looked at beach cottages and homes on the mainland even in the same day.
It took us a while to figure it out, but we finally decided that we really wanted to be on the water. We also wanted to have our future boat on a lift behind our home. With that thought to guide us, we were able to focus our search. We ended up in Bluewater Cove on the White Oak River since a soundfront home with a boat lift was out of our price range.
It has turned out to be a great location in an area that offers much to people like my wife and I who love a small town atmosphere and really want to be part of a community that stays active all year.
Having easy access to the river is something I enjoy almost every day. Being able to reach the Intracoastal Waterway in ten minutes by boat has really been a treat.
In different circumstances we might have ended up over on the beach. Being on the river has turned out to be a good decision for us . A fishing trip is something that I can do almost any morning or afternoon when the winds and water are cooperating. We often catch fish less than five minutes by boat from our home.
I have had the rare pleasure of catching fish, cleaning them on my dock, and cooking them all within an hour or two of when they were swimming in the river. Those are fish so fresh that are easy to remember.
While being on the water and fishing from the boat has been my passion, I do know others whose love for surf fishing makes living close to the beach more important.
One of these days, perhaps the surf will win my soul, and we will have to find a spot over on the beach where I can take my rod and walk to a fishing spot.
The beauty of the Crystal Coast is that I will not have to go far to find that spot.