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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Remember This as a Perfect Beach Day

There are days when the beach sand is so hot that it causes you to dance. Then there are days when the breeze is blowing enough to almost sand blast your ankles. Once in a while the waves are so rough that even the bravest swimmers stay on shore. Today was not a day that had a defect. The air was warm, but not too warm. There was a slight breeze, but the surf was very calm. It was just a great beach day. From my informal survey of the parking lots at the regional access points, there were plenty of people enjoying the beach. It is nice to have a day like today to make up for the rain on Monday. Those of us who live here needed the rain for our yards, flowers, and vegetables. While visitors might like all sunshine during the day and rain only at night, the weather is going to do what it wants.
From the looks of the long range forecast, next week might return to a more normal summer weather pattern with afternoon storms. This weekend might even be rainy. As usual we probably will not know until it happens.

With some rain in the forecast, we have to make the most of days like today. The challenge is always managing to get your work done and have some fun on the great days. I worked this morning, and just before lunch we headed up the beach.

We wanted to visit Crunch the Alligator Snapping Turtle who is on display at the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium. I like to think Crunch has just come north from the steamy south for a nice vacation.

Since we were running up the beach at lunch time, we decided to stop by the Crab Shack in Salter Path. We were there around 12:30 PM, and we were surprised at how many people were having lunch. It might have had something to do with the delicious baby flounder special which my wife and I both ordered.

We were back on our way shortly after one, and it did not take us long to get to the Aquarium. We have an annual membership so going just to see Crunch was only another excuse to enjoy the Aquarium. It turned out that Crunch was housed just across from the gift shop so we got to walk through the whole Aquarium anyway.

At 150 years old and 165 pounds, Crunch is an impressive turtle. We were lucky to get to see him move since he does appear to know how to stay motionless in the water. I have posted a few pictures that I took of Crunch.

After heading back down the beach, we stopped at Third Street Beach which was uncrowded compared to the regional access parking areas. There were a few people on the beach enjoying themselves, and the sea oats seemed to be at their peak. It was a little warm sitting up on the picnic table by the beach. Since we had not thought to wear bathing suits, we headed on home.

We had only been on the road for a couple of minutes when we noticed a huge amount of smoke coming from the Newport area. I am guessing that the smoke was coming from a controlled burn in the Croatan National Forest.

After taking a picture, we headed on back to Bluewater Cove. I managed to get a little more work done at home and to sneak in a quick nap before dinner. Since lunch was more than normal, we had tomato sandwiches for dinner. It is one of our regular summer meals since I grow our own tomatoes.

Having a quick dinner with no cooking allowed us to go for a ride on the White Oak. I had gone out last night hoping to catch the sunset. I ended up being about six minutes late last night. Tonight I made sure that I was plenty early. My wife agreed to ride with me so we rode most of the way to Swansboro before coming back to wait for the sunset.

It was extremely pleasant on the river with a light breeze and quickly cooling temperatures. I snapped a few pictures and a sunset. It was not exactly the one I wanted, but there is always tomorrow night. We have already invited friends to ride with us.

These are the pictures that I snapped on the White Oak this evening.

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