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Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring weather can throw anything at us

Swansboro fogged in viewed from the White Oak River

Swansboro swallowed by the fog
Sunday morning we got up to a very foggy world.  You could hardly see the White Oak River from our clubhouse in Bluewater Cove.

It took me a while to get going anyway, and the fog certainly did not help things.  As we got ready to go church at Cape Carteret Presbyterian, the fog began to clear
When we left the house, the skies had cleared and our neighbor was washing his truck.  On the way out of the subdivision, we met a couple of other neighbors walking their dogs in the fine weather.  By the time we got out of our of our car after the drive of seven or eight minutes, there was no question that Sunday, February 27,  was turning into a nice day.

After church, people seem to linger in the parking lot just to enjoy the warm temperatures instead of rushing to their cars as has been the case for most of the winter. Even our minister must have wanted to get outside, since his sermon seemed a little shorter than usual.  We were almost home when I looked at the clock and noticed that it was only five minutes after noon.

We had a simple lunch of leftover orange chicken which my wife had made from a recipe in the Eat What You Love Cookbook the previous Friday evening.  After cleaing up the kitchen, we "rested our eyes" for about ten minutes, and I checked on my tiny tomato seedlings growing in my upstairs office, then we loaded some cameras into the car and headed to Beaufort.

I am in the process of revising my popular area travel guides, and I wanted to get some fresh pictures of Beaufort before I started working on the web page.  The thirty-five minute drive to Beaufort was uneventful, but it did take place under a beautiful sunny blue sky.

We parked at one the dockside parking areas, and I started wandering the mostly deserted streets and snapping pictures of some of my favorite Beaufort spots.  My wife gamely tried to guess where I might wander and keep up with me but still stay in the warmth of the sun.

There were a fair number of people in Beaufort this particular Sunday, and some of them were out on the water.  While it was five or six degrees cooler than it was in Bluewater Cove, that is nothing unusual, especially this time of year.

After tiring of snapping pictures, we loaded up and headed home.  As we often do, we made the decision to go back down the beach instead of back on Highway 24 which was the way we came.  Going back down the beach in the afternoon close to sunset can be a real challenge.  It is an interesting enough experience that I even wrote a post, Driving into the sun, about it a couple years ago.

As is our normal practice, we made a stop along the beach to enjoy some ocean air and to snap some additional pictures.  The place we stopped was just inside of the town limits of Emerald Isle and high on a dune. After examining the waves through my telephoto lens, I almost wished that I had my fishing rod with me.  There were a number of seagulls feeding on small fish close to the shore.  Still it was fairly windy and the waves would have made fishing difficult, but it was still nice to be by the ocean on a sunny afternoon.

We pulled back on the road and headed on towards Emerald Isle.  We were enjoying the brand newasphalt pavement when I noticed that the cars coming towards us had turned on their head lights.  It was only another mile or so before we also disappeared into a fog bank which seem to clear only as we crossed the bridge from Emerald Isle to Cape Carteret.  From the bridge we could see that Swansboro was also engulfed in fog.

After the short drive home, we were unloading the car when I noticed a car had pulled into the house for sale just up the street from us.  As I watched them back out of the driveway I made the guess that they were coming in our direction.  Since I am a Realtor® and have my neighbor's waterfront home listed, I decided to amble out to the flyer box in case they stopped to get one.

I wasn't surprised when they stopped, and I did answer a few questions for them.  It turned out they were already working with another real estate agent who is a fishing buddy of mine.  They were curious about boating in Bluewater Cove and on the White Oak. I  suggested a couple of places where they might find homes in their price range.  Their parting question was whether or not there was enough water at that moment to go boating.  That was an easy question to answer since I had already looked at the tide level and decided to take my boat out to try to catch a sunset picture on the river.

We are lucky in Bluewater Cove.  The wind, weather, and tides have to work really hard to conspire to take most of our water away.  It is a rare day when we cannot get out on the river.  It might not be nice out there, but there is usually plenty of water to let us get there.

It only took me about five minutes to get my gear on the boat and the GPS hooked up.  Then I headed out the inlet to the first buoy, Red Sixteen, to try for my sunset picture.  I was not very surprised to see that Swansboro was still in a fog bank.  I was pleased to see that the recent warm temperatures have raised the water temperature to 60F.   I cannot believe how fast the water has warmed.  It was down to 36F in December.

The boat ride back to the dock was short and pleasant.  Sunday night the fog has found us again.   Monday I hear we are in for some high winds and very warm temperatures.  You just never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at you here on the coast. I can take anything but snow.

You can check out a few of my Beaufort pictures that I have managed to get onto the web.  They are not labeled yet, they are still nice.   You can also see our trip to Beaufort and back on a Google map.  It is a multi-page map.  Also if you are interested, you can even view my quick boat trip on another Google map.
Finally if you want to visit the area, here is my newly updated Emerald Isle Travel Guide for 2011.

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