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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Heat Games

With a summer as warm as the one 2011 has given us, enjoying the out of doors means playing a few games with the heat.

If you try to take the heat head on, you need to be near some water where you can jump in quickly to cool off, and sometimes in this heat, a swimming pool does not provide a lot of cooling power.

The ocean waters by the beach are the last refuge of cool water here on the coast.  When the swimming pools get too warm, the beach is the place to go.  However, even there you have to plan your journey.

There is nothing worse than a long hike in the middle of day across hot beach sand if you dragging equipment for a group of people.  We are lucky in the Emerald Isle area because our beach areas are rarely crowded during the week.  It is rare that you have to walk very far to get your own space.

One of my favorite beach areas, Third Street Beach, requires a little driving, but it offers a short trip to the beach, and generally smaller numbers of people and sometimes even better fishing.

Another heat game that I play is getting out on the water before it turns hot.  Sometimes if we are fishing, we will leave the dock by 6:00 AM and be back before 9 AM when it starts getting hot.  Even if I am just going for a quick boat ride, I try to leave early and come back early.  My favorite morning ride from the river to the sound usually starts by 7:30 AM and is over by 8:00 AM.

If the heat is especially bad, we sometimes don't even head over to the beach until 5:00 PM.  Evening at the beach is one of my favorite times.  It is hard to beat the light for photography, and there is almost always a breeze though even that can disappear on some very muggy nights.

As residents of the area, we are actually used to the heat.  One of the tricks that we use is learning to live with air conditioning set at 78F so your body doesn't go into shock coming and going from the out of doors.

Another way to deal with the heat is learning to not rush.  You can get a lot done outside in the heat if you learn to pace yourself, take breaks, drink lots of fluid, and find some shade when you need it.

While the heat might seem like an enemy, a few games will make it a less formidable opponent.

If you want more information about the beach and the Crystal Coast, check out my "Welcome to the Beach" page for links to other articles.

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