Certainly we did not jump directly from winter to summer this year like we have in some years.
It has been just cool enough for us to have an extended spring and enjoy the slow unfolding of another year’s new vegetation.
Often our Bradford pear trees bloom and leaves show up in just a couple of days. Our daffodils rarely last more than a few days. This year has been different.
We did not have any really warm weather in March and we even got a few close brushes with frost in early April. The result has been a long but fairly normal spring. We are still eating our lettuce which often becomes too bitter before the end of April.
Fortunately the winds have only been bad a couple of times. Also unlike 2010 when we got to the third week in June with only two inches of rain for the previous ninety days.
This year we have already had four inches of rain in the last thirty days. To cap that off we had a downpour on May 1 which will add another inch to that total. Soil moisture can disappear quickly in our sandy soils, but we should be good through late May at least.
On a recent warm afternoon I paddled out into the White Oak River and did a quick shakedown of my fishing equipment.
Checking out our spring waters is something that I do each year with the hope that I will find an early fish.
I did not find any fish other than a jumping mullet or two, but I did have a great time out on the water. When the weather is unpredictable like it has been in April, living close by the water is a wonderful advantage.
It takes me ten minutes to leisurely paddle out into the river. I can easily be home even quicker than that if need be. I have yet to miss a week dropping my skiff into the water and taking it down the river.
I can also be in Swansboro by skiff in ten minutes. A couple of times in the dead of winter I turned around before Jones Island because of cold. Still that is not bad considering a lot of folks do not get any boating in during the winter.
A couple of days I would have to rate the beach walking conditions as nearly perfect.
The sand continues to build on the North end of the Point which I like to call the End of the Sand. So far I would give this spring beach season an acceptable mark for those of us living here but a little tough for our visitors.
We have seen some nice weekends like the last one in March which I wrote about in this post, Hello from Emerald Isle. However, some weeks we have seen back to back not so nice wet and cool days.
You always gamble a lot when you vacation at the beach in April. In April 2012 we had nine days after the middle of the month when the temperatures got to 70F or better. April 2013 looks like it finished with only four or five 70F or better days after the middle of the month and they were right around the middle. Fortunately May is starting out warmer.
The winds have not been calm enough or the water warm enough to venture over by the Point in a boat yet. While the waters like those in picture between the Point and Bear Island look inviting, the truth is that we need a little more warmth. Only those who ignore the weather have been over there by boat so far this spring. Last year we made our first trip over to the Point by boat on April 22.
However it will not be much longer before we can enjoy those ocean mixed waters. Even our waters cannot resist the warmth that builds along the Carolina coast by early June.
In 2011 I took an early dip in the ocean waters. I declared the ocean to be Perfect Dipping Water. I do not have a record of my first dip in the water for 2012, but I doubt it was earlier. Things will have to speed up for 2013 to challenge that May 28 date.
However, one thing you learn quickly here is that weather along the coast is very hard to predict. Mostly I enjoy the surprise of finding weather different than what I might expect each morning.
Since the first of March I have published two books. In early March I finished my book, A Taste for the Wild, Canada’s Maritimes. If you enjoy what I write and want to know more about me, this one book which is only $2.99 will provide a lot of insight into the person that I am.
If you need some help convincing your spouse that a trip to Canada’s Maritimes would be worthwhile, the book builds a strong case that Americans should visit Canada’s three Maritime provinces, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. I like to say the book is worth the $2.99 just for the story about our honeymoon on the barrens of Newfoundland where we almost disappeared.
The book, The 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide - A Week at the Beach, has many pictures, maps, and suggestions for a great vacation her on the coast. You can still vacation here and pretend that this is an earlier time if you leave the iPods and smartphones at home.
Do not miss our book, it is a beach lover’s guide to loving the beach.
If you are interested in more information about me, check out the about me section of my main website.
It has links to many other places where my writing is posted. You can also visit this site to see what I have recently published.
More general information about the mainland where I live is available at this link to my Swansboro to Cape Carteret area page.
You will find some helpful area details that might make folks think you are a local, but for the real local experience and information head for our travel guide.
Why we love it here?
It is hard to say that any place is perfect. However, for those who think a walk on the beach is better than a trip to the mall, the Crystal Coast is hard to beat.
For thoughts on where we have chosen to live, I would steer you to my articles, Ten ways Carteret County met our needs and Why I love living in Carteret County
My Crystal Coast, Salt Water on Your Feet site also has a number of articles for people considering a move to the Crystal Coast.
You will also find links to lots of pictures and information at my new Crystal Coast Life introduction page.
Reading those articles lets you spend a virtual day with me. You can feel for how easy it is to enjoy life along the White Oak River. Living in a small subdivision near Cape Carteret isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we have found it to be a great place for boating, relaxing, and learning to appreciate the world around us.
Our area is close to services and even closer to the beach but not on the beach. We have a dock behind the house, and there are some great trails nearby. I can ride my bike in the neighborhood and not face a lot of traffic. We’ve even found a great church home at Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church.
I also use my kayak on the White Oak River and have learned to love exploring the river and surrounding waters with our skiff.
This area also has some great festivals like the Newport Pig Cookoff, the Emerald Isle Saint Patrick's Day, the Swansboro Mullet Festival and the Swansboro Oyster Roast. We continue to be impressed with the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade.
It is a friendly area with a great future. So right now it is the spot for us. I often write about the area in my other websites. If you are a very avid reader, you might find some similar content on multiple sites, but usually the content is fairly specific to the sites.
These are additional sites where you can find even more information.
Crystal Coast Life
Crystal Coast Life Blog
Crystal Coast Blog 09
Crystal Coast Blog 08
Some archived articles