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A Wonderful Saturday at the Beach

You know that summer is on the way when tomatoes start ripening, and the beach is a natural place to be on a Saturday.

Late last week, the weekend forecast did not sound very promising, but after
a great day on the river Friday, it just seemed natural that I spend part of Saturday on the beach.

I was pleased when I awoke Saturday morning to blue skies and the idea that those thunderstorms were going to miss us. After doing my morning shores, I stuck a cooler in the back of the car and headed to beach. A couple of stops later, and I was was pulling into Third Street Beach.

I am usually willing to take the gamble that Third Street Beach will be uncrowded. My wife would rather go to beach where there is a faucet to wash your feet off when you exit the beach. I can rough it and wait until I get home to rinse off the sand.

Just in case the fish were biting, my fishing gear was in the back of the car along with a cold beverage in my ice filled cooler. I was surprised that more than just a few folks were fishing. After watching for several minutes, I decided a stroll along the beach would be more productive than feeding shrimp to fish.

It never ceases to amaze me how much beaches can change in such a short time. Not long ago Third Street had a shelf that you could sit upon while you enjoyed the waves. That is now gone, and the beach itself is a little steeper and less linear. There are more points and tiny coves. I think the beach is more interesting than it was. The changes have made it even more fun to walk along the beach and watch the waves.

Saturday as you can see from the picture, the water and sky color were absolutely spectacular. It was a real treat to watch the sky and water change colors as clouds passed over. Far to the east up the beach, I could see some threatening clouds, but behind me to the north over Bogue Sound there was nothing but puffy white clouds and brilliant blue sky. To the south, just off shore, I could see a handful of boats trying to catch some fish.

It was so pleasant out walking in the damp sand as the waves rolled in that I walked farther down the beach than I usually do. My wife accuses me of doing nothing my dawdling on the beach since I am always taking pictures. This time I took
a lot of shore bird pictures and still managed to get in a good beach walk.

My only mistake was a miscalculation on the sand temperature. By the time I got back to the bottom of the stairs leading off the beach, the sand had warmed enough to the point that I was hopping around trying to keep my feet from burning.

Another surprise was how few people I saw once I got away from the beach access point. Very few of the beach houses seemed to have anyone out on the beach taking advantage of the great weather.

I suspect a stroll down the beach this Memorial Day weekend will yield a lot more people out enjoying the sun, sand, and emerald colored waters. The first three days of this week look a little unsettled with a chance of wind and thunderstorms. However by Friday, the weather clears, and next week looks to be a fantastic week to open the beach season.

The temperatures are expected to be in the mid-seventies to low eighties with sunshine except a light morning rain on Saturday June 5. Next week will be a great week to renew your friendship with the beach.

There are all sorts of good things to enjoy. Fresh local blueberries are now available along with local shrimp right off of the boat. Our area hothouse tomatoes are especially tasty this year, and I had some very tasty softshell crabs from my grill this past weekend.

I am sure you will not be disappointed with what is waiting for you on the beach.