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Beach to the Horizon

About the only good thing about cold weather is that I get very little sand in my shoes. I will admit to being a warm weather beach walker. I admire those folks who get out on the beach when the temperatures are in the forties, and there is a stiff breeze.

However, admiring them is one thing and joining them is a whole other kettle of fish. I will walk the beaches in the upper fifties and low sixties as long as the wind has not come directly from Canada.

I snapped the picture in today's post over at the Point on Emerald Isle. It is one of my favorite places to walk, but it takes a few minutes to get to the beach from the parking area, and today was not the day for that kind of walk.

I did see a couple of beach walkers, but they were likely fooled like I was when I first got out of the car. As I was walking through the cut in the dune, I thought that maybe a walk on the beach might be in the realm of possibility. As soon as I got out in the open, I felt my body heat heading for South Florida which actually is not a lot warmer than us these days. There will be better days ahead.

The sight of sand and blue sky both running together at the water's edge is a captivating view. Whenever I come to the point, I always leave a little humbled. It is a place that makes me understand the vastness of the ocean and sky surrounding our planet.

Sometimes I think that my real world ends at the beaches on the Point, and the world of possibilities lives just out in the ocean beyond the Inlet. Often the best fishing is just after you get through the Inlet. When you are just a little off shore, it is easy to look out in the ocean and see nothing but water and blue sky running all the way to the horizon.

If you turn down and make a run along Hammocks Beach, it is rare to see very many people even in the busy time of the year. It is almost like there are two worlds, the one inside the Inlet and the other out in the ocean. When you are in the ocean, it is just you, your boat, the water, and the sky. There is a weak, easily broken line to shore with your cell phone and marine radio, but neither is strong enough to drag you out of the world beyond the Inlet.

There is also some excitement going out the Inlet into ocean. Along with that comes some relief when you guide the boat back towards the Intracoastal Waterway. There are days when you are racing a storm or the wind has picked up so much that the turn into your protected harbor comes with a great deal of satisfaction and relief.

I get some similar feelings when I take my kayak out into the White Oak River near our home at Bluewater Cove. The White Oak there is close to two miles wide and a pretty impressive river when you are sitting about six inches above the water. Days when I battle the wind to kayak, it is such a relief to return to our cove and be sheltered from the wind and waves.

Of course there are days on the beach, in the ocean, and in the river when the winds are quiet. Those are the days that I cherish the most,
An evening kayaking trip can often let you see the river at its most beautiful time. Then it is easily possible to see the river glassy smooth and beautiful early in the morning as you try to get out the Inlet in time to catch some Spanish mackerel.

If you frequent the Point a lot, you will see plenty of waves, sometimes with their tops cut off by wind, and more than your fair share of wind even in the summer.
This YouTube video of the ocean at the Point was taken in May of 2009. I would say that it shows a normal day at the Point.

As the sun starts to warm things, I will be back on the beach. I am looking forward to
a nice beach walk which will help erase the memories of this winter. With all the sand back at the point, I cannot wait to take a nice long hike when the temperatures are back to normal.

It will not be long before we are out to sea looking at the land and wondering why there are creatures stranded there in the surf when the waters beyond the Inlet offer so much promise.

One way or the other, I am
ready for this winter to end, and for spring to begin in earnest.