Crystal Coast

Waiting for action

I was driving by the Waterway Inn on Route 24 this evening and saw this fishing boat ready for action sitting out in the Intracoastal Waterway.

I am glad we live where there are still fishing boats.

Fishing boats equal fresh fish and great local shrimp.

I am not sure I could back to eating seafood from a grocery store.

It is just not the same as going down to Clyde Phillip's and picking one off the ice and waiting for it to be professionally cleaned.

I think the only way you get fresher fish is to catch them yourself which we do sometimes.

I will admit that this year my flounder has all come from Clyde Phillips and some of the other local markets. I have struck out on flounder so far.

A Lobster Feast at Saint Francis by the Sea

A few weeks ago we sampled our first area Lobster Feast at Swansboro. The lobsters were delicious, and it was also a chance to meet some new people.

We were happy to find out that the September Swansboro Lobster Fest is followed each year by the Saint Francis by the Sea one in Salter Path. They both done by Episcopal Churches as fund raising events.

We really had a wonderful time at the Saint Francis event today. Everything was very well organized, and they even had plenty of parking. There couldn't have been a nicer day to have this.

I wonder if anyone is having one in November?

Trattoria comes to Swansboro

Late Sunday afternoon we were searching for new neighborhoods that might be of interest to real estate clients when we noticed the open sign in the building by Swansboro's park on the White Oak River.

We actually had stopped in a week ago when we saw them working on the Trattoria restaurant. At that time they told us they were going to have a limited menu before their scheduled grand opening on Friday, October 5.

Today when we saw the open sign, my wife immediately decided it was too late to go home to cook dinner, so we went to check out the area's newest eatery.

I ordered a bowl of Pasta Fagioli soup which turned out to be excellent especially when combined the delicious warm bread served with olive oil mixed with garlic. Also as an appetizer we ordered a single slice of pizza which turned out to a custom combination of fantastic olives, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and sun dried tomatoes. It was excellent.

For our main course we had a few slices of Trattoria's White Pizza. The wonderful, crispy crust was brushed with olive oil and then covered with fresh Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Ricotta cheeses. We added spinach and Italian sausage. It was outstanding. I am looking forward to enjoying the rest of it for lunch one day.

We also got to taste a very decadent Cannoli from the dessert menu. Some of the other diners got salads which looked fantastic.

We are already confirmed customers and looking forward to enjoying our next meal at Trattoria. The prices were very reasonable.

It is always nice to get a new restaurant to enjoy during the winter.


Unforgettable clouds

Yesterday was another warm day. We did a little boating in the morning but the heat got to me, and I decided that there are better times to be on the water.

There were some big clouds beginning to build to the north of us so I decided we would come in and clean the boat up with the hope that better weather would show up this weekend.

Later in the day, I was taking sunset photos from the Swansboro bridge near Clyde Phillips Seafood when I saw a boat streaking across the harbor. I looked to the east and saw the cloud formation that had them moving so fast.

As you can see it was very impressive. I would want to offshore or even in the Intracoastal Waterway with those clouds bearing down on me.

I think they stayed off shore, but they were certainly impressive.

Trucks on the Point

It is definitely time to catch some fish on the Point at Emerald Isle.

We drove out today to catch the sunset. It was pretty spectacular.

I still can't get over how the Point has changed.

When I took this picture, I had pulled my truck to the top of the entrance ramp to get some height for the picture.

There so little room left to drive, I am wondering how much I will use the permit that I got for beach driving.

It looks a lot more challenging at some of the other entrances, but at least their beach hasn't disappeared.

There's actually more sand on the Point than there used to be, it just isn't where it was this winter.

A visit to Fort Macon

It was a very warm September Sunday afternoon when we spent a few minutes checking out the fortifications at Fort Macon.

We go to the beach there once in a while just to watch the boats come in from offshore, but this is the first time we have been in the Fort.

It is an impressive spot with a commanding view and obviously a good place to lob shell at your attackers.

It must have been a tough place to build a fort.

Fort Macon reminds me a little of the Citadel in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but the Citadel has a lot more elevation.

Emerald Isle's 50th Birthday Party

We dodged the afternoon torrential downpours and enjoyed a wonderful Lobster Dinner at Saint Peter's by the Sea in Swansboro.

My hat is off to congregation. It was better than a PEI Lobster Dinner.

After the rains stopped we decided to catch the last of Emerald Isle's 50th birthday party.

We got there in time to hear a speech by Mayor Art Schools who helped me with my Emerald Isle Travel Guide. I have to give the town staff and all their volunteers credit for doing a great job.

I also managed to sample some wonderful barbecue by Ice House Catering, and my wife got a half price burger and Orangeade from Andy's.

I assume the aggressive pricing was due to the afternoon rains keeping the crowds away.

Unfortunately the band had a lot of trouble tuning up. It was well after six pm when Mat Kearney, the famous singer of the day came on stage.

We still had a great time, and enjoyed our walk to the concert.

A Rainy day for a change

Today, September 20, has been one of the first rainy days that we have enjoyed in ages.

Once I was done with work, we dropped by Clyde Phillips Seafood.

They were bagging up some Shrimp for the freezers. Our two pounds seemed pretty small compared to the large bags ready to be frozen.

We enjoyed some of those frozen Shrimp last winter. They were a fantastic winter treat. I hope I never eat imported Shrimp again.

We then headed across the bridge to Emerald Isle to see if we could find some excitement.

Today wasn't a great day for photography, but we have been away for a week. I was desperate to feel the sand and check the ocean.

We drove down to the Point and found that surf fishing season is definitely in full swing.

There were trucks parked in several places. The real excitement was that Bluefish were being caught.

In fact in the short time that it took me to walk over to the trucks, two Bluefish were landed.

Since I have become someone who enjoys fried Bluefish, I was curious if the fishermen planned to keep their catch.

The one guy I talked to said his wife only allowed him to bring home fish which have both of their eyes on the same side of their body.

I guess we know which fish they enjoy. Rumor has it there are some Flounder being caught in the Coast Guard Channel.

I was also impressed with the changes to the Point since I was there last winter.

Gabrielle has come and gone

Gabrielle has come and gone.

In western Carteret County we got a nice rain and little more than that.

Sunday afternoon's sunset was a pleasing reminder that sometimes storm predictions are little more than best guesses.

We prepared for the worst and hoped for the best.

We got the best which was some moisture for the crops and our yards.

For me it was good practice for the time when we do have a storm. We secured the skiff to the lift and in general battened down the hatches.

More than anything we did some thinking about what we would do if a serious storm showed up.

I think we are better off for having had a visit by Gabrielle. I hope other areas are as fortunate.

I did post some storm shots in a web gallery.

Saturday I posted my revised Emerald Isle Travel Guide. I hope people planning their vacations find it useful

If your fear of hurricanes is keeping you from considering Carteret County as a spot for a second home or retirement, you might want to read my post on hurricanes.

Pictures are a great way to view our area, and I have created a web page dedicated to slides shows and images from the Southern Outer Banks.

If you want a quick tour of what it is like to live on the coast, check out this link to a brief tour of my first year on the coast.

I also have another web page with some of my favorite posts and recipes.

The last weekend of summer

Waves at the beach
It is the last weekend of summer. The skies have cleared. The temperatures have moderated.

Anyone left on the beach is still enjoying their time there.

The water is still plenty warm and any crowding is mostly waiting for a seat at the area restaurants.

Today we drove up to Pine Knoll shores where this picture was taken. We took a short walk on the beach and then visited another beach access in the area.

After that we drove to Salter Path where we walked out the elevated boardwalk to the beach. It was so nice out there sitting above the beach in the breeze that we never made it down the steps to the beach.

On the way home I stopped to snap a picture of the Emerald Isle Bridge, the marshes at Croatan Park, and a beautiful White Oak River sunset. All the pictures are posted in a set on Flickr.

The path to the beach is still open

Path to the points
Summer is beginning to slip away even as the heat hangs on along the coast.

It will not be many weeks before we will start experiencing cools breezes once again.

The air will clear. The beaches will empty, and the Crystal Coast will pretty much revert to the permanent residents.

It is a great time to come to the beach. I am already starting to hear from people who want to visit in the fall in anticipation of a move next year.

There is no better time to come than when we have warm days and cool evenings.

I have put together a number of listings for those interested in browsing the property available in our end of Carteret County.

Pictures are a great way to view our area, and I have a web page dedicated to slides shows and images that I have taken over the last year.

If you want a quick view of what it is like to live on the coast, check out this link to a brief tour of my first year on the coast.

I also have a new web page with some of my favorite posts and recipes.