Winter did not give the Crystal Coast any frozen precipitation this year. Most residents were happy about that. Winter was a nice enough that it was hard to call it winter. March was windy and cool enough that it seemed like we were living on spring memories without any real spring.
Still this is North Carolina and spring eventually won. We got our garden in the ground and we have had a very pleasant run of weather. The exception being the unusual first week of April frost that scared us. It almost seems like the scurrying around for buckets to cover plants never happened. With the temperatures hovering near ninety the second week of June 2016, the only coolness has been a couple of mornings that we sneaked into the low sixties. No one is doubting that summer has arrived along with our summer guests.
As you can see from the wave pictures the water looks perfect. After four days of wading it over the last ten days, I assure you that our saltwater also feels close to perfect. There is just enough of a slight chill to cool you off on a hot day.
The biggest difference in weather from last year at this time is that we have enjoyed relatively normal precipitation. That is a stark contrast to last year when the rains started falling and did not stop until the year was over. By October 2015, I was complaining about the over 37 inches of rain that we had received since June 1.
We have just finished a stellar Memorial Day Weekend. While we had the threat of Tropical Storm Colin hanging over us, that did not keep the crowds away. We did manage to get three and one quarter inches from Colin but not until June 7 long after everyone had headed home from Memorial Day. Since then we have enjoyed mostly blue skies and warm temperatures. I will remember this year's Memorial Day for a couple of reasons. There were two accidents on the bridge, one Friday afternoon and the second on Saturday morning. The first accident it took me forty-five minutes to make my normal run of ten minutes to the tourist bureau on the island. The second one was only twenty minutes.
However that was just a chance to enjoy the view from the bridge. Our waters look positively fishy at times (see the marsh above) but I will admit to a slow start to the fishing season. I have managed to eat only one 17" trout that was caught from my boat by a new neighbor. The handful of trips that I have made into the river have yet to produce any fish worthy of bragging. Still as the old saying goes, "A bad day fishing still beats a good day in the office" so I will keep dipping the paddle into the water.
Fortunately when fishing does not produce any excitement, I can go for beach walks. On June 13, I did my most recent hike on the Point at Emerald Isle. I managed to reach the mailbox the town has installed at the northernmost end of the Point. The hike ended up being 3.1 miles. I try to map the hikes so that I can compare the changes in the sand at the Point over the years.
Even with strong visitor numbers early in the season, the beaches here in our end of the Crystal Coast remain relatively uncrowded. That is the one of the reasons that I enjoy living here so much. Still when there is wreck on the bridge even the most optimistic of us can get a little impatient but I always have a camera with me. If I am lucky enough to be caught in stopped traffic on the bridge, I just take pictures like the next one of the Captain Phillips headed out after some shrimp.
June is a particularly great time to visit the Crystal Coast. Our produce stands are overflowing with wonderful goodies from our area's fields. The blueberries have been here for a while and the tomato crop should be in soon. We have been enjoying local beans, onions, squash and potatoes for a while. I suspect the local corn will be ready in the next couple of weeks.
If you need some encouragement to visit, I put together an online photo album of wave pictures that I took at Third Street.