We have had plenty of sunshine, enough moisture, and just a few rainy spells. Aside from a few really hot days, it has been a really good beach summer. While we had the threat of a couple of hurricanes, nothing has materialized to threaten the Crystal Coast. While we are not completely out of the hurricane season, we are starting to relax a little.
The waters did stay stirred up with lots of wind for longer than normal this season, but that is a minor complaint in what has been a very successful summer for our beach community.
The big excitement in early summer was the dredging that took place in Bogue Inlet. The old channel on the West side of the Inlet became problematic to get through and a new channel was dredged in early summer and eventually marked. However, the channel seems to have a mind of its own and kept boaters guessing for much of the summer.
We have enjoyed some magnificent beach evenings this year. All our beaches have remained in good shape throughout the summer with some minor changes that are not surprising. Third Street beach was steep with a bench of sand for much of the summer and then the high waters from Jose and Maria took away the bench and smoothed the slope of the beach. The same high waters created a bench near the Point. It not unusual to have changing sands on our shores.
Our last hot spell peaked on September 21 with the temperature approaching 90F before lunch. Then the heat broke with an afternoon of storms which drove the temperature down over twenty degrees in a couple of hours. We got an inch of rain out of the storm. Since that our weather has steadily improved. The last two weeks have delivered only one-tenth of an inch of rain while temperatures remained in the upper seventies to low eighties in daytime and dropped as far down as 50F at night. Most of morning temperatures have been around sixty degrees Fahrenheit. It has been wonderfully fall like with the heat pumps hardly running.
The day after the hot weather broke, I went fishing in the White Oak in our skiff. We fished hard all morning with my partner focusing on using live bait while I stuck with artificial lures. Just before noon I switched to a white Gulp shrimp. On the first cast and the first twitch of the Gulp, a drum hit and I had once of the nicest battles that I have had in a long time. The drum peeled line off my reel five or six times before we could slide the net under the 22 inch fish. Folks in our neighborhood have been regularly catching drum all through August and September. I got my first drum of the season, a twenty-one inch one on August 1. Now that October has arrived, some trout are also being caught.
It appears spot fishing season has already started slowly with a few boats showing up around the bridges. The season is starting earlier than last year which was later than normal (pictures taken November 3, 2016 and October 8, 2011 and October 8, 2014). Still the best of the fall fishing should be ahead of us as long as the fall weather continues dry and storm free.
It has been a great summer for taking pictures. I have had the opportunity to snap some wonderful pictures like the one of the sulfur butterfly in the hibiscus. Many of those great pictures have been included in the 2017-18 Kindle version of our travel guide for Emerald Isle. This album, created September 16, 2017, comes from photos taken during my most recent hike at the Point.