On this site I provide a quick monthly summary of what I have seen and done along the Crystal Coast in the last month.
If you need more frequent information, try visiting my Crystal Coast Life site at blogger. It provides a quick summary of what I have written recently.
The articles and how long they have been published are listed on the right side of the page under “MY BLOG LIST.”
For really detailed information about the Emerald Isle area check out our ebook, A Week at the Beach, An Emerald Isle Travel Guide. It is 87 pages of great information about the area. You even get some of my favorite recipes and pictures.
So what makes the summer of 2012 a classic? For starters we have returned a weather pattern that has helped to keep our area a great place to visit.
The beach weather that we have seen in July has been filled with classic North Carolina elements, especially heat and humidity.
One special element that has been absent for a couple of years has returned. That would be our afternoon thunderstorms.
Having a damp afternoon at the dock might be a slight inconvenience, but the moisture those afternoon storms bring are essential to life here on the coast.
Without summer thunderstorms, it is hard for us to have weather as it should be here on the coast.
With great summer weather, the possibilities for having fun have been limitless.
While it has been a little challenging finding good boating time between the summer heat and the winds, I have managed to have plenty of fun in our skiff.
I even managed to take our new Pastor at Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church for a quick fishing trip one morning.
We visited most of my favorite spots and even crossed over from the Point area (pictured above) to the channel behind Hammocks Beach.
The area behind Hammocks Beach is one of the most scenic places in an area that has no shortage of beautiful spots. 2012 has been a great boating year so far.
Until we hit this recent spell of hot weather, we had skies more like fall skies than summer ones.
Bluewater Cove where we live has been particularly nice this summer. I have enjoyed watching the egrets and herons catch fish all during June and July.
My morning walks normally take me by the scene directly above these comments. I can usually tell what weather is in store for us by having a close look at the water and sky.
Some mornings I have headed off in our Sundance skiff to fish in the marshes by Swansboro. Most of the time I have managed to be back at our dock by 8 AM so I can get my work done.
There are some real advantages to living only ten minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway. Quick morning fishing trips are just part of the package.
There have also been days when getting in the kayak and paddling out to the White Oak River has been irresistible.
I particularly enjoy my kayak because you feel really close to the water, and I can sneak up on the birds and get some great pictures.
The kayak is also a great way to get some exercise, and it is an easy way to fish some of the more difficult areas to reach on the river.
It takes me less than ten minutes of paddling to reach the river. Once out of our inlet there is plenty of structure to fish. In the last few weeks fish have been hard to come by, but I did lose a very nice flounder on the 4th of July.
It was a nice enough flounder that I will have no trouble remembering where he lives.
While the weather and water have been great for kayaking and zooming down the river in my skiff, it has also been nearly perfect weather for hikes along the beaches.
On a recent trip to the Point, I hiked 4.5 miles just tracing the edge of the beach back to the area that locally was known as the Bottle Trees.
Unfortunately people were taking advantage of the area and destroying its scenic beauty so the town had to clean it up. The bottles on the Bottle Trees are gone.
My hikes around the Point and over at Hammocks Beach have reminded me that I live in one of the most scenic areas on the East coast. The beach out beyond the yellow houses at the Point is truly a special place.
Of course with a truly classic summer, swimming has to be part of it. I’m fortunate to just live across the cul-de-sac from our neighborhood swimming pool.
In the last few weeks, most days the voices of neighborhood children could be heard at our pool. The sound of children playing in a pool is a real sign of summer.
So the first weeks of summer here on the Crystal Coast have been filled with heat, humidity, thunderstorms, boating, fishing, kayaking, beach hikes and swimming.
I have even helped my granddaughter build some sand castles out by the surf. On top of that we recently visited the Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores. Aquariums and sand castles just have to be part of a real summer.
With all those elements it is hard to deny that 2012 is shaping up to be a classic summer. One last element seals the deal, our church, Cape Carteret Presbyterian held a hamburger and hot dog cookout on July 1 with Bogue Sound watermelon for dessert.
If tales of kayaking, beautiful beaches, and fishing at your doorstep sound enticing and make you wish for that feeling of an evening at the beach, you can find some quick links for planning a beach vacation at my Welcome to the Beach site.
If you have already made up your mind to come for a visit, you will find my updated Emerald Isle Travel Guide very useful.
Even better, take the plunge and get the full scoop on what to do at the beach by buying our book, “A Week at the Beach, An Emerald Isle Travel Guide.” It is available in Kindle format and can be read on almost any electronic device by using free Kindle reader software.
There are lots more links to pictures and regular events on the coast at my Crystal Coast Links page.
More general information about the mainland where I live is available at this link to a post about the area from Swansboro to Cape Carteret.
Why we love it here?
It is hard to say that any place is perfect. However, for those who think a walk on the beach is better than a trip to the mall, the Crystal Coast is hard to beat.
For thoughts on where we have chosen to live, I would steer you to my articles, Ten ways Carteret County met our needs and Why I love living in Carteret County
My Crystal Coast, Salt Water on Your Feet site also has a number of articles for people considering a move to the Crystal Coast.
You will also find links to lots of pictures and information at my new Crystal Coast Life introduction page.
Reading those articles lets you spend a virtual day with me. You can feel for how easy it is to enjoy life along the White Oak River. Living in a small subdivision near Cape Carteret isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we have found it to be a great place for boating, relaxing, and learning to appreciate the world around us.
Our area is close to services and even closer to the beach but not on the beach. We have a dock behind the house, and there are some great trails nearby. I can ride my bike in the neighborhood and not face a lot of traffic. We’ve even found a great church home at Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church.
I also use my kayak on the White Oak River and have learned to love exploring the river and surrounding waters with our skiff.
This area also has some great festivals like the Newport Pig Cookoff, the Emerald Isle Saint Patrick's Day, the Swansboro Mullet Festival and the Swansboro Oyster Roast. We continue to be impressed with the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade.
It is a friendly area with a great future. So right now it is the spot for us. I often write about the area in my other websites. If you are a very avid reader, you might find some similar content on multiple sites, but usually the content is fairly specific to the sites.
These are additional sites where you can find even more information.
Crystal Coast Life
Crystal Coast Life Blog
Crystal Coast Blog 09
Crystal Coast Blog 08
Some archived articles