We get lucky on the heat

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 22:14.

The last few days have been brutally hot along most of the east coast.  Here on the coast near Emerald Isle managed to get through the heat wave with lower temperatures than most areas.

At a little after 3:30 PM on July 22, our temperature sensor hit 91.7 degrees Fahrenheit.  Considering that Washington, DC and the home of my college roommate along the New Jersey coast were both over 100 degrees Fahrenheit at that exact time, I am pretty happy with what we had to endure.

While this weather is hot, we have managed to have a strong breeze off the water for the last few days. Though it is hard to conceive, water at 83 degrees Fahrenheit produces a cooling breeze when interior temperatures are at over one hundred degrees.

On July 21, I went for a walk over at the Point at Emerald Isle. It was about 11:30 AM when I pulled into the Station Street Parking lot just off Coast Guard Road.  I got one of the last three parking places.

My hike out to the Point was just a little under two miles, but even the part along the street wasn't too bad because of the breeze.  At noon I was standing in the water at the Point.

I was a little amazed at how few people were around.  There is really no trouble finding some elbow room on the beach.  All you have to do is walk a few minutes.  I took this movie standing in the water and enjoying the wind and surf.

Fortunately for those of us who enjoy walking, most people are too lazy to do much walking.  In fact I walked behind a woman who parked in a handicapped parking space and managed to haul a heavily loaded beach cart across at least one hundred yards of beach. 

I was surprised to find that she was alone and had no handicapped person with her.  She was still on the beach when I got back from my hike. Her laziness is appalling, but it didn't prevent her from enjoying her boom box and electronic book reader.  The sad thing is that she could have parked in a regular parking lot and only had a five minutes longer walk.

In spite of my displeasure at someone stealing a handicapped spot from someone who might really need it, I am happy to be living near the beach.

In fact I was thinking recently of our vacations to beach in the fifties and early sixties.  The coastal cottages that we stayed in never had air conditioning.  Somehow we managed to survive, and we even had a tremendous amount of fun. Of course we were hardly ever in the rooms, and when we were we were so exhausted that falling asleep was never a problem.  I wonder how many of today's kids skip the beach and play computer games in their air conditioned beach houses?

Our family lived in the middle of North Carolina in Lewisville, NC.  We didn't get our first home air conditioning unit until the late fifties.  It only cooled one room.   Even then we didn't have an air conditioned car.  That didn't come until 1962.  Since we went to the beach almost ever year from 1949 when I was born until 1963 when I went away to McCallie, a Presybertian military school, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I expect we did a lot of riding with windows down.

The truth is that people have been coming to the beach to escape the heat for a long time.  This heat wave is no different from the many in the past.

Some records were set today, but fortunately here along North Carolina's Crystal Coast we managed to escape the worst of the heat.  That is one of the reasons we live along the Southern Outer Banks.

There are some benefits that come with living close to the water.  Escaping the worst heat and cold is just part of the what comes with living here.  Another benefit would be the glorious early morning ride I took down the deserted White Oak River in the midst of this heat wave on July 22. This movie of the boat ride might be a good way to cool off for those you aren't so fortunate.

While we escaped the worst of the heat from the late July heatwave, we are still desperate for some rain.  There is a chance of some next week. I hope it comes.

If living near the beach on the water by the White Oak River sounds like a good idea.  Have a look at this web page for 141 White Heron Lane.  Mouse over the text and click on it for more information.

You could end up being my neighbor since the house is next door to mine.

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