Yesterday I drove up to the Eastern Regional Beach Access on Emerald Isle. I purposefully left around 4 PM so I would get caught in traffic on the Emerald Isle bridge.
I think that I missed the peak of the traffic because it only really stopped twice on the bridge. It did take almost eight or nine minutes to get through Emerald Isle. That gets a moderately congested rating from me.
Once I got through Emerald Isle's four stop lights, I made it to the Eastern Regional Access quickly. I just wanted to check out the waves and see how many people were in the water. There were plenty of people there, and lots of them were in the surf.
Even in my younger days, I think that I would have been very careful in waves like I saw Saturday. It is just too easy to end up in trouble when the water is stirred up that much. I posted some wave pictures. You can use your own judgment to determine how far out in the water you would venture.
Just the day before my visit to the beach, thirteen people were rescued from the water due to boating accidents. I have boated and been in the water enough to respect the ocean. Based on my personal reading of the area waters, I would not have been out on the water. I would rather be safe than sorry.
Everyone has their own acceptable level of risk. Maybe it is a little easier for us residents to skip a bad beach or boat day than it is for visitors who have driven a long way, but you can have lots of fun at the beach in knee deep water. There's also plenty of safe boating water inside the Inlet.
Most of us who have had a look at the Inlet this year have decided that it is a lot more challenging than it was last year or the year before. We were out once this year and got blindsided by some pretty good waves in an area we did not expect them.
We have not had any trouble finding plenty of safe spots to boat. We recently had a great trip to Hammocks Beach-Bear Island. We have spent plenty of time on the inside of the Inlet, and we have even enjoyed a trip that took us ten miles up the White Oak, north of Stella.
We live in an area with scenery that can sweep you off your feet. It is, however, still something of a wild spot. There are no houses where we went up the White Oak. The beaches here do not have life guards, and there is a lot of challenging boating water in the area. This is a place where you need to understand that you are not on a pond in a city park.
This is a very safe area, everyone just needs to remember, ultimately you are responsible for your fate. If you do something really stupid, you can suffer the consequences when the ocean is involved.
We have finally seen the back of our drought broken. After the showers this afternoon, we are already up to over six inches for the month of July. I suspect that is plenty to keep the centipede yards growing for the rest of the month. Unfortunately the rains came too late for many farm crops, and I have a good sized water bill from keeping my yard green in June.
I am heading off to walk on the beach after our afternoon thunderstorms. A wet beach is a different animal than a hot sunny one. I will take pictures.