Crystal Coast

A Different View Of The River

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A lot of people drive across the White Oak River at the Highway 24 bridges in Swansboro.  A far smaller number visitors venture up the White Oak in a boat.   The zig and zag of the mostly marked channel in the White Oak tends to limit the number of out of town visitors.  There are only a handful of folks who regularly kayak on the White Oak between the Croatan National Forest Access in Cedar Point and the bridges.  Up river where I am the number dwindles to almost zero.

Many weeks from March through January I am out on the river three or more times either in my kayak or our skiff.  I even manage once a week trips during February which is usually our coldest month.  I have only been within hailing distance of another kayak once in my years on the river.  The river just does not get a lot of traffic.   It is not unusual for me to see a boat or two while I am kayaking.  However, that is not much on a river almost two miles wide.  read more »


High Water In The Marshes

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I love having a home on an inlet of a big tidal river.  Living with the rhythms of the tides means that things are never exactly the same along the water.
When we get a really low tide,  the marsh becomes beach front property for fiddler crabs.  If we get a really high tide, just about anything can be wandering in the water covered marsh grass including my favorite fish, the red drum.

How high the tide goes depends on lots of things including the wind direction, the moon, and what storm happens to be riding up the coast.

Things get even more exciting out on the river.  During a very high tide, oyster bars can be submerged and the river can look like a lake that is easy to navigate.
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Summer Is Not Leaving Yet

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When you wake up in the morning and the temperature is just below eighty degrees Fahrenheit, you know that summer is planning to hang around a while.  When that warm morning is followed by an afternoon downpour, you can assume you are still in a summer weather pattern.

Many of us, including some fish, were tricked the last couple of weeks around the middle of August.  We had some temperatures in the sixties and we thought that maybe fall was just around the corner.  With four or five nights when the temperatures got into the sixties, the swimming pools got a little chilly and we fishermen started getting excited.

Unfortunately it was a false alarm.  The warmth is back and it looks like it will be here for at least a couple of weeks. The extra days of warmth are good news for beach goers and the tourism folks, but with the drop in traffic from school starting, it will probably not have a huge impact on this season.  read more »


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The Balancing Act With Rain

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We finished June and started July with lots of rain which was much needed.  June brought us almost nine inches of rain and we got another couple of inches the first two days of July. That is a lot of rain in a short time.

Fortunately the rest of the week of the 4th of July has turned out great.  We always hope our visitors will have wonderful weather for their vacations and once again it has happened.

However, it is a balancing act when it comes to rain.  We have lots of farmers in the area in addition to plenty of residents who grow many of their own vegetables. I like to say that we try to schedule the rain at night but it rained much of the last weekend of June.

It is great when we can have weather that pleases almost everyone.  It has been perfect beach weather since the rain early in the week.
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Welcome Rain

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We are not as close to the land as we were in seventies and early eighties when we living on a farm in Atlantic Canada and growing almost all our own food.

However, we still drive by fields on our way to the grocery store but now they are corn and winter wheat instead of hay and oats. Our local corn is waist high this first week of June 2013. It is certainly looking much better than it did a week ago. The winter wheat is almost ready to harvest.

Most people think ocean and beaches when they hear our home up the White Oak River is less than ten minutes from the beaches of Emerald Isle.

However, we are here for more than just the beaches. We came to Western Carteret County because of the protected setting of the area’s beaches and the small town environment. Those farm fields are part of the attraction to us.
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Sand Keeps Moving

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There is a more update (March 2014) version of this article at this link.

None one who lives at the beach is surprised when they hear that some sand has moved.  It happens on the beach.  Even some roads here get sand covered.  We plow sand here at the beach like folks plow snow up North.

Still the story of the Point at Emerald Isle is an amazing story even to those of us accustomed to sand moving.

In late October, 2007, a little over a year after we moved here to the Southern Outer Banks, I decided that I would get a beach driving permit.  It did not take long to get one from the folks in Emerald Isle. Right after we got it we headed down Coast Guard Road to the Point area which as a wintertime beach access for vehicles.

We were surprised with what we saw, but first I will give you some background information on the Point.  read more »


The Winds are Here

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It is March here on the Crystal Coast and the winds that herald the changing of the seasons have arrived.  While wind on North Carolina's coast is not uncommon, the wind is rarely as persistent as the wind that we used to endure on Nova Scotia's coast.

However, even the spring winds here in North Carolina do not give up easily.

Predicting the winds is about as easy as predicting the weather.  For over twenty years we had a home on a mountainside in Roanoke, Virginia and we got some serious wind there.  A gust of wind hit the front of our home late one night and a window got blown into the room of our youngest daughter. It certainly shocked her and made sleeping in her room during roaring winds a little bit of a challenge for a while.
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