North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks & Crystal Coast


The Warm Embrace of Late Summer 2016
While the summer of 2015 and especially the fall will be remembered for excessive rainfall, the summer of 2016 will likely be one that sticks in the memory because of its warmer than normal temperatures that stuck around for a lot longer than usual .

This is coast North Carolina so we expect heat and even enjoy it to a point. Usually we have some breaks between the handful of really hot days, but this has been an unusual summer.

Our high temperatures have been more often in the middle nineties temperatures than we have ever seen and there has been no serious cooling at night. The humidity has been high and that has been enhanced by all the rain. By August 3, the rain total at our place near the White Oak River was at 19.5 inches which amazingly is less than we had last year during the same period. The beaches have been drier than us but even here on the White Oak we had one period of ten days in July when we saw no rain.

The few times I made it to the beaches for a hike, there was just enough chill in the water to provide some cooling which is better than the swimming pools which are staying pretty much like bath water until we get some evening cooling.

You can enjoy the beach without a problem if you bring some shade with you. The few times that we have done outdoor events,
space in the shade has been at a premium.

Both beach scenes above were taken at Third Street Beach which is one of favorites especially during really hot weather. It has the shortest walk to the beach of any of the beach accesses. You can click on any picture in this post to see a larger version.

It has been so hot a number of days that our neighborhood
pool has been pretty quiet. Still we have been cooler than inland locations and people seemed to be flocking to the beach this summer. The Fourth of July weekend brought plenty of people to the area and we stayed close to home except for checking out the delicious pancake and sausage breakfast at the Emerald Isle EMS. The heat does not seem to have slowed the steady flow of visitors.

Heat like we have had often brings wind to the coast because the land and water warm differently. It has been a breezy summer which has limited my kayaking. The winds have whipped the river up more times than I can count.

Most of the summer the river has looked choppy and not so friendly to kayakers. I have gone out a couple of time and been glad that I know the river well and do not have far to go to get home. The river can quickly get rough if the wind picks up as it has done many days this summer. The Old Town Dirigo kayak that I got a couple of summers ago has a much higher bow than my old Pungo kayak. The higher bow makes the kayak much easier to handle in rougher water. Unfortunately nothing helps but muscle if you are paddling back to the dock against the wind and current.

However, my patience paid off and I got an almost glassy water morning with little wind on the river on July 30, 2016. Even with that I made sure that I was on the water very early and came back in well before the heat of the day really hit.

My efforts resulted in my first red drum of the season which I put back since it was under my self-imposed minimum of 20 inches. I also got a short flounder on the same trip and I have high hopes of getting back on the water the second week in August as my day job eases a little with the pre-Labor Day lull.

When I came back from my most recent fishing trip, I made certain that I headed in before the hottest part of the day. Even coming in early when the kayak moved from the river with a slight breeze to our inlet with no breeze, I thought that I was going to cook. When the river water is at almost ninety degrees and the air temperature is over ninety, there is no place to escape when you are in a kayak.

Our beach season is moving rapidly as you can see from the ripening sea oats. However, if you have some flexibility in your schedule, fall can be a wonderful time to visit the Crystal Coast. If past falls are any indication, there will be some great stretches of weather. The humidity and heat will disappear as will any lingering crowd in the grocery stores. The water remains warm well into November most years. These pictures taken this summer might help convince you to visit.

This summer has been a great summer for our travel guide for Emerald Isle. Over seventy-five copies of our five star-rated 142 page
travel guide have sold in July alone. It is only $3.99 for the Kindle version (free if you have Kindle Unlimited) and it works on practically everything including the iPhone and iPads. Paperback versions are also available. If you are in the area and want to have a look at a paper copy, stop by the Emerald Isle tourist bureau or drop by the bookstore in Emerald Plantation to purchase a black and white copy. The color version is available at the Emerald Isle Town Office. For more information on our books click on this link. This is a recent review of A Week at the Beach The Emerald Isle Travel Guide. The black and white paperback is $7.95 and the full color version is $19.99. Both are Prime eligible from Amazon. We released the book updates for 2016 on May 27.

If you just need some quick information about the area head for
our free online guide to Emerald Isle. Either way, remember this is a great area to visit and to put down some roots in the sand.

Why we love it here?
While no place is perfect, the Crystal Coast presents us with many options besides beaches that make life here very appealing.

Living by the water is not for everyone, but we really enjoy everything from
waves on the beach to the warmth of an evening on the beach or even the power of the ocean you feel standing in the surf.

The magic of the river or our other waters is never far away. Sometimes the big water calls and other times I get seduced by the river and the fog. There are few places where you can have such wonderful November days on the beach.

In the summer there are times when
the heat will not seem to go away but there are ways to deal with the heat or humidity and even escape our paltry crowds.

We typically have plenty of summer weather, but we do have four seasons here including
some cold weather every few years. That just makes the other three seasons besides winter seem even nicer.

Crystal Coast, Salt Water on Your Feet site also has a number of articles for people considering a move to the Crystal Coast.

To make life even better here on the coast, I would recommend a visit to our wonderful church home at
Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church. We love to have visitors especially during our monthly fellowship luncheons.

Our quiet spot sheltered by Bogue Banks, the Croatan National Forest, and the Cape Lookout National Seashore is a very friendly and scenic area with a great future. Right now it is the spot for us and sometimes I think I am living in a time and place that cannot survive the pressures of the modern world forever. I am just happy to be here now and able to share it with my children and grandchild.

This is
a link to a simple map of the area. There are more detailed ones in our Emerald Isle Travel Guide.
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