A Great but damp summer on the Crystal Coast
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Still In Summer's Embrace

A Great Wet & Warm Summer

Every summer is different but the summer of 2015 has featured some great weather with lots of heat and moisture. All the precipitation is a reminder of the summer of 2014 when we received 22 inches of rain in the sixty days ending August 3.  This year the gauge at our dock up the White Oak River has recorded 27.4 inches of rain for June, July, and August of 2015.  While you might think that much moisture left us with no dry days, you would be wrong.  Much of the rain came in intense short rainstorms with some dropping over four inches on us in an afternoon.

We seemed to have plenty of good beach weather between the showers. I can only remember two or three times when a few cloudy days went back to back. I know my granddaughter had some wonderful times at the beach during her visits.  Overall it has been a good summer to visit the beach as long as you were not looking for fish. My good friend, Doc Bogus, claims this has been the slowest summer for fish in the surf in the twenty years that he has been here.

I have had very little time to fish this summer and the only fish that I have caught worth even mentioning was one 13.5 inch flounder which was too short to keep.  However, with only four trips out in the kayak and no fishing expeditions in the skiff, I cannot say that I have devoted enough time to fishing to be successful.  

These days you have to work for your fish and clearly I have not worked enough at fishing this summer.  Last year at this time I had caught three keeper flounders including this 18" one and three slot drum. Even in the slow summer of 2013, I caught a keeper trout on July 30. Sill even with the fewer trips because of work, heat and thunderstorms, my efforts should have produced at least one nice flounder by now. It is a good thing I know how to get to Clyde Phillip's Seafood house.

Of course fishing gets better in the fall as does the weather. I still have the memory of this cooler full of fish that I caught one fall 2013 evening on the river to keep me going. There is always hope for another amazing fall to keep our almost unbroken streak of great weather for my favorite season at the beach.

With all the moisture there have been no worries about having to water the yards and everything is still very green for Labor Day.  It was a great gardening season with probably the best tomato crop that we have every grown here on the coast. The season was difficult at times for tomatoes with all the early heat and the excessive moisture.  Now we have pulled up almost all of our main season tomatoes but we put our fall tomato plants in the ground on August 22.  There are still tomatoes on the counter and our fall green beans went in the ground on August 31.  With those the new plants and beans in the ground, our fall garden is off to a good start.  The beans germinated in four days and we can almost hear them growing.

Those of us who live along the coast are well aware that August is not the end of beach season. In fact this first few days of September has been positively toasty and the forecast for the next few days looks summer-like.  Some of the forecasts are pointing to above average temperatures for the balance of September but we know better than to count on long range weather forecasts.  All it takes is one storm to change the weather. However, there are no storms on the horizon, so it is a great time to come visit even after Labor Day.

Once the sharks stopped nibbling on people, we had a pretty quiet summer at the beach except for a couple of collapsing decks on rental homes.  I did find a speed bump that Emerald Isle recently installed on Ocean Drive near Third Street Beach but I have not taken the time to see if there are more.  

Events will pick up as fall comes into focus. The Coastal Federation is taking reservations for their White Oak River Birding Cruises. We went on a birding cruise of theirs on the Lady Swan back in April and had a lot of fun. Saint Peter's By The Sea Episcopal Church is having their annual Lobsterfest on September 19 with a deadline of September 13 for reserving a lobster. Call 910 326-4757 for more information.  

Just over the horizon is the annual Swansboro Mullet Festival on October 10-11, and the Gateway Western Carteret Community Alliance has planned The Annual Light Up The Town Glow Run on October 10. Emerald Isle has a webpage full of upcoming events including Family Pirate Day on September 26 and a free surf fishing seminar by the one and only Dr. Bogus on October 5.  

The Swansboro Walmart battle continues to play out in the courts and there are rumors of a Harris Teeter coming to Cedar Point. However, we do have a new Mediterranean restaurant that is working towards opening in the old Taco Belle location in Swansboro. Beyond that we always expect some changes in the retail scene after Labor Day.

With some luck, I will have some better fishing news to report in my next newsletter which should be out in early October.  In the meantime you can check out how October 2014 turned out at this link.

If you would like to see our previous newsletter, you will find it at this link

You can find more articles about the area at Life Along The Crystal Coast and lots of articles about living here at the index for my Saltwater on my Feet blog.

Enjoy the rest of the warm weather and be sure to wade in some warm salt water before it disappears in November.  It will be a long time before next May and now is the best time to stick your feet in the surf anyway.

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