It is time to enjoy the beaches on the Crystal Coast
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Summer is here

Beach weather has made it to the beach

This is the third Crystal Coast newsletter of 2014.  You are getting a copy of it because you have either subscribed to this newsletter or communicated with me about the part of the North Carolina coast that runs from Swansboro to Beaufort.

This newsletter is late because I have been spending my time publishing three 2014 updated versions of our book, The  Emerald Isle Travel Guide, A Week at the Beach.  As of today, June 25, 2014, all versions are available. Amazon should have this year's paperback version correctly displayed in the Kindle match program by the end of the week.  We have color print versions of the book on the way to us now.  You can read all about the books at our website.

We have actually enjoyed a wonderful spring leading up to the beach season.  We had lots of blue sky and very little rain.  By June 19, we were beginning to get dry.  People were starting to water their yards and the corn crop was starting to suffer.

That changed quickly.  Within the space of a little over twenty-four hours, we got 3.35 inches of rain.  Parts of Emerald Isle missed most of the rain, but here on the eastern side of the White Oak River we got a good soaking.  Four days later, we got another 1.5 inches of rain which again mostly missed Emerald Isle.  Right now the mainland is green and lush and the beach looks about like it usually does.

Other than Memorial Day which saw some very heavy traffic and at least one tie-up on the bridge, things have been been pretty calm except perhaps in Food Lion on the Island during the weekends.  As of yesterday the surf was up to 81F and the fishing has been good at times.  Though work has been very busy, in my off time I have caught red drum on each of the last three kayak fishing trips.  I brought home one drum on two different occasions.  One was 21" and the other was 22".   My wife and I got five meals out of the two drum.

In addition to fishing being good, the local produce season is going very well as you can see from this picture of the Winberry's Produce stand taken last week.  About the only summer produce not in the stands yet are the Bogue Sound watermelons.  We had local corn last week.  We have been eating our homegrown tomatoes since May 25.  The Cherokee purples have been especially good.

The beaches remain mostly uncrowded and the only serious boat traffic in the Intracoastal Waterway is on the weekends so far. That picture was taken two weekends ago.

We do have a couple of new establishments in the area.  The first is Salty Air Open Market.  They had a tremendous Memorial Day Weekend and over forty vendors showed up.  I took these pictures May 24 and May 31.  Mary and Jeff, the proprietors, had some bad luck with their house being hit by lightning but hopefully that will not impact the operation of the market.  We enjoyed some great seafood at Lil Johnny's Crab Shack which operates there on weekends and some evenings.

Just this week we got to enjoy a meal at the Santorini Grill which is now located in the spot previously occupied by Captain VP's and before that by Nicky's.  For those not familiar with the area. It is located between the Swansboro Bridges on the sound side near Clyde Phillip's Seafood.  I enjoyed a Greek sampler plate which was as good as any that I have had in the big city.  The prices are reasonable.

At the intersection of Front Street and Highway 24, there is another new restaurant close to opening.  All I know is the name which is Swansboro Food and Beverage Company.  Since I wrote the last newsletter, we have had a chance to sample the food three times at Angie's Lighthouse Cafe.  We came away pleased and full each time.  Angie's seems to be doing a booming breakfast business and they also have reasonable prices.  We have also tried the new Which Wich at the new Handimart that opened at the intersection of Highway 24 and Taylor Notion Road.  The sandwiches are very good.

In other news, Emerald Isle seems to be done with the extension of the bike trail from the eastern town limit by Salter Path to the Point sign on Coast Guard Road.  They are just putting down grass seed in some places to finish up.

I am including links to some photo albums taken on some of my recent adventures.  Both have a map for the photos.  The first is my June 2, hike at the Point.  Even these photos cannot convey how much sand is there now at the Point.  My measurements on the June 2 show three tenths of a mile of sand from the vehicle ramp to the actual westernmost Point of land. I have included a map of the changes in our travel guide.  The next album is a boat trip that I took Sunday, June 8, before I went to church.  The pictures show Swansboro Harbor and the marshes around Huggins Island.  You can also see a Google map of the boat trip.

This summer I hope to send out the newsletter more frequently, at least once a month.  I will plan to have a kayaking album ready for next month.  If you are interested in beaches, you might like my post, Waves on the Beach.  I have also added some additional content at my Life Along The Crystal Coast site.  Finally if you are worried about humidity when you arrive in our area, you might want to read my post, This surf will cure any humidity.

Send me a note if you have comments on our newsletter.  Please forward this newsletter to any who might be interested in our beautiful area.  They can subscribe by clicking this link and filling in the requested information. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about the Crystal Coast and Emerald Isle.  We are happy to have you as part of the group of people who love our piece of paradise.

-David Sobotta

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