Some of the heat is gone & Labor Day is history
While it might seem like beach season is over, Saturday, September 10, the crowd at the Emerald Isle Food Lion was only slightly less than it was at the peak of the season. However, the beaches seem very quiet. We are in that remarkable time of year when the biggest crowds are gone and it is not yet time for trucks to be driving on the beach. It is one of the most pleasant times of the year to walk on the beach.
I had a great hike at the Point on September 8. Those of you not familiar with the Point can find it on this map. The Point is the westernmost piece of land on Bogue Banks and in the Town of Emerald Isle. It has a special attraction for me since I first visited it in the summer of 1969. I even have a picture of me fishing there on that trip which required us to four wheel drive down the beach from Atlantic Beach.
There were no roads on Emerald Isle at the time. We did not catch a lot of fish but the memory stuck with me and once we moved down here thirty-seven years later, I made myself a regular at the Point. My normal hike there is from two to three miles and the biggest challenge is not crowds on the beach since there are no real crowds but snaring a parking spot in the small Station Street parking lot just off Coast Guard Road.
You can look at the photos which I took on my hike at this Google Photos album. You can see many of the photos placed on a map by visiting this Panoramio link. Unfortunately the base map on Panoramio is not a very current one. I have mapped the photos as dots or icons on three other maps. You can see a more current base map by clicking on this link. I estimate that base map is a little over a year old. You can compare it to this one which is two to three years old and a final one that is five to seven years old. By looking at the dots on the map, you can see how the beach has changed. I am sure that I have a greater interest in sand movement than most people so I will move on to my next topic.
However, it is great to be back out on the beach. There was a time in early August when the sand was so hot that you could almost burn your feet. I really enjoyed my recent hike and am already looking forward to the next one.
To be very honest, much of August was so hot that we tried to stay inside except for early in the morning and late in the evening. It was not unusual to wake up to find the temperature had never dropped below 84F. It was so warm that our late season tomatoes refused to set fruit so we pulled them out and planted some new ones in late August. We planted beans in early September and hope to get some onions and lettuce in the ground within the next couple of weeks. Fall gardening can be very rewarding on the Crystal Coast if we we do not have too much moisture. However, like last year we seem to be caught in an excessive moisture trend.
There have been stretches longer than two weeks without any rain and then we will get a day like today when it rains three inches in three hours. Since June 1, we have recorded 30.125 inches of rain at our dock just off the White Oak River. That is a lot of moisture but not quite as much as we had last year at this time. Still everything is very green and the rain has not kept me from getting out on the river in my kayak a few times.
Hermine had us spending a little more time watching the water. Fortunately the tropical storm was a non-event by the time it got here except for some waves and strong rip currents. We only got a couple of inches of rain with no winds at our location over twenty miles per hour.
We also survived the Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival mostly by staying off the Island. It was still pretty warm and I have heard over 9,000 people showed up for it. Next up are the Episcopal Lobster Festivals. The Saint Peter's Festival in Swansboro is this weekend but the deadline for orders was September 11. The NC Seafood Festival is September 30 through October 2. You can still find lobsters at the Saint Francis by the Sea Lobster Sale and Meal in Salter Path on October 8. You can get tickets at 252 354-5859. I will likely show up for that one. The Swansboro Mullet Festival is also October 8 and runs through October 9 but I am a bigger fan of lobster than mullet.
Emerald Isle will be talking about the new development on the Island this week. Rumors continue that the grocery store will be a Publix. We recently visited the newly opened Publix in New Bern and came away pleased with our experience and the salmon that we grilled from there. If they do build on the Island, it will be 2018 before the Emerald Isle store is open. Our wandering Bojangles seems to be settling in Swansboro, but given the multiple locations I have heard, I will likely wait for the final say until they break ground somewhere. This weekend we learned that Zaxby's is coming to Morehead City in the strip mall near iHop. I managed to get in another visit to Moore's Barbecue in New Bern. I do not expect to find better fried oysters than the ones I ate there on my last visit.
Hopefully a great fall fishing season is just around the corner so join us for some great times here on the Crystal Coast.
If you do decide to make your way to the coast during our most pleasant fall season, please do not forget our book, A Week at the Beach The Emerald Isle Travel Guide. Our new Kindle and paperback versions have been very popular since they were introduced at the end of May 2016. The books continue to sell well at the local bookstore, Emerald Isle Books and Toys at Emerald Plantation, on the Island. The owner just gave us a very nice review in the August Island Review.
In addition you can order the paperback versions from Amazon. Our travel guide is five-star rated on Amazon. I am also very pleased that the Emerald Isle Town Office has available both our color and black and white books. Even if you do not buy a book, you will find the Town Office folks some of the nicest people on the Island. Our paperbacks are 142 pages, the Kindle version has some additional material including recipes and live links to lots of extra content. The Kindle version is $3.99. Locally the black & white book is $8 and the color version with over 66 color images is $20.
Look forward to our next newsletter sometime before Halloween. Please enjoy the fall weather wherever you are. You can read our August newsletter at this link.