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We will be back to fall-like weather next week
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A Balmy Beginning to Fall


Summer will not let go of the Crystal Coast

I find it hard to say anything negative about our summer weather.  We did have some winds that kept the surf stirred up and the warning flags flying for a few days, but overall this has been a great summer to enjoy the beaches of Emerald Isle.

On the mainland where we live, both June and July had rain totals under seven inches.  Precipitation was much less over on the beaches.  We did have over nine inches of rain in August, but it dropped back to just under seven inches in September. We are actually dry as the middle of October approaches.  We have had just over half an inch of rain in the first thirteen days.  

We were enjoying some great fall-like weather until Hurricane Nate dragged a tropical air mass up from the Gulf.  We have been stuck in high-humidity weather for the last week but it looks like that fall will take hold by the middle of October. This evening, Friday the thirteenth, was very pleasant when I went for my late night walk.

Summer seemed to speed by this year, but that happens as you age a little. However, we have enjoyed the beaches, boating, kayaking, and fishing so I can think of nothing that I feel that I missed other than getting my feet cooked on a few really hot beach days. 

In getting the 2017-18 version of our Emerald Isle Travel guide out the door, we thoroughly explored the area as is our custom.  Perhaps the biggest change is that the new Beaufort Bridge is going to have a couple of lanes open this fall.  I suspect most people will be very happy as the old bridge was out of service for a few hours this summer.  I will miss my routine of making the first right after the old bridge and then turning left onto Front Street.

One of the highlights of our summer was a trip up the West Channel on the Lady Swan.  I thoroughly enjoyed being able to take pictures without worrying about running my boat up on a sandbar. I ended up using a few of the pictures in  the recent update to our travel guide. I just posted this album with a sample of the pictures that I took.  I highly recommend a ride on the Lady Swan before you go boating on your own in the Bogue Inlet area.  The sands change so fast over there that it is best to learn from someone who is there regularly.

Speaking of changing sands, the Point area at the westernmost end of Bogue Banks Island continues to change. I wrote a blog post, Changing Sands, after walking on the Point while Hurricane Maria was passing by the area. We have been lucky so far when it comes to storms this year.  We were well-prepared for Hurricane Irma but it did not even get close to us. Hopefully the rest of the hurricane season will be kind to us.

Fishing seemed to pick up in August. I am happy to report that I won a free beer (which I have yet to collect) from Goose Creek Growler courtesy of a couple of neighbors.  We had a contest to see  who would catch the first red drum in the month of August.  I went fishing on August 1 and took advantage of the others who seemed to forget the contest had started.  I came home with a nice drum just before dark. I have been lucky enough to get another drum in September and a nice flounder in October.  I have gotten something almost every time I have fished.  The flounder was almost as wide as it was long.  All of my neighbors who fish regularly have done well with drum since August. Flounder and trout catches have also picked up.  We have high expectations for the fall season as the water begins to cool a little.

The new Bojangles in Cedar Point across from the BB&T was delayed a little but looks like it should be open by early November.  The new Walmart in Swansboro is coming along nicely but there is no sign of a Bojangles in Swansboro. The last I heard it was tied up over a marsh issue.  The Publix over on the island has walls and looks impressive. The Lowe's Grocery in Cape Carteret has started a major remodeling which includes adding a large new section.  Considering a Lidl opened in Morehead City in August, we might be close to becoming the grocery store capital for Eastern North Carolina.

We have really enjoyed having the Lidl stores in the area.  We were making the drive to Havelock to shop in the one there before the Morehead City one opened.  Some of their prices are truly amazing and it is certainly a great place to stock up on things before visiting the beach.  You never know what surprises they will have.  This week we bought some heavy duty shelves for our garage in addition to an Angus chuck roast for $2.99 a pound.

We have also enjoyed a few meals at Bamboo Asia House in Swansboro. It is a nice addition to the area. We continue to enjoy our regular spots, Santorini's and Shark's Den.  We did have a meal at Rucker John's to check out their remodeling.  They did a very nice job and the salads are still very good.  We also sampled the special ice cones at Polish Water Ice located at 7702 Emerald Drive, Suite D.  We favored the ice mixed with soft serve ice cream. It is a wonderful summer treat. Of course we visited the renovated Bogue Inlet pier and as we visited the island we watched as lots of people enjoyed the rejuvenated water park during the hot days this summer.

Last weekend was the Seafood Festival in Morehead City and Saturday, October 14, the Mullet Festival will be in full swing in Swansboro. I suspect we will avoid Swansboro like we avoided Morehead City.  A festival every five years is enough for me. I might watch the Mullet Festival from my kayak about three miles up river.

Traffic has already slowed down from summer and it will not be long before we enter the quiet of the holiday season.  We are looking forward to it since we have been doing remodeling of our own. You can read a little more about summer at my Coastal Paradise site and about the nice weather this summer at this post, A July Beach Evening.  Gardening has not been our top priority this summer but it has been a good year and this post has a short summary.

I will attempt to get another newsletter out before the end of the year. Hopefully I will be able to announce that our Great Egret visitor, Frank 29X, has made it back once again.  Frank was spotted this summer in the marshes of Ontario.

If you are interested in the  2017-18 versions of The Emerald Isle Travel Guide - A Week at the Beach, print versions and the Kindle version are now available from Amazon. Locally Emerald Isle Books and Toys at Emerald Plantation is carrying the B&W version and The Emerald Isle Town Office carries the color version.  A copy is available for viewing at the Emerald Isle Tourist Bureau.

David Sobotta
Copyright © 2017 Crystal Coast Life, All rights reserved.


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