There is still plenty of time to enjoy our beaches in the fall
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Still Great Wading Water

Summer weather will be here for a while

This was written on Labor Day 2014.  Many areas begin a seasonal shutdown as September starts. We are fortunate that does not happen here on the the Crystal Coast. Summer is just a warm up for our best time of the year.  I never get too upset as the waters warm in August because I know that all that warmth will just make for a very pleasant fall.

In the middle of July I was worried that summer was slipping away but it turned out that summer was planning to renew its grip on us.  Our weather at the end of August and on this first day of September is some of the warmest that we have seen all season.  We have touched ninety degrees Fahrenheit a couple of times in this blast of summer.  All the rain that we had in early August just seems a distant memory.

While lots of people from farther north wonder how we handle all the heat, the truth is that we enjoy our warmth and quietly put up with the humidity for a few weeks each year.  Except for a couple of rainy weeks, this has been a very pleasant summer with only a couple of brief hot spells. We even had a night in August when it was cool enough to sleep with our windows open.  When you can do that even once in August in Eastern North Carolina, the weather is not a problem.

While the weather has been nice to us, there were some days when I had trouble deciding between going to the beach or spending the day at the pool.  I tend to hit the pool early in the morning and the beach late in the afternoon so I can still manage to get some work done during the middle of the day. However, it is easy to wear yourself out trying to enjoy the beach, the pool, the water and work.

Just a week before all the North Carolina schools got back into session I ran into a full parking lot at Station Street where I usually park when I am hiking the Point. That is not too bad considering it is a very small parking lot and I use it often.

Still weather and work has kept me away from the Point for longer than I like. I did have time to take these photos on July 17, but I have been more focused on just enjoying the beach since then.  I did have a great day at the beach with my granddaughter in early August.  While there were some impressive waves, things were calmer the next day and we even got to see a rainbow over Bogue Sound. I have also managed a couple of beach walks with my wife at Third Street Beach.

September and October are actually our best beach months.  We will spend more time over there as the weather gets back into the low to mid eighties.  Since we started to dry out in mid-August, I have been able to do a little more fishing.  My fishing luck seemed to disappear for a while after my keeper trout on July 30 but the last week of August I hit the jackpot and brought home a keeper flounder on three different days.  This eighteen inch one was the biggest of the three.  The total weight of the flounders was 5.5 pounds.  As usual I caught the fish from my kayak and they were all caught within sight of our home.

August has been a quiet month in the local news front. There have only been skirmishes in the great Swansboro-Walmart war so there is little to report.  The new Swansboro transient dock is still not open for business.

Lil Johnny's Crab Shack has been back to Salty Air Open Market a few times since I wrote about them moving to Onslow Beach.  They have also run a couple of Facebook promotions.  I managed to make it over for one of them and have a free cup of their delicious clam chowder and a very nice shrimp platter.  Other than one other meal at Angie's Lighthouse Cafe, we have eaten at home this month.  I have enjoyed some local steamers cooked at home a few times.

Now is a great time to think about visiting our beaches.  What small crowds we had for the summer are now rapidly disappearing.  There is lots of time left to enjoy summer boating here on the coast and you can even expect some November beach days if we have a typical fall. Fall is a busy season here on the coast but we do not have the crowds like we have in summer.  October 11-12 is the Swansboro Mullet Festival which usually brings such large crowds that I observe it from my skiff in the harbor. Fall is a great time to take the pontoon ferry over to Hammocks Beach.  The ferry runs Wednesday through Sunday during September.

As the waters start to cool, the fishermen who show up in the fall will fill a few of the local rooms, but there will be plenty of room for other visitors.  I even plan to go back to visiting the Emerald Isle Food Lion once in a while. It has been off limits for about two months because I have no desire to jockey for parking places when there are lots of mainland grocery stores.

As the fall progresses we will get some neat sunsets like this one that I captured on August 30.  There will likely be some great sunsets in my September newsletter.

If you want to read more about the middle of the summer, try this link to a post I wrote in early August.

I recently updated our free online Emerald Isle Travel Guide if you know someone who needs some quick information about the area.

Please send me a note if you have comments on our newsletter and 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.

We hope your Labor Day Feast was as enjoyable as the ribs, homemade hush puppies, and corn on the cob that we enjoyed before we finished the day with some historic Atlantic Beach Pie.

-David Sobotta

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