Summer Heat & Plenty of Moisture
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Lots of Summer Left

But Mid-July Came Too Quickly

Here we are almost to July 15. It seems the first part of summer has gone by with unusual speed. The surf is holding at around 80F and in the few days since July 3, we have gone from drought to excessive rain.  From June 6, until July 2, we had 1.5 inches of rain and lots more sun than clouds. The pattern has definitely changed because we have gotten 6 inches of rain from July 3, to July 13.

There has been plenty of heat in both June and July.  The weather was great for ripening tomatoes and growing beans.  The heat and access to the nutrients from my compost bin have given us a monster cucumber vine. All in all it has been a good garden season with enough tomatoes to eat and more beans than we could eat. The produce stands are packed with summer vegetables and even the famed Bogue Sound watermelons. We just had local corn on the cob for dinner. It has been available since mid-June.

The month of May brought some extremely strong rip currents to the North Carolina coast and there were seven drownings before the end of the month.  There is now a beach warning flag flying just after you get off the bridge on the way to Emerald Isle.  Either the rip currents are not as bad or people are being more vigilant because I have not heard of any drownings in our area for a while.

Beach traffic has remained strong with the expected afternoon slowdowns on the bridge on the Saturday and Sunday check-in days. I have noticed the parking lot at the Publix grocery store seems to have a lot more cars recently but until Publix was built and eased the pressure on Food Lion, I would have never considered grocery shopping on the Island during the peak vacation season. I have not heard of any real traffic issues.  The new Highway 17 from the New Bern bypass to Maysville is making progress with an additional lane now open. The turn off of Highway 17 into Maysville so you can follow Route 58 to Emerald Isle is a little tricky and not particularly well-marked so take some extra care there.

A couple of new restaurants have opened. We have tried the Burrito Shak in Swansboro at 810 W Corbett Ave.  The food was good and the prices were reasonable. It is nice to have another option for fast food.  Another new restaurant, The Fish Hut, has opened in Emerald Isle near the CVS drugstore.  The menu is mostly local fish. I stopped to have a look this past Friday. At 4PM  it was still busy. A number of friends have tried it and I have only heard positive reports.  Construction has also started on the new Angie's Lighthouse Cafe.  I also have to mention having an excellent flounder plate at Moore's Chicken and Barbecue in Swansboro. It was very reasonably priced.  It looks like the new Lighthouse Inn and Suites boutique hotel in Emerald Isle is either open or very close to opening.

As I visited some of the local beaches, I felt prompted to write an article about all the new sand on the beaches, New Beaches for the Fourth.  The article offers a good explanation of the beach picture that accompanies this newsletter. You might find your favorite beach does not have as much soft sand or that the drop off has changed.  Beaches are not static at any time but Florence has definitely changed things around a little this year.

In other news Hammocks Beach State Park hopes to have their ferry from the mainland to Hammocks beach going soon.  Bicentennial Park in Swansboro is closed for some repairs due to Florence. Those of us who came through Florence with minimal inconvenience still feel very blessed. I was told by one of the paint stores that painters are so busy that they are already booking appointments into the next year.

For those of you that are fishermen, I can only offer the news that one of my neighbors landed an over-slot red drum the other night on the White Oak River.  It was his first of the season and he worked hard for it. The surf and pier have been slow according to my friend Doc Bogus. Hopefully there are some keeper size fish headed to the pier, surf, and river.

If you read our last newsletter, you know we are working towards moving. During early summer we were consumed with getting our home on the market. It is listed and we have had our first showings. Now it is time to settle down and wait for the right buyer to come along.  If you would like to view our listing, this is a link to the Zillow page.

Many people have asked why we are moving given how much I obviously love the Crystal Coast (my wife loves it just as much)?  We have really enjoyed the coastal life for the last thirteen years but if we want to be a regular part of our grandchildren's lives we need to be closer than the current five to six hour drive. In leaving I know that I will never again have a place where my boat is twenty-five feet from the garage or where I can just slide my kayak into the water from my backyard and maybe catch lunch within paddling distance of home.  Those were great dreams and I am glad that we got a chance to live them. Six years ago, I wrote a post, Living the Dream.  I would not change a word of it. We still love the area and I can see us coming back on regular visits to the coast.

For more reading about the area, visit my posts at this link for my blog and here for older articles.

I will try to have another newsletter out around Labor Day as the fall beach season kicks off. 

If you need more information, check out my Crystal Coast homepage or use this link to a contact form.  See you on the beaches or the water.

David Sobotta
Copyright © 2019 Crystal Coast Life, All rights reserved.

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