The one thing that the weather in April 2012 has done is to keep us on our toes.
While March seemed almost summer-like, April has been much more variable.
We even had one light frost around the middle of April. My tomato plants which have been in the ground since March 19 were well covered. Tomatoes are too precious for any chances.
We missed the serious frosts that hit central NC the third week in April. I am not sure what to say about the April snow in Pennsylvania which arrived when snow flurries were flying in Virginia.
Coming out of a mild winter and following a very warm March, the last frost of 2012 surprised us by being two weeks later than our last frost of 2011.
Still we have seen enough very nice days to keep us from complaining about the chilly ones. My beach walks have been on days when shorts and tee-shirts were the rule.
The water still isn’t as warm as it was in late March when I got knee deep in salt water much earlier than I ever have. I even managed a quick dip in the neighborhood pool during those warm late March days.
Despite the water cooling substantially from March, there have been enough opportunities to get out on the water.
I have made a number of trips in my skiff and a couple of kayaking “expeditions.”
It is not often in the early spring that we see glassy smooth water on the White Oak like we have this April.
The wind and water cooperated in April, and even better, our early season fish have also joined in on the party. Bluefish have been around and hitting for most of April.
With changeable spring weather, it is important to take advantage of those early fishing opportunities, or you could be sitting at the dock until May.
We even managed to do a little scouting out beyond the beaches in Bogue Inlet.
It is always a thrill to get out in the ocean in a small boat, but it is even more exciting when the water is still pretty cool.
There have been a lot of changes in the Inlet, and it is no surprise that the Point on Emerald Isle continues to see rapid change.
The Point is truly one of my favorite special places here on the Crystal Coast.
The walks that I take on the Point are often close to magical. I always manage to come back with some fantastic pictures which help my memories stay fresh.
I think that I have enjoyed my kayaking adventures as much as anything this spring.
The third weekend in April, I spent a wonderful couple of hours sitting out on the oyster rocks in the middle of the White Oak River.
I think the kayak trip out into the river was just that much more special because for a few days it seemed that spring had taken a break.
One thing that I am not going to complain about is that we seem to be perfectly positioned to ignore our heat pumps for a while.
I don’t mind taking the time to open and close windows so we can control the temperature in the house without spending any money.
I am especially proud that the stars seemed to be aligned for a great crop of tomatoes.
My plants have never done better. Now that the cold weather is gone, it is time for me to prune my tomato plants.
On top of great tomato growing weather we have been enjoying fresh local strawberries since April 4 which is about ten days earlier than normal. My wife just finished her annual strawberry freezer jam.
Sometimes life does very well here on the watery side of the horizon especially if your house is situated to take advantage of the sun just like our south facing beaches.
If the lure of kayaking, empty beaches, and fishing is too much to take, you can find some quick links for planning a beach vacation at my Welcome to the Beach site.
If you have already made up your mind to come for a visit, you will find my updated Emerald Isle Travel Guide very useful. Though the activities are targeted to summer, most except swimming are still fun this time of year. You might enjoy my post which talks about why Beaufort, NC is a great place to visit.
There are lots more links to pictures and regular events on the coast at my Crystal Coast Links page.
More general information about the mainland where I live is available at this link to a post about the area from Swansboro to Cape Carteret.
Why we love it here?
It is hard to say that any place is perfect. You have to accept a balance between what you like and what you don't like but can tolerate. All of that changes as you age. At one time I was close to homesteading in Newfoundland. That is a little too far off the beaten path for me in 2011.
For thoughts on where to live, I would steer you to my articles, Ten ways Carteret County met our needs, Why I love living in Carteret County, and to the Crystal Coast Electronic Village Homepage as answers to why we have chosen this area.
My Crystal Coast, Salt Water on Your Feet site also has a number of articles for people considering a move to the Crystal Coast.
You will also find links to lots of pictures and information at my new Crystal Coast Life introduction page.
If you could spend the day with me, you would understand how easy it is to enjoy our lives along the White Oak. Living in a small subdivision near Cape Carteret isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a great place to boat and relax. Bluewater Cove is truly what we were looking for in a place to live. It is close to services and even closer to the beach but not on the beach. We have a dock behind the house and are close to some great trails. I can ride my bike in the neighborhood and not face a lot of traffic.
I also use my kayak on the White Oak River and have learned to love exploring the river and surrounding waters with our skiff.
This area also has some great festivals like the Newport Pig Cookoff, the Emerald Isle Saint Patrick's Day, the Swansboro Mullet Festival and the Swansboro Oyster Roast. We continue to be impressed with the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade.
It is a friendly area with a great future. So right now it is the spot for us. I often write about the area in my other websites. If you are a very avid reader, you might find some similar content on multiple sites, but usually the content is fairly specific to the sites.
These are additional sites where you can find even more information.
Crystal Coast Life
Crystal Coast Life Blog
Crystal Coast Blog 09
Crystal Coast Blog 08
Some archived articles