A May to Warm the Body & Soul, 5/31/11
After a winter that challenged everyone on the East coast, there is no doubt that summer is here.

May has been
a wonderful month that we will long remember.

When you live in a world with water everywhere including
at your doorstep, warmth brings the opportunity to be on or near the water.

I have taken full advantage of the great weather. I have spent hours hiking the beaches and enjoying the area waters with my kayak and skiff.

Winds have kept my boating adventures short, but I have managed a few trips on the White Oak.

It is amazing how
a quick ride down to the bridge in Swansboro can change your whole day.

I have also had some fun in my kayak including a 45 minute paddle down to Jones Island.

Though I went straight back up the river, it took me a similar amount of time to get back to
Bluewater Cove, my home port.

Whether you are out on the river in kayak or a skiff, it is always a treat.

It has been hard to find lots of calm water like that pictured to the left, but most of the winds have been tolerable unless you have tried to go off shore.

With all the wind and sunshine that has settled over the coast, it has been hard to find any rain.

We have had to water our yards regularly along with any vegetables. Sometimes it is hard to believe that much of the US is under a flood threat while those of us on the Western side of the White Oak can’t even get a rainstorm with a rain dance.

However, this has been spectacular tomato growing weather. Tomatoes love heat, and we definitely have had plenty of heat.

One of my neighbors picked a ripe tomato earlier this week. It won’t be long before we’re covered with tomatoes at our house since I have over 30 plants this year.

My tomatoes are a little later this year because I didn’t get the tomato seeds planted until the end of the first week of January.

The local produce stands are already full of local blueberries and blackberries. Our strawberries are gone, but the ones we are getting are still very good as is the corn on the cob from Florida. The South Carolina peaches are in, and I am sure the North Carolina ones are not far behind.

I am expecting to be eating my first sandwich out of homegrown tomatoes within a week or so. There will be pictures.

I have created a new brochure about the area. It includes things to do at the beach, some restaurant suggestions, and a local map. It can be downloaded from a link on
my Crystal Coast Life welcome page.

More information on the area is available at my new Swansboro area travel guide or if your plans are to head to the beach, I have an updated Emerald Isle Travel Guide.

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

Ocracoke Waves

Crystal Coast Life Blog

Crystal Coast Blog 09

Crystal Coast Blog 08

Some archived articles