Warmth seems to be finding us on a regular basis. Green grass is showing in the yards, and there is plenty of outside work to do, but sometimes the call of the beach is just too strong.
Wednesday, March 16, was one of those days. I had two great hikes over at the Point on March 4 & 5, but I felt like that I had some more exploring to do, so after lunch on Wednesday I set off for Emerald Isle. I got caught on the bridge by the paving project, but I am one of the few people who enjoys being caught on the bridge. I snapped this photo of a boat headed east on the Intracoastal Waterway and another of the same boat just coming out of Cedar Point.
The trip from Bluewater Cove to the CAMA beach access parking on Coast Guard Road normally takes twelve to fifteen minutes with the slightly over nine mile drive. However, the stop on the bridge made it closer to twenty-five minutes.
It was a pleasant day, I wore shorts, tee-shirt, and a light wind shell. The temperature was in the upper sixties, and there was a light but persistent breeze. You can follow my trip on this Google map that I created with MyTracks on my Droid smartphone. Each blue marker on the map also has a link to picture attached to it.
Leaving the parking lot, I walked south on Coast Guard Road and turned east on Inlet Drive and walked to the CAMA access point there. Once I reached the beach where the ramp meets the sand, I started heading east and eventually turned left and walked up the beach a little over four tenths of a mile until I thought I had gotten to the place on the beach which is about halfway between Windjammer Dr. and the Lands End beach access/pool.
After that I turned and walked west back down the beach towards the Point. Lots of folks have trouble understanding the ocean is to the south and the beaches run east-west on our section of the Southern Outer Banks. I stopped only to watch a couple of guys trying to ride some waves. The surfers had to work hard to get any rides on the waves. The waves were just not large enough. I went about 1.1 miles from my easternmost point on the beach to the place where the beach turns and heads back along Bogue Inlet.
From there I made my way along the beach in a generally northwesterly direction for about one quarter of a mile until I had to make a detour around two guys who were trying to do some para-sailing. They got the sails in the air, but I never saw them get up on their boards in the water.
From that point it way about 1,000 feet to where I decided to cut back and head towards the vehicle access ramp at the end of Inlet Drive. There is only a couple hundred more feet of beach, but some folks were having a private time there, and I decided to let them enjoy their moment.
I planned my trail back so it would cross by the head of the shallow water that is at the end of what is left of the Coast Guard Channel where it used to cut through to the Inlet. That was some of the softest sand that I encountered so if you want to avoid this, you might hike back along the beach until you have a straight line of sight almost directly east to the ramp.
Going back along the beach, it is only about 1,400 ft to the ramp from closest water to the west. Depending on how Google Maps is behaving, you might see a blue line on this map, or you can check out the green line in this photo which is based on my March 4 hike at the Point. No matter which way you see it, the route is easy to figure out. The straight line back to the ramp from the water is a nice walk. None of the walking at the Point is very difficult, but it is really nice if you stay away from the softer sand in the areas that are still turning to dry beach.
However I didn’t take the easy way, so going back up the beach is not the way that I did my hike. My track to the the head of what is the end of Coast Guard Channel was about 1,000 ft in the soft sand. Looking back along the edge towards the houses, you cannot really appreciate how shallow the water really is in that end of the channel. Last year we barely got past the Coast Guard Station in my skiff. I am amazed that it was possible at one time to take a boat through that channel to the Inlet.
Once I hiked east beyond the head of the water from Coast Guard Channel, the sand improved, and it was a pretty easy walk of 1,800 ft to the ramp. Then I had a short walk down Inlet Drive to Coast Guard road and my vehicle.
It was truly a beautiful day on the Point. My beach walk covered 3.5 miles, but it was great fun, and I can’t wait until I have time to do it again.
Since I took nearly a thousand pictures on the walk which lasted over two hours, I am still sorting them, but I will eventually post an album.
You can check some of the initial ones in this album.