It is surprising that I know folks who live here not far from the beach and never manage to make it over to the sandy shore. I am the opposite extreme. I can hardly stay away, and I am always looking for an excuse to “go over to the beach.”
One of the reasons that I love going to the beach, is that even if you go to the same strip of sand, it is always a slightly different experience. The sand might be fluffed up more or maybe there are just a bunch of new shells on the beach. Of course the slope of the sand is always changing.
I went over to Emerald Isle’s 3rd Street Beach Thursday, September 22. It was late in the afternoon, and we watched a storm building offshore. The surf was actually pretty calm, and I wished that I had remembered to bring a fishing rod.
In lieu of fishing, I walked down to the surf, watched the tiny bait fish glittering on the surface of the waves, and made a YouTube video of the scene. The video turned out nicely, and you can actually see the silver flecks of the bait fish on the surface of the water if you look closely.
The trip whetted my appetite for a little fishing. On September 23, the weather looked pretty wet for the later part of the afternoon, but not bad around noon. The tide situation wasn’t too bad so I decided to gamble on a quick fishing trip. The trip isn’t bad from our house near the White Oak River, and I managed to walk down to the surf just before noon. My truck was the only vehicle in the parking lot.
There was only one group of three people relaxing in beach chairs, but otherwise the beach was empty. It only took me about three seconds to realize that the conditions were completely different than they were the day before. The waves were somewhat larger, and most importantly, there were no shore birds feeding on the tiny bait fish like there were on September 22.
The shore also had a lot more medium sized shells. As I stood in the surf it was obvious that things were different at my favorite beach. Of course standing in the surf fishing even when the fish aren’t there or perhaps not biting still beats doing almost anything else, so I stayed for an hour and enjoyed the waves crashing around my feet.
With larger waves and more current, the fishing was destined to be an exercise in futility, but the water felt so good that I hardly moved from the spot.
Time goes quickly on a beach even when you aren’t catching any fish. Half the time I am fishing with one hand and taking pictures with the other so I stay busy one way or the other.
Sometimes the photograph I catch is worth the trip anyway. The one at the top of the post isn’t the only good one from the trip, but it does do a reasonable job of making it easy to imagine the water swirling around your feet. It might be useful this coming winter when I need a dose of fall to remind me that we live in paradise here along the Southern Outer Banks. Click on it or this link for an enlarged view.
And I don’t mind if our paradise keeps changing a little.