Living along North Carolina’s coast is a treat that has to be experienced to be appreciated. For many years, I visited the coast and felt the pressure to enjoy the water no mater what the weather.
Now that I live here, I get to pick and choose the days when I get on the water. Actually it is better than that. From my second floor home office which looks out at the White Oak River, I can often sense when a short boat ride is a good thing even on a less than perfect day.
Since getting out on the water is so easy, I can also gamble a little and go out when the conditions might keep folks without a lift at home. Taking a boat ride of twenty minutes to one half an hour is something that I often do. It takes very little time to be on the water if your lift and boat are only 25 feet from your house.
If I had to launch a boat from a trailer, I wouldn’t be nearly so quick to take a short boat ride. I am aware that I am in an enviable position, but I worked hard to get here, so I am going to enjoy it. In a year like 2012 when “winter” disappeared quickly, getting out on the water has been on my mind for a while.
The picture at the top of the post was taken on March 19, 2012. For the last couple of months my wife and I have been focused on selling our mountainside home in Roanoke, Virginia. Being in Virginia has made it hard to be on the water here in Carteret County so I was pretty excited when we got back home to the Southern Outer Banks earlier in the weekend.
Only going to church kept me off the water on Sunday morning. When Monday, March 19, rolled around, I was not going to be denied some time on the water. With my second planned task of the day being planting my tomatoes, there were no worries about it being too cold to be on the water.
Still the extra warmth and almost 70F water temperature made getting out on the water an easy decision. For some reason the winds also decided not to blow. That is not necessarily a common thing in March. On top of that there seemed to be a little more water behind our house than is sometimes the case in early spring. Spring is usually when we get very low tides All the elements cooperating made for a very pleasurable ride.
I also knew that with the time of year and the perceived challenges of navigating the White Oak, I would likely have the river to myself. That turned out to be the case. The river was mine while I was there.
I didn’t take a very long ride since I had a lot of other things on my plate. I was probably gone from our dock only about thirty minutes, but it was wonderful to be out on the water in such great weather. The water is never the same twice, but it is a true pleasure figuring it out, and early spring trips always have an extra taste of adventure.
As I got down towards Swansboro where I snapped the post picture, the water became very calm. The blue from the sky would have merged with the blue of the water except for the thin line of the horizon that was the Highway 24 bridges and a few shops on the causeway.
It occurred to me that my life at the coast is lived totally on the water side of the horizon. I rarely worry about what is on the other side of the horizon. I have no desire to get on an airplane and fly to Europe and even less desire to head back to California. Everything that I need is on this watery side of the horizon.
Living in this world of beautiful marshes and water to the horizon is not something that limits you. I have actually made the argument the water and sky here at the coast stretch your imagination.
Sometimes even when you are as close to water as I am, not everything is as cooperative as it was during my recent boat ride. Then I have to take refuge in my memories of being on the water. Fortunately I have a lot of those even a great YouTube boat ride that I filmed on a warm summer morning on a glassy White Oak River. Memories like that can sustain you for a long time.
Still it is rare that we have to wait very long for a taste of the water. I am counting on getting out on the water for my third time this week in the next couple of days. I might even take my kayak out.
When you have fish in your backyard, you know that eventually you will find the right conditions to get out and enjoy the water. Patience comes easy to most of us fishermen.
The fact that water is not far from our house keeps me very calm, and for that I am very thankful.
It also seems that I spend a lot of time thinking about water whether I am out on it or just trying to get out on it. Water is not a bad thing to have on your mind.
Having a life clearly positioned on this side of watery horizon eliminates a lot of every day frustrations, and the peace that comes with that is just one of the reasons that I live here on the banks of Raymond’s Gut by the White Oak River.