I first visited the Point on Emerald Isle in the summer of 1969. My uncle Austin and I traveled down the beach in my old Ford Bronco. At the time it was the only way to get to the Point short of a boat or a very long walk.
In 1969 there were no fancy beach homes lining the shore. Since 2006, the Point has been one of the places I visit when I want to get away civilization. It is a place where Mother Nature rules. The wind, sand, and water at the Point tend to ignore any suggestions that we might have.
The Point is also a place that where change is the norm. If you visit it once or twice a week like I try to do, you will notice subtle changes. If for some reason you miss a month, you will likely find things rearranged some place along the shores of the Point.
In a world where some folks forget that we are not masters of our environment, the Point is an amazingly beautiful reminder that there are still places where we are at best only observers.
I can still remember the Point disappearing in the fall of 2007. There was nothing but water at the edge of the vehicle ramp.
These pictures taken in August of 2009 show that it was a slow process for the Point to start recovering and add sand. Huge sandbags were still prominent in 2009.
Even in the fall of 2010 three years after the picture of the Point under water, there was still a whole lot more water than sand at the Point.
By the fall of 2011, the tide had turned if you will pardon the pun. Sand was accumulating at an amazing rate. This picture looking back towards the vehicle ramp shows how things changed over the course of four years. In just those few years a lot of sand filled the area between the vehicle ramp at the Point and Bogue Inlet.
In August of 2011 I created a flash-based map with pictures showing some of the recent changes at the Point. At the time I wondered what would happen next. Certainly over the last year the changes didn’t stop. The sand continues to build up in the area near what I have always heard called Bird Island.
On August 31, 2012, I took another hike around the Point. Using the MyTracks app in conjunction with Google Maps and my Android phone, I created this map. Except for a small inlet of water near Bird Island, everything within the blue lines is now sand. This picture gives you an idea of the new sand than has built up near the northern end of the Point.
I have joked with some friends that if this keeps up, it won’t be many years before we will be able to walk to Cedar Point. However there are other things happening at the Point. Number one in my mind is that it is becoming bowl-shaped with the sand much higher by the edge near the water than in the center. When a storm eventually shows up, there is the potential for that sand to end up some place else. It could be moved to the interior of the Point or dumped in the Inlet.
I have taken hundreds of pictures over at the Point, but pictures alone cannot convey the huge amount of sand that is now at the Point. The Point will for the foreseeable future remain one of those places that is best appreciated in person. I can keep posting pictures and maps, but the scale of the area beyond the houses is just too big to fit in a picture. It is now well over two miles of walking from the CAMA access point on Wyndtree Drive to the edge of the marshes on Bird Island.
Certainly if you are physically able to walk something like the Point area, it is a place where visiting is well worth the effort especially when the skies are blue. There are few people to be found this time of year beyond the line of homes. In the fall when trucks can drive on the beaches, it is a little bit of a different place. However until September 15 when the trucks come, the far reaches of the Point are truly a special place where sand, wind, and water pretty much do whatever they want, and we humans have to play by their rules.
The Point is a great place to be humbled by nature. I hope to see many more changes there. This album of pictures that I posted in June of 2012 is a good introduction to many of the special things which keep me coming back to the Point.