Living along North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks tends to spoil a person. We like our weather warm but not too hot. Cold weather which is often defined as anything under fifty degrees Fahrenheit is not welcome even in winter.
Skies are supposed to blue while our ocean water should stick with that beautiful emerald color that we often see when the light is just right. Yet even in our coastal paradise sometimes we have to endure weather outside our comfort zone.
Spring of 2013 has been one of those seasons to challenge our weather expectations. The warmth lovers among us including plants like tomatoes which thrive in the heat, have found much of April and May 2013 to be relatively cool. It has taken us a while to get to proper “Beach Walk” weather.
Early warm weather like March of 2012 almost seems like a North Carolina birthright, but we all know weather is nothing if not unpredictable. Still a couple of months like April and May of 2013 when we just cannot seem to regularly reach those really nice spring temperatures that so often define our Crystal Coast weather throws a loop into our plans.
That is especially the case when your plans are to walk all the beaches inside the town limits of Emerald Isle. For the last couple of years I have given myself the task of walking from the most northerly part of the beach on Bird Island near Bogue Inlet to the “Welcome to Emerald Isle” sign which is on the beach between Emerald Isle and Salter Path, North Carolina. The approximately 12.5 miles of beach is not a huge distance, but I often end up walking something closer to 18 or 19 miles because I sometimes have to walk parts of the beach, turn around and walk the same beach to get back to my car.
When I first started doing this a few years ago, I had no idea that I would get so addicted to walking the beaches and that it would become so easy given the right weather. While I usually manage to get some beach walking in during all the months of the year, late spring is my favorite time.
The weather is usually pleasant and vehicles except for emergency ones are banned on the beach. There are few fishermen to dodge and most of the ones fishing in the spring are courteous enough to not block the beach access with their lines.
This year I had to pick my time for beach walks. Since the ocean water is usually in the seventies this time of year, walking the beach when the air temperature is in the upper seventies to the mid-eighties is a nearly perfect scenario. Those are the average temperatures we usually enjoy in Emerald Isle during May and June.
As is often the case even when you have some flexibility in your schedule, the weather rarely cooperates. During the middle of April when there was a little spell of warm weather, I was tied up getting our book, A Week At The Beach – The 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide, published. From the third week in April until the middle of May, we did not have a lot of great beach walking weather. I managed to snare a few days, but it was only last week just after the middle of May when the great days for walking the beach were stacked up, one after the other.
I took advantage of the great weather and finished my first 2013 hike of all beaches of Emerald Isle. It was good to get done while the beaches are practically empty. Memorial Day is not far away and the small crowds that find our beach will not stop me from walking the beaches, but it always nice to finish a task even when it a pleasant one like walking the beaches.
I always have a camera with me. This year my choice was a new Canon SX50 HS that I got in March. It usually takes me a while to choose my best beach pictures, but I have posted an album which has many bird pictures from my walks this spring both on the beach and along the marshes.