A great surprise that you quickly discover as a resident of North Carolina’s coast is how nice our beaches are in November. Finding warmth on the beach is November is certainly not what I expected. On one of our last trips to the coast before we moved here, I nearly froze to death fishing in Beaufort in late October. With that experience as a backdrop, I assumed that once summer disappeared, you would find mostly crazy fishermen wandering the surf in insulated waders during October, November, and December.
My first fall here I was busy taking classes, but by the next season, the fall of 2007, I found time to enjoy the beach after summer disappeared. I quickly discovered that fall is the best time to enjoy the beach. I took this great picture of the beach on October 20, 2007. The next day I snapped this picture. I even found this image of the beach taken in December 2007.
Since that fall I have probably spent more time on the beach in the fall than in the summer. I enjoy the beach in the summer, but if I am not fishing on the beach, I mostly enjoy walking the beaches. You will not find me soaking up the rays on a beach towel. The months after summer are actually the best times to hike the beaches. The water is still warm enough for some wading and there is still plenty of light in evening until November. The less humid cooler air is much more favorable to long hikes than the muggies of summer.
On Sunday, November 3, 2013, I found myself headed to the beach late in the afternoon. With Daylight Savings Time disappearing, I only had an hour or so of daylight left to sample the beach and to try to catch a fish. It was a pretty warm afternoon and the uniform for my beach hike, a bathing suit and t-shirt, was the same as it is in July or August. It was not long before I found myself standing in the surf casting in the edge of the waves.
While the water had a slight chill to it, it certainly was not uncomfortable in short bursts. There were a few people with waders on the beach, but there were lots more people without them. I even saw a few people in the water swimming.
That I could be comfortably wading in the surf even the first week in November is a little amazing to me even though I live here. I still remember seeing a wedding take place in the surf in late October of 2010. We are several days later than my surf fishing adventure last weekend, and my guess is that even now the water is still warm enough for limited wading with bare legs. It is going to be a different story this weekend as our seventies disappear quickly with a cold front moving into the area.
While our fall weather sometimes has a day of showers interspersed with sunny days, there are plenty of nice days for those of us who live close to the beach. They get harder to find as we get into January. While we might be done with the 70s for a while after November 7, we have had a good run of weather and it will take a while for the water to cool off.
As we wait for the water to cool own, I am looking forward to several more November beach days and even a few in December and January. For awhile, I lived in sight of some beautiful waters near the coast of eastern Canada. The water was beautiful to look at, but not so nice if you wanted to go for a swim or even wade in it during the middle of summer. I have comfortably waded in the waters here even in late March. Our beach season is amazingly long.
We are lucky here on the Southern Outer Banks. We have beautiful scenery, clean waters, and warm water. It is a combination that is hard to beat. You can get an idea of how beautiful our beaches are in November my checking out this online photo album that I made from pictures taken on the beach at the Point on November 3, 2013. If you are unfamiliar with the area, a combination of this area map and this local map will give you an idea of the location of the Point.