A wave near the Point at Emerald Isle

A wave near the Point at Emerald Isle

There is no doubt that the Crystal Coast is one of the most beautiful parts of the North Carolina coast. Considering that much of the area is protected from development by the Croatan National Forest and the Cape Lookout National Seashore, we have much to be thankful for when we head out on our pristine waters.

Many residents in the area live for the water. We actually have so many types of water and so much water that water is something of a puzzle to newcomers. Usually everyone finds some water to love in our county which actually has nearly 60% more water than land.

Even with all the water to protect us from the worst cold, we have faced some winter challenges like much of the east coast this winter. Spring has been reluctant to provide our accustomed warmth.

Sometimes as March draws to a close we have waters that are begging to be waded. We will have to see a huge spike in temperatures for that to happen in the spring of 2014 so I am not holding my breath.

Certainly many of us who live here on the coast have one great advantage over our inland cousins. Our dreams are often focused on those magic moments on the beaches or waters of the area. Moments on the beach like what I enjoyed last fall often make me think about summer in October and easily drift into my dreams. Those dreams are a great way to forget this winter that has us seemingly waiting forever for spring.

Even in a tough spring, we know that we have a lot to look forward to as the weather inevitably warms up. First will come the time for early gardening. I already have some peas, kale, and lettuce in the ground. My first radish of the year was harvested before the ides of March.

By the middle of April even in a cold spring, it will be time for local strawberries. Not long after that we will be out on the water. I boat all year, but it is not until the water warms that I focus on boating. If it is a windy year, it is possible my first kayaking will precede my first serious trip in our skiff. Spring waters can be enticing but dangerous so I usually wait until they warm up before I spent a lot of time out on the water.

Many springs when the water is still too cold for boating, I spend my time hiking the beaches and looking for that first day when it is warm enough to stick my feet in the water.

I never mind delaying my time actually out on the water since we have a very long boating season in the fall. It is not unusual for us to be out in the ocean or the big water even as late as the end of November.

November is also a great kayaking month. We sometimes kayak well into December but eventually we give over our waters to our winter visitors.

With all the choices of  how to enjoy the water, it is no wonder that I dream in saltwater. It is just one of those things that happens to those us who live where it is best to leave only footprints and take only pictures.

You can read more posts about why we live on the Crystal Coast at this selection of older posts.

If you would like to see some pictures of the spectacular scenery in our area during warmer times, check out our just published $2.99 Kindle reader book, 100 Pictures, 1000 Words, A Crystal Coast Year.  It is worth clicking on the link just to see the free sample of seven pictures.  Kindle reader software works on just about every platform including iPads and iPhones.

We recently sent out our first newsletter of the season.  We will be sending  the next edition about the upcoming season on the Crystal Coast just before the end of the month after we have enjoyed the first outside festival of the season, Emerald Isle’s Saint Patrick’s Festival. I have already had a great dose of some perfect steamed oysters to start the season.

You can also get our comprehensive travel guide to the area.  We will be publishing a free electronic update for people who buy the 2013 edition.  There is no greater place to vacation with a family than North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks.

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