You cannot live near the beach without being aware of the impact of wind and water. Our sandy shores are constantly being reshaped. It is the rare occasion when you go to a beach and it has not changed since your last visit.
Strong waves backed by high tides and strong winds can easily carve a bench into a beach like the one near the Point pictured here. I took that picture on a high tide walk at the Point on September 16. For the first fifty yards there was hardly enough beach for walking. The high water was coming from Jose and mostly covered an area that normally has plenty of beach.
Ten days later I walked at Third Street Beach at the eastern end of the Town of Emerald Isle. All summer there had been a bench there with a steeply sloped beach. Maria did not come close to us but her waves and winds took the bench away at Third Street and gave the beach a gentle slope as you can see in this picture.
Changes from moving sands can be even more dramatic at the Point, an area on the westernmost tip of Bogue Banks Island where Emerald Isle is located. I regularly walk the Point but I never pay any attention to the maps that Google and Bing create for the area. Even with the miracles of the Internet, the Point can change faster than you can post a map.
The picture of the top of the post is an area being washed over by the same high tides that carved the bench. It is hard to believe the changes at the Point in the last ten years. This picture which shows the Point under water was snapped on November 4, 2007. Since that time the sands of the Point have made a remarkable recovery. Where there was once water I have measured sand stretching .313 miles in 2013 to .261 in September of 2017. Today looking out from the same vehicle ramp, there are acres and acres of sand that seem to stretch almost to the horizon.
If you pull up this map of hikes on the Point, you can begin to imagine how it has changed especially if you remember that water covered most of the Point in 2007. I did not fully complete my recent hike and make it to the end of Bird Island near Coast Guard Channel but from the angle of the shore when I turned back towards the ramp, I am expecting drastic changes.
The good news is that the Point seems to be very resilient. Many beaches are not that lucky. We are fortunate to have beaches here on the Crystal Coast that are not as endangered as those out on Hatteras Island.
If you need some guidance on having a great time here in Emerald Isle, please remember to check out our book, A Week at the Beach – The Emerald Isle Travel Guide. The 2017-18 print editions were published on August 15 and are Prime eligible at Amazon. the Kindle version went live on September 20. If you are in Emerald Isle you can pick up a black and white copy at Emerald Isle Books and Toys in Emerald Plantation. The Emerald Isle Town Office carries the color version.
The sign-up form the Crystal Coast Life Email Newsletter is below. I have to apologize that I have been unable to get out a newsletter this summer but if all goes well I will have a news-filled one out the first week of October. I am going to try to publish once every three months during the winner. Next year we will not be remodeling our home so maybe time will not be so precious in the summer months. The most recent edition of the newsletter can be read at this link.