Looking Back on 2014

When I think back on some favorite moments, 2014 has been an interesting year along the White Oak River.

We have had some unexpected weather but the fishing has been good and the scenery is always fantastic.

Spring definitely started out cool but as usual the North Carolina sun won and by April we could see the beach season on the horizon.

Early summer was nice. Then we had a wet mid-summer, but our late summer weather was close to fantastic after mid-August.

The great weather continued into fall which turned out to be another nearly perfect one.

After a brief cold snap in November, winter took a break and retreated north and provided us with a brief respite from the cold temperatures.

There is little doubt that
winter has now found us on the White Oak after another series of very pleasant days around Christmas. On December 29, we were walking around in our shirt sleeves and I had ditched my crocs for bare feet on our concrete driveway where my son’s drone took the first two pictures in this post.

The first picture is looking south down the White Oak towards Swansboro. The second picture is of Raymond’s Gut winding its way to the White Oak through the pines and by our neighborhood swimming pool. Click on any of the pictures in this post for a larger version.

Winter is a peaceful time here along the coast. Sunset (this picture is of Swansboro Harbor) is just one of the quiet times we get to observe during winter.

Since there is little reason to be out on the water chasing fish as the sun goes down like we are for much of the summer and fall, it is easy to stand on a bridge and take a picture while enjoying the moment.

Fortunately we still get some warm days even during winter so we can sneak out on the river and dream of fishing.

I did not get to boat as much as I like this fall since my boat was in for repairs. However I have enjoyed it since I got it back just before Thanksgiving.

There is something special about being out on the river even if it is just for a few minutes. Of course in the winter, there is no traffic and the river even more of a special spot if you got can stand the brisk temperatures.

I also like to keep track of the water temperature in the river. When I last measured it on December 26, it was 52.9F. While we had a seventy degree day after that, the temperature will plummet with these couple of days that only have highs in the forties.

The beach has not been out of reach either. I managed a nice hike at the Point on November 30, another shorter hike at Third Street just before Christmas, and a quick walk at Western Regional Access on the day after Christmas.

We have now passed into our seasonal reversal where it is usually a little warmer over on the beach. It will stay that way until early spring when the marshes warm up first.

There will be more days to walk on the beach, you just have to pick the warm, quiet ones without wind.

It has been a great year and I have some wonderful memories of being out on the water in my kayak, down in the marshes by Swansboro in my skiff, or walking the beaches in the evening over on the Point.

It will not be long before we are
dreaming about saltwater once again.

You will find more articles about the Crystal Coast at my
Life Along The Crystal Coast Page.

Our last area newsletter went out just before Thanksgiving. It is available
here on the web. You can read our October newsletter online at this link. Our summer newsletters can be read at these links. Still Great Wading Water, Stunning Weather and Summer Is Here were the newsletters from the previous months. Our end of the year newsletter should go out around December 31.

The newsletter covers many topics. Besides weather, fishing, beach reports and local news, you will even find reviews of local restaurants as new ones pop up. If you would like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, just
click on this link and register by providing your email address. Your email address is only used for the newsletter.

For quick information about the area head for
our free online guide to Emerald Isle. For the best information about the area purchase our 180 page travel guide for as little at $3.99 for the Kindle version.

Why we love it here?
While no place is perfect, the Crystal Coast presents us with many options besides beaches that make life here very appealing.

Living by the water is not for everyone, but we really enjoy everything from waves on the beach to the warmth of an evening on the beach or even the power of the ocean you feel standing in the surf.

The magic of the river or our other waters is never far away. Sometimes the big water calls and other times I get seduced by the river and the fog. There are few places where you can have such wonderful November days on the beach.

In the summer there are times when the heat will not seem to go away but there are ways to deal with the heat or humidity and even escape our paltry crowds.

We typically have plenty of summer weather, but we do have four seasons here including some cold weather every few years. That just makes the other three seasons besides winter seem even nicer.

My Crystal Coast, Salt Water on Your Feet site also has a number of articles for people considering a move to the Crystal Coast.

To make life even better here on the coast, I would recommend a visit to our wonderful church home at Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church. We love to have visitors especially during our monthly fellowship luncheons.

Our quiet spot sheltered by Bogue Banks, the Croatan National Forest, and the Cape Lookout National Seashore is a very friendly and scenic area with a great future. Right now it is the spot for us and sometimes I think I am living in a time and place that cannot survive the pressures of the modern world forever. I am just happy to be here now and able to share it with my children and grandchild.

This is a link to a simple map of the area. There are more detailed ones in our Emerald Isle Travel Guide.

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