One of the reasons that we live in western Carteret County is that we wanted to live by the water. It is only 25 feet from the corner of our garage to the water. Getting to the Intracoastal Waterway takes just minutes in our skiff and the Atlantic Ocean is just a few minutes farther. It is a dream situation for me.
My long time love affair with the water is no news to anyone who knows me. In 2006 my wife and I decided that the next stage of our life could be best spent along the waters of Raymond’s Gut which leads to the White Oak River.
After years in the truly unhealthy world of high technology and Fortune 100 companies, I needed a place where we could rewire our lives and focus on the really important things.
The area along the White Oak River protected by the beaches of Emerald Isle, the Croatan National Forest, and the Cape Lookout National Seashore is just such a place.
Yet today it is hard to turn the television without hearing about rising sea level and storms. It would be easy to give up the pleasure of living on the water because of fears that some would have us take to heart. Yet there are many of us who have chosen to take a calculated risk and plant our roots near waters which have long been favored places to live.
In our case we did so carefully after examining flood maps and understanding the dynamics of storms along the Carolina coast. So far we have only endured one really serious storm, Irene. While we had high water, it never got near our home. We absolutely could get a stronger storm, but after seven years here, I am even more committed to enjoying the water.
As a waterfront property owner and someone is a licensed real estate agent but no longer selling or helping people buy property, I have a little better grasp on the challenge of waterfront property than most people.
We have been through the processing of choosing and buying a waterfront property.
A waterfront property has been our recent home for over seven years.
Not only have we lived through some hurricanes but we have had the experience of seeing what extreme precipitation and winds can do to other properties.
We are not just passive observers of the water. We are actively enjoying our area and particularly the water
I kayak and boat usually multiple times during a given week.
I also walk the areas beaches regularly and have mapped some of them to see the changes which are taking place.
We take the time to visit other beach areas including the Northern Outer Banks.
I understand GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and actually work for a company that sells and supports a GIS tool.
We have a good deal of perspective from having living in a number of places including Atlantic Canada where we also lived near the water.
I have a lifelong long love of wild places and I enjoy helping people who appreciate them find a place where they can not only enjoy special places but also help to protect them.
What have we learned from seven years of living along the water?
You will experience high water probably on a regular basis if you live on or near the water. It is a natural thing. For the environment to stay healthy high water needs to visit us.
People who have lived most of their lives in a particular area are an invaluable resource when it comes to understanding the natural rhythms of an area.
There is no substitute for living in an area when it comes to actually understanding what happens under certain conditions.
You can avoid most problems with high water by making intelligent buying decisions. If all the houses and power transformers are on stilts and the house you are considering is not, you may just have figured out why it is so reasonably priced.
What looks like scary weather to a newcomer to the area might not be so scary to the person who have live in the area sixty years.
Be prepared for something out of the ordinary. Just because the water has never risen above you dock does not mean that it is impossible for conditions to conspire to make that happen.