Category Archives: Boating

At NCREN Community Day

I’m at NCREN Community Day today. This annual event brings together the NCREN stakeholders and network users, which now includes the entire K20 community in North Carolina. It’s encouraging to see participation from the K12 community and the emphasis on bringing value to K12, leveraging the information resources of the traditional University community community to holistically improve education in the state.

One of the biggest values is the human networking, and the opportunity to talk with colleagues across the state. While we have a similar event for the University of NC system (UNC CAUSE), Community Day brings in representation from the K12, Community College and state government sectors. National research networks such as Internet2 are also represented. The opportunity to talk and synchronize with this extended community is a key to the importance of this event. Already I’ve had several productive conversations and have another scheduled for lunch.

Of course I did have a chance to also talk with my colleagues about boating and fishing 😉

Now, back to the meeting…

Sliding across the sea…

This weekend was another of those perfect fall weekends on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, lows in the 40’s and highs about 70. I had a chance to get out of town with my friend and fishing buddy Sam. I picked Sam up about 9AM Saturday and we drove to Emerald Isle NC. Late start, as I’d been out of town at a conference, and got home just in time for neighborhood Halloween festivities ;-). Got to Emerald Isle about noon, and met my dad at the beach house. Threw some fishing gear in the boat and headed to the marina with Sam & my dad. We weren’t very optimistic about the fishing, as the tide was falling, but it was a nice day. Motored to the Bear Inlet channel and gave it a go. My dad managed one speckled trout, I had a pinfish, and Sam was skunked. “Should have been here in the morning,” was the word. However, we decided to take the boat up the back channel from the inlet to the ferry dock. An interesting trip…though the tide was dead low, still had 3 to 6 feet of water in many spots — one stretch only had a foot. Had to lift the motor up and pole across the shoal. Saw several spots that ought to hold speckled trout, though, and as an exploratory trip was quite successful. Headed back to the marina as it was getting late, and a dinner of steamed oysters.

Today (Sunday) dawned clear and absolutely calm, headed for a temperature of 71F, Indian Summer for sure. My dad decided to stay around the house, and Sam and I headed out after breakfast. Got on the water about 8:45AM and headed to a likely trout hole. Sam and I each quickly caught a trout (he on his flyrod, and me, heretically, on a spinning rig). Thought our luck might be changing, but not so…churned the water for a while with flyrods and spinners. None of the boats nearby was doing any better, so we headed over to Bear Island (Bouge Inlet end) and tried flyrods in the surf a while, but nothing doing. Water is still a bit warm for the specks to move out of the estuaries toward the ocean. Since we weren’t catching fish, and since it was such a calm day, we got in back in the boat and headed out the inlet into the ocean. Just low rolling swells, and absolutely beautiful — not a cloud in the sky (but no seabirds working schools of blues, either). Saw several pods of bottlenose dolphins, all told, must have been 100 of them, rhythmically working a school of fish…they were everywhere around the boat, some leaping out of the water, some slowly rolling, some slapping their tails as they dove into 30 feet of water. We tried casting and plugging, but no strikes. Oh well…

As Jimmy Buffet sang in Brahma Fear,

“Yes, I own a whaler boat

It slides across the sea

Some folks say I’m part of it

And I know it’s part of me”

Well, mine’s a Carolina Skiff, not a whaler, but this is what I was humming as we ran outside Bear Island toward Bear Inlet. Some other skiffs were working the shoal just west of Bear Inlet, but started moving away as we approach; missed that bite. Headed across the Bear Inlet bar on a couple of rollers and into the channel…banked around the shoals and found a hole to try a few more casts. A sea robin and lizard fish were it. Down the channel toward the ICW. Stopped in a bend right before the waterway. Saw a fellow catch a trout, and decided to make a few more casts. No hookups, but several short strikes, so fish were there. We didn’t catch any more, and decided to head on back so we could get back to central NC by supper. Sped down the waterway thru Swansboro and back to the marina.

What a day! Perfect fishing, and though the catching could have been better, still was one of the best days I’ve had on the water in a long while.

New boat at the lake

The weather and lake water levels cooperated on Sunday, and we were able to squeeze in a few hours to go to Jordan Lake Sunday. We had a family gathering in the late afternoon, so we had to leave early. However it was a good excuse to take the new boat and the dogs and go enjoy some late September fun. The dogs like having more room to run around the boat. I know I’m going to enjoy it!

New boat!

OK, as I mentioned in my last post, it looked like time to look at a new boat that was more reliable and a bit bigger. Here’s what I went with, a Carolina Skiff 1765 with a 60HP Suzuki. The dealer added a couple of options like the larger fuel tank, a live well, and some hatch covers; additionally, I added a depth finder and a swim ladder. I pick it up Saturday!

Will be great for trying to fish in the flats at the coast 😉

A problem or an opportunity?

At the beach this weekend; the weather is beautiful, here with my wife, the neighbors, the dogs, a case of wine… 😉 the kids are all off at college…

Tried to take the boat to Bear Island today, but the motor wouldn’t run. Instead, had to sit on the beautiful, mostly unpeopled beach here on Emerald Isle, and polish off some wine, eat cheese, swim…So, that’s not a problem! The opportunity? Maybe I should trade in this 10-year old boat for a new one…better go check the listings at Chatlee Marine. I want a Carolina Skiff…17 or 19? Hmmmm…..

Another great day at Jordan Lake…

I’m taking some time off this week…I worked Tuesday, but that’s all this week…meetings I needed to attend. Jan and I went to Jordan Lake again today. Monday was wonderful, almost like having the lake to ourselves. Today was just as good. Got there about 10AM, put the boat in the water, and headed to “our” beach. Threw balls & frisbees to the dogs…have to get that tennis ball a long way out to wear out Lessa. Anakin, as you can see, likes to stay closer to shore. Stayed about 4 hours, until the weather started to look like it was changing. Lessa wanted to fetch more balls, but it was time to go. As we motored back to the ramp, we could see the clouds building to the west. Drove home through some showers, the timing was perfect!

Nice day at Jordan Lake…

Got up and about about 7:30 this morning, fixed breakfast, read the New & Observer, then loaded up the boat and the dogs to go to Jordan Lake for a few hours. Got to Fearrington Point about 10AM. Tried the first set of ramps (nice little beach there for loading/unloading dogs). However, there was so much sand on those ramps I went to the second set (the 4-ramp complex). Dropped the boat in the water, and motored about 3 miles to our favorite lake beach (it’s the one on the south side of the point). Threw frisbees & foxtails to the dogs, read the NY Times, floated on rafts, and were generally lazy until early afternoon. Back now (doh!) and the boat is drying out…looks like thunderstorms well out to the west, coming out of the foothills. Need to close up the boat before going out to dinner tonight.

Bear Inlet, take 2…

Back to Bear Inlet again today. What a difference a couple of days makes…I think that there were three boats at the inlet on Tuesday; today (the 4th) there must have been 50…but still nice! Wide tidal flats, flat beach…dogs had a great time. Here’s Jeff throwing a frisbee to Lessa…

Shrimp & scallops on the grill tonight; fireworks at 9:30 shot from the pier over the beach…

Another great day of vacation…

It’s been a great week…nice weather, relaxing. No agenda to go and do. Yes, I’ve read email every day, even work email, and written a few notes each evening, but really that’s not intrusive. There are times when I completely unplug…for example on backpacking trips…but this time, it’s not a problem.

Today was a picture-perfect beach day…temps in the 80’s, water temps in the low 80’s too, hardly a cloud in the sky. We actually went to see a movie today during the early afternoon, and then out on the beach. Gentle southerly wind, nice waves coming right directly onshore. Good seafood for dinner. Nice bottle of wine on the deck after dinner. As I type this, it’s clear, with a cool ocean breeze, very comfortable.

Tomorrow, we’ll take the boat and go back to Bear Inlet. Showing my sister how to get her boat from her house over there.

Not much else to say, just another day in paradise 😉