We have kayak water, skiff water, deep water, ocean water, river water, marsh water, and water which provides nothing more than a view. One of my requirements when we first looked for a home in Carteret County almost seven years ago was to be on some of the water which makes up 49% of the county
As you can see from the picture, we succeeded. Our dock is 25 feet from our garage. Raymond’s Gut which runs behind our home is a naturalist’s paradise. This winter I watched and filmed otters and loons from our dock. My last filming session with a loon ended when a pileated woodpecker landed not 30 feet from me. The great weather we have makes being outside a treat.
From our dock it takes only ten to fifteen minutes to ride out to the White Oak River and then take the channel down to Swansboro where the White Oak meets Bogue Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway. Our neighborhood is exactly what I wanted as a place to enjoy the coast, recover from corporate America, and practice my new passions of writing and photography.
It is no accident that I can also catch fish within sight of our house. A boat ride out to the ocean only takes about twenty-five minutes. I slide my kayak into the waer right from our backyard. I can paddle to the middle of the river in ten minutes. I can also be walking on the beaches of Emerald Isle in ten to fifteen minutes. This area is a great place to enjoy a life without walls. It is also easy to get caught up in the scenic beauty of the area. Sometimes in the summer I even head out in my boat and visit the marshes before breakfast.
My wife and I spent the early years of our marriage in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The scenic beauty of those areas is unquestioned, but even today there are some trade-offs if you live there. I have heard of places in the Canadian Maritimes where you still have to use a modem to connect to the Internet. That is an advance from the party phone lines that were the norm when we lived there but it would make modern life a challenge.
Our part of coastal North Carolina, also know as the Crystal Coast, is well supplied with most modern services. We have a good dose of 4G networks in the area including some strange places like Bear Island. Most people have good access to cable modem class Internet speeds. We even have two Best Buys and a couple of Staples within twenty to thirty minutes. Amazon can find you in a couple of days if you are a Prime member. All in all, this is a great place to live.
Most importantly our world provides few distractions other than natural beauty. As a writer, I can go for a nice long walk in the morning and refresh my mind with natural beauty before tackling the day’s challenges.
We do get a few folks who think we are more than a little bit country because we live with 158,000 acres of National Forest on one side, the 56 miles of undeveloped beaches of Cape Lookout to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Camp Lejeune to the west.
There are things that we don’t have like lots of traffic and smog. There are a few fancy stores absent but mostly what we don’t have are things people can live without. We do live in a close knit community where living close to nature binds us all to the land and the sea. It turns out there is nothing wrong with that. It brings you closer to God and makes those trips to church even more meaningful.
I am proud to be a resident of Carteret County. I hope that I can contribute with my photos and articles just a little to helping more people appreciate this unique piece of the world where we live. I also hope we can preserve it for future generations. If we lose places like Carteret County, its marshes, woods, waters, and beaches, the world will be a poorer place.