Growing up as a child in Lewisville, NC near Winston-Salem, I enjoyed a backyard of forests and fields. My friends, and I had a great time wandering the woods, building dams, and playing ball in the empty fields.
Water had a special attraction for us. We worked hard at trying to create a nice pond with our small creek in the woods. It never quite satisfied us.
We made long hikes to a farm pond, but visiting our big water was not something we could get away with every day.
I guess I came out of childhood really wanting to be closer to the water. It has taken many years to finally have that water just steps from my back door.
Our home is on a small body of water that is part of Raymond's Gut which comes off of the White Oak River near Hancock Point. If you zoom in four or five clicks on this map, then click on the "Bluewater Cove Homes" icon, and switch to satellite view, you can get a good idea of our connection to the big water of the White Oak.
The White Oak is a tidal river so we get to watch the tides comes and go. Sometimes during really high tides we get to see the water flood into the low spot of the lot next to us like in the picture at the top of the post.
In fall of the of year the cattails have died down and lost their green color, but we still enjoy seeing the water rise and fall.
There is something about being in the quiet waters of the river that pulls you away from modern civilization.
The picture to the right was taken this summer early one morning when we went Spanish Mackerel fishing. I posted some slides from the trip that I call Mackerel Morning.
We got to watch the sunrise as we turned into the river. The river was almost like glass, and we were the only boat on it. That is actually not as unusual as it might sound. The White Oak River does not draw as much attention as some waters. My guess is that is because navigating the White Oak requires paying attention and staying in a marked navigation channel in the lower reaches.
I feel pretty comfortable with the White Oak after over a year boating on it. I enjoy both fishing the river and taking the quick trip down to Swansboro and the Intracoastal.
Often when I want some real peace and quiet, I will slip my kayak from our yard into the water. It takes me just a few minutes to paddle out to the White Oak which is something over a mile wide where Raymond's Gut enters it. Being on the river in a kayak is a special experience. This Picasa web album gives you an idea of how beautiful it is.
Living on the water has added an extra dimension to our lives. Even when I am not on the river, it is not far from my thoughts. Every morning before I walk down the driveway for the morning newspaper, I walk out on our dock to see what is happening.
Often I will catch sight of a white, blue, or green heron. Sometimes I can see small bait fish swimming, and other times a jumping mullet will surprise me with one their leaps.
In the summer the shrimp are often dancing on the water. Once in a while I will bait a crab trap in the evening just so I can check it in the morning and release our neighborhood crabs back to Raymond's Gut. My wife refuses to let me eat our neighborhood crabs.
Often I will sit on our upper deck and just enjoy the view of the river. There is something in that view that just helps me relax and forget about some of the challenges of the modern world.
It is nice to have water as my backyard so I can let those cares float away on the evening tide. I am glad I finally got some water to be part of my life.