Traditionally along the east coast many powerboats get put away for the season after Labor Day. Most people who boat in November are crazy duck hunters who thrive on getting wet in freezing cold weather.
Fortunately as you work your way south along the east coast, you will start to run into areas where boating twelve months a year is not that uncommon. Certainly North Carolina's Crystal Coast is one of those places.
While the nice days get a little more challenging to find, we often have some great weather into December. The picture in the post was taken in the marshes near Huggins Isand, just a short distance from Swansboro, North Carolina, during November 2013.
We are approaching Thanksgiving and as I write this on November, 18, I can report that our temperature soared to 80F this afternoon and the water temperature in the Intracoastal Waterway is staying close to 64F.
Those two factors without any help are making boating very comfortable, but it is hard to explain to visitors that you cannot count on that type of pleasant weather being here everyday. As you can see from this chart of area temperatures, we are going from a high temperature of 80F to a low temperature of 37F in just 36 hours. Our high temperature on November 19 will only be 55F.
However, if you live here and have a flexible schedule, if is possible to take advantage of some wonderful fall and early winter boating. We have a great location just three miles up the White Oak River from Swansboro. It gives us easy access to area waters while offering some protection from coastal storms. There are places like the channel behind Hammocks Beach (Bear Island) where you can hide from some winds.
On November 18, 2013, when I took one of my normal trips down the river in our open skiff, it was so warm that I was able to take my boat ride wearing only shorts and a t-shirt just like summer.
While I know we have some cool days to face, I also know that we will still get some days when taking the boat down the river is not much of a challenge. I am certainly not the only one riding around in a powerboat along the Crystal Coast this time of year. Fall boating is a well loved tradition here.
In addition to power-boating, our kayaking season has turned out to be very nice. The number of days with strong winds has been few this year so it has been hard to resist the area's kayaking waters even as we approach the end of November.
It is a rare week during the winter that I do not take my boat down river to Swansboro at least once. I might be protected with a winter jacket and gloves but I still manage to get on the water. Usually by March we are testing the waters for warmth and by May we are seriously starting to fish.
It is hard to complain about living in a place where fall is so nice that you can already start having dreams of summer. I love it and I do not even mind bundling up in coat for those few winter rides that remind you of just how brisk it can get in an open skiff at 30 MPH.