Nova Scotia must be reeling from all the heat. During the first eighteen days of July 2013 Halifax has endured seven days with temperatures in the eighties and another two days when the temperatures reached ninety or better. There were only two days with high temperatures in the sixties.
As any Haligonian will tell you that is actually pretty warm for Halifax which usually has a July average high temperature in the low seventies Fahrenheit or twenty-three Celsius. We lived in Halifax for a couple of years in the eighties. I can remember a down jacket feeling good at a few evening soccer games. I can only remember one session of hot weather and it only lasted for two or three days. That was a good thing since we had no air conditioning in our house or cars for that matter.
Even with all the hot weather, the current water temperature on July 19 in Halifax Harbor is a chilly 62F. We went to the beach a few times in the Halifax area, but mostly when we wanted some beach time we headed off to Prince Edward Island. It used to be one of my favorite places on earth. I have not been there in twenty-seven years, but I doubt that it has lost its charm. We hoped to make it there when we were on our trip in the fall of 2012. That visit back to New Brunswick sparked my book, A Taste of the Wild, Canada's Maritimes. Unfortunately Hurricane Sandy had other plans and chased us back down the coast.
I spent a fair amount of time in Prince Edward Island during my time at Datamaster and when I was Apple representative in the Atlantic Provinces. We also vacationed there. I still remember our first vacation on the Island. We were fresh from ten years of working on the farm. We really did not even know how to vacation.
The first night that we walked on the beach it was so windy that it sandblasted our ankles. Still the north shore of Prince Edward Island is a gorgeous place and we ended up having a great time. We did take to heart the province's advertising that PEI has "the warmest beaches north of the Carolinas." We went looking for some warmer water after our kids turned blue in the surf on the north shore of Prince Edward Island. We were able to stick our toes in the water on the other side of the Island but water barely getting into the seventies is nothing to native North Carolinans. We usually have water like that in May and sometimes even in late March.
I recently spent a wonderful morning fishing over at the area called The Point in the town of Emerald Isle which is located on the piece of the Southern Outer Banks called Bogue Banks. We are an extension of the same Outer Banks that is the home to Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Duck, Corolla, and Hatteras. This a map of the area for those unfamiliar with what is often called the Crystal Coast. The water temperature here in the Point area was somewhere between 82F and 84F.That is consistent with the maps that I have found. The water actually had cooled some from earlier in the week.
With those temperatures in mind I did some fact checking of sea surface temperatures. It does not look good for Prince Edward Island's claim. I suspect the waters off of Prince Edward Island should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as the ocean waters of North Carolina when it comes to temperature. Both places have great scenic beauty and wonderful people, but there is a lot of warmer water north of North Carolina. On July 20, 2013 our waters are in the low to mid-eighties. Other than the statement on the province's tourism site, I cannot find anything which shows that the waters of Prince Edward Island are much different than those in Halifax Harbour.
I offer up this sea surface temperature map of Atlantic Canada and this one of United States Northeast Coast and finally another one of the Southeast Coast as proof that there is lots of warmer water than that of Prince Edward Island north of North Carolina.
Prince Edward Island has enough wonderful things going for it without trying to lure people to its beaches with questionable advertising. I am not a big fan of tourism sites which are often funded by businesses who want visitors to think everything is perfect in paradise. Just Prince Edward Island lobsters are enough to get me to want to visit.
While I do think we live in a little piece of paradise here on the North Carolina coast, tourists if they listen only to tourist bureau hype sometimes get taken advantage of when they visit. In spite of all the sunny photos, we do get some rain. We also have some restaurants that charge exhorbitant prices for mediocre meals like this fried flounder and clam strip dinner that set me back $20 US. We had not been to this particular restaurant for a few years and had come looking for whole fried clams which someone who worked there had told us was a regular item on the menu. They did not have them when we got there and we made the unwise decision to not drive back to the restaurants where we know what we are going to get.
Actually it is better that a bad meal happen to us than to some tourists. My wife and I write a travel guide for the Emerald Isle area. In the book there is a link to a restaurant list that we keep updated year round. You can be certain the restaurant where I ate the clam strips will not make it on our recommended list.
There is plenty of good food in our area and our $4.99 book offers plenty of recommendations which I should have taken to heart myself. I would love to see more Nova Scotians, Prince Edward Islanders, New Brunswickers come visit us. We do have nice warm waters, but we are not the beach for everyone.
There is lots of space on the beach here much like on Prince Edward Island and Islanders would be comfortable with all our fields. Our fields are corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton instead of potatoes, but we also have plenty of vegetables grown in the area. Our strawberries are usually ripe by the middle of April and the tomatoes come in around the first week in June. Our eating corn is usually ready before July 1 and our watermelons are ripe by the first week of July.
So the next time you want some really warm waters, some visit North Carolina's Secret To Share, Carteret County. If we do not have enough warmth for you, there are even warmer beaches south of here, but I do think you will be very comfortable here on the Crystal Coast.