If you live along the Crystal Coast or are a frequent visitor it’s likely you’ve heard of the Point. Located at the end of Bogue Banks, the barrier island with popular beach communities like Atlantic Beach, Salter Path and Emerald Isle, the first time I visited this spot I was anything but impressed. At that time the channel through the Bogue Inlet had migrated eastward, eating away at the Point and threatening to devour several beach homes on the west end of the island. The village of Emerald Isle sponsored a project to move the channel westward and to renourish the adjacent beaches.
A few days ago I decided to pay the Point a visit. I had seen a couple of photographs online that inspired me to go take a look. The only public parking in the area is several blocks away. The small gravel parking lot, enclosed by a lovely white fence, only has room or a dozen or so vehicles. I was lucky enough to find a spot. I unloaded my gear – tripod, camera and two wide-angle lenses – and headed off towards my target.
As I made my way along the streets, passing million dollar beach houses and cottages, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was going to be worth the effort. After all, my last visit was memorably forgettable. As I neared my destination I could see a wooden stairway leading over a high dune and out to the beach. The steps so covered with sand that the they almost were one with the dune. As I reached the top of the steps I was greeted by a beautiful site. The beach stretched ahead hundreds of yards before terminating at the waters edge. The wide pathway lined by pristine sand dunes topped with beach grasses. It was quite impressive.
I had came here with the intention of making some photos of the sunset. I had seen that there were lovely, puffy clouds in the sky when I left my home, 30 minutes away. The presence of these clouds, I thought, would make for a dramatic scene. I was a bit disappointed to find that those clouds were gone by the time I reached the beach. Replacing them was a nearly flat, boring sky. None the less I was here so I might as well make the best of it. I selected some dunes to use as a foreground and went to work. While the sky looked less than impressive, I knew my camera would find color that my tired old eyes would miss. Instead of a fiery sky of reds, oranges and yellows, I had a pastel sky of pinks, violets and blues. Not quite the scene I’d imagined but beautiful just the same.
The Point is one of the Crystal Coast’s hidden jewels. It has a reputation for providing excellent shelling opportunities. It is a popular location for shore fishing. And with much of it protected as a shorebird nesting and foraging area during the Spring and early Summer, it is also a good place for a bit of bird watching. The next time you visit the Southern Outer Banks be sure and make a trip to the Point at Emerald Isle. It is worth the walk from the distant parking area.
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