That's the water temperature! According to Dale, who keeps track of such things, the water this summer is sometimes warmer than the air.
Amy, Lachlan, and I spent part of yesterday morning at the beach. The ocean floor dropped off close to shore and the water was up to my chest in just a few paces. The waves were a rich aqua green and medium sized (with little current) and fun to play in. Not the best for a one year old, to be sure, but Amy & I took turns playing with Lachlan in the small waves right on the edge of the beach. He had a grand time, laughing and splashing and licking salt from his lips. No one got chilly today!
Another historical note: Today is the anniversary of one of two major hurricanes that struck in 1933. Water was knee deep between the village and the beach. Boats were sunk, fish houses washed out to sea, and porches of houses blown away. Captain Bill Gaskill's Pamlico Inn was badly damaged and the dance hall at the end of his dock was swept away (the Inn and docks were repaired, only to be damaged beyond repair in the September hurricane of 1944).
[Our current monthly Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Old Toothbrush Man, published August 01, 2005. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news080105.htm.]