Jeff had calls all morning and into the afternoon, so we elected to spend another day in Oriental. Such a cute little town! Last year we stayed a bit out of town with only the courtesy car to venture in. This year, courtesy of David Kibbe, we had a great slip in the heart of the town. We ventured out in the afternoon between calls for a nice walk along the waterfront, stopping by "The Bean", Oriental's well known coffee shop and local hangout. We both got ice cream cones which we enjoyed sitting out on the porch in the sun. It was a cool day, but sunny and warm enough in the sun. Later Neala returned to town to purchase chafing gear for the snubber. When she was walking past the town dock she ran into people we had met in Baldwinsville, NY on the Erie Canal! It's been such fun meeting up with folks along the way miles from where we first met. At 1715 we donned our fleeces and walked in the brisk evening air 1/2 mile to David's house for a marvelous barbecue and conversation. We sat around his fire pit overlooking his catamaran on the canal. Coincidentally, he shares the canal with D and Don who live across from him. We thought it was quite ironic to spend both nights in Oriental in either side of the same canal! Around 2100 David drove us back to the boat and we made preparation's to get under way in the morning.
11/12/13 On to Beaufort, NC
Today we had a 20 mile cruise to Beaufort, NC in advance of a large weather system that promised 30 knot winds and cold, cold weather. We departed after sunrise from Oriental and motored across the Neuse River in very calm conditions to join the canal down to Beaufort. Three hours later we were tied up in a slip at Beaufort Docks. Throughout the day, more and more boats arrived for a safe harbor to weather the impending winds. Mid-afternoon we took the Water Bug tour around the islands of the harbor and were lucky enough to see a few of the wild horses on Carrot Island. We used our "free" tuits for drinks in the Dock House Restaurant, then walked over to Clawson's for exceptional shrimp and grits!
Entering Beaufort Docks
Little scene in the mooring field
Jeff and Neala on the Water Bug!
Catching a glimpse of a wild horse on Carrot Island
Waterfront boardwalk with flowers, blowing flags and Northern Lights docked on the right
11/13/13 Another Lay Day in Beaufort For Jeff to Work
Last night the wind howled and the boat heaved against our dock lines. Fortunately our heater worked and the dock lines held so when we awoke with 39 degrees in the enclosed cockpit we knew we had made a good decision. Jeff had some important demonstration calls to do before lunch and afterwards we walked out into the town to get him a much needed haircut. Post the haircut we did a little grocery shopping, walked in the historic district and then spent two hours in the North Carolina Maritime Museum. This was a wonderful museum with an exceptional exhibit that featured the history of the infamous pirate Black Beard and his flagship, the frigate Queen Anne's Revenge that foundered and was lost 1 mile outside the entrance to Beaufort Harbor. This wreck was discovered in 1994 and has been under archaeological excavation ever since so there were many fascinating exhibits in the museum of artifacts that had been recovered from this wreck. This is a must-see exhibit for travelers near Beaufort and by far the best maritime museum we have seen on this trip!
Historic Beaufort home from the late 1700s
Another beautiful Beaufort home
Entering the Black Beard exhibit in the maritime museum
Other exhibits at the museum - a must-see attraction in Beaufort!
11/14/14 Easy Motor to Mile Hammock Bay
0700: This morning was clear and cold with no trace of yesterday's wind but plenty of remnants of the chill. We awoke to slack water and quickly moved the boat to the pump out dock so we could pump sanitaries and take on water. Around 0845 we departed Beaufort Docks to motor south on the ICW under clear skies and light winds. After a brief grounding on a shoal on the wrong side (!) of marker green 61A we passed through the Onslow Beach Swing bridge and dropped the hook in Mile Hammock Bay, a Marine Corps anchorage favored by cruisers. We had stayed her last year and enjoyed the peacefulness of this anchorage. There we saw a number of camouflaged Marine fast boats with troops aboard and several other cruisers joined us as the evening wore on.
"Inner Banks" of the Bogue Sound on the ICW heading south from Beaufort
Tranquil scene tonight in Mile Hammock Bay