A new and improved Belhaven sunset

Anchor waits in her Belhaven chariot

Oriental harbor with Neuse River in background

The red number eight and across to Adams creek

Our spot at the Oriental Marina and Inn

Traffic on Adams Creek

Should we move?

Oh yes glad we moved!

In next to the unscathed Nordhaven

The Wilkinson house at "Forrest River Marina"
is historical here in Belhaven

November 18, 2014

Tuesday: So we did stay in Belhaven this day and we did some walking around, wandering into a museum. The "Belhaven Museum" was an upstairs loft containing a collection of "stuff" by one Elva Blunt-May, who lived from around 1880 to 1960. It was fairly impressive and a bit bizarre too. >From jars containing embryos (yes, human!) to WWI military helmits, this woman was a collector with wide interests. Well worth the stop and donation. Oh yes, the golf cart. A complimentary golf cart there for the taking to ride around town. We shopped a bit and hummed around the very quiet streets of Belhaven. Night time took us for a walk back to the "Tavern at Jacks" for pizza and with full bellies again we say poof.

Wednesday: Okay, back to business. We're moving on today. Forty four miles to Oriental, may be the self-proclaimed sailing capital of the east. So I've heard. Forty four is a number that makes us nervous. It's a long way at 6 knots. Out we go onto the Pungo River, right where we left off last Sunday. No heavy thinking here, just bear right and south onto the sparsely marked River. Yep, Boats are ahead of us and boats are behind us and it's only 8:30am. When we get to the right spot we bear off to starboard, cross the Pamlico River, into the Goose Creek. Now, we can look at paper, view the laptop, and read the guide books, or we can follow the caravan of boats ahead, as we all funnel one by one into Goose Creek. This creek goes about 20 miles total and dumps us into Bay River. Now a little thinking is required because we have to zig-zag through some narrows following the right marks. Not a problem and we are bearing east on this Bay River, which soon becomes the Neuse River. Entering the Neuse, it is only about 1:30pm, so we are making it okay and will have no trouble getting to Oriental by 3:30. The Neuse is expansive. Another river you can hardly see the sides of. A great weather day too. It is sunny and about 70 degrees. Did I mention the wind quit? It did. It was really nice in the am. We had headsail out and felt like we were really sailing for a couple hours. The Neuse has some commercial traffic too, which we haven't seen since the Elizabeth River. Hey, Oriental is right around the next point and I can hear radio transmissions of our fellow caravaners calling for slip assignments. Soon it is us too and after some congestion of vessels we are tucked away at the "Oriental Marina and Inn". Looks good to me. We walk to the "Oriental Provisioning Company" right over the little bridge and discover a plethora of stuff from "Spam to Sperrys" in here. Free usage of bicycles too. So, forty four miles makes us tired and whatever the boat food is, we're into it and "Poofing" fast.

Thursday/Friday/Saturday: Might's well put these three days together as they are all the same. First morning we start to get the format here. There are two free docks with about four spots. Some people jockey for a free spot as others move out. You can see them "scouting" the spots waiting to pounce. There is a nightly fee and a monthly fee. If you plan on staying more than six nights you should rent a slip for a month and you'll come out ahead. A Monthly fee puts you into a different, more permanent/seasonal location. Our area is a hotbed of boats leaving at 7-10am and boats arriving at 2-5pm, a steady flow each day. Curt and Linda Wright, who live in New Bern and are from Dundee, came to visit and dine on Thursday. We found a "Walmart Express" just down the road and a "Dollar General" too. I know, I know, but they serve us a purpose for supplies. We met a whole host of new folks here too and took several walks around the little town. Here's an example: John who owns the "Sailboat Shop" in Skaneateles was in the M&M restaurant here on Thursday. Francine was on the boat "Release", she went to Brighton High School and knew my old Rochester neighborhood. Then there was "Billy" who we met back at the M&M on Saturday night and arranged to meet him for coffee at the "Bean" in the morning. He was just a wonderful elder statesman for sailing, boat travel and Oriental and fun to listen too. Oriental is a fine place to hang around. It was a little on the chilly side these days which wear us out faster...and poof.

Sunday: We did change the oil/filter yesterday. There was a touch of frost on the toe rail and deck yesterday morning. One hundred hours from our stop at Cape May and the last one. We are going this morning but there is talk of stormy weather coming tomorrow. Some people are talking of staying again, but Beaufort NC is only 20 miles from here. I believe, with all my 60 days experience, we can easily get there before it is predicted to change. We are off! Hang a hard left after the"Red 8" and the wave wall, go through a couple "reds and greens" and we are crossing the Neuse towards "Adams Creek" on the way back to the ocean and the end of 200 miles of ICW which began at mile 0 in Portsmouth Va. Wheee, or as much wheee as you can muster at 6.5 knots. It's a good wind which we could use, but we're only doing this for about an hour and then it's narrow again. Makes no sense because we want to be tucked in before the weather changes for the worse. The sun comes out for this four hour ride and makes us happy. The sites are good here as civilization exists and we are viewing many nice homes along Adams Creek. Again, a couple boats ahead of us and a couple boats behind us just like other days. wow. Here comes a big fishing boat, and shortly thereafter a very large barge and tug. We are sharing space and they get the bigger share. Now up ahead there is a choice, the main channel or the "Gallants" channel. Gallants is a little shorter but not the main marked way. Watching the crowd ahead it looks like one goes one way, one the other, and they're both sailboats. Guess we'll try the Gallants and see what happens. We pass a red/green junction keeping a "Green 29" to port and it all looks fairly tame. It is tame all the way to the bridge. The closed bridge. What bridge is it? I didn't look. I don't know...it is either the Beaufort or the AAIW. What does AAIW stand for? I don't know. We should have read further, huh? Well it is deep and there is room here so we'll figure it out now. Binoculars out, Lisa says the sign reads opening on the hour. Now it's 1:52, so were good, and I'm sure what bridge it is, I just don't know what to call it. Rheeeer, ding,ding,ding, gates down and here we go through at 2pm. Done, and up ahead around the next corner is the "Beaufort Town Docks", where I called to be in a slip out of the upcoming blow. We think anyway. Sure enough, upon getting some room we see what we're supposed to see and other boats calling for their spot. We call and get told to come in on the inside of the Nordhaven. Jeepers, a 50 foot Nordhaven. Guess if I hit it, it won't move. The man on the radio says the current is running strong so come in from the north side. Oh yea, current running strong? We haven't had much current since the Delaware River. Going slow, coming in from the north as recommended I can feel what he was talking about. I'm going against it so it is easy to control the speed handicapped by opposing current, just must be cafeful on the lateral movement to miss that Nordhaven! Then there is slight confusing as two sets of directions are occurring at once and for a moment we get the wrong set. A quick reverse and correction fixes that misnomer and we are in and tied. I can see the water swiftly continuing to move by us although we most certainly are tied up. Done. Beaufort NC lies in waiting for us. Anchor is happy and we are on shore walking around. It has only been four hours since we left Oriental so it shouldn't be that big a deal. It always seems to feel like a big deal when you land in a new spot regardless of the time to get their, I guess. The wind is a coming. You can tell by the attitude of the arriving boats, one after the other calling and landing. I'm hosing down the deck and here comes a guy I know from my work days, who also owns a Cabo Rico in St. Augustine. Nick. Nick Says he's traveling on a 42 Moody with a friend and they just arrived moments ago. He saw our boat and came over to investigate. They left Rhode Island a few days ago, staying outside to Norfolk, and came also down the ICW from Norfolk. We're done, it's getting dark. We eat crackers, cheese and salad again, and there's no time to dilly-dally here. poof

Monday/Tuesday: The wind did come and came pretty good. The VHF talked about 20 foot sea heights, the LeeSeaAnne healed in her slip and everyone you passed was talking about when they could move again. We walked around Monday viewing our new surroundings and we had lunch with some former Watkins Gleners. Doug and Anne Doubleday who reside here, and Richard Campbell and Ann McAlpin who live on their boat in Baltimore (summers) and Charleston (winters) are passing through here on their way south. These folks sailed Watkins Glen in the 1990s and we had some engaging conversation about here and there. A Maritime Museum is on tap for today, Tuesday, and plans to pull out tomorrow are on the drawing board. We are planning "pooftime" for early tonight. I doubt we'll go on the ocean as people say it takes time for it to quiet down after these blows. I was surprised as even some "big guys" indicated they'd be inside for awhile now. Time and the forecast will tell I guess.

Stayed tuned for the adventures and misadventures of the LeeSeaAnne!



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