Thank Goodness for Tomorrows
13 June 2008 | Oriental, NC
Beth/ only 28 today, a little breeze on the water
After our frustrating morning in the Morehead City/Beaufort area, it was a relief to lift the anchor and get out of there.
Fortunately our next stop was Oriental, a town we just loved when we stopped here in the fall, and which we just love again now. People are friendly, the houses are pretty, the website (www.towndock.net) is chockfull of activities, and the tree lined streets and seawall are perfect for strolling along. There is room to anchor in the harbour and free dockage for 72 hours at the town dock, along with several marinas. The Oriental Marina makes its showers (complete with towels, soap and shampoo for a $5.00 fee) and laundry available to cruisers who are anchored out. This place just feels good.
When we arrived on Thursday evening, we cleaned ourselves up a bit and went off to M&M's for a wonderful dinner. I ordered shrimp and grits - I'm becoming a connoisseur of the many variations of this dish - and Jim had duck.
On Friday, we started the day with coffee and bagels at the Bean - the popular coffee shop on the waterfront. We took care of all that sweaty laundry and enjoyed luxurious showers at the marina, and visited our favourite store - the Inland Waterway Provision Company - filled to bursting with clothes, giftware, marine supplies and all things nautical.
The icing on the cake was that our friends Gail and Peter (Jabiru) were here and we spent a fabulous few hours catching up with them. These Australians are great fun and it was so nice to sit with them and share some of our experiences and impressions as we cruise through the US. We last saw them as we both departed Georgetown in the Exumas.
It was also cool to meet Andrťe and Tic (Antic) again. We met them way back in the fall on a water taxi in Port Washington. We didn't remember the boat, but when they came walking down the dock and Gail introduced us, it all came flooding back - another one of those wonderful small world events. They are heading for the Chesapeake so we look forward to seeing more of them.
The grocery store is about a mile up the road from the waterfront so we got some exercise at the end of the afternoon. On the way back, some friendly locals picked us up in their cute red Cabriolet and delivered us right to the dock.
We're off first thing in the morning as far as we can get up the ICW toward Mile 0 again.
Our passage from Cape Fear to Beaufort on the outside was smooth and solitary with not one sighting of another boat all night long. These next few days on the ICW will probably be quite different. It's a spring weekend and there will no doubt be dozens of pleasure boats along with a barge or two out there.