LAT: N 34° 42.7'
LON: W 76° 39.6'
60s-70s, sunny, winds N 5-10 kts, yet again!
predawn, today's sunset
|Sunday, November 23, 2003
Now This Is Cruising
1300 - We take off in the afternoon for our short cruise south.
1404 - While in Adam's Creek we pass by Back Creek.
1500 - Things remain creeky while we are in Cove Creek approaching the Newport River.
1530 - Beginning the half hour wait (we missed the last opening) for the draw bridge to open in Beaufort.
1615 - Luckily we find a decent anchoring place in the all-too-full Taylor Creek.
Arggg me maties, be careful of them dolphins. They be breakers of hearts. Argg ouch.
A Blissful Day
What More Could One Want?
Ace Ventura - Guest Editor
Fog surrounded Slowly when we woke this morning, yet we were still excited to get out and explore a bit before we met up with Chuck and Andrea. We rowed into the thick blanket of white and, with our ears open, reached the dock safely. With mini map in hand we set off down the main street in town. It was a sleepy Sunday morning and we wandered and made observations for awhile admiring the lushness and the sweet smell of dewy pine. Oriental does not have much of a downtown, at least not in the area we were; however, it did have useful stores and an inviting setting. It is difficult to enjoy towns where you really feel like you should be driving instead of walking. We did come to the end of the sidewalk today but that did not stop it from being a pleasant stroll. It was largely residential and we found that it was perhaps more quiet than other mornings because many people were at church. (We figured this as we counted the cars in the church parking lot.)
The other place where people were gathering this morning was the cafe across the street from the town dock. We picked up a couple of muffins and headed for "Celebrate" to meet with Andrea and Chuck. They have a beautiful blue trawler and we had a swell time covering boating topics and talking of the search for good home locations. Tim set up their printer and we made plans to meet again soon.
Feeling upbeat we arrived back on the boat with the urge to clean up a bit so we spent a couple hours going through things that were stored under the seats on the fly bridge and organizing the many old lines (ropes) we have. Getting rid of things you don't need on a boat is even more rewarding than an apartment or house at times because taking just a couple things off the boat makes for a lot more space. We headed out at one O'clock, making it our latest start yet but it was going to be a short trip and we were pleased with all we have accomplished.
It was another gorgeous day and we sprawled out on the fly bridge to enjoy the ride. Evergreens abounded and we watched the other boats and the few interesting houses on the side of the creeks we are cruising in. "Celebrate" left after us but caught up when we got into waters a bit more wide for passing. We went by many a cute boat on boat lifts before we arrived in Newport River. What we found there provided us with the most awesome moment we have had on the boat. Andrea and Chuck had told us about it but we hadn't realized just where to expect it. Upon entering the river at least four dolphins came over to greet us. We saw them in front of us and soon they were right under our bow, surfing the wake underwater. It was breathtaking. They traveled with us, coming up for air now and then, for some time until we got closer to Beaufort. [Eeee Eeeee Eee! -Ed.]
We were pretty dumbstruck after that experience but we had to pay attention to the upcoming markers leading the way in between 1/2 foot waters. We got to the draw bridge a few minutes late so we had to wait for the next opening, which would occur in a half hour. We drifted for a bit and then went under the bridge only having to turn around the corner to get to downtown Beaufort. The mooring/anchoring field was the fullest we had seen one during this trip. Beaufort is obviously a popular place for cruisers and being that the temperature is perfect and it is hardly windy, it took us some time to decide where we might fit in. We did find a good spot though, right next to Taylor Island. On one side of the channel is downtown Beaufort, and on the other are uninhabited islands.
Soon after we arrived we received a radio call from our ole' friends on Tevake. We met up with them and had a dinghy race to the town dock (which Tim lost to Bethany). Town was pretty closed down but after a few tries we decided on a relatively cheap seafood joint that had two flames burning outside the doors. It was great to see them and to exchange very similar tales of our past few days of cruising. After dinner we walked over to a local bar and had a couple of $1.25 PBRs. It being past our bedtime we nodded back to the boat and tried to get some of the website done. We fell asleep while huge ships quietly passed the anchored boats in the dark.
Oriental proved to be a very comfortable town. We enjoyed our eating experiences and our walks through the pleasant green atmosphere. It is still on the small side for us so we give it three and a half propellers.
One of our favorite appetizers are, can you guess? Buffalo Chicken Wings! There are, of course, many different recipes for good wings. Our preference is for them to be not too fried, meaty, extra hot and spicy, with lots of celery and the inevitable bleu cheese on the side. Apparently they were created in Buffalo, New York around 1964. There are, wouldn't you know?, a few different versions of that story which you learn from John E. Harmon
Animal of the Day
Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, are often not afraid of boats nor people (as we saw today). They are very playful and jump high out of the water (breaching) and toss seaweed at each other for fun. The Atlantic Bottlenose are smaller than others. They have a long beaklike snout and are between 8-9 ft and weigh between 400-600 pounds. Dolphins are very muscular which allow some to jump to outstanding heights. There are not many of them that travel so close to the Atlantic shore, though they are not endangered. For more information click here.
Out on the quiet Sunday night we ate at Finz with our old friends Bethany and Perry. We dined on BBQ wings for an appetizer. They were good and actually have real spices in the sauce. For our meal we both had Blackened Tuna Sandwiches which were a little too fishy for Hannah but still good enough for Tim to eat most of both of them.
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