Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 318- Oriental, NC

I'm happy to report that it has warmed up, thus we are no longer wearing winter gear. Unfortunately the water color is still brown and murky, but obviously water clarity of the Bahamas is unrealistic and a nice cherished memory. We've spent the past couple of days exploring parts of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The ICW is a network of canals and rivers that connect the eastern seaboard from FL to NY. Many parts are too shallow or have low bridges that limit our travel so we have picked a only few sections to explore. The shifting depths of the channels require our complete attention. It is not unusual to come across a spot that is significantly shallower than surrounding areas. Tow boats are busy pulling off boats stranded in the area. After a day offshore between Wrightsville and Beaufort where we enjoyed setting the autopilot and leaving the helm, we anchored at Cape Lookout. We had the large anchorage almost to ourselves and watched seals and enormous loggerhead turtles surface all around us. The nearby Shackleford Banks are home to a herd of wild ponies. Remi is working on a report about them which I'll insert soon. We are now in a small town well-known to sailors on the Neuse River called Oriental. We are enjoying the slow pace but highly functional and friendly environment. This is cruisers paradise. There are trash bins for us at the dingy dock, there are courtesy bicycles for our use, and great low key restaurants. The locals have a great 'can do' attitude that make things happen. We needed a printer and fax machine and were directed to the offices of the local newspaper. The friendly secretary took time out of her schedule to help us for about half an hour and would not accept any payment. We are enjoying some of the benefits of being back in the US, like all the fresh snap peas we could eat for $4 from the local farmers market and some of the best peel-and-eat shrimp we have ever had, fresh off of the shrimp boats that are based out of the small harbor. We have had the fresh shrimp two days in a row and may stay one more day to enjoy more!

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One of the many Coast Guard boats we've seen in NC; this one was making sure we weren't a threat to the 500ft tanker nearby.

A nasty squall passing in front of us

Riding to the grocery store

1 comment:

  1. Love Oriental! We spent the winter there 2 years ago and made some fantastic friends and ate way too many cheeseburgers at M & M's. Are you going up the Dismal Swamp from there? Not too dismal, but pretty. Have fun!