Summer Vacation – Take two!!
Our plans were to travel with some fellow cruisers from Oriental up to Belhaven and then on to Manteo for July 4th week. As we closed in on our holiday week, the weather became more and more unfavorable. It was to be a two day journey up to Manteo and two days back. Leaving us with 2 to 3 days there. We had the full week, Saturday to the following Sunday and it was going to rain until Tuesday for sure. So we cancelled that cruising plan. We did not however cancel our vacation!
We spent Saturday through Monday doing little projects. Tom flushed the AC’s raw water cooling system and I did some dusting and cleaning. We went car shopping and doodled around New Bern and Oriental. Really if you have to be stuck in the rain, these two cute little towns are a great place to get wet.
Since Manteo was out of the question, and the weather was too unsettled for another shot at Ocracoke, we set our sights on Beaufort NC. We hadn’t been down to Beaufort in over a year and how magical would it be to be sitting on the town docks during fireworks?? Pretty darn magical! Beaufort is now just over a three hour cruise from Oriental. We planned our departure so we would arrive at slack tide, as always. This had us leaving home port about 8am on Tuesday.
Tuesday morning I stepped off the boat, starting walking down the dock and immediately found two four leaf clovers right there near Skinny Dippin'. This was going to be a great week! We had a very nice comfortable crossing of the Neuse River and arrived right on time at slack tide. As we rounded Radio Island, someone hailed the Morehead City Yacht Basin on the radio. I asked Tom to wait until they answered and went to their working channel, and then call the Beaufort Town Docks really quick! We don’t want Mike to know we’re cheating again!
The dock men at Beaufort Town Docks are some of the best out there. We came in for a starboard tie – bow in. I had all of my lines ready to go and we were tied up lickety-split! Soon we were settled in! We then wandered over to use a couple wooden nickels (free beer token) at the Dockhouse.
After a cool frosty beverage, we were back on the boat where I taped off my starboard rubrail with painters tape. Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I could varnish my aftward starboard rubrail?? Well, let me tell you, it had been a while. Two coats later we’re looking pretty spiffy again. That is the beauty of floating docks for sure.
We spent July 2nd, 3rd and 4th at the Beaufort Town Docks. In our cruising party was Sand Castle (36ft Marine Trader Sundeck), Stella De Mar (39ft Mainship), and Alchemy (50ft SeaRay). We had 7 adults, 3 teens, 1 almost teen, and 5 dogs. On July 4th we had all of the human persuasion onboard Skinny Dippin’ for hotdogs and hamburgers and a full picnic buffet prior to fireworks!
Friday July 5th brought a new adventure! Sand Castle has been traveling over to Shackleford Banks forever. Skinny Dippin’ has never been so we followed over this day so we could learn where the water was and where the anchorages are. Being the holiday weekend, it was packed full of people and boats of all sizes! After getting the anchor set, having some lunch and walking the beach, Tom and I started thinking about where to spend the night. The anchorage was a little crowded. Sand Castle had to drop a teenager off back in Beaufort where her car was. I proposed going over to the Morehead City Yacht Basin for Friday night. A nice dinner at Floyd’s, check out their new patio bar, and a nice relaxing day. I call up the guys at MHCYB and they tell me they can fit us and Sandcastle in, but come sooner rather than later before other “drop ins” show up.
You betcha! We haul up and anchor and hit the road – um water!! The traffic on the water was amazing and exhilarating and a little overwhelming to be honest. We scoot over to the yacht basin and save our spots on the facedock!! I decide to throw in a load of laundry and lighten the smellies that would need to come home in the car! We settle in for a quiet afternoon of watching Mike and Duane work! We had to admit to cheating on them again over in Beaufort. We replaced our burgee in Beaufort with their town flag, and it couldn’t be more obvious. I walked right up to the dockhouse and found a MHCYB tee-shirt and put it on right then and there. Mike and Duane were much happier.
Sand Castle showed up a couple hours later. The teenager decided to stay after all. We all headed over to Floyd’s for some Buffalo Flash Fried Oysters with Blue Cheese Grits! Yum! A perfect last vacation meal. We hung out a little while that evening. Sandcastle did some visiting with their own friends at the basin. We all call it a pretty early night.
Saturday July 5th is CroakerFest in Oriental. The parade starts at 11am. If we leave early we can make it! The main objective is to get back for fireworks for sure! Sand Castle and Skinny Dippin’ leave the Yacht Basin….Stell de Mar and Alchemy leave the Beaufort Town docks almost at the same time. Stella and Alchemy both stop for fuel in Adams Creek, and us slow boats get in front of them. These leads to great photo ops as they pass by!
We arrive back to our home slips by noon-ish. We missed the parade. We were able to see a lot of it in the binoculars and the parade of sailing yachts near Oriental harbor was just as amazing.
I settle right in to give the old girl a good bath. (not myself) Skinny Dippin’ has taken us to and brought us home from another fantastic vacation. She needed a little TLC and a little bit of waxing and she earned every minute of it.
The friends we’ve made over the last couple of years are priceless. We so enjoy spending time with all of you. It’s funny that we never have everyone together at the same time, but we enjoy all of you all of the time! You know who you are…Lovin’ Life, Alchemy (sailing the Chesapeake), Alchemy (cruising the Neuse River Basin), Stella, Idle Time, Sand Castle, Temptation, Bubbles, DragonFly, AndanteII, Continuum, and Starship and many more! Thank you to all of you for sharing in these fun adventures with us. Your presence means so much, whether in person or in spirit.
Our next adventure might be to Belhaven/Manteo. We’d like to get this trip in while stationed in Oriental. Safe Travels ya’ll!!!!