We left Oriental on Monday, October 21st and headed down the ICW again to Beaufort, North Carolina. The trip, mostly through Adams Creek, was uneventful, but cloudy….. again. We did see two of my favorite ICW signs, so far —-
We anchored for our first day in Beaufort and spent the afternoon walking around Beaufort. We had a nice tour through the museum (does every town have its own museum?), the North Carolina Maritime Museum. The museum combines maritime history, pirates, shipwrecks, whales, fishing industry, sea rescues, and boatbuilding, The volunteer tour guides are exceptionally friendly and willing to spend time with you. Our guide, Tom Myers, took us to the top of the building to look out over Beaufort Inlet.
The skeleton of a whale that was beached and died nearby on the Outer Banks hangs overhead in the museum. North Carolina’s whaling industry lasted from the 1700s to 1916 when the last whale was reportedly killed off the coast.
The museum also displays artifacts recovered from what researchers believe to be Blackbeard’s pirate ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. The wreck of the sunken ship was discovered off the shore near Beaufort. The museum displays the items and also how the archaeological excavation is done.
Our second day in Beaufort was a “chore day”. We needed diesel fuel and were pleasantly surprised to learn that we averaged .8 gallons per hour since the last fill-up. Although we haven’t been able to sail much, using the jib or main on a good day really helps the engine out.
We had a cloudy, but dry, day so doing chores was ok. While waiting for the laundry to finish drying, we played a round of corn hole. Michele was ahead most of the game and then Al caught up to tie the game. Yes, the game ended in a tie, and ensured that marital harmony would continue on Kindred Spirit.
The next chore was grocery shopping. The Town Creek Marina had a courtesy car for cruisers to borrow. Yeah! We could buy heavy items and much more than would fit in a backpack or bike basket.
Kindred Spirit also received a thorough cleaning outside on her deck (no more tannin stain thanks to toilet bowel cleanser) and an inside straightening. Wednesday night brought lots of showers – you could hear the rain all night on the deck. We left early the next morning for another 38 mile day down the ICW.
The day brightened and became quite nice. We even used sunscreen!! This part of the ICW had a different feel and look. The water became more blue/green as we passed the sandy marshes and barrier islands of the Outer Banks. On our port side was —
Many homes and docks lined the western side of the ICW channel —
The best part of the day was seeing the wildlife (the natural kind, not the night kind.)
And the very best of all —–
Our resting stop for the night was Mile Hammock Bay, near the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. This is a small man-made harbor within the base that permits public anchoring, but you cannot to go ashore.
There was no doubt whatsoever that this was a military area. All afternoon and into the evening/night, there were practice exercises overhead. Helicopters take off, circle around, return and pick up practice cargo.
It was noisy, but it is important work so we didn’t mind. By nightfall there were 15 boats anchored in this harbor, all traveling south.