Six days of watchin’ and waitin’ for Joaquin in Oriental left us itching to move again. We departed from our favorite underwater dock, and I do mean favorite, because that dock was a safe haven for Kindred Spirit in threatening weather. We are very grateful to Tom and Joyce for sharing their North Carolina location with us in our time need.
After the cloudy, rainy, and dismal weather for most of the past two weeks, THE SUN WAS SHINING AND THE SKIES WERE BLUE AGAIN!!!!!! WooHoo!!
It was a short day of travel, just 3 hours, from Oriental to Morehead City, crossing the Neuse River and then into Adams Creek and the Adams Creek Canal (yup, another canal.)
Towards the end of Adams Creek Canal we were greeted by Don on Obsession, an Eagle 40. Al and Don “met” and became digital friends on the website Trawler Forum When Don found this Eagle 40 in Branford, CT and traveled north to see it, Al eagerly volunteered to join him for a first look at it. Now that we were in his home waters, Don brought Obsession out to meet Kindred Spirit, on the water. 🙂
After Don turned back to his marina, we continued on to Morehead City. One of the deepest ports on the US East Coast, the Port of Morehead City is a busy commercial waterfront.
On our first trip, we spent a few days in Beaufort, NC at the Town Creek Marina. This time we joined Cutting Class in Morehead City, on the other side of the Newport River from Beaufort. I read somewhere that sailors go to Beaufort and powerboats go to Morehead City so I guess we did this right. That stereotype doesn’t seem to hold any more, there were rag tops and stinkpots in both cities.
Sanitary Fish Market is a waterfront restaurant with a dock for $25 per night if you eat a meal (or $1 per foot if you don’t.) We had a nice little lunch there to go with our dockage.
I found myself pondering the origin of the name, “Sanitary Fish Market“. It almost implies that there may be others that are not sanitary. Ugh. My curiosity drove me to their website. Sure enough, as the first waterfront restaurant in Morehead City, the “building’s proprietor stipulated that the building had to be kept very clean. To show compliance with the cleanliness requirement and to let the public know that it was a very clean place suitable for a family dinner, they named it the Sanitary Fish Market. ……Most fish markets at the time were always dirty, so Captain Tony and Captain Ted called it the Sanitary because they wanted people to know it was clean.” And my curiosity was satisfied.
Morehead City is more utilitarian than historical Beaufort, but it has a few shops and restaurants and gave our legs a nice chance to stretch and walk.
The things that caught my eye —
Our late lunch left us satisfied and full, so dinner was a walk to the ice cream shop. Be honest, haven’t you ever had ice cream for dinner? The owner told us we should sit on his “happy bench” outside and he would take our picture there.
We decided on an offshore run from Beaufort to Wrightsville Beach to avoid three bridges, two swing and one bascule, that require timing to make the openings. It was also going to be a pretty good day to be offshore. The 70-mile trip would take about 10 hours so we needed an early start.
The Beaufort Inlet is well-lit and easy to follow. We waited until there was light, around 6:30 am.
Cutting Class took photos of us leaving the inlet —
It was a long day, but a good one. The seas were only 1.5 feet and spaced nicely apart, and the breeze was light. We saw a pair of dolphins playing in our wake and a flying fish hop above the water surface right in front of our bow. Did not get photos of either. 🙁
As we ran parallel offshore to Camp LeJeune and Mile Hammock Bay off the ICW, we saw another military vessel in the distance, an aircraft carrier.
All in all, this was a sparkling day!
We both agreed that departing from Beaufort Inlet and entering Masonboro Inlet were the two easiest inlets we have traversed on either trip so far.
Time to relax for a bit. We really need to slow down and smell the salt air.