ICW and Beaufort
Beaufort, NC, Sunday, October 29, 2017
We have been hanging on a mooring ball in Taylor Creek, Beaufort, NC for the past week and are getting ready to head to Florida. Boat life is starting to feel normal and owning a car and having access to a real shower are in the distant past.
Beaufort is a quaint historic town with a long history of whaling and boating. It welcomes transients such as ourselves, offering dingy docks, hot showers for $2 and a laundromat.
Since leaving Norfolk we spent 4 days on the Intercostal Waterway traveling south, part of a procession of “snowbirds”, boaters migrating to warmer latitudes. There were numerous bridges openings and even a lock . After passing the Dismal Swamp, the Pungo Ferry, and Coinjock we were seemingly by ourselves and in North Carolina. Beautiful, protected nature anchorages marked our way and the weather blessed us with summer like conditions.
After spending a calm night in the Alligator River we entered a 27-mile canal to the Pamlico Sound. Suddenly we were removed from civilization, and met with an abundance of wildlife; bald eagles perched in dead trees along the canal, regal looking and unnerved by our transit, a wild turkey spooked and exploded from a bush, and a deer froze at the edge of the water. A few miles later a deer crossed the canal, and a moments later, to our surprise, a bear swam towards our boat. We couldn’t believe our eyes. I was at the helm and put the engine in neutral and luckily the bear turned around last minute to avoid a collision!
Last Sunday we arrived in Beaufort and tied up to a mooring ball a friend of a friend has lent us during our stay here. It was right in time, as a low pressure system passed over us the following night, roaring with thunder and lightening and up to 50-knot gusts. The mooring held up and I felt okay about Bill leaving to go back to Charlottesville for a medical conference the next day. My BFF Kathy came to my rescue and we had a great visit, taking a kayak tour and exploring some of the barrier islands surrounding us.
Tuesday our friend Bill arrives from the San Juan Islands in WA to join us on our first off shore passage. It sounds like we will have a weather window opening on Wednesday with light winds, turning in to a nor’easter. We are aiming for Charleston, SC, or if the weather holds up, somewhere in Florida.
Cheers from Ninni and Bill