Friday, November 19, 2021

New friends and old as we roll up to the holiday

We are under way across the Bay River, bound for the Neuse and then Oriental, North Carolina, a place we vowed we would never return, except to meet up with friends. As it happens, our friends Dave and Stacey are just wrapping up a week in Oriental, leaving tomorrow morning.

The remainder of our cruise on Tuesday was peaceful, and we arrived to the wide part of the North River in  some of the calmest conditions we've seen. Rather than tuck in anyplace, we just pulled off-channel a short way into the deeper water and dropped the hook (map).

By the end of the evening there were four or five other boats anchored around various parts of the river, and we found ourselves in a conga line headed for Albermarle Sound in the morning, notwithstanding being at the very tail end of the migration. In the skinny part of the channel to the sound, we were passed by a large motorsailer, Fly Away, that we learned also draws six feet. We had a very calm crossing of the sound and an easy cruise down the Alligator River.

I had been ruminating about whether we could squeak in to the nice anchorage at Tuckahoe Point, just before the Alligator-Pungo Canal, across a 6-7' bar. As we made the westbound turn I could see Fly Away anchored there on our AIS display, and I called them to ask about conditions. They said they had no less than 7' on the way in, and we ended up squeezing in and dropping the hook just a couple hundred feet from them (map). Other than a couple of towboats passing overnight, it was a very quiet and peaceful anchorage.

Vector anchored in the Alligator River as the nearly full moon rises above her. Photo: Mark Grosby

We had an early start yesterday, and we were again passed by Fly Away in the canal. They called to say they had some photos for us, and we agreed to drop by in Belhaven, where we both were headed.  That made for a short day after the canal, but we wanted to get off the boat and maybe have some dinner, and the next town is a long way further down the ICW. 

We pulled through the breakwater to find the anchorage entirely empty, a stark contrast to our last stay. We dropped the hook fairly close to the town dock (map). I made 5:30 reservations at Spoon River, new since our last visit, and we tendered ashore a little early at the town dock. Fly Away was docked at the Belhaven Marina and we dropped by to say hello on our way to dinner; it was very nice meeting Mark and Suzanne. They had just waved off a Bahamas crossing due to weather, so perhaps we will catch them again further south before they cross.

When I learned yesterday morning that Stacey and Dave would only be in Oriental one more night, we decided to make an early start today so we could catch up to them by dinner time. Mindful of the difficulty we had anchoring last time, and also that it's in the low 50s today and dropping to the upper 30s tonight, I've booked a slip at the Oriental Inn and Marina, along the deep water channel. As soon as I am back in cell coverage I am going to try to reserve a table for dinner at the adjacent restaurant.

After Oriental we have a couple of days before we are due in Morehead City for a slip reservation at the city docks. This arctic blast that will arrive Monday means a dock with 50-amp power and a short walk to area restaurants will be welcome, and at just $80 per night it is a relative bargain. We'll stay through Friday morning so that we can have an easy walk to our Thanksgiving reservation at Floyd's 1921, where we remember a very nice holiday meal from early in our cruising days.

My next post here will not be until after the holiday. We wish all our family, friends, and readers a very happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sean and Louise,
    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your posts. Haven’t seen you both in a long time, but it’s still easy to visualize you in all the different scenarios you describe.
    Wishing you both a great Thanksgiving!


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