Ten miles off the North Carolina coast during a ten-hour trip to Wrightsville Beach seems like a good time to knock out a blog post, so here we go.
When we last checked in, we had arrived in Belhaven. Belhaven is a cool enough little town—made cooler by the marina golf cart that took us to the Food Lion—although it’s kind of dead on Sundays.
Spoon River Artworks & Market was open for brunch, however, and never fails to deliver.
The rain cleared out and the wind died down, but we stayed put.
Monday took us back to River Dunes. Along the way we passed R.E. Mayo Seafood, which is a famous stop for fresh seafood, fuel, and t-shirts. We didn’t stop, but the fleet of fishing boats is impressive.
The approach into the basin at River Dunes remains the coolest we’ve encountered. Awesome every time, although we might not think so if it was raining.
We once met with the River Dunes sales person who happily would’ve sold us a lot or a house, but we didn’t bite. We subsequently did buy a fabulous lot on deep water around the corner in New Bern, only to discover that building a hurricane-proof house is cost-prohibitive, so we promptly sold the lot. If just one person reads this and learns from our mistake and doesn’t foolishly buy waterfront property without first investigating the cost of building on it, however, our experience will be justified. Or possibly not.
Anyway, short stop in River Dunes, then off to Morehead City. In our 2019 post about heading north on this stretch, we lamented not checking the current in Adams Creek. Fought it the entire way. In 2021 we got lucky. This time? We didn’t check the current heading south in Adams Creek. Fought it the entire way. But if just one person reads this and learns from our mistake . . ..
Historically we’ve stayed at Homer Smith’s Dock in Beaufort. We like Beaufort, although we like the Beaufort in South Carolina much more. But in their fine blog our pals on Exhale discussed stopping in Morehead City, so we stopped in Morehead City.
The nice lady at the ice cream place said that the town shuts down for the winter so a lot of places are closed, but since we weren’t planning to buy a lot and build a hurricane-proof house in Morehead City it didn’t matter much to us.
Followers of this blog know we like monuments and sculptures. We’ve posted more than a few. This one with what looks to be a third-grader’s papier-mâché project plopped on a gravestone, um, isn’t good.
But the marina was nice, and conveniently located right at the junction of the ICW and the Beaufort Inlet.
We opted for skipping two ICW days and instead riding outside. This route avoids some troublesome bridges and some slow(er) boats and some narrow spots and some shallow spots and Camp Lejeune, none of which we mind avoiding this time. So out at daybreak for a long boring trip down the Atlantic.
The following photo may look like a zillion other photos we’ve posted, but there’s a twist. This is the exact view that the dread pirate Blackbeard had on June 10, 1718, when he unloaded loot from Queen Anne’s Revenge after he scuttled her/grounded on the shoal, although we suspect there wasn’t a fiberglass fishing boat close enough to observe the incident.
We know this was Blackbeard’s view because we took the photo while directly above what’s left of the wreckage. We did not stop, don wetsuits and scuba tanks, and dive down with an underwater camera, so this is not our photo of said wreckage.
We tend to side with the historians who think Blackbeard’s grounding was intentional, because the shoal is marked clearly on our chartplotters and Navionics iPad app. Even at dead low tide it wouldn’t be hard to avoid.
Hopefully there won’t be anything exciting to report about the rest of the day. We’re thinking naps and showers and lunch and possibly a replay of the Tennessee victory over Texas A&M, followed by dinner at The Bridge Tender, assuming everything works out.
*With all due respect to Al Jolson and Bing Crosby and Dean Martin and every other crooner who recorded that song, we submit that in fact there are finer places to wake up with your sweetie and morning glories. But we have had a run of fine mornings—and more importantly we needed a title for this post—so we’re willing to go with it.