July 13, 2018
We were happy to leave Dudley’s Marina. Neither Amy or I slept due to the constant rocking from fishermen leaving at all hours of the night and seemingly happy to “wake” us (pun intended)! It is the first marina that we visited that I would not recommend and definitely would not return. All marinas are different and we like going from large city marinas to small towns. We love the difference and we look for the best in whatever town we are in. Some of the most memorable places are the “out of the way” places like Leland Oil in McClellanville, SC. They have the best shrimp dip we’ve ever had!
Anyway, back to Dudleys… It was neither quaint nor friendly. There is definitely a dock “etiquette” that almost all boaters adhere to… It’s such tight quarters and you are outside most of the time.
1/ You try not to use the finger piers of someone else’s docked boat. This is the equivalent of walking on your porch. If your boat isn’t docked there… Ask before you walk down.
2/ If we dock next to locals or folks who live aboard, they almost always greet us with a smile and a wave and ask if there is anywhere we need directions to, etc. Some have even offered cocktails, snacks, etc. It is a great atmosphere.
3/ It is customary to offer to help the incoming boat with lines. This keeps the occupants of the boat “in” the boat while docking and therefore much safer.
You get the idea….. So, here is what we witnessed both upon docking and departing from Dudley’s.
The current was raging when we departed and once the last line was free our boat was moving with no time to spare. I threw Amy the last line and jumped aboard, then scurried upstairs to take the helm as the boat was already in motion. Our “neighbors” watching the whole time. Amy said it was the fastest she has ever seen me move.
While it was a short trip to Beaufort, we had the current against us the entire time. It took an extra hour but we had given ourselves plenty of time so no worries. We are still plagued with the intermittent bilge pump issue and I am trying hard to channel my inner Bob Kirby mechanical ability to find the problem. My dad could fix anything with duct tape, pliers and a hammer. Unfortunately, I didn’t acquire those same skills so we will have someone look at it when we get to New Bern in about a week.
During our drive, it became very cloudy which we welcomed as it keeps the heat to a minimum. The clouds were so low we checked to ensure fog was not rolling in with more rain or weather. Boating in fog is the mariners equivalent of flying IFR (instrument flight rules). We have radar on board but I’d rather not use it in an area where we are unfamiliar.
We arrived around noon and Beaufort, NC did not disappoint! They put us on an inside slip that lies about 20 feet from the town boardwalk. It is closer to downtown than we have ever been and a great people watching spot from our flybridge. We have a dozen restaurants to choose from that are closer than our mailbox at home. With all of it’s hospitality, charm and quaintness, Beaufort is like Blue Ridge, GA in a coastal setting.
We rode our bikes both days and put little blue the dinghy to work on what was to be the longest ride we’ve done to date. We boated up Taylor Creek and kept a sharp eye on Carrot Island for the feral horses but there was far too much activity for them to be out and about, even docking on the island and walking up the boardwalk hoping to catch a glimpse. We are 0 for 2 on islands with wild horses on them. We did, however, witness some pretty wild antics from the restaurant / bar last night. Nothing blog worthy! As we sat topside, we had the benefit of free music and entertainment.
If there is one area that we would recommend to visit to get the real character of coastal Carolina, it would be Beaufort and New Bern (we will write about New Bern in a few days).
Hope you are enjoying your weekend, Dale & Amy