Oriental, NC – One of our favorite places

We left Swansboro after an evening of strong winds. We were happy that the winds had calmed down by morning as we made our departure from Swansboro to head to Oriental today. The Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) is still narrow as we make our way from Swansboro towards Beaufort. This time through this area we decided not to stop in Beaufort and keep on going right to Oriental. In total the trip today is about 50 miles, so about 10 hours today, if we maintain about 5 knots. However, there are some strong currents through the Moorehead/Beaufort area and the tide is in our favor today and pushing along at a much faster rate than 5 knots so we were able to get into Oriental at about 2:30 pm.

As we approached the Beaufort area, there was another Island Packet that passed us going in the opposite direction, of course we waved hello! Just as we passed each other we heard someone hailing us on the VHF. It was the owner of the Island Packet 40 calling us on the radio. We chatted with him for about 15 – 20 minutes and exchanged contact information and stories about where we were headed, where he was headed, etc. He is headed to Florida to have some work completed on his boat down there. Nice chatting and “meeting” people along our journey.

As we came through the Beaufort area, I took this photo. I thought it was a great photo showing the contrast of a small fishing boat against the large tanker. We see boats of all shapes and sizes.

As we pulled into Oriental, our friend Ed met us on his dinghy and guided us into the harbor. He followed us to our slip at the Oriental Marina and Inn and helped us tie up. It is so good to see Ed. You might recall we met Ed and Evelyn last summer on the Erie Canal and then they stored our boat for us for 4 months behind their house in New Bern, NC when we had to fly home unexpectedly. Ed brought his boat up from New Bern to spend sometime with us in Oriental. Once we got settled, Ed went a retrieved his boat that he left in the outer anchorage and moved to the free dock closer to us. We called Evelyn who drove the car up and joined us.

The Oriental Marina and Inn is a great property that has an awesome grassy area just in front of the slips that overlooks the water with the town near by. It’s a great place to sit in the lounge chairs on the grass and have a beer and chat with our friends and other sailors.

Here’s the view from our boat.

Enjoying a cocktail on the grass.

The 4 of us had dinner at the restaurant right at the marina and inn and had a great evening catching up and creating new memories.

Sadly, we are only in Oriental for one night and we have to move on tomorrow. We are trying to get to Albemarle Sound Plantation for the pig roast.

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