Rain, rain, and more rain. We left Belhaven on an overcast and misty morning. We had reservations at River Dunes, just north of Oriental NC. This was important for a few reasons, not the least was that we needed an address to which to have packages and mail sent. Just one of the many challenges of cruising life. It has certainly put a damper on my Amazon orders. But back to the story.
This marina had been recommended by friends, and indeed, it ranks as one of the finest marinas on the East Coast. Even on a dreary day River Dunes offered a bright and cozy haven on Day 16. Our only major complaint—still TERRIBLE internet connections. I was fearful that I would never launch this blog. Somehow I was able to text, but email was out of the question, and the internet was iffy at best. How? Why? Ugh!
But the grounds were beautiful and I took advantage of their fitness room and spacious showers on Day 17 with—wait for it—continuously running hot water (you landlubbers have no idea what a luxury that is). We reserved the courtesy car (actually a van) and visited Oriental, about 8 miles away. We had lunch at M&Ms Café, shopped at a super cool marine store, and got coffee at The Bean before heading back. Bigger town than Belhaven, but not by much.
Once back at the marina, I had just settled into my temporary office when I heard a HUGE tractor trailer pull up. Turns out this mega truck came all the way to River Dunes just for us. We had ordered a Revere Coastal Life Raft following the Annapolis Boat Show and had given them this address for delivery. Yes, it was a bit shocking to learn that this suitcase-sized package was being delivered by a semi. The poor driver had to figure out how to turn his big rig around after wheeling our package to the slip. But now we are ready to “go offshore” and hope we never have to use that expensive piece of equipment.
Later, we enjoyed cocktails at the marina bar with John and Linda on Jo-Lin-Dy and Jeff and Sandra on Manatee, and shared plans for the next few days as we also compared weather forecasts. It’s amazing how 5 different sources can predict 5 different forecasts.
I was at the helm this morning as we departed River Dunes, on Day 18. For those of you who don’t know, launching and docking are my two greatest fears and challenges, especially in new and exotic places. As they say, sometimes you watch the show, and sometimes you are the show. I’m proud to say that I didn’t put on a show this morning. It may not have been a picture perfect departure, but I didn’t embarrass us, and most importantly, I didn’t hit anything. Dudley is a patient teacher, and I am one very determined sailor. I have visions of me six months from now, with all the experience behind me, sort of like Tom Hanks in Castaway, when the movie resumes several months after he has been stranded on the island and has conquered spearfishing and making fire. Yep, that will be me soon. This morning was one baby step. But a good one.
We arrived Morehead City at 2 pm and docked at the Sanitary Fish Market (yes, that’s the real name, since 1938), where we can stay for a minimal fee if we dine here. The same two couples we had cocktails with last night are here as well—that’s what I mean about ending up in similar places due to similar itineraries. After having lunch at the Ruddy Duck, we took a cab across the bridge to Beaufort, did some shopping, met Ken and Sandra on Eva Marie (another Gozzard), and returned in time to have our “dockage” dinner with Linda and John.
And unbelievably, we finally have reliable internet connection! The blog is now officially launched and the entries are all caught up. Phew!