Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Oriental, Sailing Capitol of North Carolina

July 16
Oriental, NC

Intermezzo is resting at the free town dock in the small town of Oriental. We arrived around 1400 and it is really hot out, so not much exploring done yet. I'm writing this from the Inland Waterway Provision Company, where they have a small "Cruisers' Corner" with free WiFi...and air conditioning.  The town calls itself the Sailing Capitol of North Carolina and judging by the number of sailboats in the marinas and the size of the town, I can understand why. It looks like a very nice, quaint little town. When it cools down, we'll venture further and discover more.

We spent last night on the hook in a small cove called Royal Thurman on Adams Creek, the route of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) between Beaufort and the Neuse River. We anchored in about 10 feet of water, about 300 yards off the main ICW channel in front of a neighborhood of nice waterfront homes. Three small local shrimp boats worked the water, trawling back and forth in and adjacent to the main channel. We were surprised when a tug pushing a huge barge appeared, headed back towards Beaufort, seemingly much too big for the narrow stretch of the creek.

The water in our anchorage was calm, there was a nice breeze and we had an almost full moon. I pulled out my guitar, which I haven't played for over a year and quietly plucked a few chords while sitting out on the trampoline, apparently not playing horribly enough to drive Lisa inside. I had the good sense to not press my luck further by singing.  It was very peaceful place to spend the night.

Getting to Adams Creek was an easy motor along a mostly narrow channel, the first half looks like more of a manmade canal than a creek, the second half opening to a pretty creek, more like a river, with tree lined banks. After a lazy morning at anchor, we continued from our anchorage along Adams Creek to its mouth at the Neuse River, which we crossed to get to Oriental. Many of the day marks along the channel are topped by osprey nests and we were treated with the sighting two fuzzy chicks sitting on either side of its parent. Interestingly, only the red triangular day marks have nests; must be something to do with access to the pole for nest building, I guess.

The Neuse is a big river, more like a bay in appearance. It looks like great sailing water, though the wind was too light for our short crossing today. I'll be doing quite a bit of sailing upon it, ultimately heading inland to New Bern to drop off Lisa and pick up Renee to continue heading northward.

Once in Oriental's harbor we had to choose between anchoring or tying up to one of the town's two free docks. We chose the dock to give us easier access for strolling around...when it's cooler out. The docks are in good shape and come complete with air conditioned restrooms. Lisa suggested that we just bring chairs and sit in the bathrooms but I had read about the Cruisers' Corner here and raised our game considerably.

Adams Creek

Will we make it under the bridge?


Local shrimpers in the evening, Royal Thurman, Adams Creek

Sunset at anchort on Adams Creek

Looks better than it sounds

Moonlight at anchor, Adams Creek

Intermezzo resting at Oriental Town Dock