Saturday, October 31, 2020

Bellhaven NC, Weather Cautious

Intermezzo is tied along a dock at Dowry Creek Marina near the town of Bellhaven on the Pungo River. We're watching the weather forecast, which continues to call for stormy conditions and high winds tomorrow through Monday. I'd prefer to wait a couple days than endure unpleasantness.

We upped anchor just before 8 am this morning and headed down the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal. There were a few clouds in a blue sky, the air crisp-cool. The canal is quite narrow with wooded banks. The tallest trees are some sort of pine, the type with brush-like needles. Hardwood trees come up about half the height of the pines, shrubs and saplings filling in the base of the forest. The water's edge is lined with grasses, dead trees, stumps and snags, the banks eroded from the wakes of fast-moving boats, the roots of the trees exposed, the trees sure to tip over in a strong hurricane. 

The water in the canal was perfectly flat; what a contrast to yesterday's waves. Up ahead, the surface was a silver reflection of the sky, to the sides the water ink-black in the shade of the trees. The morning light cast lovely shadows in the foliage and a moving shadow of Intermezzo's mast. A very pretty and relaxing scene.

We left the canal and entered the Pungo River and turned into the marina shortly thereafter, our 29 nm day's travel passing quickly. We docked the boat and then borrowed the marina's courtesy car to visit the nearby town of Bellhaven. 

The Waterway Guide describes Bellhaven as a place "where you will find most of what you need. Many of the the businesses, sops, restaurants and the museum are within a short stroll from the town dock. Victorian homes sit along many of Bellhaven's tree-lined residential streets..."

Sounds nice, right? Well, I'm sorry to say that my impression of Bellhaven is of a poorly planned, terribly executed town in decay. I have rarely seen such horrible architecture, poor landscaping and quality of construction in the U.S. There are a few nice old homes sprinkled around town, but most of the buildings are in poor repair and the town was deserted on a Saturday. The people seem nice and there seems a sincere effort to attract and welcome tourists, but, boy, does this place need help. Perhaps in the summer, perhaps without COVID, it is a brighter place, but it was dreary and depressing for us.

Unless the weather looks better, we'll hang out at the marina and get some chores done until Tuesday.

Sunset at city dock in Columbia NC
Full moon over the Alligator River 


Entering the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal
Bank of the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal