Friday, November 08, 2013

Hanging out in Beaufort

[Maryanne]Kyle and I warmed to Beaufort pretty quickly once we’d fully settled in. From our anchored boat we regularly see dolphins swim along the creek, and one sunset we spent an hour or so watching two of the area’s famous wild horses grazing on the bank. Aside from such treasured sights, we found good dining, the local tourist stores, and generally wandering about the picturesque waterfront all rather relaxing. Once we found the dinghy docks and figured the correct one to use based on the state of the tides (and our expected times to arrive and depart), it was easy to go ashore, and that certainly helped too.

Anchored beside this channel marker, we suddenly have a cormorant as our special new neighbour

We hadn’t intended to stay long in Beaufort, but a snafu at Kyle’s work had him called in for some extra training during his first official vacation week. This meant we had to scramble to rent a car, and miss a perfect weather window to head out to sea. Frustrating all around, but, of course, there are positives too. Having a car meant I could make a few extra runs for groceries (Yes, we probably have a year of provisions now!), fuel, etc. The run to Raleigh-Durham airport was just under three hours, but on the drive there to drop off Kyle we were treated to wooded hills in a blaze of autumn glory, just stunning. Cotton fields were bursting with puffy white cotton balls. The drive put us in a full sense of time and place. Unfortunately all subsequent drives on that route were in the dark, with only road surface and the fear of deer crossing the road to occupy our minds.

Maryanne takes a break on a walk around Beaufort, and trust me - that there IS a wild horse in the dim light

Before Kyle left for work I persuaded (bullied?) him into touring the local museum. It helped that the museum was free, but having arrived we discovered it was also very well presented; highlights being the Blackbeard pirate wreck site and history, sperm whale skeleton and artefacts from one washed ashore relatively recently, and extensive information on local boat styles and history. I was saving a trip to the local Beaufort Historic Site (a collection of historically preserved/renovated homes with living history programs). Kyle promised we’d do it on his return to work, but of course events overtook us and suddenly with a strong storm approaching we needed to leave as soon as possible after Kyle’s return and the ‘fun list’ I’d planned had to be abandoned.

So, it’s Friday and I’m writing this while we are under-way and leaving the USA – headed off shore for a trip to the Turks and Caicos where we are looking to cast off the quilt in the bedroom, and delegate the sweaters to the bottom of the clothes pile. As we leave fishermen line the banks and small boats line the channels, all hoping for the big catch, as the current propels us out and away from America and on towards the tropics (being fickle, soon the current will hinder our passage, but for now all is well).

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