We did make it into North Carolina and back into Beaufort, our home port, after 15 1/2 years. It has changed, but it is still a wonderful town, friendly to cruisers, with lots of history. When we were here in 1997, it was November and we had ice on the decks so we stayed at the town docks. This time, we looked for space to anchor off the town but found it crowded and so contined up Taylor Creek--and found paradise! Our spot was along Carrot Island, all alone, with wild horses coming to the shore and dolphins playing and feeding alongside the boat. Yet we were just a mile from town which was a easy dinghy ride. As a bonus, we had water which was greenish-blue instead of the strong tea color of marsh creeks. CORMORANT in the photo is wearing what is called the "ICW mustache". We cleaned it off in Beaufort, but since we plan to transit the Great Dismal Swamp, it will be back.
Today we are in Oriental, NC, which calls itself the "sailing capital". Everyone here is either a current or past sailor, as are the friends we stopped here to see again. We cruised with them in the Bahamas in 1999 and last saw them in 2001, but we knew our paths would cross again. In true ex-cruiser fashion, they have already driven me to the grocery store. This afternoon they are having us to their house for dinner--and we will take our laundry along!
Next comes the Great Dismal Swamp, so more soon.