Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 252    Belhaven Waterway Marina,
Belhaven, NC      MM   136
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sunset at Belhaven Marina

Belhaven Museum

Original newspaper at Belhaven Museum covering Lincoln's assassination

Jeff, Linda, Becky, Carlton, Rich, Linda on Moonstruck for chili dinner

As predicted, the weather was cool, windy, and rainy.  Not a good day to travel.  We worked around the boat, did some laundry and grocery shopping.   Everyone in the “Looper Train” enjoyed a wonderful chili dinner on “Moonstruck”.  Thanks to Judy and Doug for their hospitality!           
Total miles:  0       Total bridges:  0        Total locks:  0

Day 251    Belhaven Waterway Marina,
Belhaven, NC      MM   136
Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dream Catcher at Belhaven Marina

We arrived at Belhaven Waterway Marina about 1:00.  Since storms are predicted for Wednesday, we checked in for 2 nights.  Like a lot of towns, Belhaven has fallen on hard times, and a lot of the shops were closed and in disrepair.  The Belhaven Memorial Museum, on the second floor of the old Town Hall, consists of antiques collected in the early 1900s in order to raise money for the American Red Cross.  The most interesting item that we found was an original newspaper from April 1865 reporting President Lincoln’s assassination.
For dinner we walked to Fish Hooks Café.  The menu offered items for “Little Guppies and Old Sharks”.  All of us “old sharks” were amazed at the quantity and quality of the meals.  What a great dinner!            
Total miles:  45.5       Total bridges:  1        Total locks:  0

Day 250    Oriental City Docks,
Oriental, NC      MM   181.5
Monday, May 2, 2011

Oriental Marina

Docked at Oriental Marina

Restaurant at Oriental Marina

Jim, Dick, Pat (Gypsea) and Brenda

As we arrived at the Oriental Marina we were greeted by Pat and Dick Danly on Gypsea.  We hadn’t seen them since last fall at Aqua Marina.  They had planned to leave Oriental this morning, but when they saw Dream Catcher on the board for reservations tonight, they decided to stay another night.  It was great to see them! 
The town of Oriental got its name in 1866 when the wife of the postmaster found the nameplate from the sunken ship “Oriental” on the beach on the Outer Banks.  Known as “the Sailing Capital of the World”, Oriental boasts 800 residents and 3,000 vessels in the area. 
While the “Looper Train” men rode their bicycles to West Marine and the hardware store, the women walked downtown and shopped.  I even found some earrings! 
We had dinner with Pat and Dick at the Toucan Grill next to the marina.  The food was excellent and so was the company!        
Total miles:  21.5       Total bridges:  2        Total locks:  0

Day 249    Beaufort City Docks,
Beaufort, NC     MM   203
Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beaufort Maritime Museum

Captains Jim, Rich, and Jeff at the Maritime Museum

Part of the Maritime Museum where boats are made
Beaufort is known for its shops, restaurants, and artist community of painters, sculptors, and writers.  On Sunday morning we checked it out and, along with Becky and Carlton, found a great breakfast at a small café.   We wandered through the downtown area and shopped at several stores.  The North Carolina Maritime Museum and Watercraft Center is a must-see in Beaufort, and it lived up to its reputation.  It’s small, but it’s full of a lot of interesting exhibits on boat building, environmental programs, marine life, marine industry, and much more. 
After more shopping we gathered at Seamoore where we all contributed to a grilled bratwurst dinner.  Thanks to Carlton for all of the grilling!     
Total miles:   0       Total bridges:  0        Total locks:  0

Day 248    Beaufort City Docks,
Beaufort, NC      MM   203
Saturday, April 30, 2011

Downtown Beaufort, NC

A short mileage day, but long on activity.  We went 4 miles out of our way to get fuel at The Boathouse Marina, but it was definitely worth the trip.  It was the best price for fuel that any of us have seen for a long time.  We checked in at the Beaufort City Docks about 1:30.  Beaufort (pronounced BO-fort) is the third oldest city in North Carolina.  It was incorporated in 1722.  In 1974 the waterfront was transformed into a yachting center with a new boardwalk and docks. 
We walked and shopped in the downtown area, and ended up with Jeff and Linda (Jeremiah) at a small restaurant that offered a tasty meat/cheese/fruit tray.  We shared the appetizers and then walked back to Jeremiah where we were joined by the rest of the Looper Train.  We were also joined by Judy and Doug on “Moonstruck” who live close to Jeremiah in Florida and happened to start the Loop on the same day as Jeremiah.  Everyone left at 8:30 to walk downtown for dinner, but we opted to stay on Dream Catcher for a quiet evening.         
Total miles:   26       Total bridges:  2        Total locks:  0

Day 247    Casper’s Marina,
Swansboro, NC      MM   229
Friday, April 29, 2011

Bold color choice along the ICW


Osprey at Camp LeJeune

Marines in training at Camp LeJeune

Warning to boats entering Camp LeJeune area

Dream Catcher cruising behind Seamoore

Beautiful home on ICW

The Looper Train - Goofin Off, Seamoore, Jeremiah, Dream Catcher

The only giraffe we've seen on this trip

Dinner at Swansboro

We put in a long boating day, leaving Carolina State Park about 7:00 and arriving at Casper’s Marina about 4:30.  Part of the delay was due to 2 bridges, each with a 12-foot clearance that opened only on the hour.  We timed the first one correctly and went right through.  However, the second bridge marked the beginning of Camp LeJeune, a marine training base.   It opened only on the odd hour (1:00, 3:00, and 5:00).   The area was closed for a live fire training exercise.  As we were waiting for the 3:00 opening we heard a frantic call on the marine radio.  A fishing boat was trapped inside of the live fire area and reported bullets flying all around his boat.   Yikes!  Fortunately, he made it to the closest inlet and out to the Atlantic Ocean.   We were just glad to make it through the area after 3:00 and arrive safely at our marina.          
Total miles:   68       Total bridges:  6        Total locks:  0

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