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Old 04-12-2019, 08:27 AM   #1
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NC Fun Trip Next Week...

About monday, my girl and I are taking the boat from the Wilmington area up the ditch and the plan is to make stops in Beaufort, then Okracoke, then Oriental. She's a teacher and is off all next week for spring break. We've been to Beaufort a couple times and have a pretty good handle on that place.

But it has been years since I have been to Okracoke. Last time there I stayed at some sort of municipal dock, it was inexpensive but rather primitive, bulkhead tie, lots of ferry surge, etc.

Do any of you have a fave Silver Lake place to dock? I will look on line but sometimes real experience is nice to hear. We will stay on the boat overnight, but would like 30A power, wifi, and a sort of central location to base our walking from.

We are not taking a dink as it is a mess right now so if we want to walk, we are going to dock!

Same with Oriental. Any fave places for overnight dockage? I have been there by land and did sea trials there on OPB's (other people's boats) but never there in my own ride.

Looks like wind will be a bit snotty next week, depending on the day, so probably no offshore. Probably return Friday??
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:43 AM   #2
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Sounds like a fun trip. Can't help you with docks as I anchor out in Oriental. I'm headed North and may cross paths with you on your return between the Cape Fear river and Moorehead City. Try not to wake me too bad.

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Old 04-12-2019, 10:21 AM   #3
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As you may remember I used to live in Oriental and know much of the cruising in that area.

Next week may not be the best for Ocracoke. That town really doesn't come out of its winter shell until May and more likely Memorial Day. I haven't anchored at private docks there, the NPS dock is cheap but there should be plenty of private docks nearby. Check https://activecaptain.garmin.com/en-US/Map. The NPS dock does have power now and the ferry wake isn't really that bad.

Oriental is having its boat show this weekend, but you will miss that. Probably the best place to dock is Oriental Marina, right near the iconic coffee house, The Bean. Lots of restaurants nearby: the one at the Marina, M&Ms and O'Town all within a couple of blocks. Or if you can live without power, dock at one of the two free town docks.

If you don't go to Ocracoke, then a couple of suggestions:

For a quiet, historical place, Bath on the Pamlico River is nice. Either dock at the free State Park docks but no power, or at Bath Harbor Marina, both just before the bridge. Further up the river is little Washington a much bigger town. Dock at the Washington Waterfront Docks.

Have fun!

David
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:08 AM   #4
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Yea, I know it is a bit early. But this is a week off for her and we are going to make something of it. Go do some exploring.

Will check out Bath.

Any other interesting spots to check out? Our style is to stick our nose in some harbor and sniff around. If something catches our eye, we go check it out. Not much into detailed planning.

This summer we have a trip planned to the Chesapeake and maybe beyond. Have not really planned to the detail level on that one yet. Ran to the Bahamas and Fla Keys last summer. Fun but Florida was friggin HOT. Bahamas heat was not too bad at all.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:24 PM   #5
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Ski - When we go to Ocracoke, we stay at the Anchorage Inn and Marina. Far enough from the Ferry to see them come in, but not get waked by them! They are a full service marina and are perfect for renting a bike or golf cart to explore! Although everything really is walking distance....with Howard's Pub being the furthest distance.

In Oriental we stay at the Oriental Marina and Inn. Also perfectly located for walking everywhere!

While in Beaufort, try to get over to Town Creek Marina where City Kitchen is located. (the location of the old Fish Tales) They have Fabulous food and a great sunset view!!

On a side note, if you end up in Morehead City for any reason, we prefer the Morehead City Yacht Basin (actually it's our current home port). Lots of great restaurants within walking distance here too. Floyd's 1921 just reopened this week after hurricane repairs. Now everything is back open!!


Enjoy your spring break!!


Oh - adding in New Bern is a fun little town!!! Not sure if the New Bern Grand Marina is ready for transients, they are supposed to have bath facilities back soon, but do have power for sure. The Galley Store Marina is another option in Town.



Have fun where ever you end up!
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:52 PM   #6
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Any other interesting spots to check out? Our style is to stick our nose in some harbor and sniff around. If something catches our eye, we go check it out. Not much into detailed planning.
Well if you have the time, do the Albermarle loop. From Oriental, head up to Belhaven and stay at Dowry Creek Marina. Never been there and may not be much to do there, but others like it. I have always anchored at the south end of the Pungo River Canal. Or just crank up you motor and keep going to Edenton.

Then from there, head up through the canal and the river into Albermarle Sound and turn west to Edenton. The town dock is free for the first two nights and is a full service marina. Edenton is a nice town with a historical district and you can visit the old court house. There are a couple of nice restaurants downtown within easy walking distance from the marina.

From there head west to Manteo and dock at either the free town dock- no services or one of the marinas. Manteo has a tiny redeveloped area downtown near the free dock with a decent restaurant or two.

Then down to Ocracoke and stay as described above and back to Beaufort and home.

Or do a side trip to New Bern as also noted above. New Bern got beat up pretty bad by Florence but should now be mostly 100% by now. The Grand is right downtown close to everything.

David
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:11 PM   #7
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Well if you have the time, do the Albermarle loop. From Oriental, head up to Belhaven and stay at Dowry Creek Marina. Never been there and may not be much to do there, but others like it. I have always anchored at the south end of the Pungo River Canal. Or just crank up you motor and keep going to Edenton.
If you get that far up Elizabeth City is also quite pleasant, with lots of free transient docking. If the river is rough go through the bridge and stop at the college.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:01 PM   #8
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Thanks, all. Going to get my girl to read this stuff and look at the maps.

I do want to explore some around Albemarle, but we are going to heading that way in the summer and then will be the time to explore there. This week is just a little fun trip.

I talked to Anchorage in Ocracoke, that may be our spot for at least one night. Said they should have plenty of room. Another possibility is Jolly Rogers as they have dock and dine, but their phone # gives constant busy tone.

Got oil change and fuel filter change done on the boat. Diver cleaned the bottom (too cold for me). Few little things to do, but not much.

Gonna pick up fuel at New River Marina, Snead's Ferry about 20-30m up the ditch. About $2.50/gal.
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:16 PM   #9
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$2.50 per gallon, wow that is some cheap diesel. Pump prices here in SW Florida are about $2.70 with diesel about $2.90. I have rarely seen marinas charge less than pump prices for fuel.


David
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:08 PM   #10
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$2.50 per gallon, wow that is some cheap diesel. Pump prices here in SW Florida are about $2.70 with diesel about $2.90. I have rarely seen marinas charge less than pump prices for fuel.

David
I've been buying marine diesel at prices consistently lower than street price all winter while looping. $2.40 - $2.90 and it seemed in all cases it was cheaper than local street. I've been pleasantly surprised.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:15 PM   #11
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I am with David... Ocracoke is still in quiet and weekend mode. The Albermarle loop will take too much time to do from where you are. And if you are already up with Beaufort, you could skip that... hear me out.

For your week, do a Morehead, Oriental, New Bern trip. Come see us at the Morehead City Yacht Basin and spend a day or two wandering in downtown. Head up to Oriental for a night, then head up for a good two-night stay in New Bern.

The dockage is easy and cheap (although MHC is a bit pricy) No problem with navigation. No heavy current. No ICW trouble spots. Everything fun is an EASY walk from any dockage and it makes for a very pleasant loop.

Feel free to PM us and we can exchange phone numbers. We are happy to provide as much input as we can. That has been our boating area for 10 years now.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:10 PM   #12
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Wish I could fuel in NC. Paid $4.61 last month for diesel in San Diego. All due to our weather tax I guess! We have to pay for year round boating. At least it is cheap to winterize :-)
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:57 PM   #13
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Wish I could fuel in NC. Paid $4.61 last month for diesel in San Diego. All due to our weather tax I guess! We have to pay for year round boating. At least it is cheap to winterize :-)
We have year round boating and paid $2.70 last week. That's delivery but several marinas on the East Coast of FL at $3.00 with Boat US or other discount. I noticed Fort Pierce is. North Palm Beach.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:15 PM   #14
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Sooooooo....what are you doing? Where did you go? Are you having fun? Have you see the Friday and Saturday weather/wind forecast?
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:20 AM   #15
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Monday we did not leave. A friend was having some issues so we stayed here and helped her out. Also it was pretty windy Mon so for two reasons we kicked departure out til Tues. Tues was nice and calm and we left like 1130 and ran slow for a good part.

We made it to Beaufort tues at 6pm and hung out around there. Had a fun night and got into the brews a little bit. Wed the wind was up more than I thought and we talked about where to go. She was feeling lazy and I was not super excited about going out and getting beat. We also knew the wind was only going to pick up and Fri looked really nasty. So we decided to stay put at the city docks a second night and just be tourists. This involved food, some more brews, and then naps!! Completely lazy, the both of us.

On Tues, we stopped in Snead's Ferry for fuel. There were six military boats rafted up completely clogging the fuel dock, fueling one by one. Asked them how long they were going to be, the guy just shrugged and said 35min, maybe longer. Kind of annoyed me as there was no where else to tie unless I wanted to beat up the boat. I had done my fuel calcs before leaving and according to calcs, had enough to make the whole trip, so off we went. Did not want to get to b-fort after the dockhands left.

Got fuel at the city docks, it was not too bad, about 3.05.

Had a total of 37gal on arrival based on dipstick. Last 10gal is unobtanium based on dip tubes so I was running things a bit close!!

Tom, thanks for the offer. I discussed it with her, but she was in the mood to lounge around in pajamas and take naps. And we made absolutely no plans, just when woke up we would do something spur of the moment.

So it was a very lazy few days. Wed night we were at the micro brewery a few doors up the street from Royal James, enjoying a nice IPA with a guy that turned out be an ordained minister. He said he would marry us if we bought him his next beer. We thought about it bit and decided we were poorly dressed for such an occasion. I think she bought him a beer anyway.

I got up Thurs AM and left the dock about 715. Caught the rising tide so ran hull speed up til near Swansboro. In Bogue we were doing 8.5-9kts where normal is 7.6. Nice free push. Then got some tide on the nose and powered up to 19kts. So about half the trip at hull speed, half at power. Did about the same slow/fast balance on the way up, and burn was about 30gal per the stick. Have not dipped the tanks since return, but I've made several ILM-BFT trips and it works out to 30-35gal each way. Much quicker offshore (3hrs +/-) but same burn as offshore I am at power the whole time. Inshore is about 6hrs (+/-).

Fun and lazy trip. Boat did great, no problems. My girl had lots of smiles and lots of naps. She needed both.

Only problem was her cell phone jumped out of her hoodie pocket and flew precisely between boat and dock as she was boarding. Amazing how acrobatic those things are when they have a goal in mind. She did not fuss over it as she wanted a new phone anyway. Better sport than I would be!! Today we go get another one.

The primary goal of the trip was for her to have fun. Secondary goal was to make Ocracoke, but only if that did not affect the primary goal. I was not highly driven to make that leg unless it was super nice. And the trip had gotten shorter due to Monday friend issues and Friday snottiness.

Wind is up right now, planned to get worse. Glad boat is home. Snotty out there!! Glad I am not trying to beat my way through the sounds!!
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:33 PM   #16
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Sounds like a nice, peaceful, relaxing vacation and a great trip because you made it that way. You just took what was there and didn't try to force anything. I find Beaufort and Morehead City to be very peaceful areas to explore slowly.
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:42 PM   #17
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if you don't want the headache of new river marina and its terrible dock, hit Spooner's Creek in Bogue Sound (approx mm210) on your way North......fuel was $2.55 and free pumpout,...also happily let us stay the night on the fuel dock for free (or you can anchor in the very protected creek. Super spot to stop.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:17 PM   #18
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Sounds like a great trip!! A few days in Beaufort is always a good idea!
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:05 PM   #19
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What a great thread, Ski!


Cheers,
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:37 PM   #20
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I find Beaufort and Morehead City to be very peaceful areas to explore slowly.

Yea... we love it here!
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