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Southbound ’19 – Travel Day 10: Checking Out Oriental

Southbound ’19 – Travel Day 10: Checking Out Oriental



Conditions: Sunny, windy and cold.  Winds North/Northeast 10 kts, sounds and rivers 1-2′.

Distance traveled: 48 statute miles 

Time underway: 4 hours 24 minutes

Average Speed: 9.5 kts

Max Speed: 19 kts

Fuel used: 52 gallons


After Belhaven, our next stop would typically be Beaufort, NC.  But being on a relaxed schedule and never having checked out Oriental, NC before, we opted for a shorter day so we could.  Since we only had around fifty miles to travel we could leave at our leisure rather than at the crack of dawn.

Of course, we were up before 7 am as the flotilla of five at Belhaven Marina was shoving off and had to eek past us (all but one boat in reverse) down the narrow fairway.  Though we’re sure it wasn’t a lot of fun for the captains it all went without incident.

We were off the docks at 8:10 am wearing gloves and winter jackets to better endure the 35-degree temperature.  The wind was blowing solidly at ten knots out of the northeast and that made for a choppy Pungo River.  When we crossed the Pamlico Sound we had a 1-2′ following sea and more following seas in the Neuse River on our way to Oriental.  Those waters, the Neuse in particular, can get pretty nasty under the wrong conditions and while we’ve had the good fortune to enjoy them all when they’ve been glassy-calm, we were happy they weren’t any rougher than they were on this day.  Once again there was a fair amount of boat traffic out there…

SV Rock Chalk enjoying the crisp air and warm sun.
A beautiful day for SV Island Girl to catch some of that wind!

It’s always a welcomed sight to see a United States Coast Guard Station! Thanks for all you do on the waterways, Coasties.
These fishing boats given you a good idea of how pleasant it was outside – these guys are all bundled up!
The docks at RE Mayo Seafood. Some cruisers like to tie up here for dirt-cheap dockage and access to very fresh seafood.

OLOH on the loose on the Neuse as captured (obviously from a distance) by our friends on Bulldog Sally who we caught up to for the last time as they were getting set to head offshore for an overnight passage to Charleston.
The approach to Oriental Harbor and Oriental Harbor Marina, our stop for the night,  is straight forward.  Just know if you’re going there that there is “no water” by “Green 5”  and you should hug “Red 6” as we were instructed to do by the marina.

We had hoped to stay at the Oriental Inn Marina but there was literally no room at the Inn as they have only one slip which could accommodate us and it was occupied.  When we called for the reservation we were told that they could take us on the Oriental Harbor Marina docks.  It was unclear in our research that it is run by the Inn and despite some unfavorable reviews, we opted to give it a shot.  I guess some people just like to complain because we thought it was a terrific spot to tie up.  The fixed docks are relatively new and the place was well-kept.  There’s not much right there but everything Oriental has to offer is within walking distance.  The only note that we have is that you wouldn’t want to be there in a southerly blow because of the exposure.  That wasn’t an issue during our stay.

That’s right folks, no room at the Inn!
You get a nice feel for the area walking to the Dockmaster’s office. It’s not a short walk by any means but you’ll pass a terrific provisions store with a bit of everything, a little cafe and a few other places to poke around in.

Oysters and eggs. Very niche….very, very niche!  Fun fact: Oyster shells are fed to chickens as a calcium supplement.  But do they get to enjoy the oyster crackers as well??

The area has a terrific website that’s like a good, old-fashioned local newspaper. It’s a great resource for Oriental and has a couple of good webcams including this one which captured OLOH at the docks.
There’s something particularly magical about the light at dusk in this part of the world.

We were originally set to hit Beaufort, NC next but have decided to move a bit further down the ICW to Hampstead, NC.  See you out there…


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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6




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