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.
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…
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.
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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