After the night of big guns, our trip into Beaufort was uneventful. The most exciting thing that happened was Margaret’s discovery that the holding tank vents into the cockpit, of all places. She was cruising along, enjoying the warm sunshine at the helm, when Barry went below to use the head. He was merrily flushing away when she started screaming, “Stop! Stop!” at the top of her lungs. ‘Nuff said.
We anchored in the creek off Beaufort, unintentionally placing ourselves as close to the public dinghy dock as possible. Initially, we stayed on the boat through a the first current change, to make sure we’d be in the correct position when every boat in the crowded anchorage did a 180-degree pirouette.
In the morning, we added air to our inflatable kayaks and paddled the short distance to the dock, where we had to jockey for space with a half-dozen rowing dinghies, inflatables, and hard kayaks. It’s frustrating to find that everyone else has used a short 1-foot line to tie up, crowding around the dock like a bunch of greedy piggies at the trough — makes it especially hard to pull a kayak alongside and get out! If you are a boater, and you are reading this, remember to be a good citizen and put a nice long painter on your dinghy.
Other than a crowded dinghy dock, Beaufort was fabulous. We walked the streets, with houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, hung out at the library and the coffee shop, and browsed a few little gift shops. We also visited the Old Burying Grounds at dusk, where tombstones reflect the town’s history, and one sad grave is marked “Little Girl Buried in a Rum Cask.”
We rented a car for a day and checked out the three boatyards we were considering: Bock Marine, Core Creek Marine, and Russell’s. All three have pluses and minuses. Russell’s is tiny, but located within walking distance of many stores and restaurants in Morehead City. They lost points for their lack of liveaboard amenities, having only a dingy bathroom with shower and no lounge, and the fact that they are very expensive. Core Creek has great bathrooms, but the atmosphere is industrial, like living in a gravel lot. Their fee structure is complex, but reasonable.
Bock Marine is our choice for the refit, a pretty but hard-working place surrounded by woods. There may be mosquitoes, but we’re willing to chance it. There are lots of interesting boats in storage, for sale, and being worked on, some of them by liveaboards like us. We enjoyed walking around, looking at boats, and chatting with a couple working on a large sloop. Val and Gigi are French-Canadians who cruised the South Pacific for 18 years and are now getting their next boat ready.
There’s a courtesy car, a lounge area, and a couple of bathrooms with showers. What a dream, after our time in Seabrook boatyard in New Orleans, where the only “amenity” was a single ripe port-a-potty, known as the Pot o’ Gold.
Sometimes, I think this blog has too much about bathrooms and holding tanks and not enough about other cruising.
We’re pulling up the anchor and going up to our haulout today. Then it’s back to Seattle for the holidays, after a much-anticipated visit with Margaret’s big brother, Stevie. I’ll write more then and do my best to keep the bathroom humor to a minimum!