A Quickie at Oriental, NC

Looking at the breakwater and commercial fishing vessels inside as we approach

Looking at the breakwater and commercial fishing vessels inside as we approach

Our adjustable trip planner (I am going to patent this) is getting a workout. After several iterations and finally deciding on this sequence, starting with where we’d anchor Saturday night: Juniper Bay, Oriental, Beaufort (anchor at Ft Macon) then jump outside Tuesday to Wrightsville Beach (Masonboro Inlet), we changed it in the blink of an “ah-ah” moment.

Just before reaching Oriental, I looked at our planner. Russ had just updated it with the new NOAA forecast. Hum, let’s see, virtually no wind tonight and tomorrow showed very light winds out of the East. We had an extra day available if we made Sunday a long travel day to Ft Macon. Duh- let’s go to Cape Lookout! Ever since we heard that it is a slice of Bahamas transported and plopped six miles off Beaufort, NC, we’ve tried to get out there. Last spring we came within a day of getting out there, but you know the tune- yep the weather turned crappy. But here we are, lady luck sitting on the tramps again. She’s felt chilly at night when the temps drop to 48 but she warms right up during the daytime highs of mid-sixties. This constant climate change means regular outfit changes throughout the day of course.

Two choices immediately presented themselves. One, we could skip Oriental and go straight out to Cape Lookout tonight. Or we could spend less than two hours in Oriental, pick up a few groceries, then end the day at Beaufort’s Ft Macon. We’d make the short trip out to Cape Lookout mid-morning and spend the day. Tuesday as planned, we’d head for Wrightsville Beach, the detour to Cape Lookout only adding two miles to our 70nm day. So what’s a couple more when you are already pushing hard to do 70?

I needed more fresh veggies and fruit; eating and cooking healthy consumes a lot of produce 🙂  We anchored outside the breakwater at 12:50- so daring- and zoomed in. Half of the limited anchoring space inside the breakwater is filled with long-termers. One in particular, is the hot, hot topic in town and on the Cruiser’s Forum. So hot that the thread was recently closed down after over 300 comments, some no doubt, releasing some steam with that heat.

This boat from France arrived on Sandy's heels; maybe another good storm is needed

This boat from France arrived on Sandy’s heels; maybe another good storm is needed

At 2:10 Ms Ortolan welcomed us back and off we motored the remaining 23nm to Ft Macon near the Beaufort inlet.  Did you know today is shrimp day? Around here I think every day is shrimp day. We saw no less than five shrimpers heading out; toward Pamlico Sound?

One after the other they came at us as we left Oriental toward Beaufort

One after the other they came at us as we left Oriental toward Beaufort

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