"When I think of all the fools I've been it's a wonder that I've sailed this many miles." -Guy Clark

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

day three - a visit to Oriental

Chilly again overnight.  But not as cold as the night before.  Mist hangs over the water at the little cove on Whittaker Creek.  I can see Curt on ANNIE getting ready to raise his anchor.  I've got the sleeping gear and boom tent stowed.

Underpower a little after six, following the channel out through the narrow entrance.  I'm surprised how close the entrance channel to Oriental is.  Yesterday evening it was all backlit and I could not make out the waterfront homes in the town.

We're docked at 6:45, I tie up on the bulkhead and Curt ties up on the town dock.  The Bean is not yet open so we take a walk through town, stopping at Lou Mac park to watch dolphins swimming and playing just off the end of the fishing pier.

Back at the waterfront The Bean is open, iced tea for me, coffee for Curt and a couple of blueberry muffins.  An excellent way to start the day.  Sitting at the picnic bench we see Keith of TownDock and say hello.  We catch up with him a bit, he says he might have Allison drop by to talk about our boats.  

The thing you need to know about Oriental is that it is a town that is all about boats.   I heard before and I hear again on this visit that the town has a population of about 900 people and 750 boats.  I think that is pretty close to being true.  Everyone has a boat, once had a boat or owns multiple boats.

A lot of interesting vessels come through Oriental.  Our two wooden yawls seem to catch the interest of several people.  By 10:00 or so we probably had a dozen people stop to talk.  And it is fun to talk to people on the Oriental waterfront because they do know about boats.  One of them, Annie, says if not for the virus she would invite us to her house for dinner, all single handers get invited to her house.  We hear about great boats, ocean crossings and all sorts of interesting stories from the locals.  It is a treat.

Lunch is take out fried flounder sandwiches - the kind of flounder sandwiches where the filet is bigger than the bread - from M&M's Cafe, eaten on a park bench on the waterfront.

Afternoon Allison from TownDock drops by to talk with us and take some photographs of the boat.  I spend the rest of the day catching up on the logbook, walking around town and relaxing on one of the Adirondack chairs over by the Oriental Marina and Inn.

Back to M&M's for dinner, fish tacos on the waterfront.  One more walk through town and then I slip under the boom tent and into the bivy.


David Swanson said...

I was semi-expecting a "Shipping News" article about your visit on Towndock.net, but nothing so far. I emailed Keith when I saw your Spot tracker there, but I'm sure he would have noticed you anyway.

Steve said...

We ran into Keith within an hour of getting into Oriental. I expect there might be a column about the two yawls in time. They have had a lot going on down there between the weather and the pirate event last Sunday. I think we are all stretched a little thin these days. Steve