The Other Beaufort

It’s a tale of two Beaufort’s. Ten days ago, we were in Beaufort (“BEW-fert”), South Carolina. Tonight, we are in Beaufort (“BOW-fert”) North Carolina. Once you get the pronunciation right, it’s easier to keep them straight.

This one, in North Carolina, also calls itself “Beaufort-by-the-Sea.” It is, in fact, closer to the sea than the other one, if “sea” means “ocean.” Its entire history is tied to it.

The thing that ties the two towns together most for us, though, is the company of Eleanor Grace. We reunited with Marcy and Bryan at “the other Beaufort” after not seeing each other for four months. And again here, without planning it, we ended up at the same dock. We enjoy each other’s company, so this happy coincidence made “BOW-fert” even more special for us.

This seaport is special in many ways. Rather than grand, its homes are simple and charming. The entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its isolated location ensured its distinctiveness. And of course, it’s closely tied to the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach). The wreck of his flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, was discovered nearby in 1996, which proved much of the legend but still left some questions. Well, what fun is a legend without some mystery? We learned a lot about this in the local museum.

We spent two nights here to wait out the winds but plan to move on tomorrow, making our way toward the Great Dismal Swamp. I’m looking forward to that! It’s hard to believe we’re just 200 miles from Norfolk, where some tough decisions await. But as Scarlett O’Hara said, I’ll think about that tomorrow!

Photos and captions below.

We drove just 27 miles yesterday from our anchorage to our marina but it took a lot of energy due to sun-in-the-eyes, current, and wind on our stern, requiring constant steering. We went directly east, following that land mass that creates “capes.” (In this case, Cape Lookout.) As we approached Beaufort and nearby Morehead City, we began to see industry. There are a lot of marinas here, and intersecting channels, so we had to follow the track carefully.
We changed our marina to one with better wind protection and arrived here shortly after 10 a.m., our earliest arrival ever. Good thing too, as we saw 30 mph gusts soon after.
Skies were unsettled at first, but the winds soon blew the clouds away.
The flags at the marina whipped like this for most of our two-day stay.
Inside the marina and near the shore, waters look calm. A little farther out, though? Not!
We were so delighted to see Eleanor Grace at the end of our dock. (She’s a big boat, so usually ends up at the end.) We are just two slips away. We weren’t sure we’d see them again. Sweet!
Many Moons in port in BOW-fert. Eleanor Grace is visible behind us.
As I usually do when arriving at a new place, I hustled off to the visitor’s center to grab some maps and brochures. Every town seems to call itself “historic” these days. This one deserves to do so. It has a great museum, too. And it’s free!
We met up with Bryan and Marcy for a fun evening out–here, hamming it up at a storefront. (We aren’t antiques yet, but we might be collectibles! 😉 )
The town closed early so we finished the night on board Eleanor Grace, warmed by their little propane-fueled fire.
When I passed Marcy walking Sandy this morning, we were both bundled up against a chill wind. The dog lives on the boat with them. Pretty common among Loopers.
Jeff bids good-bye to Bryan and Marcy as they prepare to push off, already wearing their headsets. (He drives from the flybridge while she works on the deck.) We wear them during operations, too.)
After our friends left, we took a long walking tour, starting with the Old Burying Ground. Fascinating.
These are “vaulted” and covered in brick to protect them from high water and wild animals.
The Tuscarora Indian War claimed the lives of many early settlers.
Visitors to this grave leave mementos. Who’s buried there? A little girl in a barrel of rum. (“The Rum Girl.”) She died during a sea voyage and was preserved in what was available so that her body could be buried later. The barrel of rum became her casket. I’m not sure why this story triggers this outpouring of “gifts.”
Graves without legible markers always move me. I’m not sure why.
Downtown Beaufort (N.C.!) is right on the waterfront. The boardwalk isn’t busy this early in the year.
Jeff estimates the height of this tallest-by-far mast at the municipal docks.
We passed a few private, road-side “lending libraries” like this. (They seem to be catching on.) I took one… memoir. If this blog turns into one, I may need some good examples!
We didn’t get to it, but I would make a point to go there if I ever visit here again.
We used the marina’s courtesy car to visit nearby Morehead City, where we encountered King Neptune.
Sunset at our marina. The wind has quieted some, but now we have a frost advisory. The hazards of early-spring boating!

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