Ships Log November 15-18, 2005 ICW Miles 84-202 Beaufort

Alligator River and Pamlico River and Sound have large open stretches. It was on the open Sound where we were caught in a storm. Due to the shallow depth, the waves became high and close packed. This made for a bumpy ride. After the storm, we were greeted by a rainbow. Our guidebook gave us doubts as to whether Oriental, NC had sufficient depth for us (in fact, there was) so we chose to stay in Bellhaven and then push on to Beaufort. On the way, we saw some migrating swans. The locals said that large flocks of swans migrate through the area, but that the warm weather had delayed their arrival. We also passed the classic schooner Hearts Desire.

It was after sunset that we entered Beaufort, passing the Pride of Beaufort at the harbor entrance. The harbor was crowded, so in the darkness we picked up a mooring. The pennant was wrapped around the chain, so it took a long time to secure it to our deck. After this extended and difficult task, we heard a call from behind.

"Hey you! You're on a mooring over our anchor and you have to move." Now, cruising etiquette dictates that the first to anchor in an area should have the right to determine the anchoring practice (scope length, number of anchors, etc.) and the right to call off those that anchor inconsistently and thereby endanger others. However, it is also clear that you never anchor in the middle of a crowded mooring field. These folks, well into their sundowners, had anchored between two mooring balls and claimed the area around both. We were tired from the 10 hour sail from Bellhaven, we could not force them to hoist their anchor since we were over it, and we did not have a stern cannon. So, we agreed to move before the tide changed the current direction at midnight. In the middle of the night, we moved to the Town Docks since it was too dark to find an alternate anchorage. The management and staff of the Town Docks are professional and very helpful and made our stay there enjoyable.

Beaufort is a charming little town. Free WiFi is available, it has a great coffee house facing the docks, and there are a number of terrific restaurants. Everyone's favorite is Clawsons and you cannot beat The Dock saloon. The houses are very well preserved and range in age from 1709. Representative examples are the Doctor's House, the Josiah Bell House, the Rustell House , an Apothecary (Apothecary Inside), and the Leffers House. The Olde Burying Ground contains graves from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars . The first Inn was the Hummock House, built in 1709. It was here that the notorious Blackbeard hung out whenever he was in Beaufort.

Blackbeard, or Edward Teach as he is sometimes called, was born in England into an intelligent, respectable and well to do family. As a pirate, Blackbeard was bold and fearless and he got his name from his coal black beard that he let grow into a monstrous mane that he would braid and tie with ribbon. The name Blackbeard used to strike fear into the hearts of many. Now he and other pirates seem to have become romantic heroes representing freedom and adventure. Blackbeard sailed up and down the Carolinas and Virginia. Beaufort is famous for the time when Blackbeard deceived his crew and pretended to go a-ground and then split his crew up so that he wouldn't have to share all the treasure with them. He blockaded the harbor at Charlestown and had plundered eight or nine ships, as well as making the people of Charlestown give him medical supplies. In the end, Blackbeard was shot to death in the Outer Banks at Ocracoke and his head was cut off and displayed by the authorities.