We docked at Oriental Marina and Inn five days ago on a gorgeous blue sky, warm temps and an I-love-life kind of day. Today we left on the same note. In between -- rain, gray, wind, ick. And it's okay. It's part of the ICW deal. But I would be lying if I didn't admit we were happy to move on.
Before we do, let's celebrate Oriental, NC. Only a few hundred people call Oriental home and for whatever reason, I fell for this North Carolina water town on our first visit in 2017. There's an energy here, an unusual combo of generations-long locals meshed with "outsiders" who were charmed by the town, the sailing lifestyle, the ambiance, and then retired here. They all seem to get along.
The small Oriental harbor is home to Garland F. Fulcher Seafood company, with huge shrimp boats at the dock. We tied up just across the water at one of our favorite marinas ever, Oriental Marina and Inn. It's a great spot. Tom and his crew welcome you in like favored returning mariners.
Within a couple blocks are The Bean for excellent coffee, Inland Waterway Provision Company for all things marine and otherwise, and my personal favorite, a tiny seafood shack manned by Fulcher's that has delicious fresh shrimp and other seafood at good prices. On Saturday there's a farmer's market that on this visit offered fresh organic greens, honey and eggs along with pottery and other hand-made crafts. And pecans from a local tree or two. I made a delicious shrimp dinner with Oriental bounty, tucked another bag of shrimp in our freezer, and stashed bags of freshly-roasted pecans onboard. We leave full and happy.
|Oriental Harbor basking in the low light of late afternoon.|
|When the light is this pretty, any picture is a good picture. We walked most of Oriental’s waterfront and saw one scene after another that begged for a camera’s attention.|
|A shrimp boat doing its thing near Oriental. They look like a sci-fi version of a large grasshopper. |
|So given we spent several days waiting out rain and gray and wind, this homemade meal was one of the few highlights: fresh sauteed shrimp on local organic greens with tomato and a quinoa kale side. All from Oriental, all yummy.|
|Watching the rain.|
|A blue heron on the hunt.|
|Boats stayed at the dock during the rainy and windy spell as an otherwise busy harbor sat quiet.|
|Ahh, much better. Leaving on a nice day.|
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