11/14/20 to 11/16/20: Beaufort, Boats, Blackbeard
A couple nights at Beaufort Docks Marina and we'll be off again. But what a fun stop, if only a brief one.
Beaufort feels like it's sitting on the edge of a watery world, with the southernmost point of North Carolina's Outer Banks just around the corner. While technically not on the ocean, the Atlantic is close at hand and it shows. Local marinas are full of huge sportfish boats at the ready. Knowledgeable boaters have first-hand experience with the troublesome winds and currents that define these waters and the nearby inlet takes boaters out into the big water. We've seen more active boating around Beaufort than in any one spot on our journey thus far.
Then there's the deep history that makes Beaufort a treasure for anyone who is fascinated by how the past has helped form the present. The infamous Blackbeard made his home here in the early 1700s before meeting his demise in a naval battle not far from today's waterfront. His house is still here, privately owned. The word is the place is haunted. (He wasn't a very nice guy, so anything is possible.)
Beaufort has fewer than 5,000 residents, but it's a popular destination for visitors who come by land and water to walk the pretty historic district, shop the boutiques and enjoy the inns, marinas and restaurants. No doubt the pandemic has lowered the numbers, but during our visit there was still a hum of activity.
|Beaufort waterfront from Front Street.
|A row of lovingly maintained 18th century homes lines Front Street, enjoying a view that hasn't changed much since the 1700s.
|The carcass of a shrimp boat in Adams Creek Canal between Oriental and Beaufort.
|Blackbeard's house, built around 1709 and considered the oldest home in Beaufort.
|Sunset in Beaufort Harbor.
|Proper and beautiful wrought iron fences and gates on Beaufort's finest homes.
|The view from the bow of Oasis on an unseasonably gorgeous November day.
|Ann Street United Methodist Church displays a charming mix of architectural styles -- Gothic and Shingle style, I am told.
|A full marina and a quietly colorful end to the day.
|The Old Burying Ground chronicles nearly 300 years of Beaufort history.
|This little egret showed up on our dock as though he were saying hello. (North Carolinians are very friendly.) Love those legs.