Friday, October 30, 2009

Beaufort, North Carolina

Beaufort. BO-Fort. I am not much into shopping boutique stores. I like architecture but I really detest cute. So first, here are some pictures of Beaufort from the boat - this is the town's main waterfront area. The left picture is the Maritime Museum and the right is the Beaufort Town Docks - a very nice place to dock and the people are pretty nice, too. But that's not what I'm on about here today.

You all have seen an historic town. Beaufort looks just like that. To its credit, it has a really good and really cheap diner like place that you can get stuffed for breakfast for around $7.00 and that includes coffee and a tip. They also have a very good and very expensive restaurant called "The Grocery" where if you're hungry and feeling flush, it's a good place to go. Then, there's the Back Street Bar. More on that later in this journey, perhaps as early as tomorrow.

This being near Halloween I thought what I'd talk about is one of the best graveyards I've ever seen. Sure, we have pretty good ones there, but on this side of the Atlantic, if you're thinking scary thoughts about a scary cemetery you are very likely thinking of this one or one so similar that it doesn't matter.

The last time I saw a cemetery anywhere like this was in England. I have to say, though, that I'd be pretty apprehensive to be here on any given moonless night.

This graveyard also contains an area where the casualties of an Indian war in 1722 happened - there are no markers left, but there is a little sign.

I find the graves to be really interesting, if only for their construction. There are a few WWII graves but most of them date to the 1860's and earlier. I'll leave you to contemplate the pictures at least for tomorrow night. You can bet I won't be there.

Well, someone I've wanted to meet since I got involved with the Pearson 424 organization is one Tor Pinney - to say he's sailed a great deal would be vast understatement. He's written a book about preparing a boat for offshore work and he regularly submits (and gets published) articles in Cruising World and other magazines.

Well, as I was putting Pelican to bed upon arriving here a man motored up in his dinghy and it was none other than Tor - we've been having discussions on the board for at least two years. As some of the other members were to meet at the Annapolis Boat Show, he indicated "none of look like we expect." He, of course, is right - we make pictures of strangers in our mind and are almost always surprised at what we see when we meet. I must say, my picture was of a great man with a beard and flaming red hair. I suspect I've read too many comics.

But that he doesn't match that image is not important - he's a terrific guy, knowledgable and experienced, and more than that, willing to share his knowledge. One of the good people in the world, I have to say.

Anyway, he's playing in town Saturday night so I'll pop over for that.

I had a bit of a scare with the dinghy - yesterday in town I came back and two of the chambers were partially deflated. I thought maybe someone was messing with me. I limped back to the boat and pumped them up and they stayed inflated all night. But in the morning I popped over to Tor's boat (Silver Heels) and as I was going one tube kept deflating. "Crap!", I thought to myself, "I have to fix that!"

Once again I limped back to the boat and hauled the engine off, attached the spinnaker halyard to the lifting harness and heaved the whole thing on deck. Using soapy water I sprayed everywhere - I couldn't find a leak -except as Tor pointed out, probably one of the fill valves. Well, there you have it, tightened the fill valve fitting and put the whole thing back in the water and away I went.

Before I left from Stamford, I purchased a Citizen folding bike (the Gotham model with fenders). It is the least expensive folding bike I've seen and it fits under the table, weighs like 20lbs, and rides pretty nicely. It's an all aluminum frame with standard parts. I took it out for a spin today, mostly to see how it does in the dinghy and the issues with loading and unloading it. (There are none).

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Right now it's almost cocktail hour and I thought I'd pop over to town for a bit of a happy hour.

See ya on the water!

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