Blackbeard the Pirate’s Hometown

March 22, 2023

A storm is approaching and we will need to stay put for 4 days causing us to get behind schedule and our plans in April (we are flying home in April). It is decided that we will bypass a few stops and head as far north as possible by making a straight run to Beaufort via the Atlantic instead of the ICW. It will be a long 11-hour day.

We’ve traveled in the ocean before and usually prefer it. You don’t have to worry about narrow channels, shallow depths, or oncoming vessels. But this trip wasn’t as enjoyable as usual.

At first light, we get up and set sail, exiting into the ocean at Carolina Beach. Crossing the bar was not fun and reminded me of the Columbia River. I button down the hatches, secure all cabinets, place all glassware in the sink, and hold tight. One large wave caused our back door to slam and broke a latch, now the door won’t lock shut and I have to prop it open to prevent further damage.

We finally enter the calmer seas, but the waves are hitting our beam, resulting in a rolling effect that my stomach doesn’t appreciate. There goes my plans to homeschool. I can’t even read a book or play a game. Instead, I can only sit on the fly bridge for fresh air and stare at the horizon. After squeezing in a nap, I was able to pass some time by watching Boy Meets World with Annette. The 11 hours finally come to an end and we pull into Beaufort, NC.

March 23, 2023

I’ve recovered from the ocean excursion and am ready to hit the town. We are staying at the Town Creek Marina, which is a 1-mile walk from the historic old town. The Marina also offers a courtesy car and wonderful staff who help with lines ensuring our boats are secured and prepared for the storm.

There is a Beaufort, South Carolina and a Beaufort, North Carolina. The spelling is the same, but pronounced differently. It’s a small fishing town established in 1713 and is known as home to Blackbeard the pirate. In 1718, Blackbeard the pirate ran his flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge and his sloop Adventure, aground near the Beaufort Inlet.

It’s the off season. Many shops and tours are not operating, but we did manage to visit the Visitor’s Center and toured the grounds of some historic buildings and cemetery. We continued our stroll with visiting a few shops and found ice cream. I do enjoy seeing all the rocking chairs on porches.

The storm is blowing in. We find shelter in a brewery with tasty brews and games on the table for entertainment.

March 24, 2023

It’s a lazy, windy day. We all meander to Moonrakers for lunch. The drinks were wonderful. Steve had a Manhattan with an ice ball that contained an orange peel, star anise, and cherries. I enjoyed some cheesy grits and a pineapple beverage. I’ve been taste testing grits all along the South. My favorite so far has been in Savannah, GA.

The Maritime Museum was nearby, and free! It is one of the best that I’ve seen with numerous displays. Their main focuses was on whale hunting and Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge. If you notice the photo below of a large syringe and the number 3, it is a Urethral Syringe used for treating venereal diseases. Traces of mercury can still be found inside.

In the evening, we enjoyed a show of a bunch of dolphins swimming around. It never gets old seeing dolphins.

March 25, 2023

The boys and kids took the courtesy car into the neighboring town, Moorehead, to play at an arcade. After their return, Tonia and I went to Fort Macon.

Fort Macon is a restored fort that was built after the War of 1812. The Visitor’s Center houses numerous exhibits about the area and history. Just after the Visitor’s Center is the Fort. Half of it is empty and designed for wandering while the other half has been refurbished with separate rooms showcasing different topics including the Civil War, what soldier life was like, and WWII. The fort went into disrepair and was later renovated into a state park.

Surrounding the fort is a 3.2 mile hiking trail through the woods and over sand dunes. While on the hike, it started to rain, but us Washingtonians won’t let a little sprinkle stop us. Besides, our only option of returning was to continue walking.

While hiking around, there were many dead Christmas Trees piled along the trail. We figured as it’s the off season for everything else, it must also be Christmas in the off season.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun Fort Macon was and actually preferred it over Fort Sumter. I highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area.

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