Winter boating is about finding weather windows for visiting and traveling. We’ve found some reasonably good windows for visiting and also some cold, windy and rainy days. But, we have work to do otherwise, so we focus those times on that work, or indoor activities.
Our first good weather window was taken up fixing the lifting mechanism for the dinghy. We’d wanted to motor around to the local islands but had to fix our ability to get the dinghy on and off the big boat. Disappointing, but we learned a lot!
We got the lifting harness fixed and headed out to cruise Taylor Creek (around the point from our marina in Beaufort) and visit the Rachael Carson Estuarine Reserve. This a a marine preserve of several islands preserving the local dunes, islands and wild horses and bird life.
One of the hallmarks of this preserve are the wild horses. I’ve read 2 stories, one that they were put their in the 60’s the other is that they are from the Conquistadors arriving in the 1500’s. Possible both are true in that other barrier islands along the Atlantic have ancient horses, but perhaps a more recent local moved horses to Carrot Island. They are rather short legged and not very modern looking horses, so who knows. They are wild in any case and living off the land. Fun to see them.
We did have quite a few days of cold weather, wind and rain. There is very nice local museum with wonderful history of the pirates that roamed the local coasts, including Blackbeard whose prized ship Queens Annes Revenge sunk off Beaufort Inlet. The ship was found and many artifacts have been recovered and are now displayed in the museum. Sorry, no pics but lots of great information to be learned.
But, we also went to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. A nice aquarium highlighting local species in the rivers, sounds and off shore.
There is also a nice nature trail. The winds had died down and it was not so cold. A nice walk along the marshes.
After another day of very rainy cold and windy weather and some last minute shopping, we are heading south tomorrow. Heading south, through some notorious spots of shoaling (which we will pass though at low tide…!) and on to several nights of anchoring. We are ready to swing on the hook for a few days.