Just Relax travel blog

JR @ Ocracoke Park Dock.

Cemetary with the original markers made by the Ocracokers

Silver Lake was created by the Navy on WW2. Navy is no...

Hatterous Light with the Browns.

Ocracoke home.

Ocracoke Lite. We also see it from where we are moored

Hurricane history of flooding. Sue points to Earl, earlier this month

Pamlico Sound

Bond Creek Anchorage

After one of our best experiences with a town since we began boating, we leave on 9/20 for the Broad Creek and stay at the River Dunes Resort to check it out. They have built a neighborhood of million dollar homes, spas, pools, and even a chapel for the neighborhood. They are inviting boaters into their first class marina at very low prices in order to show them property. We get a short tour. They even have cottages you can rent for vacations, or primarily, we think, for prospective buyers to stay. I guess one could stay there while your home was being built. The econonomy has hit them also, but they are selling some since this place is that nice. In the meantime, it appears at least for the next year or so, transients like us can grab a berth for first class facilities. We enjoy the pool, hot tubs that night, and serenity.

We get up early the next day for the long ride across the Pamilco Sound to Ocracoke. Wind forcasts were from the SE, which is not the best, but the winds are fairly low, so we have a nice ride across the choppy waters. They were not bad at all, but we can not play Scrabble while underway, which we like to do when we are on long boring runs. Crossing the Sound, we are somewhat out of sight of land. The waters are all shallow here, but except for a couple of shoals, navigting is easy. Entering Ocracoke Harbor, ferries from the mainland come and go every 30 minutes or so during the day, and the channel takes us about 30 minutes to run, so we see a ferry coming same direction we are, so we follow in behind him for a nice unterrupted run into the harbor. On one of our web groups, there is a posting that the channel is shoaling and how to go in. Following the ferry makes that easier, since he knows. Yes, we find the shallow water, but only 7 feet, so we are ok. We decide to tie to the National PArks Service dock, which is a first come/first serve place. The have no showers, but do have power, and nice docks. In fact, we think their docks are better than the private, high cost marina here. But that's the Fed's for you, they get better things than us private, hard working citizens - LOL. But I digress. We spend 3 nights here, getting to see almost all the sites, we friends Brown from back home are over on Hatterous Island, so they drive down via the Ferry to see us on day two and take us for a great tour of Hatterous Island. Day one at Ocracoke, we take a walking tour for about 1/4 of the town, seeing the British cemetary where 6 soldiers are buried from a WW2 U-Boat sinking. All were lost, but these bodies washed up on shore and the locals gave them a proper burial. 2 bodies are unknown, but others were ID'd. Years later, the US ceded the small plot of land to the British, and thus this area is considered British land. The British also place official grave markers for the soldiers. There were over a dozen U-Boats sinking ships off Outer Banks averaging at one point, over one sinking per day before the Allies figured out how toslow them down. Shopping is always in the cards, so we get some of that in as well, and then eat that night on boat with a movie. We watch a documentary we have on DVD about Kinsey. John's dad had his dad as a professor of engineering in college and had heard stories about him from his dad. Kinsey's son sure did ahve issues. Day 2 on Haterous with the Browns was fantastic and we can not thank them enough for their being our tour guides. The seas are still rough from Huricane Igor, and there is a national surfing contest going on here, so the surfers are excited about this. Seas are upwards of 12'. We watch them compete for a few hours, and they sure are talented. We have never seen real surfing before, so this was a real treat. we do not understand the scoring, but it was fairly easy to see who did better than others. Then a short drive to the Canadian Hole to see some kite surfing. Interesting. They ski on a surf board of sorts behind a wind driven kite. The Sound is perfect for them since it is so shallow, when they fall, they can stand on the botttom to regroup and go again. Same for sail boarders. We see the3 harbor, and decide we will not take our boat over here since we now have a good sense of Hatterous. later, we tour the famous Light House, one fo the tallest and oldest in the USA. This is the one that was moved 1,500 feet a few years ago. The story of how they did that was fasinating. That night, we eat at the famous Back Porch Resturant on Ocracoke, a favorite of the Browns, and one we had planned on eating at. Excellent, not disappointed at all. Day 3 is spent with the two of us renting a golf cart to see the Ocracoke Lighthouse and other sites that are too much walking for us. We visit the famous Community Store and Albert Stryon's Store (you can figure out the acronym for yourself) among many other neat stores. We get to take the cart down many dirt roads so we can see the homes, most of them hardy places. Lastly, this is where Blackbeard supposedly ended his life. He was sunk off what is now called Teache's Hole. He took 14 wives, we are told too! There are no known actual paintings of his, so we only know what he looked like from descriptions. His booty has never been found, but some think he may have spent it all. Lastly, Sue invites the Browns over for an evening meal on JR. Since they are earth people, we thought they'd like the experence. Trish mentions the rocking of the boat, and we tell them we do not even notice it anymore unless it is rough. We grill and enjoy a great evening of fellowship.

It gets windy on night 3, and the boat is banging up against the fixed pier. John grumbles something about the government that we can not repeat here, and get's up at 0300 to retie the boat. Winds were forecasted to be calm. We listen to the forecast and it has not changed. But by morning, they have calmed down, so with the wind behind us, the trip back across the Sound was fantastic.

As it has been for most of this trip, we have no agenda, so today we decide to check out another creek that we have read about, so we decide to cross over and up the Pamlico River (not to be confused with the Sound) to Bond Creek. It is off the South Creek. Past Indian Island, unhabited, Suth Creek goes for quite a ways and Bond Creek off it it. There is an isolated village of Aurora at the end, but too shallow for us to get all the way there. Originally called Betty's Town, it was the potato capital of the state, and maybe the nation. Local yore has it that a planter asked to be excused from jury duty since it was picking time and he had 1,000 acres of taters to gather. Judge said "granted, anyone who is crazy enough to plant that many taters, is crazy anyway". Supposedly the steel jacketed bullet was invented here by John Bonner. He designed these to sink Yankee bouys that the lead bullets would not penetrate. BTW, bonner was from NJ. It also was one of the few communities in the South that had a large community of freed slaves. Why do we tell these stores, this hopefully gives the reader a taste of how much we so enjoy seeing all the little communities on our boating adventures. There are so many neat little stories to learn about. Our anchorage was as pristine as we were told. Sue grills her famous brats, onions and peppers. We sip a glass of wine on flybrige so we can see the sunset, stars and moon later on. We also enjoy a beautiful sunrise the next day, and sadly pull anchor around 0930.

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