The plan for bringing The Abby back from Nassau called for a stop in Beaufort, NC, for a crew rest and to get fuel. My parents have always said that I have always been blessed with a guardian angel, and she was on full alert yesterday when the auto pilot failed just as we entered Beaufort Inlet, just south of the notorious Cape Hatteras. The Abby is a big boat, and the idea of hand steering her 24/7 wasn’t appealing at all.
I have to give The Abby’s owner Bob, credit for being a very handy guy, and he had the problem diagnosed within an hour of docking and he was on the phone with the manufacturer getting a replacement part, a stripped gear that engages the auto pilot. I am always amazed by how durable equipment on boats is these days. Bob’s autopilot is 10 years old and this is the first major failure. Impressive and good news as Pandora has the same autopilot. I think that I’ll be checking the same gear for wear myself soon. As is often the case, the part was not expensive but when you combine that with overnight delivery and and extra night of dockage, that was one expensive little gear. Not a bad place to have gear problems at all. This “surprise” will keep us here for an extra day, which is fine with me. Besides, they say that cruising is just boat repair in exotic places. Works for me.
The Abby is looking good in her slip. Most of the boats here are on delivery up the coast from warmer climes. I am told that the mix will shift next weekend when the locals will be out in force. I have to say that Beaufort (and I am told that it’s pronounced “Bowfort”, and not “Byuufort”), which is in SC, is a lovely small city. In fact, Beaufort was named “the coolest small town in America”, a distinction that they are very proud of. Their official site certainly makes me want to visit. No wait, I am here…
Beaufort will be an early stop for me and Brenda as we make our way south in the fall and I am really looking forward to sharing this spot with Brenda. The town dock is right in the center of town which is lined with wonderfully maintained historic homes.
This beautiful spot is a great example of homes along Main Street. It’s not hard to imagine a mint julep hear on a cool evening. Very nice. Shrimping is a big thing here (actually, I had some of the local critters for dinner last night) and here’s a few of the fleet at the dock. Reminds me of Forest Gump.The town planners must have been really anal as it’s hard to imagine a street that’s straighter.
There’s a very nice maritime museum, The Beaufort Maritime Museum, a very nice museum that gives a good history of the area. It seems that Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, sank here, and there are plenty of artifacts on display from this ongoing archeological dig. Is it a “dig” when it’s underwater? Hmm… Lot’s of pirate references here and you know that the locals take pirates seriously when you see a bumper sticker that says “Arrg”. Is that how you spell it? Perhaps it doesn’t matter as I doubt that Blackbeard was a great speller. Actually, our captain says that it’s spelled ARG which stands for “alcohol research group”. I’m voting for that.Some nice models on display too. What post is complete without a sunset shot? You can’t beat sunsets, or sunrises for that matter, when you are at sea.
Oh yea, one of our crew, Mark is a fabulous cook and judging by the massive pile of ingredients that just showed up for dinner we are in for a treat. Can you say Brontosaurus burger? Where’s my statin?