Belhaven, NC and Surrounds: A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

I got invited to take a few days sailing on the edge of the season. Not surprisingly, it offered a mixed bag of conditions from near calm to high Force 5, from cold and rain to warmth and sun. We put in at Belhaven, NC’s fine public boat ramp. Three boats attended: Nip a Caledonia Yawl and Annie a wooden Drascombe Lugger with small cuddy.

John and Peter with Nip at the put-in.


South side of breakwater.

Blowing 12 kts we all took in a reef in the main just before the breakwater and sailed to weather SE up Pungo Creek.

Annie scooting along to leeward.
After a good journey short of the bridge, we turned back downriver to beach for lunch. Some settled to sketch, some chose napping, and others (me) just gazed at the beautiful afternoon in the warm sun.
Lunch beach.

I realize the limits of an iPhone for photos, but it is always handy. Pups are taken that might otherwise be missed in my case.

beached break.
I’m sad to say I never even pulled out the GoPro. You could argue that it is not a camera either, but I have been impressed with the high video quality. Maybe next time it will be used.

It was as pretty an afternoon as you could ask for. Breeze and 60 degrees.

studious John.

I turned my back on John, and shortly after, he was napping against the tree. It’s cool to be with people that know how to hang loose. There’s no agenda. Just love the day.

We rafted for the evening, believed the light wind predictions, and had a rough cold night in the bottom of a boat. Comes with the joy sometimes. And the stars were brilliant. Morning wasn’t much warmer. Three boats bobbed at anchor as we crept from under blankets.
red sky at morning.

Dawn soon became grey and blustery. Stuffing the sleeping bags (2 were required), air pad, and wool blanket makes one appreciate a small cabin such as Annie’s where the whole lot can be just left below, ready for the next snooze. However, hot oatmeal and coffee get us moving. Donning a wool sweater, foulies, knit cap, and a reef sets us free.

Nip and Annie
The day soon disintegrated to cold and showers just as we landed at Cee Bee Marina near noonday. The term marina in this case is very suspect. A decrepit wharf and camper lot is more apt.  Somebody, who don’t know his role still, took $5 from John and said we could stay. Given “permission” to stay, we quickly appropriated a pavilion to wait out the rain, do some eating, and whatever needed to wash it all down.
UNA tethered.
The sky did finally clear for a wonderful relaxed sail along the creek.



pelican by the moon.
UNA at rest for the night.

Enjoyed a sunset chat with Peter by the wharf as we looked for Annie’s return. The light was beautiful.

Curt, Mike, John, and Annie.
Dinner was good, though the party was short lived. One by one the crew dissolved into the night. John and I were last to share some of his port over a few tales before we called it quits.
As it turned out, the night was not quiet. Between Canada Geese squawking and raccoons fighting, silence seemed too unbearable to them. We may have been the cause of a territorial dispute, but at least a solo tent pitched on the banks made it warm. Daybreak was crystal clear and calm.
Somebody’s yachts.


With a lazy breakfast at the pavilion, camp was broken and we went searching for the light breeze. All of the inconveniences made this day’s sail worth it.
Art: Pedro and his mustang.
Here is an iPhone video for flavor later that morning. UNA was in heaven. I was glad to be with her. “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina …”
Bare feet, sun on one’s shoulders, and a breeze is enough to cure all ills. Everything seems new. Even “Running Like The Wind” by The Marshall Tucker Band was heard for the first time, again, after hundreds of previous playings. All good stuff.
This morning’s light breeze morphed into a single then double reef romp to windward up Pamlico River before we all turned off wind to reach along and up Pungo River. The temps and evergreen shores reminded me of Maine.
Mike, Peter and Nip.

Traded leads with Nip along the way. Peter tossed a slab of his ancient baloney, a Pennsylvania salami into UNA’s cockpit. Much appreciated.

best baloney.

Days can’t be without trials, but this one picture summed up  the afternoon. It was a great trip with a bunch of guys who love being on the water, messing about in boats.

at Pantego bridge.

5 thoughts on “Belhaven, NC and Surrounds: A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

  1. Yep, enjoyed the company, sailing, and food. Perhaps I'll see you at Janes. I'm planning to sail more this year than I have since a child. Hope it comes close anyway. Dinghy sailing is where its at.

  2. Baydog,
    I see your Avatar is a wood Penguin. great boat! I reluctantly sold mine last year. “Tar Baby” was an appropriately beautifully black hull and mahogany transom with all varnished interior. Sweet sailing dinghy. She was build near you in Princeton by a fellow named Wright I believe around 1967. I found her with broken centerboard in a barn in the Poconos of all places. A little loving and she was good as new. Alas, I betrayed her and sold her downriver for a new trailer for UNA. Scallywag!
    Do you race yours? I thought the class was stronger up there.

  3. Pingback: Art by Bowman – Lingering Lunacy

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