14. Swansboro to Spooners Creek Marina and then to Beaufort NC

With newly refurbished props and being in a slip where the boat at low+ tide had rage props digging into the bottom (significantly), I was nervous about grounding when leaving my Cedar Point slip. And so I waited till 2pm, an hour before absolute high tide, before leaving. In the week plus at the Cedar Point Marina, I watched two other larger boats come and go. One grounded about 6’ off the dock, got off only to ground again at the end of the dock. The other came in to pick up a passenger and did a temporary tie right in front of me. I chatted with the captain and he was familiar with the marina. His boat drafted about 8” less so at low tide even he would touch bottom. He described the route out of the marina back to the channel and I paid careful attention watching him leave. A couple days later, when it was my turn, I carefully followed his bread crumbs and didn’t even scratch my shiny props getting out.

With a late start, it was going to be a short travel day. Morehead City, maybe 20 nm away, had a number of marinas but none that listed pump out (toilet waste disposal) facilities so we opted for an even closer marina on Spooners Creek -across the bay from Emerald Isle. There was only one review and only $1.75 per foot so we weren’t sure what we were getting. But they confirmed a working pump out so Spooners Creek Marina it was. What a surprise. A nearly new marina in connection with a nice condo complex – mostly privately owned slips. They even had diesel. Floating docks, good power and water. The pool was only for slip and condo owners and not transients though. There was a mall a mile away and we even walked over for dinner.

We left the next morning for another short run around Morehead City to Beaufort NC. Very shoaly 3’ depth just a foot outside of the marked ICW channel right at the creek. We wiggled free. We arrived and docked at Beaufort City Docks for two nights. What a charming town!

The docks run about 4 city blocks along downtown Main Street. Downtown shops on one side of the street with the dock on the other. A mecca for people strolling the streets shopping and boat watching. The docks are located on Taylor Creek which is a very busy busy waterway with tour boats running to the barrier island every hour, dozens of boats anchored across the creek’s channel and all manner of pleasure boats – even a small stern wheel, pedal, floating bar, boat. At the end of our dock is the Dock House Restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining on two levels. They feature a breakfast buffet each morning and live outdoor music on weekend evenings. Don’t even have to get off the boat to enjoy the music. Walked a couple of blocks to the Saturday Farmers Market. Not that impressed though the walk past 200+ yr old houses was worth it.

Another nice marina feature is ‘diesel at your slip’. No need to tie up at the fuel dock and then leave to tie up at your slip. The price was competitive so I took on 400 gallons. The neighbors have been very friendly. At the next dock is a 107’ sail boat- guessing maybe a 20’ beam. It’s huge.

And to answer Rick R’s quiz for me – it was Beaufort NC, rather than Beaufort SC, which nearly had a German Uboat visitor in WWII. Thank you Rick for posting your comment.

A milestone has been passed. Have now traveled over 1,000 statute miles.

16.6 nm
7.6 nm
From the flybridge – Beaufort City Docks. Dock House Restaurant in the background
From the flybridge – Beaufort downtown waterfront
From the flybridge – Beaufort downtown waterfront
Dinner at the Dock House. Last Resort barely visible – right door middle pane
On the walk to Farmers Market
On the walk to Farmers Market
On the walk to Farmers Market
Sunset comes to Taylor Creek
And to the Main Street and Marina in Beaufort NC
Old sailboat replica cruise out at sunset
Neighbor on my stern
Last Resort at dusk
And off my bow is the 100’+ sailboat with mast lit up at night

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