The extract below is taken from Captain Wally Moran’s “LiveBloggin’ the ICW” (http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/). He gives some good info about one of our very favorite ports of call, but we must disagree with him about there not being any propane within walking distance of the Beaufort Town Docks. He should have check the Cruisers’ Net’s “NC LPG/CNG Availability” directory at /category/north-carolina-lpg-cng-availability/. By doing so, he would have discovered a long walk would have taken him to Teels Gas Service at 813 Cedar Street (252-728-7039).
Beaufort is the first major ocean access harbour on the ICW, if you don’t count Norfolk, at its head. Most of the traffic now is sportfishermen, recreational boats and the occasional freighter. It’s also the first location where you run into substantial tide and current. Those three feet (approx) of tide create a very strong current that affects how you anchor and how and where you put your rode down. Holding in the anchorage is good though, so once you’ve done a proper job of backing down, you can safely nod off.
The waterfront is one of the nicer ones on the ICW, with a good number of decent pubs overlooking the Beaufort waterfront along its boardwalk. Opposite the waterfront is Radio Island [actually Carrot Shoal – editor] – on occasion you’ll see wild horses there, although I never have for some reason. Beaufort is also where I usually see my first dolphins on every trip south. And for real wildlife, there’s my friend Will and his lime green cat!
Two major downtown Beaurort highlights are the Maritime Museum and the Wooden Boat Building museum, where they actually build wooden boats. The Maritime Museum has an amazing library with thousands of out of print nautical titles, and probably something for everyone. The Maritime Museum at one time used to have a loaner car for transients – that service is no longer, thanks to lawyers and lawsuits making it prohibitively expensive to do so.
That’s unfortunate, because shopping is too far to walk – as is a propane refill, which is truly unfortunate, because the tank for my boat heater JUST RAN OUT, and it’s going to be chilly tonight. I’ll have to hook up the cooking propane. Fortunately, I’ll be in Wrightsville Beach tomorrow, and they DO have a loaner car and the propane refill store is very close.
LiveBloggin’ the ICW