We just arrived in Beaufort today after spending 2 nights at the River Dunes marina near Oriental.  I had heard about River Dunes on the cruisers net.  At $1.25/ft it was a great deal.  They have floating docks, beautiful pool, showers with multiple jets and steam (although I couldn’t get the steam thing to work) and a courtesy car.

River Dunes
River Dunes

When we went to the dock office to check in the young guy who checked us in asked if we were with the Sabre company.  When I had called earlier and gave him our information he got excited because of our email domain we were associated with the company!  Anyway, they have several cute little cottages for rent that are named for boat manufacturers.  He showed us the Sabre cottage that’s decorated with artwork supplied by the company (basically, pictures of boat layouts.)
Sabre cottage at River Dunes
Norm, Jaye & Skip at the Sabre Cottage

Norm signed out the courtesy car and drove us into Oriental (about 7 miles away.)   Sadly, there’s not much left in Oriental.  Several of the stores are closed but the restaurants are still operating.  We stopped at the little grocery to stock up on some basics.

I put together a dinner on Moondance as Norm & Jaye were moving on the next day.   They needed to get home to Ft.  Lauderdale a lot sooner than our current traveling rate.  We enjoyed being with them at Jabin’s this summer and will hopefully see them again.

On Tuesday, Elliott  & Ina drove over from New Bern and took us out to lunch in Oriental.  We’ve yet to make the trip by boat to New Bern and caught a lot of grief about it–some day we will!! 
Ina, Elliott and Skip
Ina, Elliott & Skip

Dan picked us up in the late afternoon and took us to his & Donna’s house for dinner.   Even Bailey was invited along and he was a perfect house guest!  We enjoyed getting caught up with them and talking about our shared past at SSA.  They have a beautiful home in Oriental and a great retirement life.
Having drinks with Dan & Donna
Donna, Dan & Skip

We left River Dunes this morning and made our way to the coastal town of Beaufort.  This is where the waterway scenery changes as we’re very close to the ocean.  We saw our first dolphins this morning!  The currents are very strong along the coast which makes it very tricky to dock.  Skip is getting pretty good at dealing with docking maneuvers. 

Everyone is very friendly here on the docks.  We saw a few boats we knew from last year and met several new cruisers.  We’ll stay here tomorrow while a cold front moves through and wait and see what it looks like on Friday.