We’re hunkered down at the River Dunes marina just north of Oriental, NC waiting to see what Sandy will bring.  We arrived on Tuesday and planned to stay only 2 nights but after looking at the dire forecasts, we decided that heading closer to the ocean was not a good idea.  We’re about 30 miles inland from Beaufort and just below the turning point of Sandy’s predicted track.

It would be hard to find a better place on the waterway to get stuck for a few days.  This is a beautiful resort-style marina in a protected cove with sturdy floating docks.  There’s a large manor house with a restaurant and lounge, pool, fitness center and luxurious showers–we’re talking multi-head showers with a steam room!  And…it’s only $1/ft!!

The marina really filled up over the past 2 days.  Joe (Onward) arrived yesterday with the 2 other Catalina 470s he’s leading south.  The first night here our friends Elliott and Ina drove over from New Bern to take us out to dinner.  The next night we had a cruiser’s happy hour that lasted well into the night.  Last night, the marina hosted a buffet dinner and cocktail hour.  They have plenty of activities planned for the stormy weekend.

When we left Elizabeth City the weather was warm and beautiful.  It was the easiest crossing of both the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.  While transiting the Alligator Pungo canal I saw 4 bald eagles.  A trawler in front of us saw a black bear swim across the canal!   We anchored at the southern end of the Alligator Pungo canal.

Alligator Pungo Canal
The canal is long and straight

Sunset Pungo River
Sunset in the Pungo River

Flat wake on the Pungo River
Flat wake on the Pungo River

Blue skies
Blue skies–please come back!!

There’s not much else to report.  I’m touched by all the concern of friends who contacted me to make sure we’re in a safe place.  We are, I hope.  We spent this morning getting the boat ready to withstand high winds.  We took the motor off the dinghy, tied a line around the mainsail, secured the headsail and sheets,  tied an extra line to the solar panels, put chafing gear on our dock lines and put out all of our fenders.   We’re close to land and the strongest winds will be on our bow.

I’ll try to report in (as long as we still have power.)  Good luck to all of our friends back home and in the Chesapeake.

Handsome Boy

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