Wedn/ Thurs, May 23- 24.  – Belhaven, NC. We finished off our stay in Beaufort by going to dinner at a recommended restaurant – Ribeye’s Steakhouse. The owner & chef, Mickey, comes out to find out how you want your ribeye cooked. The special was (2) eight ounce ribeye’s, unlimited soup & salad bar, side veggie & Texas toast for $44.99. Since we had been eating nothing but seafood, we were looking forward to a nice steak and brought along a good bottle of red wine that was a present from our new neighbors at home, Gayle & Scott Shultz. Excellent wine and dinner. (Photo).

We departed Beaufort after using the courtesy car to run to West Marine in Morehead City. By the time, we bring our boat home to Pompano, I think we will have replaced every part on the boat! Since it was going to be a long run (70 miles), we decided to run the boat and for the first time in 5 1/2 weeks we bumped up the speed to 20 mph and got here 6 hours instead of 8 hours. Could not run all the time but we definitely made up some time and caught up with Dan on Dragonfly who had left an 1 1/2 hours before we did. Along the way, we crossed over the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound which are both large bodies of water.

Arrived River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC and were greeted so warmly by the dockhands and staff. Belhaven is a beautiful little town with historic homes and a beautiful view of the Pungo River. Our marina stay came with the use of a golf cart so we toured the town and went to dinner at Spoon River. The meal was excellent and a welcome surprise for such a small town. And they had a extensive wine list. Since the town is relatively small and there are several good restaurants, the restaurants take turns being open to give each one a share of the business. Great people, great town and great food.

Fri/ Sat/ Sun, May 25-27. Departed Belhaven, along with Dragonfly, and travelled about 56 miles to the Alligator River Marina which Bob describes as the “gas station” stop. Not much there at all but it is located right before (or after) crossing the Albemarle Sound. The Albemarle is a large body of water that can be nasty if the weather isn’t cooperative and boaters are warned to wait for the right weather window. We left at 8am so we could cross before the winds picked up. It was bumpy and one had to be on the lookout for crab pots but we survived and travelled another long day (70 miles) to the Top Rack Marina in Chesapeake, VA. So in the afternoon, we crossed into our 4th state – Virginia. The route had us traversing our first lock of the trip. Only a 2′ drop so not a big deal but it was good practice as we will  encounter about 150 locks on our adventure. We also went through several swing and lift bridges.

Another gem of a restaurant on property, the Amber Lantern with great food and great wine selections. On a sad note, our friends Dan & Beth on Dragonfly, had their husky “Rusty” die of an apparent stroke shortly after Beth rejoined the boat at 5pm. It was very abrupt and very sad.

On Sunday morning, we said goodbye to Dan & Beth and departed for Hampton, VA where we will spend one week at the Downtown Hampton Public Piers Marina. We passed through Norfolk, VA which is a massive port with naval ships, cargo ships, and ferries. I will leave the boat for 5 days and travel to Asheville, NC for my annual spa weekend with my best girlfriends.