Slo Pace on the Move: Belhaven, NC to Elizabeth City, NC

Canada Geese migrating north, a mama Mallard with her ducklings swimming in the river, Robins, Cardinals, blooming Azaleas, preserved historical waterfronts on display with gorgeous houses, churches, general stores, and friendly town folk; our tour up the North Carolina coast has been memorable.

After saying goodbye to Rick & Patty in Chocowinity, NC, we cruised down the Pamlico River then up the Pungo River to Belhaven, NC, another small coastal town.  The winds were predicted to increase to 25 to 30 knots, so we stayed at the Belhaven Marina for 3 nights to let the cold front pass.   For our first night, we were a bit exposed on the end of the dock and were rocking and rolling.  It’s tough to make dinner when the boat was being bounced around so much, but I did it!  We then moved to a more protected spot and had much better sleep the next two nights and much better food.   The marina amenities were generous, offering free laundry, towels, soap, and shampoo in the bathhouses and lots of outdoor games to play complete with a putting green (which Murphy kept stealing the golf balls and playing ‘catch me if you can’).  We chatted with several looper couples at the marina and enjoyed a more “fine dining” experience with two other looper couples on our last night at Belhaven’s local restaurant, Spoon River. 

We got up early the next morning, and after an overnight stop at Alligator River Marina (no alligators spotted in the Alligator River), Slo Pace and Betty Gail arrived at Edenton, NC, a small coastal town on the Albemarle Sound.  They are offering two free nights of dockage to help encourage visitors to their town.  So far, Edenton is my favorite small coastal town.   Is it the town park filled with children laughing, or the original river lighthouse restored to exact specifications (including all furnishings inside), the restaurants, coffee house, soda shoppe, small shops, or the waterfront area abounding with historical landmarks?  They offer a trolley tour, boat tour, and self-guided walking tours.  So much history in this small town, which although involved in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, was left practically unscathed – largely in part due to their citizens keen political maneuvering.

The City of Edenton runs the town dock and offered us use of their “town car” to do drive over to the grocery store.  It must have been an old Police car, as when Chris, aboard Betty Gail, tried to get out of the backseat, she was locked in!

We departed Edenton to spend the night in Elizabeth City, NC before transiting the Dismal Swamp Canal.  We had heard Elizabeth City is a delightful city, but due to the civil unrest, the mayor ordered a State of Emergency and the marinas had to clear their docks of any transient boaters.  We were welcomed just a few miles north at Lambs Marina.  We enjoyed Docktales with Roger & Chris, playing a few rounds of Mancala while munching on chocolate goodies.

Off to the Dismal Swamp, Norfolk and beyond!

Love living the looper life,

Dave, Brenda, & Murphy

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