Oriental, NC – one of our new favorite towns! What a charmer. It’s called the sailing capital of North Carolina. We docked at the FREE docks for two nights as we decided to stay an extra night because we liked it so much and so Jonny could start to relax!
When we arrived on April 24, we were met by our two new sets of cruising couples who had arrived ahead of us – Ann and Roger on Third Reef and Corinne and Robert on Ariel. Lynn brought us smoothly into our berth and they helped us to tie up.
While walking around the town, we found a great marina store with good prices. We bought a new boat hook since we had lost ours when it got stuck on a crab pot that we were trying to disentangle at our anchorage in Wrightsville .
For such a tiny town, the few shops were very impressive with a great collection of marine supplies, outdoor clothing and unique gifts. There was a beautiful gallery featuring the work of local artists and artisans – it was hard to keep from buying something there but we are trying to simplify these days!
The local fish market was the source of our dinner both nights. Jonny cooked a delicious flounder dinner the first night and Lynn whipped up a shrimp and pasta dish with pesto for our second night. We are getting used to cooking in a tiny galley and are none the worse for it. Dessert was the local coffee shop’s ice cream overlooking the town docks.
The next morning, Lynn had more docking practice because we had to go to a neighboring marina for an all essential pump-out (our holding tanks were full)! Afterwards, we took a bike ride through Oriental and happened upon a Dog Parade and Best in Show contest taking place in a lovely waterfront park. It was a great example of small town America – frisky dogs, adorable kids, friendly people and even a brass band! We loved it though we were reminded of how much we miss our dogs, Katie and Mocha, and our cats, Gracie and Georgio.
Oriental is a really wonderful little town and one we highly recommend for a relaxing step off of the grid. The people are incredibly warm and friendly and very proud of their little spot of heaven.