Monday, November 13, 2017

Homer's and the Bellamy Mansion

The Bellamy Mansion - Wilmington

We ended up spending 8 fabulous days in Beaufort, NC at Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina. What a great little marina; Tony and Matt who run the place are just fantastic. Not only is it one of the most reasonably priced marinas we have been to, they have a courtesy car, as much free ice as you’d like, free laundry, no additional charge for power and it’s a short 10 minute walk to town. It was also quiet and had far less current than the town dock, plus we had fuel and a pump out at our berth - as we were just inside the fuel dock. The main part of the business is wholesale fish so the fishing boats are coming and going and the guys were all really friendly. Tony said he would happily sell us any fish we wanted – I took 4 IIb of the freshest shrimp and he wouldn’t charge me; we also got a free night as it was easier to charge us the weekly rate……. What a top guy – when the drawbridge is removed next year there will be no stopping these guys as they develop their marina business.

Shrimp Processing
Went to do laundry and got Shrimp too!
Busy day for the Shrimp Boats as storm passed by

You get as much free ice as you'd like at Homer Smith's

We were keen to explore North Carolina and had a bit of shopping to do so we hired a car for a few days. We drove ‘Down East’, stopped for a local lunch at the Fish Hook Grill and then took a ferry to the Outer Banks – it was a beautiful day and we just walked for miles along the inside and ocean beaches. The remoteness really reminded me of Western Australia and then when we started seeing 4wd’s on the beach and big groups of guys fishing we felt very at home. On Shackleford Bank we saw the famous Wild Spanish Mustangs that roam these islands.

Great lunch stop at the Fish Hook

Lunch under a moss covered weathered tree

Cape Look Out Lighthouse

Outer Bank - OBX

We have used this weather station for weeks planning this part of the trip

Looking out on the Atlantic - we sailed by here just a few days ago

Could be in Western Australia

Wild Ponies - actually Spanish Mustangs - they roam free on the banks
 Beaufort is a great destination. The waterfront is just lovely and the homes that surround it all take you to a time gone by. In town beyond the tourist shops there are some really handy stores – particularly a great bookshop and an outdoor gear shop. Then Morehead City, which has every store you ever imagined, is only a short drive away. We stocked up on pilot guides and flags as we settled on our next destinations; Bahamas and Cuba…. Live music plays in many bars especially over the weekend – we just loved it here.

On a really rainy day we drove down to Wilmington – another foodie town where we had an incredible lunch, walked along the river and then had to check out the Bellamy Mansion. We are not sure if they are related to us but the house was worth a look anyway. This Bellamy was one of the richest men in North Carolina, with a large plantation that worked numerous slaves, the house itself was built in 1859 by both free and enslaved black craftsmen. It includes restored slave quarters and is one of only a few preserved urban slave residences in the country. 

Bellamy Mansion
Slave Quarters at the Bellamy Mansion
Bathroom's for slaves..... hmmm!

Looking quite at home Sir!

I think he could get used to this?!?

Dianne our OCC Port Officer made us feel very welcome in Beaufort and even invited us to her home for a fabulous meal of Creole Shrimp. Then the weather cleared at we set sail for Charleston

Morehead City - Fishing Capital of the USA

Leaving Beaufort - these guys sure like to fish

Sailing downwind - along time since we did that! On our way to Charleston

Cold captain on the way to Charleston

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