Friday, November 8, 2013

Thursday and Friday, October 31st and November 1st

River Dunes
Thursday, October 31st

 Last night we decided to get a dock for tonight because high winds are suppose to pass through the area for 1-2 days.  We debated where to go….Oriental or elsewhere.  After looking at Active Captain and the Doyle Water Guide, we decided against Oriental.  Why?  I’ve always wanted to visit that town because of it supposedly being the ‘Sailboat Capitol of North Carolina’.  However, it doesn’t sound like the place we wanted to take our boats with the winds we were predicted to get.  It doesn’t have any tides but strong winds will either push the water into or out of the harbor and it could be a 2’ gain or 2’ loss!  The charts show only 7 feet at the city docks to begin with, so our two boats could very well end of sitting on the bottom…..decision made!!  We all agreed to go to River Dunes Marina which is north of Oriental. 

Today’s trip was going to be a fairly short run…..3+ hours, so we weren’t in any hurry to leave the Campbell Creek anchorage.  I called River Dunes to reserve two slips for at least one night, possibly two.   Once this was taken care of, we untied our lines from sv/Euphoria and cautiously motored away from Campbell Creek back into the Goose River(ICW).

Going down the Goose, we passed under the Hobucken Fixed Bridge.  Immediately after the bridge were the rickety docks of RE Mayo Co, a commercial fish house.  There were about 6 shrimp boats docked there.  They do allow transient boats to dock at only 40 cents a foot…what a bargain….that’s because there aren’t any amenities….only an outhouse that I could see!!  We should have stopped because they sell fresh fish and shrimp from their docks.   We didn’t realize this until it was too late and we continue down the river until it emptied us into the Bay River which flows into the Pamlico Sound. Heading toward the sound, we could see 2 shrimp boats dragging their nets for shrimp.  This was so awesome! 

We weren’t in the Pamlico Sound long before we had to round some land and turn into the Neuse River toward Oriental.  The River Dunes Marina is actually up Broad Creek which is off the Neuse River and very protected on all sides.  Yikes, once we turned and started heading up the Neuse, clouds were forming in that direction and the skies were getting awfully dark over the ocean.  We only had 4.5 miles to go before turning west for Broad Creek. Once near the front of the storm, the winds kicked up and so did the waves.  We thought for a moment that we were back on Lake Erie!  I think the 4 of us felt we made a wise decision to be getting off the water and into this marina!  As we approached our channel marks, I called the marina and they told us that we would be on docks B2 and B3….and it was only noon!!

Along entrance to River Dunes

Club House
River Dunes is more than a marina.  It is a ‘marina resort’ with over 13,000 acres of property.  To enter, we had to  turn to port at R5 and enter their channel.  The dockmaster immediately radioed as we were approaching the entrance and welcomed us for coming and staying with them.  One of the dockhands was waiting to take our lines to assist us in docking.  They even stayed to plug our power cord into the outlet.  This place is unreal!  They are developing a community around the marina.  Once we settled in, we were told to come up to their clubhouse to check in….and then we checked everything out….heated outdoor pool, hot and cold spas,  brick cabanas,  clubhouse with indoor and outdoor fireplaces,  workout room, office with computer and printer, washers and dryers, but the best amenity was the steam showers!! I felt like I had died and gone to heaven!!!!

Outdoor fireplace

View of marina
Workout center & office

Cabanas & Pool
Kiddie Pool


Euphoria & Happy Hours II
River Dune House or Mansion?


We took one of their golf carts and explored all around the property.  Many of the prime building sites already have beautiful waterfront homes….all with tin roofs.  We also signed up to take the courtesy car to drive into Oriental tomorrow morning. To top the day off right, we signed up for the cruisers´ dinner  that they were preparing for 5:00.  This is a great way to meet new people and maybe talk to some boaters we’ve already met along the way.

Friday, November 1st

This morning at 10 am we have the courtesy car for 2 hours.  The 4 of us (Al, Colette, Chuck and me) all decided to drive into Oriental, NC to look around and do some shopping.   Al drove and it was an easy 3 left turns to get to the small town.  I was so disappointed!  It wasn't anything like I had imagined!!  There just wasn't much to see except for the very small waterfront.  It felt like an old fishing village...on the outskirts of the harbour they had a hardware store, small grocery store, a few souvenir stores, and a West Marine Express.  Express??   It was about the size of a garage!  That was it to Oriental, River Dunes might just bring some zest into this town once it's completely developed!!

Tiki bar near city docks!


The best store there was a Provisional Store for boaters.  It even had the joker valve that Chuck needed.  In fact they had 3 joker valves!  Chuck bought them all.  West Marine didn't have's becoming my least favorite store. 

We parked and walked over to the 2 city docks
and saw the local shrimp
boats.  I bought some fresh large shrimp from the fish house.  The southern gentleman was so polite and even put ice in the bag with my shrimp to keep them cold until we got back to the boat.  What a nice man!  It was soon time to head back to the marina.  The 2 hours gave us more than enough time to see Oriental.  Once back to our boats, the guys were going to work on Happy Hours II and the gals were going to try out the washer and dryers. 

The evening was spent playing Mexican Train....Nancy, thank you for our box of dominoes!! 

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