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The Great Loop

Ocracoke NC To River Dunes    Chart
(Lat: 35º 5.042'N Lon: 76º 36.063'W )

Even though it was rain showers and still pretty strong winds we decided to head back accross the Sound so we could get back to our respective homes or anchorages before the 4th of July Holiday.
So Jackie and I put on our rain jackets and helped our friends get their boats underway and then we, Alice and Phil got Wonderland on the water. While it was still quite windy, we were able to take the waves at a better angle than when we crossed 2 days ago. We didn't have any issues and arrived at River Dunes off Broad Creek on schedule.
River Dunes is a very nice housing/golf/marina development just North and East of Oriental. It is very nice and the facilities and people are great. It looks like it was started while during the housing boom and is now caught in the tough housing market. It fortunately had enough sales and home built to be able to keep it sustainable. We took a few pictures crossing the Sound and then of River Dunes.
Ocracoke NC

Today we rented a golf cart so we really could explore all of the little village of Ocracoke. It is a great little village and while a lot of people drive through it as part of passing through the Outer Banks, there is so much more to see on the side roads. It has good restaurants, nice little shops and very pretty. We had a great day exploring with friends.
Oriental To Ocracoke    Chart
(Lat: 35º 6.784'N Lon: 75º 58.938'W )

Because of the threat of rain storms and high winds we debated if we should just stay in Oriental for another day or head out to Ocracoke. We let a couple storms pass and then decided to head out. The Sound had really kicked up after we left the Neuse River but we decided to press on. We had 2-4' waves on our starboard beam and that made the trip uncomfortable but doable. From the pictures you can see the water conditions and weather and while there weren't a lot of boats on the water we captured a few pictures. The burgees shown in the Oriental pictures were gone when we arrived in Ocracoke.
Oriental NC    Chart
(Lat: 35º 1.45'N Lon: 76º 41.73'W )

This morning we headed out of New Bern to meet up with friends in Oriental. The wind was blowing hard but the Neuse River is pretty well protected. We boated to Oriental Marina and awaited our friends to arrive and then helped them dock in the high winds, caught up with eachother, had a nice dinner and got to bed early for the trip to Ocracoke. Great seeing everyone. Note one of the pictures is of the MYOA and AGLCA burgees flying on Wonderlands rail. When we got to Ocracoke after traveling the rough Sound, they and the pole were gone.
New Bern, NC    Chart
(Lat: 35º 6.177'N Lon: 77º 2.33'W )

We were invited by several Loopers to join on a trip to tour the Neuse River and cross the Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke, with stops at Oriental going over and River Dunes on return trip to New Bern. We thought about taking our boat up and doing the trip but then realized it would double the time commitment and expense to take our boat verses join our good friends Phil and Alice Priemer on their boat, Wonderland, to do the trip. They have a beautiful 49' Gulfstar MY so they had plenty of room and they already had the boat at the Hilton Marina in New Bern. So we drove up by truck to join them on the trip. We met up with 3 other boats in Oriental on the next day and then the 4 boats crossed to Ocracoke. We had a great time. In fact we had such a good time that I didn't have time to post on this blog and then when we got back to Carolina Beach, we had family visit and it totally slipped my mind. I am making these entries on the trip on Dec. 15, 2010. Better late than never. Thanks to Dave Hawley for asking me how we liked the trip and asked why it wasn't in the blog. That was when I went back and checked and sure enough it wasn't there.
Today we arrived at New Bern and got our gear and provisions on Wonderland and shared a beautiful evening in New Bern.
Bald Head Island    Chart
(Lat: 33º 52.604'N Lon: 77º 59.969'W )

Jackie and I really like to take our boat to BHI as it is so different from most places and is close by. We stay very comfortably on our boat and we like to rent a golf cart to explore as well as spend time at the Shoal's Club. The Shoal's Club is located on the beach at the point of where the beach turns from facing East to South and where the Shoals go way out into the ocean. It is a beautiful place.
We almost didn't go due to lots of rain and thunder storms in the forecast but we decided to chance it. We are so happy we did because while it rained very hard in Wilmington, Southport and Carolina Beach, we only had a few afternon showers and the rest of the time it was great weather.
Our goal this trip was to drive the cart to explore all the roads on the island. I can't be 100% sure we didn't miss one but we didn't miss many. We also wanted to see as much of the rennovated golf course from the various roads around it. They did a great job with their improvements. While we were there 3 nights/4 days, I am only going to put in this one entry.
We took a number of pictures and we tried to focus on different views from our past visits. If you click on the picture each one will have a caption for explanation. Hope you enjoy them.