After a fast three-day passage from Fort Lauderdale, we pulled into Beaufort, North Carolina. Beaufort is a frequent stopping point for vessels heading up from Florida to the Northeast because it’s one of the last points of refuge before making the trip around Cape Hatteras. The town was founded in 1709 and is the third oldest city in North Carolina. Situated along North Carolina’s inner banks, Beaufort has some beautifully remote beaches and a relaxed vibe.
Beaufort is probably most famous for the fact that in June 1718 Blackbeard grounded his flagship pirate vessel, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, just outside of the town. Lucky for us on Summer Kai we had no problem navigating the twisty, current laden channel and successfully made our way to the Beaufort Docks. Since Summer Kai is so wide, we were assigned a face dock which made pulling the boat up against the floating docks a piece of cake (to me, the first 2 minutes and the last 2 minutes of a voyage are the most nerve-wracking).
Once we were safely tied up, and we scrubbed Summer Kai, it was time for us to explore the town. With only 4,189 residents over 4.6 square miles, a tour of Beaufort is a short, lovely walk down a long street situated on the water. As you walk past big beautiful homes with their white picket fences and front porches with rockers you get the feeling that you’ve stepped back into another, slower, time. Along the waterfront, there is a small park flanked by restaurants with outdoor seating. We stopped at the City Dock restaurant and ordered some of the biggest and best nachos we’ve ever had.
For dinner, we celebrated our landfall by treating ourselves to some steaks at Ribeyes Steak House. Although the ambiance leaves something to be desired, the steaks were excellent and their famous “Endless Salad Bar” had over 35 items. We all ate well and then strolled back to the boat to prepare for our rounding of Cape Hatteras scheduled for the next morning.
We enjoyed our afternoon in Beaufort, and it’s a great stopover for Mariners on their way up the coast. It’s also a great destination for anyone that’s looking to get away from it all with its beautiful scenery, friendly people, and mellow atmosphere.