Intracoastal Waterway Cruise – Day 5-6 in Beaufort NC

The “Special K” crew takes a much needed break with a few restful days in the beautiful waterside town of Beaufort NC en-route to Florid on their Atlantic ICW cruise

This guest post blog series details the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Cruise of two friends, Karen and George, as they cruise the east coast from Chesapeake Bay to the Florida Gulf Coast.

After a few intense cruising days with high winds and rough water on the Chesapeake Bay, it was time to dock “Special K” and enjoy some relaxing time at port in Beaufort, NC.

Beaufort, NC was the intended stop on Day 4 of our trip when we ended up spending the night in Oriental, NC due to some issues we thought we had with the engines. Luckily everything was OK and we made it to Beaufort.

The longer stay in Beaufort gave us time to reflect on the first week of cruising with some early lessons learned.

Some tips for our fellow boaters:

  1. Know the name of a trusted mechanic – our friend Jay Beers really helped steer us through what could have been a nightmare of unnecessary repair cost.
  2. Be creative – We found that chip bag clips worked great to hold the pages of our navigation books
  3. Ladies – give up on the hair.  Have a cap or hair tie ready
  4. Enjoy the ride and work together.  It makes the whole experience so much more meaningful.

While in Beaufort, we stayed at Beaufort Docks Marina for two nights, really giving the crew a chance to relax and enjoy the town.

The marina was right next to Dockhouse Restaurant which featured nightly music, seafood and great views of the beautiful Taylor’s Creek.

We were able to relax and spend some time exploring the area on our dinghy.

Directly across from the Beaufort waterfront we found wild ponies on Carrot Island and the Rachel Carlson Reserve across Taylor’s Creek.

There are approximately 40 wild horses on the island – once owned by a Beaufort resident who placed horses on the island during the 1940’s.

Since his passing they have the horses remained and became feral, reverting from domestication back to the wild, and then became the property of the state when the land was purchased in the 1980s.

The Rachel Carson Reserve is open to the public and is only accessible by boat (or dinghy). In addition to the horses, the river otter, gray fox, raccoon, and marsh rabbit inhabit the islands. There are also over 200 species of birds that can be found there.

The sandy beaches along the reserve were a nice spot to relax and explore. Diesel even had a chance to enjoy a swim!

Our two night stay in the town of Beaufort NC was a memorable and relaxing stop as we prepared for the next leg of our Intracoastal Waterway adventure.

Follow the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Cruise

Continue to follow their two week journey on this blog as Karen shares guest posts detailing each leg of their cruise along the Intracoastal Waterways.

See all the latest posts:
Intracoastal Waterway Cruise

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Diane Seltzer

Founder & Editor at My Boat Life
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids Active in the boating industry, Diane is also the CMO of Epoch Boats, an all-electric hydrofoil boat startup.


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