Thursday, June 30, 2011


Alligator River, NC 35º40.398N | 76º03.402W

Unsettled in Oriental
I've gritted my teeth through some long watches, usually in expected places like Tongues of Oceans, but this one topped my list -- and it was only two hours.

Our short hops up the coast have continued, stopping at another favorite spot: Beaufort, NC. I already wrote about our history with Beaufort when we passed through last fall, four days into our cruising career.

This time, as always, we enjoyed the shops and restaurants, tooling around before an early morning run to Oriental.

We lifted anchor in Beaufort at 8:07, and I was feeling slightly queasy. Strange. I took a slug of Pepto, which usually kicks seasickness for me, even the tiniest sip. But why was I seasick? We'd been underway for weeks -- and conditions were mild.

My watch was to last until 10, and every minute I felt worse and worse. By 9:45, I was counting seconds, miliseconds, in an unending blur of nausea.

When Chip took over at 10, I fell on the couch and didn't budge until we approached Oriental. We tried unsuccessfully to anchor (although I do consider running aground a form of anchoring), so as a last resort we hailed the marina.

On this northern trek, I'm in charge of docking, so I took the wheel and pulled into a pencil-thin slip, threw a stern line over the piling, rodeo-style, and shut off the engine.

I went below, collapsed on the couch in a cold sweat, and did not leave the boat for 48 hours.

Food poisoning. We know that now, because Chip followed my lead. Six months in the Bahamas with no food issues. Two weeks in the U.S.: food poisoning.

Nachos. Good old American nachos in Beaufort.

We hobbled out of Oriental this morning and chose to take the inside route to Manteo. The capricious Pamlico on a still-queasy stomach? No thanks.

We're anchored in the Alligator River, feeling stronger and excited, one stop away from our home port!

Heading toward Beaufort.
Scenic Alligator River.

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