Rhonda here! As we all know, the real thing doesn’t always look like the website. Belhaven Marina was one of those cases. When we arrived, it took some skillful boat maneuvering to squeeze R&R into a space on the three-boat dock wall that was really too small for her. We got safely secured to the dock, but our anchor hung over the pontoon boat in front of us and our swim platform was under the dinghy of the sailboat behind us.
The dock hand and marina staff were friendly and helpful and laundry was free (big Looper plus!) but that’s about it. Oh, sunset was nice.
The little town of Belhaven, which seems to have potential, is almost closed on Mondays. I think it has been hard hit by COVID and lack of visitors. Most stores and restaurants were open only Wednesday-Saturday, and many were permanently closed. So we ate dinner out of the fridge again….just thankful my captain likes leftovers!
Belhaven was once an industrial town with lumber businesses and a branch of what is now Norfolk Southern Railroad. Its waterfront has many historic homes including River Forest Manor, completed in 1904. Its first owner was John Aaron Wilkinson, then vice-president of the Railroad. Today this magnificent building is a country inn, restaurant and marina.
During the evening and early overnight, the winds in Belhaven kicked up and we were rocking and rolling against the dock. To protect R&R we put out all of our fenders and added a couple from the marina. Sleeping in our otherwise comfortable V berth felt like sleeping in a washing machine. It sounds lulling to have “slosh, slap, slosh” against the hull, but it wasn’t….at least for me. Rick seemed not to notice, which was a blessing since we had an early morning departure.
Much to our chagrin, we were invaded overnight by midge bugs….thousands of them!
They look like little moths, and if not washed off the boat right away they leave hard-to-remove green slime. They are a nuisance but they don’t bite, so there’s a bright side. And I’m told they are a protected species….glad I didn’t know that when we were sucking them up in our vacuum cleaner! I’ll have to keep my eyes open for the midge bug police.
Today, we traveled via the Alligator-Pungo Canal to Alligator River Marina, a gas station/convenience store/fried food takeout, with a dock out back. It is on the edge of the Albemarle Sound, just inside the Outer Banks.
It’s rural here and the accommodations are basic. The scenery is beautiful and R&R offers us all the creature comforts we could want, so we’re not complaining.
See you up the creek! Norfolk or bust!