From Beaufort to Swansboro, the distance is only 33 nautical miles. After running a few more errands, we left the docks at a little after noon. I can't remember the last time our day started this late. As we keep saying, there is no place we have to be and no special time we have to be there. The best channel to use from Beaufort heading south runs along the east side of Radio Island, out toward the main inlet and shipping channel. Then it's necessary to turn back into the direction of the main Port and connect back to the Intracoastal Waterway. As we neared the commercial docks we sighted a couple on their trawler that we had met in the Sassafras River on the Chesapeake Bay. A quick call on the VHF found that w both had plans for the same destination. The next three hours were uneventful and other than the light rain and drizzle, it was a normal and easy day. The next stop was to be a Swansboro, a small town right on the waterway at statute mile 229.
About 30 miles upriver from the spot where the Intracoastal Waterway crosses the Pamlico River lays the town of Washington, NC. For the many boaters that speed south to reach their winter destinations, missing these side trips is a shame. We have been just as guilty in the past, but decided that on this transit of the ICW, we would stop and smell the fish fry. The Pamlico can be daunting and a careful eye on the weather is required. The payoff to visiting this well protected harbor and yet another historic site along the North Carolina waterway is more than worth the additional time and miles.