National Geographic : 1958 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine the eating lasted from just after church until bedtime. Axson told us about the visitors he was least likely to forget. They were a couple who cruised all the way from Long Island Sound to North Carolina without spending a cent for fuel. Nor did they have sails. "The boat was Government surplus," Ax son said, "a converted landing craft fitted with a cabin. The owners, a man and his wife, would get a tow from the harbor to the nearest channel. Then they'd sit and wait. A yacht would come along and they'd yell 'My engine is out!' Well, yachtsmen are kind hearted, and the first thing you knew this old bucket would move along at the end of a towline to the next port. "One day a real Samaritan came along," Axson continued. "He insisted on going below to fix the engine. He lifted the engine-room hatch. The engine really was 'out.' There wasn't any." As we strolled Belhaven's piers between rows of gleaming yachts, we noticed that al most every one flew the "owner absent" flag. Axson explained: "The owners flew home from Florida, probably, and hired professional captains to run their boats to summer har bors in Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, New England, or even the Great Lakes." We enjoyed a lively sail-a welcome change -after leaving Belhaven. Then, in the Pam lico River, Dorothea looked astern and dis covered that our 8-foot plastic pram was missing; the towline had parted. There followed some tricky maneuvering as we re traced our course and retrieved the little boat. Tons of Seafood, but None to Eat Canvas had to be doused when we entered the narrow channel of Goose Creek, which led us to the Neuse River and the quiet fishing port of Oriental. The town's livelihood comes wholly from the sea, in tons of shrimp, fish, crabs, and oysters. Yet, strolling the quiet streets, we couldn't buy any seafood. We asked for shrimp or crab at several places; there was none. Every bit was shipped out in refrigerator trucks immediately after it was landed. A short day's run took us to Bogue Sound and the harbor of Morehead City. Placed ideally for waterway cruisers, this fishing and resort center sits on a narrow peninsula be tween the sound and Calico Creek. The creek got its name many years ago when wind and tide scattered a shipwrecked cargo of the brightly colored cloth along the shores. Morehead City, like most coastal towns, has more than a handful of salt in its history. John Motley Morehead, a North Carolina governor for whom the town was named, fore saw it as an important Atlantic port. Today, 100 years after the granting of its charter, ocean traffic plies deep Beaufort Inlet to do business chiefly in tobacco, the State's first crop, and in oil. We found swimmers and sunbathers playing at Atlantic Beach, across the sound from Three Horn Toots by the Skipper's Wife Set a Drawbridge Swinging Wide Scores of drawbridges, too low for vessels with masts, cross the Intracoastal Waterway between Chesapeake Bay and the Florida Keys. As the signal to open, they require three long blasts. This span crosses Skull Creek near its confluence with Calibogue Sound in South Carolina. It carries highway traffic between the mainland and Hilton Head Island. Here Tradewinds slips through the slot. National Geographic Photographer J. Baylor Roberts © N.G.S .