Oriental NC Wrap Up

Stephen and Roberta Arnold
Wed 4 Aug 2010 02:31

Tuesday August 3, 2010 10 PM


We are out of here tomorrow, but truth be told this would be one great place to spend more time. It’s a small town, we were told about 800 people in the city limits and 3500 when you count the suburbs.


It is an extremely friendly town. We were at the hardware store refilling a propane tank and prepared to carry it the half mile back to the boat when a gentleman offered us a ride. Later when walking to the grocery store I started to watch the drivers and better than 50% of them waved at us as we walked – even the UPS truck driver waved. It may be there way of saying “look at me I’m in an air conditioned car and you are walking in the hot sun”, but I doubt it.


Oriental has one grocery store and it’s a throwback to those of us who remember shopping in the 60’s. It’s a relatively small store by today’s standards, but it has all the basics including a butcher who will cut the meat to your specifications and employees who know their customer names.


One thing ‘On Sale’ at the store were Tea Biscuits there for $1. This in an area where Pabst Blue Ribbon beer is still a top seller. I just don’t think Oriental NC ready to start having an afternoon tea and biscuits.


There is also a local theater that puts on plays. We’ve heard good things about it and looked into going to a performance, but nothing was playing during our stay. Perhaps next time through.


About an hour after we anchored we decided we needed to move I just wasn’t comfortable with where we were. I only wanted to move about 150 ft. Since it was to be a quick move we started to raise  the anchor without all our normal anchor cleaning preparations. Well at one point the anchor chain was about twice normal sixe covered in some black primordial ooze. By the time that part of the chain reached the deck we were committed to raising the anchor since there wasn’t enough chain in the water to keep us in place while we cleaned things. For those Texas sailors who have experienced Offatt’s mud, let me compare the two. It’s like comparing diarrhea to constipation both are undesirable, but the black Oriental muck runs all over the place while the Offatt’s tends to stick. It took over an hour to clean up the mess.


It’s also an area where boating and ingenuity are not dead. One of the boats anchored near us had their mast laying on deck. Nearby was a bridge. Combine the two and you have a way to step the mast.



At one point the police stopped on the bridge and in most of the world would have put a stop to things, but not here. I think the guy was happy with the outcome but there is still work to do.



For you sailors, note the outboard, I think that was his sole means of propulsion and I don’t think it worked. Shortly after this picture was taken, a boat rowed an anchor back to where the boat started. Once the anchor was set the owner pull the boat back. This boat does have a generator – a loud one that is run on deck.