A Beautiful Day in Beaufort, NC
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
I have to admit, after two weeks and seemingly nothing but bad news and crappy weather, we were in a bit of a funk. Luckily, we met an awesome couple, Tom and Cynthia aboard Sparidae, and after a fun night out with them, our spirits of adventure were reinvigorated by their tales of what they had seen and done in Beaufort. We decided that the next day, the final nice day before the next storms rolled through, we would follow in their footsteps and we are so glad we did.
Us with Cynthia and Tom aboard Sparidae
We decided to leave Coffee behind on this adventure because we were on a mission to find wild horses, and also wanted to go inside the museum, neither of which are really conducive to bringing him. We got into the dinghy and headed out across Town Creek on a clear blue day.
As you head up Taylor Creek toward Beaufort Docks, Carrot Island is the land mass to your starboard side. It is part of the Rachel Carson Reserve which covers over 2000 acres of land in and around Beaufort. We found a small beach to land on and made our way on to the island. We walked for five minutes or so until we found the swampland at the center of the island. I began to take photos and Aaron wandered around the corner. He waved at me frantically and motioned over his shoulder to a horse standing among the reeds. As we rounded the corner together, we saw that it was actually two horses on a bank in the middle of the marsh, calmly feeding. They were a good distance away so didn’t spook or even seem bothered at all by our presence.
I was snapping away with my camera and Aaron again wandered off – and again came back to let me know more horses were around the next bend. This time it was a herd of four (a stallion and three mares, the former of which was determined to get feisty with one of the ladies) standing near the pond that began the swamp. They were grazing and drinking and we sat and watched them for awhile.
In the distance behind them, a few other horses started to appear in the fields beyond, silhouetted against the beach. Just as we felt we were done observing the herd, we started back towards the main path, and lo behold, more horses were emerging from the just beyond where we were standing and making their way towards the four by the shore. Of course, we remained and I took more photos until Aaron’s grumbling tummy encouraged us to leave.
The herd on Carrot Island and the rest of the reserve descends from horses brought there by a local resident, Dr. Luther Fulcher, in 1974. All in all, we saw at least 30 horses, spread out throughout the swamp (which as it turns out, is apparently the whole herd!). As a horse lover my whole life, I was on cloud nine! It was just the pick-me-up I needed to weather another few days stuck at the marina.
We pulled up to one of the dinghy docks in Beaufort and returned to the place we had eaten dinner at the night before (The Royal James Cafe) for some cheap and greasy grub. After breakfast, we visited the North Carolina Maritime Museum which has a number of really cool displays including ones on surfing, boat design, and fishing in the area.
We returned home to find that Coffee had nosed the door down (we had only left it propped up so he could get some sunshine) and was laying in the cockpit, snoozing in the sun. What a dog.
Exploring new places and seeing cool things are some of my favourite things to do and even though we had already been here for two weeks and had visited town a couple of times, we hadn’t seen these amazing sights so thank you again to Tom and Cynthia for encouraging us to do so. Now, we prepare for Thanksgiving aboard in Beaufort and the cold front that will be coming through later this week.