Saturday, November 5, 2011

Stuck in Paradise

River Dunes Marina is an ActiveCaptain sponsor. I originally contacted JC, the Marina Manager, about this time last year when we were looking for a place to stop because I had been seeing the amazing reviews they always received. He urged us to come and see for ourselves but the timing just didn't work out for us.

I spoke to JC again this year and again he urged us to come see for ourselves. This year we made it, planning to stay a day and then quickly move on - we'd lost time when we were "stuck" in Portsmouth. The plan was to head to the Beaufort inlet and then offshore so we could be in Florida by mid-month, then to my mom's for Thanksgiving.

We all know about boating and plans.

We pulled into the channel for River Dunes on Wednesday afternoon not expecting the large, beautiful basin that opened up before us. We both went, "Wow" - honest. I don't know what we expected but this is a beautiful place with just the right amount of manicured grounds (lovely to look at but not overdone), magnificent homes, winding streets, a pool surrounded by cabanas, a large clubhouse, and fabulous floating docks.

And it just kept getting better. JC met us at the dock with a knowledgable dockhand. Imagine that, a dockhand who knows how to handle lines. Quite an unusual finding. When we went into the clubhouse to check in I met Louise who handles the front desk and was a constant help during our stay. She was not only competent but she was thoroughly pleasant and fun to talk to. I thought, too bad we can't stay longer.

We signed up for their family style dinner Thursday night with plans to leave early Friday morning. We were pleasantly surprised when Elle and Dick on Summer Wind pulled into the basin and we all joined JC and his wife for a terrific dinner. Talked turned to the weather with predictions of 20 foot seas off of Frying Pan Shoals and gale force winds.

By Friday morning the winds were howling, yet again foiling our plans. By the afternoon a gaggle of Krogen trawlers began coming in out of the weather - it is called a gaggle isn't it? The basin filled up as the weather got worse. We weren't going anywhere. I wasn't complaining. A great dinner at the clubhouse with the Kogren-ites, a couple of trips into Oriental in the courtesy car, numerous walks on the grounds with the kids - I could get used to this.

But we do need to move on. Tomorrow is looking promising, so tonight we're making plans to leave early. Whatever the morning holds I won't complain. We do have places to go but being stuck here for another day wouldn't be so bad either.

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