Friday, April 20, 2012

History, Wooden Boats and Pirates

Beaufort, NC is a pretty town. Its’ downtown core is small, attractive, and loaded with old homes on the National Historic Register.  At the Visitor’s Center we obtained a map showing us the self-guided walking tour and enjoyed the information included about each house.


These are more modest homes than those in Charleston, but are uniformly in good condition and attractive. Swings and rocking chairs on the front porches are almost ubiquitous.


As in Charleston and other cities we’ve visited, boxwood hedges are popular. The one below is interesting in that it is fashioned as a maze or labyrinth.


We spent time at The Old Burying Ground, where many former residents of Beaufort from the Revolutionary and Civil War days are buried, in addition to non-military citizens. It’s a pretty cemetery, and information from the Visitor’s Center gave us the “life stories” of some of the folks buried here.


We spent an hour at the excellent Maritime Museum which had lots of interesting exhibits, including the one below which is of a device used to shuttle up to 15 people at a time from shipwrecks offshore back to Beaufort on ropes shot via cannon to the shipwreck! It looked frighteningly claustrophobic, but we’d guess that once you’re shipwrecked, your options feel limited, so you’d climb into this thing with 14 of your closest friends if given the choice!


We also spent a brief time at the wooden boat center, though no one was working there at the time. There were some beautiful examples of work underway.




And a few final products tied up at the docks outside. Pretty!


Tonight at the restaurant/bar immediately adjacent to our dock they’re having a Fundraising Event. If we understood it correctly, there is a “pirate’s organization” here in Beaufort, and the funds raised are to help the continuance of this organization. There’s even a guy named Sinbad (not his real name we’d guess?) who built his 54-foot brigantine pirate’s ship Meka II in Detroit in 1967 and lives on her full-time here in Beaufort. He stages historical re-enactments of pirating events and invites students on board to learn pirating history. He is actually a licensed (by the state of North Carolina) privateer. His boat is docked a few feet from ours tonight.


Beaufort residents are out in large numbers in pirate and wench costume for tonight’s event.






Here we are below, in our dockage in Beaufort, NC.


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