There was no way were going to be 80 miles away from Uncle Rolf and not do a drive by. At the least take him out for lunch. Instead, we were in for a nice long visit. He gave up his two room condo overlooking the tiny harbor of Oriental North Carolina to us for three nights including one night of impressive thunderstorms over the Inner Banks.
Oriental is a sleepy sailor village known as the Sailing Capital of North Carolina. A perfect spot for Uncle Rolf, affectionately known by locals as Popeye. The slogan here is ~ A quaint little drinking town with a sailing problem. The mascot of Oriental is the dragon which guards the village square from the pond beyond.
Most towns, little or big, have a town square. We have visited many of these squares along our way. Portland refers to their Pioneer Square as Portland’s living room; the place where people gather. This little town is no different only their town square is this busy harbor. The coffee shop faces the water, a tiki bar and seafood restaurant line another side, and a handy market that sells everything from sweet potatoes to postcards on the west side of the square. Salty sailors, prepping their vessels for long voyages or day time sails line the docks as the few tourists watch from the square.
No Starbucks, no fast-food drive throughs, and only two stoplights in the entire county. Last year the 900 locals drove the mini-Walmart out of town and are anxiously awaiting the Grand Opening Piggly Wiggly.
Fresh seafood is carried right off these vessels to the tiny fish shack across the street. Uncle Rolf introduced me to the local shrimper and I splurged on two pounds of this jumbo shrimp. We all cooked it up, good and plenty.
Thanks Popeye. We had a nice visit and are 80 miles closer to our next destination, the beach music of the Outer Banks. Bon Apitit and for many a mariner departing the village square, Bon Voyage.