Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beaufort, North Carolina: Fort Macon Anchorage

Beaufort, North Carolina is a terrific stop when you’re coming in from offshore. The jetty is broad and well-marked, and there are anchorages within easy reach for the weary. As I noted in my previous blog, we first anchored away from town, to the northwest of the inlet, inside of Bogue Banks, a barrier island. The shoreline directly along the anchorage is part of Fort Macon State Park. On the inside of the island (as opposed to the outside facing the Atlantic Ocean) is a small creek that you can enter at high tide, which winds through the salt marshes. It’s quite pretty; we saw herons, egrets, and ibis foraging through the mud and marsh grass, and swallows flying erratically (as they do) above.

We also dinghyed in to visit Fort Macon. It’s relatively small—several Fort Macons would fit inside the parade grounds of Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas—but wonderfully restored. It overlooks and was built to defend Beaufort Inlet. A nice sandy beach surrounds the fort on three sides, extending from inside the island to the outside, and many people were fishing in the surf.

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