Tuesday morning – after another trip into Gum Neck (still no people) – we head down the Alligator-Pungo Canal. The canal gets its name due to the fact that it runs from the Alligator River on the North to the Pungo River on the South. We went about 32-miles to the small town of Belhaven. A fellow cruiser had told us once “Oh, there’s nothing at Belhaven.” But, the cruising guide said they have a fairly new FREE town dock. It is located very close to the ICW, so we gave it a try. Belhaven turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The dock is free for the first night, then $1 per foot. And is for use by Transients (that’s us) only. Very smart move by the town management. And, get this, FREE electricity and water. $5 for a DIY pumpout. For you land-lubbers, a “pumpout” is where hazardous material is sucked out of a special holding tank that everyone is required to have on their boat.
Belhaven, like many small towns, is struggling economically. But, they are trying to make a comeback. The free dock is a good start at bringing in boaters. There are four of five restaurants within several blocks. A good sized ACE Hardware (with a wine and beer section) is less than a block away. A nice little hair saloon / barber shop where I got a very good trim. A modern little hospital right next door, just in case you may need it. Everyone is very friendly and know your from somewhere else because everyone from here knows each other. If we ever make it back this way, we will definitely stop again.
We had dinner at Fish Hooks. Their scallops were wonderful. The crab cakes are some of the best I’ve had. And, I thought the squash casserole was very good. We’ve heard there’s another restaurant called “The Silver Spoon” that is reputed to be even better. All good little local places. If you want Hardees, it’s a couple miles away out by the highway.
Well, we stayed a second day here just walking about doing a little cleaning, meeting people, and relaxing. After all, this is a cruise, not a race. The objective is to enjoy your time. Not race though without ever smelling the flowers.