Page 60

Ashore near Lookout Bight at Cape Lookout.

Bareboating North Carolina In Search of Blackbeard’s Treasure By Mike Alyea


s the plow bites into the soft bottom of Silver Lake, my eyes wander along the Ocracoke waterfront, and I’m quickly taken with its charm. We are securely anchored 200 feet off the docks of the Jolly Roger Pub and Marina, located in Ocracoke Village on the southern tip of Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks. Cindy and I settle into the cockpit to reflect on our first day sailing coastal North Carolina. Our Saga 409, In Concert—chartered from Carolina Wind Yachting Center out of Washington, NC— performed well on our 60-mile dash southeast down the Pamlico River and across Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke Island. The boat now rests easily as the late September day gives way to the cool of a near fall evening. We relax after a day spent charging through four-foot seas—kicked up by a 20-knot breeze—on our trip here. Music and laughter drift across the water while we watch a lone fisherman coil his nets and ready his gear for the next day’s fishing. While I sip rum, Cindy thumbs through Claiborne Young’s Cruising Guide to Coastal North Carolina. I coax her to read aloud some history of the area. We are soon speculating about the fate of Blackbeard’s hidden treasure from his days pirating these very waters— leaving us with much to ponder as darkness creeps across the harbor. Slipping below into the warm glow of the cabin for dinner, we talk of our plans for the next several days. In order to see as much as possible, we’ve developed a “dashand-drop” itinerary. We plan to “dash” across lengthy expanses of water, and then “drop” the hook in chosen locations to spend at least 24 hours enjoying each anchorage. Our plan was off to a great start with getting to Ocracoke on the first day of this seven-day charter. The next morning came bright and clear with a breeze 58 February 2013