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Oriental, North Carolina A Great Place to be Rained Out By Marci Lynn McGuinness

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Oriental Harbor aglow, taken from a balcony at the Oriental Marina & Inn. Oriental is known to have 1000 residents and 3000 sailboats at any given moment.

ast summer, in early August, I spent two days in the sailing capital of North Carolina intending to cover the Dragon’s Breath Sailing Regatta. Instead, I met 91-yearold Oma Fay Midyette Bond, an Oriental native. The Oriental Dinghy Club had canceled the race due to five inches of rain, so Fay took me on a two-day tour in her golf cart. Her Golden Retriever, Goldie, accompanied us. When I came to Oriental, I stopped in the office at the Oriental Marina & Inn to let them know I had arrived. General Manager Tom McIlhenny checked with his staff and asked me to return in an hour or so. I walked across the

street to the Village Gallery where local sketch artist Betty Brown wowed me with the gallery’s displays of maritime art. I then took a seat in one of the harbor-view porch rockers next to a young woman. She was there to crew on a sailboat in the postponed regatta. When she found out I was writing about Oriental, she introduced me to her mother who lives across the street from Fay Bond. Fay was born there in 1923. They said she was their Yogi and historian. I was intrigued. They got Fay’s permission for me to call and set up an interview. When I checked into the inn, there were two of Betty Brown’s sketches on the walls. One was of the Tiki Bar just below my balconies. Torrential downpours had the harbor filled with all types of boats— shrimp, sail, and power. What a view I had; every room does. It was like watching over the kingdom. The harbor, swimming pool, Tiki bar and Toucan Grill were at my fingertips. It is a lucky sailor who docks here (MM 182 ICW). I had driven from southwestern Pennsylvania, spending two days in New Bern, and had a leisurely drive to Oriental down Route 55. Either way, dock it or park it, because Oriental is one of the best walking towns I’ve visited. The Tiki Bar at the Oriental Harbor Inn & Marina is a favorite of sailors worldwide. The inn’s balconies give visitor’s a full view of the happenings on land and sea.

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July 2015

SOUTHWINDS

www.southwindsmagazine.com

Southwinds July 2015  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds July 2015  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...