In our continued effort to improve our mutt's sea legs, we regularly take Eleanor on paddles. This time, with Eleanor turning 1, we met up with a few friends and took to the water, launching kayaks from Hammocks Beach State Park, just outside of Swansboro NC.
Hammocks Beach is a popular kayak/canoe launch in the area. We've paddled from here before, it's got a nice launch and plenty of parking. Rentals are available from the site in the high season. Trips to nearby Bear Island, Emerald Isle, the Swansboro waterfront (i.e. restaurants), & Jones Island are possible - just watch the current, wind, and weather. Conditions change pretty quick this close to the sea, especially in the summer.
For us, it ended up being a quick paddle (with the puppies and all). Eleanor seems to be getting the hang of it...maybe I should try to get her out on our new little sailboat?
~Paul, Amber, Eleanor, & Friends ETC
Arrr me mateys...are ye ready for a tall tale? A treasure tale? A pirate tale? A...gulp...Blackbeard tale? Then sit back and listen as Everyone's Travel Club takes you all the way to Bath, North Carolina, once home of the infamous pirate Edward Teach (a.k.a. Blackbeard!).
Before we get to the pirate booty part of the story, let's talk Bath. It's a great little inland town incorporated way back in 1705. Bath sits on the mouth of the Pamlico River and was once North Carolina's first port of entry. Trade was a big deal here, mostly in tobacco, furs, and naval stores. Nowadays, it's a small, quiet, mostly residential community. The town's got a great vibe and lots of history. For starters, there's St. Thomas Church, the oldest church building in North Carolina.
St. Thomas Church hosts daily tours and tends to some rather cool artifacts, including: Queen Anne's Bell (older than the Liberty Bell!), a large silver chalice presented by the bishop of London in 1738, and an 18th century silver candelabra rumored to have been given by King George II.
Close by is the historic Bonner House, one of the best standing examples of American architecture in the early 19th century. It's easy to walk around the perimeter of the property and get a good look. Other historical houses are just around the bend - check out theNC historical sites website for a full list.
Finally, some pirate talk. While you're in Bath you might just be walking in the footsteps of big, bad Blackbeard the pirate! From what we can gather it seems BB lived near Bath on Plum Point (pictured below). You can get a great view of the point right across the street from the Bonner House looking out on Bath Creek. Blackbeard is rumored to have spent many nights at port in Bath, hanging out and doing piratey things between trips to the Caribbean (where he was busy doing more piratey things). Rumor also has it that many a present day folk have made it out to Plum Point with shovels, trying to find Blackbeard's treasure (a treasure that still hasn't been found...). There's a few other places in Bath it could be, but I'll let you treasure hunters figure that out on your own...Arrr!
Avast me hearties, have you gotten enough information to plan your Bath treasure hunting adventure? At first glance, Bath is a quiet, residential village with good views and not much to do. A closer look reveals a lot of history and plenty of ways to spend a day. How we would do it:
1. Check in at the Inn on Bath Creek
2. Walk around town, take a tour of the church and historic houses
3. Rent a bike or kayak from the Inn and adventure out on land and sea
4. Eat at one of the few local places then take a sunset stroll or paddle by the marina
5. Complete steps 1-4 all while looking for clues to the whereabouts of Blackbeard's treasure!
~Paul & Amber ETC
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