Visitors to Beaufort will likely see beautiful boats almost anytime, but particularly during warm weather. Even during the cooler months interesting boats are the rule. Strolling the boardwalk is a great time to do a little day dreaming, imagining what it might be like to own one of those amazing boats that regularly visit Beaufort.
I can remember strolling along the boardwalk with our oldest daughter Veronica when she was about three (she’s 11 now, going on 30). She stopped me and said, “Daddy, would you buy me the blue one?” She was pointing at a very well kept 40-foot-plus sailing yacht of some sort. Needless to say, the blue one probably would have sold for at least $1 million in those pre-2008 days.
If your taste in boats runs towards sport fishers like Beaufort’s own Jarrett Bays, there’s no better time to visit Beaufort than during one of the fishing tournaments that bring dozens of beautiful boats to town.
One of the best known of the tournaments is Morehead City’s Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. The 55th Annual Big Rock concluded just a few weeks ago and was won with a 465 pound Blue Marlin caught from Buxton, NC’s Hatteras Fever II. Second place was grabbed by a 423 pound Blue Marlin caught from Morehead City’s own Sensation. The Sensation is a legendary boat in Carteret County because it was the first vessel to be built by Jarrett Bay.
The weather was pretty windy in the wake of tropical storm Andrea for a number of days during this year’s Big Rock. So, especially on the rougher days Beaufort was packed with great boats waiting for calmer seas. There was also a pretty festive atmosphere most afternoons and evenings.
The next big tourmanent in the area is the Barta Boys and Girls Club Billfish Tournament July 18 through the 20th. In some ways, this tournament is even more fun because it is centered on kids! Nothing beats fishing with kids – and if you’re a native North Carolinian or long-time resident, you’ll no doubt remember a certain WRAL TV personality’s admonition to “do yourself and favor and take a kid fishing.”
Enjoy the photos and if you’re interested in boat watching, make sure and visit Beaufort during the tournaments. The Barta is in a few weeks and the next Big Rock is June 6-14, 2014.