River Dunes Marina near Oriental, NC, - Scranton Creek Anchorage near Belhaven, NC 10-13 July 2013

We enjoyed our stay at River Dunes immensely! One day we took the courtesy car into Oriental which was about 10 miles away.  We haven’t been there in quite a while and it looked very different from what I remembered. It’s definitely a boating/fishing little town.

This most probably won’t be incredulous to you. It was to us so here’s my story.  For several years, our son, Stephen, who lives in Austin, has asked me to be on the lookout for a lady named Victoria, on a sailboat and he gave me the name so we could be on the lookout for her or hear the boat name on the radio.  Very rarely do we have the opportunity to interact with sailors because we do travel a bit faster, albeit not too much more, than they.  He also said that Victoria’s son and his wife are very good friends of his and they also live in Austin.  I tucked this info into my bonnet thinking the chances of Victoria’s and our paths ever crossing would be slim to none.

River Dunes is, sadly, someone’s tanked dream that began in 2007.  There are a few beautiful buildings, homes, cottages, a first-class marina and docks but it’s so far from anything and although it’s meticulously maintained and well-groomed, it’s really out in the middle of nowhere.  We had heard so much about it, we were eager to go there.  Instead of our intended 2 day stay, we stayed 3 because of weather.  Yesterday afternoon I went to the small pool in the rain because I knew I wouldn’t have to share it with anyone and while swimming, did a final load of laundry---the proximity made that convenient.  During our short time there we saw only two other boaters who came into the slip next to us and were there only for the night.

After my swim and shower I ran into the laundry room to check on drying progress when a lady walked in to dry her rain-soaked clothes and we began the typical cruiser’s chat. “Are you here on a boat?”  “What’s your boat’s name?”  “From what city did you retire?”  “Where have you been and where are you headed?”  She mentioned Austin and I told her that was one of my most favorite cities--and that my son lives there.  I told her where he lives and that he’s in business for himself as a landscape architect.  She said her son who lives in Austin has a business relating to sculptures.  As I look back now, I’m seeing it all as if in slo-mo--she and I are slowly piecing together the puzzle.  Stephen uses sculptures in his landscape designs so I thought if he and her son don’t know each other, they certainly should!  She repeats the name of our boat, “Kindred Spirit”.  I repeat her name, “Victoria”.  It hit us both like a bolt out of the blue and we shrieked and hugged.  Stephen and her daughter-in-law, knew each other when they were at Texas A&M in early 2000.  Stephen and her son do sort of share professionally, they are cycling buddies, and the three of them are dear friends.  Her son and daughter-in-law where THERE for a short visit.  

It was the most bizarre, uncanny, jaw-dropping experience I think I’ve ever had!  Meeting Victoria was huge enough but for her kids to be there, TOO!  I’d just dashed into the laundry room to make a cameo appearance when she popped in.  What are the chances of that EVER happening out in the middle of remote Nowheresville and in a tiny laundry room.  If our timing had been 5 seconds off this would never have happened.  As our Nordic Tug friend Bob is fond of reminding us, “the world is only as big as the waterway is wide”.

I don’t expect you to say “wow, I’m so underwhelmed!” but to the 5 of us, this was unreservedly stupefying!  We hugged and hugged and hugged, more at the mystification than actually finally getting to meet each other.

Absolutely dumbfounded!
Bill and Laura
Scranton Creek Anchorage


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