N 35.030 W 76.693 Oriental NC was one of our target destinations. A fellow we met in Marathon told us not to miss it. We pulled in the afternoon and tied up next to the fuel dock at the Oriental Motel and Marina - this was apparently the town center. One of the few restaurants and a very popular bar were on the grounds - plus a swimming pool just in between. We had everything we needed! After cleaning up the boat we headed for cocktails at the tiki bar and immediately met Bill and John - self-proclaimed "half-backs". Both were from New York and had retired to Florida. Sometime later they both decided that Florida wasn't the right place and ended up half way back to New York in Oriental. They met there and have become fast friends. Bill is a marine mechanic and took up the challenge on our steering. He came aboard the next morning and we went through the drill - heating up, cooling down, bleeding the air from the hydraulic system. Thanks much Bill, but not any different - still gets the stiffies when the engine heats up. That afternoon we wandered about town checking out the M&M cafe, the local chandlery, the fish plant, and some of the local shops. Note the name of the shop in the picture to the left - Wit's End. Oriental is pretty small but the people and atmosphere are great. To cool off we took a swim in the pool and met some more delightful folks. A couple in a trawler on their way to Beaufort and a couple on a Harley making a great circle route through the Outer Banks chatted with us for a couple of hours about pretty mush every topic. Later we ended up crashing a birthday party at the tiki bar and met tons of locals and their visiting friends. We had a blast. Definitely a plus there in Oriental!