Avoid New Bern
I'd just like to recommend to all ICW cruisers to avoid the side trip to New Bern, NC. The town has, collectively, become very expensive, and seems to be, with a few exceptions, making it abudantly clear that they don't like cruisers. Here is the final nail in the coffin, however: we were there LAST January (2008), received a bill for property tax this (2009) spring on our boat, from both the City Of New Bern, and Craven County, NC, telling us property tax was past due. Our hailing port is Annapolis, we live in Easton, and pay property tax in MD on the boat. I called New Bern, and after much arguing, they agreed that if we could prove tax had been paid on the boat elsewhere, they would take us off their tax roll. Last week, I received another tax bill, this time also threatening attachment of the boat if they are not paid. I've discussed this with other cruisers, and found at least one other who has been exposed to this. But, here is the amazing part-the other skipper I spoke with anchored out while they were in New Bern! We were at a marina, so we knew how the tax people knew we were there, at least. The anchored out guy figures they must have local police going out and getting regisitrations, or even hull numbers, off of vessels! If I had a lot of time and money, I'd probably try to get this into a Federal court, as localities in 2 different states are involved. As it is, we will just make it a point to never allow one thin dime of our money to ever to be spent in New Bern again, right down to not even doing business with anyone who owns a Hatteras Yacht.