Miss Bea Too cruises promise leisure, “Torment”

Published 7:06 pm Monday, July 31, 2017

Captain Bob Boulden likes to “torment” his passengers.

By torment he means he might inflict riders with a pop quiz on Beaufort County history, a splash of water or a well-intentioned joke, he said.

“I like to torment everyone who comes on my boat. I don’t care who you are,” said Boulden. “It could be Trump or Obama, but I torment them all the same.”

Boulden, who describes himself as outspoken, offers cruises along the Pamlico River aboard his Miss Bea Too, a 21-inch Ranger Tug boat. The boat can carry as many as six passengers at a time. Boulden advertises one, two and four-hour cruises. The one and two-hour are his most popular trips, he said.

Miss Bea Too travels slowly—about 7 mph, he said. An hour-long trip can take you to Whichard’s Beach, two hours to the Washington Yacht and Country Club, although his favorite location is Blount’s Creek.

The pace of the cruise is deliberate, and Boulden embraces that. The motto of the Miss Bea is “Enjoy the Pamlico in the slow lane.” He said he is often found sporting a shirt bearing that slogan.

Boulden revels in the history of the area.

“An ECU professor told me that Blount’s Creek, in its current form, is 23,000 years old,” he said. “So when we ride along, we’re seeing history. We’re seeing what the Native Americans saw.”

He offers trips on demand. He doesn’t know when his next trip will be, he said. Most passengers want to cruise during the day, but he also takes sunset and moonlight cruises.

He described a moonlight cruise with one couple. The night of the cruise, unbeknownst to the passengers, happened to be the night of a super moon, he said.

“When they saw it, their jaws dropped like little kids,” said Boulden. “They stared looking up at that for 20 minutes while I put the boat back in.”

Since April and until October, the Miss Bea Too departs from slip F across from Ribeyes on the Washington waterfront.

Boulden recently bought Miss Bea Too to replace the original Miss Bea, he said. Miss Bea Too boasts a heating system that will allow for comfortable winter cruises.

Boulden said his boat was named after a woman.

“I always name boats after women,” he said. “The last two have been named after my wife.”

Boulden moved to Beaufort County eight years ago from Pennsylvania upon his retirement. He said he loves the area.

“You couldn’t pry me out of here with a stick,” said Boulden of Beaufort County.

Miss Bea Too is in the middle of its peak time for business, Boulden said. Thus far he has taken 64 tours this summer. His goal is to take 110 tours, and he estimates he will “blow right past that.”

His passion for the community has led him to observations about tourism in the area. He thinks the town needs a third charter boat, in addition to his Miss Bea Too and the Belle of Washington.

If the Belle is booked and he is out on a tour, tourists often have no option for a cruise along the Pamlico, he said. A third boat would give tourists more things to do.

Though competition could take away business, that doesn’t bother him.

“Oh they could try to catch me,” he said with a grin. “They wouldn’t be able to.”