Belhaven’s Brit to say “Bon Voyage”

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, March 11, 2023

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The warmth and friendliness of Belhaven’s residents is what makes them unique compared to people around the world, Peter Walkley says and he should know. Walkley, originally from England, is a globe hopping traveler who has been to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, the Caribbean, Spain and many other countries. 

Walkley found himself in Belhaven and in the embrace of its residents last July when he needed his 52 ft. 2019 Carver yacht repaired after it hit a sandbank. The Brit soon found himself being the talk of the town. He was quickly adopted by a group of six ladies who made sure his social diary and stomach were full. 

“There’s a group of ladies who look after me,” he laughed, “they’ve just adopted me.” 

Both he and the group of ladies enjoy cooking so they would prepare dinner for each other forming a little supper club. 

“It got to the point where on a Monday I’ll be going somewhere for dinner, on Tuesday somewhere else, a 94-year-old’s birthday party, the vicar’s birthday party. The social diary was jam packed every week,” Walkley laughed. 

When he wasn’t out on the town, Walkley could be found painting watercolors of boats and architecture. Some of his pieces can be found at the RiverBend Cultural Arts Center in Belhaven. He liked painting the homes in town, because of their beachy design. 

“It’s nice to be able to leave something in town with the paintings,” Walkley said. 

Walkley has thoroughly enjoyed his time in Belhaven and said he has made good friends there. He plans to return in the future. “I’ll miss Belhaven…I’ll be back this summer, I’m sure. “I’ve always got the invite to come back and see really, really good friends.” 

He is planning to leave Belhaven by the end of next week. 

Walkley is headed back to southeast England to go to his native Kent. His formal residence is in Spain where he has lived on and off for the last four years. 

Walkley has 30 years of experience in the oil industry so Belhaven wasn’t his first trip to the United States. He’s been to Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Massachusetts. 

While in North Carolina though, he has visited Raleigh, Wilson, Washington, Greenville, Morehead City, Beaufort, even taking a trip through Elizabeth City to get to Norfolk, Virginia. One of his many future adventures he is planning is a trip to Kitty Hawk and the rest of the Outer Banks. 

Walkley has been working with a media company in Spain while yachting. He said the appeal of yachting is coming to places like Belhaven, meeting the residents and learning about other cultures.