Sharon Stephenson, Commodore
The Commodore's Log
Ocracoke and Beyond
We have our 1st cruise of the season, Beaufort at Easter, under our keels. It was a successful cruise with approximately 20 boats participating and several arriving by land for the social. It was very exciting to have a number of new members join us for this event. Many thanks to Scott Westwood and Sandra Emerson as Cruise Captains for organizing this weekend. See the article in this edition of the Neuse Juice for details of the event.
This month sees us gathering in Ocracoke for our very popular annual Memorial Day cruise. Ocracoke Island is one of my favorite spots, as I think it is for many of you. The fact that there are no highways to take you there adds to the charm and mystique of the island. I also find the history of the island fascinating, from its early days in the late 1500’s, to the days of Blackbeard and the battle leading to his death in 1718. The Ocracoke lighthouse, built in 1823 for a busy port, is the oldest lighthouse in NC still in operation.
The island has played a role in various wars with Fort Ocracoke during the Civil War and a naval base during World War II. The story of many merchant vessels attacked and sunk off the coast of NC by German U boats amazes me, given its close proximity to our shores. The British Cemetery is a reminder of these times.
Nearby Portsmouth Island is also an interesting place to visit by one of the local ferries. It’s hard to imagine this was once one of the largest villages on the Outer Banks and was a major port. The Civil War and shoaling of the waters led to the demise of this island as a port. The last 2 residents left the island in 1971. There are still a number of houses on the island, as well as the Post Office, the one room schoolhouse, the Methodist Church and the Lifesaving Station. There are also lots of mosquitoes, so take repellant if you visit. The beach rivals that of Ocracoke and is a great place to go shelling.
We are looking forward to seeing many of you in Ocracoke. Our cruise captains, Chuck Gordon, Bill Erwin and Buster Kenny, have made the arrangements. More details are in their article and I am sure there will be more details about departure days and times by members in the forum. So be sure to sign up for forum posts.
NSA was well represented at the Oriental Boat Show. John Phillips and Cyndy Little created a well appointed booth and a new brochure. Thanks to both of them for putting this all together and to all of you who helped staff the booth.
We have had a successful year with NSA renewals and new members. See the membership summary in John and Cyndy’s article. They also list the remaining seminars for the year. We have had some great topics to start off the year, which I feel have been educational for all who attended. Mark your calendars for the future seminars.
Our Vice-Commodore of Cruising, Carl Crothers, has some information on the 2 upcoming week-long trips. Along with Carl, I encourage some of you to sign up to be a Cruise Captain. It’s a great way to get more involved in the club and you only have responsibility for one event. I guarantee you will feel good about helping out!
Hope to see you in Ocracoke and at the seminar here in Oriental the weekend before.
Our first cruise of the season to Beaufort over Easter weekend was fabulous, thanks to cruise captains Scott Westwood and Sandra Emerson. We had a great turnout, including a number of new members, and our social was so large on the dock that we attracted onlookers along the boardwalk. And the weather couldn’t have been better. We had a couple of soft groundings coming and going, but all in all it was a great weekend.
It’s hard to believe that in a little more than two weeks we’ll be setting sail for Ocracoke for the Memorial Day Weekend Cruise. Like many of you, we’re still readying our boat for the cruise. The list of things to do just seems only to get longer. It’s a little early for a reliable weather forecast, but it’s looking pretty good right now. At the appropriate time, I will call on former cruising commodore Mike Trogdon to put in the order for fair skies and favorable winds. Hey, it worked last year!
At last count, we had more than 30 boats registered for Memorial Day. The Anchorage Inn slips have been filled, but if you didn’t get one, don’t let that dissuade you from coming. The inexpensive National Parks Service docks are first-come, and Silver Lake always seems to be able to handle as many boats at anchor as needed. And you can tie up your dinghy right at the gazebo where we’ll have our Saturday social. Ocracoke veterans Chuck Gordon, Bill Erwin and Buster Kenny are our cruise captains and have plans well in hand. Read more about the cruise elsewhere in this newsletter.
Also coming up quickly is the first of our two week-long cruises, June 17-24. This is our “Inland Waters” week-long, taking us first back to Ocracoke for two nights, (no one tires of Ocracoke), followed by a night on the hook on the isolated west side of Pamlico Sound (Long Shoal River). From there, we’ll head across the sound and up Old House Channel to Manteo on Roanoke Island for two nights at the fabulous Manteo Waterfront Marina.
Leaving Manteo, we’ll head north to Albermarle Sound, west to the Alligator River and down the river to the beautiful Tuckahoe Point anchorage for one night. The next day we’ll head down the Alligator-Pungo canal, into the Pungo River and then up the Pamlico River to Bath Creek for our final night at anchor off the waterfront home of members Steve and Carol Persche. The NSA always has a great evening in Bath Creek, thanks to the Persche’s gracious hospitality.
Please see the Events List for more details. We’re working on a registration form and will notify everyone by email when it’s ready. In the meantime, we still need cruise captains for Ocracoke and Manteo. If you’d like more information about what that entails, please contact me at email@example.com, or call me at 336-408-4993. It’s fun.
We also need cruise captains for our Dog Days Cruise, July 8-9, to Beaufort, which precedes our Week-Long II Cruise to Bald Head Island. Steve Linke and Dorothy Stocks have volunteered to be our cruise captains for Bald Head Island and they are already working on plans for our visit. The ocean part of the cruise, from Beaufort to Masonboro, will be weather-dependent, and optional, so I will be developing an ICW alternate plan. More about that later.
Finally, let me plug the NSA seminar coming up on Saturday, May 20, “NSA Cruising Primer,” which will be presented by yours truly. We’ll discuss in words and photos most of the NSA’s cruising destinations and discuss the things you need to think about and do before heading out, especially the first time, including navigation, weather, channel conditions, tides, marina docking, and more.
I hope to see you there, and out on the water!
Vice Commodore/ Cruising
An update from your VCs of Membership
Oriental Boat Show
The NSA once again had a booth at the Oriental In-the-Water Boat Show. Thanks to all who volunteered to help staff the booth. We handed out many of the newly redesigned brochures and talked to many people who were interested in learning more about the NSA.
We just completed another successful membership drive and renewal period. Although we will continue to gain new members throughout the year our current membership stands at 131 memberships covering 230 members. So far this year, we have added fifteen new memberships covering twenty-five new members. For this month, we want to welcome the following new members.
Joe & Lynn Mattea – Joe and Lynn are from Oriental and sail their Alberg 35, “Old Glory”, out of Sea Harbor Yacht Club.
Ski Chilton – Ski is from Clemmons, NC and sails his Beneteau 321 “Omega”, out of Sea Harbor Yacht Club.
Matt & Megan Medeiros – Matt and Megan are from Raleigh and sail their Cal Mark II-25 “Cal-A-Lily” out of the Hilton Grand Marina in New Bern.
New Burgees Have Arrived
Our inventory of NSA burgees was depleted after the Shrimperoo so we had to reorder. We have received the shipment and have replenished our stock to cover our estimated needs for the remainder of the year. The price for all NSA Burgees has been raised to $25.00 which barely covers our cost. If you want to replace your old tattered NSA Burgee with a new one just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call John Phillips or Cyndy Little to place your order.
NSA Seminar Series
Since the last Neuse Juice, we have put on seminars on Sail Trim by Michael Byles; Marlinspike Seamanship by Ross Pease of World Wide Marine Training; and Our Sail to Cuba, The Forbidden Paradise by D & Don Wogaman, and Bruce Franz. All were good seminars which were presented by really knowledgeable presenters. The last seminar on “Our Sail to Cuba” was videotaped and is currently being edited. When the final version is ready we will post it on our website along with any links to resources used by D & Don to plan their cruise to Cuba. In the meantime, here is a document with links to the resources used by D, Don, and Bruce in planning their trip. Click here.
Normally our seminars end around this time; but, this year we are not done yet. We still have four more seminars planned.
• May 20th – NSA Cruising Primer
• July 29th – Cruising the Bahamas
• August 5th – Emergency Signaling Devices
• September 9th – All about Batteries and Charging Systems
• October 21st - Sailing in the World ARC (Round the World Rally)
All of the remaining seminars will be presented by fellow NSA members who have expertise in the topics that they will be presenting. Be sure to mark your calendars to attend these seminars.
John Phillips & Cyndy Little
Vice Commodores/ Membership
Down East for Easter
The Easter Cruise to Beaufort couldn't have been better - weather, participation, food and drinks! There were 18 boats in attendance with at least 4 cars driving. The weather was sunny days and cool nights - perfect for sailing. About half of the boats either came a day early and / or stayed a day longer. The social was great - lasting from 4:00ish to almost 7 pm! As always, there was plenty of food with lots of variety. It was great for everyone to get the cobwebs out of their boat/sails and discuss plans for the season with other sailors. Some of us even got our first groundings of the season out of the way. This cruise certainly "kicked off" the season. Thanks to all that participated. Here is a link to the gallery pictures from the cruise.
See you on the next one.
2017 NSA Anniversary Race
The Fourth NSA Anniversary Race was held on Saturday, May 6. Unlike two years ago when boats were abandoning the race due to lack of wind, we had sailors dropping out because of too much wind!
Four boats started the race at 2:30 pm. Only one boat completed the course. Kudos to Laurie Sampson and crew on Narnia for hanging in there, rounding all the marks and finishing the race.
Sailors and NSA members gathered at the Red Rooster for the after race social where Laurie was presented with the race trophy. Members were encouraged to get PHRF Ratings for their boats so that impromptu pursuit races can take place.
Special thanks to Chris Daniels and George Bailey for providing live music during our social. Pictures are here.
LET’S GO SAILING
s/v Take Five
Memorial Day Cruise
Memorial Day Cruise - 2017
The month of May has arrived and if you have not started yet, it is now time to get ready for the NSA annual Memorial Day invasion of Ocracoke Island! At this time we have 30 vessels and 76 people signed up for the weekend. The NSA was given 12 slips this year at Anchorage Inn and Marina which have been assigned in the order you signed up in February. If you have a slip reserved and will not be able to go please call and cancel with the Marina and let us know too. If there are any cancellations, the Marina will call the next vessel on the list. There are a few other marinas around Silver Lake as well as the Government Docks which are available on a 1st come 1st service basis (it's best to try to get there on Thursday or early Friday to try and get one these spaces). Typically people begin to leave as early as Thursday; we recommend that you post on the Forum when you are departing or that you are searching for folks to sail with. There will be a social under the Gazebo at Anchorage Marina on Saturday at 3 PM (will confirm that time in an email before departure). We usually have an impromptu social on Sunday afternoon too but there will be more on that later. The Big Foot Slough Channel is being dredged so it should be less shoaling, this is the ferry channel. Also, 9 foot Channel is an option. We suggest you check your charts to make your decision. This is aways a great weekend in a favorite location and we hope that you join us! Please contact us with any questions.
Chuck Gordonemail@example.com 880 7879.
Bill Erwinfirstname.lastname@example.org 756 8936
Buster Kennyemail@example.com 462 1986
Coming Soon: New Look and Functions for NSA Website
Since 2012, the current NSA website has been a great way to manage the club’s membership, events and information. Information technology continues to improve and as our members have been adapting to tablets and phones, they have also asked us to make the NSA website compatible with these platforms as well. Additionally, the cost of our current web site provider has risen quite a bit over the last few years. These are the chief reasons that we have decided to work on moving the NSA website to a new host-provider. When the website is completed, it will have many of the favorite features of the old site but will have improvements as well. For example, the login will be accessible and intuitive on computers, phones and tablets; event participants will have visibility to others who are attending that event; and the most recent forum posts will come up on the front page. We will also test the capability for members to upload their photos directly to the NSA galleries. From a website management perspective, the software is much easier and intuitive to use, which will make the lives of current and future vice commodores/ communication easier! As Bill and I have been working on this change, we would like to thank Nelda Coats, Carl Crothers, Bill Erwin, John Phillips and Scott Westwood for helping us test and validate features. We are hoping to have this project completed soon, however please bear in mind that any change will come with some minor issues and inconvenience so we ask for your patience in this transition.
Susanne and Bill Lovelace
NSA Members in ARC
Misto through the Tuomotus and on to Tahiti and the Leeward Islands
The highlight of the Tuomotus had to be the diving and snorkeling. At the south pass of Fakarava Howard enjoyed a phenomenal drift dive where the highlight was seeing walls of sharks where the reef drops off into the ocean. Ros took the dinghy to the same pass, along with a couple of folks from another boat, Altair, and they drift snorkeled though the pass with the dinghy. This was simply amazing - it was like being in an aquarium with schools of brightly colored fish and an endless variety of coral.
From Fakarava we went to Kauehi. We spent a couple of nights in the south of the lagoon off picturesque coral atolls, with sparkling white coral beaches with palm trees covering the motus (small islands). Truly this was the classic image of pacific island atolls. Here again we were able to drift snorkel though the pass and again the reef sharks, black tip sharks and grey sharks who all generally leave swimmers well alone, were the highlight, with a couple getting just a bit too close for comfort and necessitating a quick return into the dinghy.
Some unusual weather bringing wind from the north and west resulted in some changes to plans and we returned to Fakarava for a few days before continuing to Anse Amyot on Toau, where a small indentation in the reef creates a somewhat sheltered bay. However the strong wind prevented much activity here and we went on to Tahiti arriving in Marina Taina on April 21. Here we tackled the list of maintenance which had grown exponentially over the previous couple of weeks. The generator exhaust and raw water pump needed attention, the windlass had stopped functioning in Fakarava and we needed to replace the house batteries.
In between the work, we explored the capital Papeete, celebrated Howard's birthday and rented a car to drive around the island. The island is lush and green with impressive mountain ranges, some interesting archeological sites and an impressive botanical garden. However, we yearned for something a little less commercial and as soon as we were able we set off to the closest island, Moorea. Here, Cooks Bay and Opunohou Bays are probably the most photographed bays of the South Pacific. We anchored at the entrance of Opunhou Bay and explored the island by bike and by car. However the beauty was somewhat marred by the arrival each day of a different huge cruise liner and a large number of WARC boats also crowded into the anchorage. So we left in search of tranquility, and found it in the southern most anchorage of Huanhine, some 80 miles to the north west.
The Leeward islands comprise Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora, as well as some other tiny islands. We hope to visit the first three over about 2.5 weeks and as I write we are swinging gently at anchor in Huahune off a small thatched hotel, surrounded by a turquoise lagoon with palm and fruit trees lining the beaches and the green hills providing a majestic back- drop.
Ros and Howard
Read more of Misto's Log