The Commodore's Log
I am writing this log from our home in Cary where we recently welcomed our newborn son, Jack Thomas Griffin, on June 17th! Everyone is doing great and we are very excited to get back to Blue Mind, Oriental, and most importantly, our NSA family. Thank you all for the love and support over these past few weeks as we adjust to being a family of four.
s/v Blue Mind
2019 Weeklong Cruises
Due to high demand for the weeklong cruise, NSA had 2 fleets this year. One headed South to Bald Head and the other North to Manteo. Both had wonderful stops along the way. Below is a taste of the happenings on these cruises.
2019 Weeklong SOUTH
The South cruise had as a feature an offshore day-long passage from Cape Lookout to Wrightsville Beach. The wind did not cooperate, looking directly on the nose from the southwest. Given this, the decision was made to go inside, and look for an opportunity on the return to go “outside”. Willow looked at the wind direction on Friday and went offshore awaiting the fleet’s arrival in Wrightsville Beach. Anticipation Too and Sanctuary bucked the forecast and went offshore as planned, but from Beaufort. It was mostly a motor sailing day and they dodged a thunderstorm, but all was well. The rest of the 10 boat fleet made it to Wrightsville Beach Sunday staying a night in Swansboro. The docking situation in Wrightsville Beach is a challenge due to high demand, so those that could get slips were scattered a bit, but all met for dinner to kick off the cruise.
Given the docking situation, the decision was made to head on to Bald Head earlier than planned. Finally the fleet was all together enjoying one of the truly fabulous places on earth. Socials happened at the gazebo at the marina, on the beach twice, and a final time back at the gazebo to wish the 3 “one week only” boats a safe trip back. Bald Head provided excellent restaurant opportunities, bike rides and walks, and exploring via golf cart. Sharon Stephenson got 2 more people hooked on Geocaching. They’ll never be the same!
The two-week fleet, now 7 boats, headed on to Southport for 3 days, for what else, but a few more socials! Southport kicked off its 4th of July season with a band concert and reading of the Declaration of Independence. The group also had fun at the unique “members only” bar called the American Fish Company with live music. There WAS some dancing!
After enjoying Bald Head and Southport, it was time to begin heading home. The fleet moved back to Wrightsville Beach where we had our cruise celebration dinner. The reason we had it there is 4 boats decided to go back offshore, and 3 decided to spend more time in Wrightsville and Swansboro. Like on the way down, Willow headed out first, and gets the 2019 long-distance award making it from Wrightsville Beach all the way to Oriental in one shot – pulling into their slip around 9:00pm and a total of 90+ nm! Aphrodisiac, Godspeed, and Tao headed out the next day for a sailing and motoring adventure to Cape Lookout, while Calitri, Meridian and Pelikan headed out the following day for two nights in Swansboro and then home to Oriental.
By evidence of the pictures and comments, the 2019 South cruise was enjoyed by everyone. The relaxed nature of the cruising itinerary, and the ability of the fleet to grow and shrink and make their own decisions worked well. Whether traveling inside or outside, these special places made for a wonderful cruise. Below are some photos for your enjoyment.
2019 Week Long North Cruise
There was a bit of friendly "fun" competition between the North and South cruises and by all evidence, a good time was had by all! The "Ladies of the North" established close communication and an immediate bond allowing for frequent impromptu social gatherings and quick decision making!
The first two days were spent in Ocracoke with some nice poolside relaxation, a picnic at the beach and exploring the island via the new FREE electric shuttle that stops at various places around the village. A highlight was the Luau social planned and orchestrated by Todd and Tammy Richards where new members met old and we initiated our newest members, Harry and Alicia Clayton, into the fold. We said goodbye to Howard and Ros as they decided to head further North than we were planning and to Debra and Steve Dixon as they had to head home due to a family responsibility.
Next we had a "first light" departure and an amazing sail to Manteo. The high winds predicted didn't emerge until later in the day. With following seas and fair winds, a majority of the fleet enjoyed a relaxing sail. We spent 2 days in Manteo learning about the history of Roanoke Island, shopping, dining and getting to know each other better. The Key West Social held by Robert and Tracy included special margaritas and good food made in the fleet's galleys. A special game night was organized by Chip and Honey Johnson aboard Todd and Tammy's Island Girl and allowed us all to get to know each other REALLY well! We said goodbye to Chip and Honey as they peeled off to head farther North too!
Given the weather predictions of storms and high winds, we decided it would be best for our next stop to be at the Alligator River Marina rather than anchoring out. We were able to sail most of the way and most of us got in before the storm hit. We had a bit of a scare when Knot Shore couldn't get their jib down and a squall was on it's way. Luckily, their halyard snapped before the wind hit and they were able to ride out the storm and then get safely into their slip, where we all anxiously awaited their arrival.
We met at the bridge the following morning for a spirited sail down the Alligator River and a cool, breezy trip down the A-P Canal. We decided to head to the Dowry Creek Marina in Bellhaven where we could relax in the pool and Jean and Erik would have a facility to host their planned movie night. Todd and Tammy Richards were kind enough to provide us with fresh crabs and the gracious owners at Dowry Creek found a crab pot to use to steam them. After enjoying the signature "Knot Shore" signature drinks, crabs and other snacks poolside, we retreated inside to watch/fall asleep to the classic, "Captain Ron".
Since most of the North fleet needed to be at work bright an early Monday morning, we decided it would be best to spend our last night at River Dunes and enjoy a bit of pampering with their fabulous facilities. We had a nice sail across the Bay River and arrived at River Dunes in time for some poolside relaxation followed by a delicious pot luck hosted by Jean and Erik aboard Knot Shore. After a hot breakfast at Yawls in the morning, we all headed our separate ways back home...Filled with fond memories and looking forward to the next sail.
Many thanks to my co-cruise captain, Captain Sweetheart Robert, who expertly handled all the technicalities/details as well as the heavy lifting so I could focus on FUN.
Tracy Vail and Robert Pugh
Co-Captains, NSA North
2019 Cruise Planning Calendar
August 10 – 11 Lazy Days Cruise, TBD Land and Water event
We are still seeking cruise captains for the Lazy Days, Labor Day, and Fall Cruises. Step up – you will be glad you did! Just contact your Vice Commodore of Cruising, Jeff Kenyon!
Vice Commodore Cruising
Welcome Our New Members
As the NSA’s sailing season is well under way, we have several new
members who have joined the club in the past month. Please welcome Steve
and Eileen Price of Raleigh, with S/V Malibu Moon at Sea Harbour Yacht
Club, and Harry and Alicia Clayton of Wilson, with S/V Jennabird at
Whittaker Creek Marina. The Claytons jumped right in and joined during our
northbound weeklong cruise! Be sure to introduce yourself to our new
members when you see them at upcoming events!
If you have friends or neighbors who might enjoy being NSA members, be
sure to invite them. There remains a full agenda of events all the way into
November this year. And if any current members need a new burgee, please
let me know – we have plenty available for $25 apiece.
Look forward to seeing you on the water!
Vice Commodore Membership
Dinghy Poker Run
The Dinghy Poker is now just over 2 weeks away & I am in desperate need of volunteers & of items for the auctions & winning hand prizes. I have resubmitted my article from the June Neuse Juice which outlines various tasks that need filling.
The Dinghy Poker Run is scheduled for July 27 at the Oriental Marina & Tiki Bar. Hands will go on sale at 0930 and the run will start at 1100 with stops at 7 docks up Smith & Green Creeks; however, poker hands can also be drawn at the Tiki Bar. We will serve food starting at 1230. There will be silent & live auctions & raffle items. This year the DPR is being organized under the NCO (Nautical Co-op of Oriental), the affiliation of all 3 sailing clubs in Oriental. In support of sailing, we have chosen to give the money raised to the Pamlico Coastal Activity Council, earmarked for sailing lessons for less advantaged Pamlico County youth.
We are hoping all of you will come out for this fun event and support our efforts by buying poker hands and auction items. Remember this is an event for the community, so invite your dock neighbors, your out of town friends & family (great fun for the grandkids!), etc.
We are also looking for your help before and on the day of the event. First, we need items to use for prizes for winning hands and items to use in the silent and live auctions. These can be actual items or gift certificates to specific places or for services or adventures. We are hoping to have all items in hand by Monday July 22.
Volunteers needed for the event:
Advertising – We are in the process of putting up posters around town, but if you see a location that you think needs a poster please contact me or Carl Crothers (email@example.com).
Set up – 0800 July 27, organize tables for hand & raffle sales & food, place auction items, etc
Poker hand & raffle ticket sales – starts at 0930. Since we have the option for land hands we will continue selling hands & raffle tickets until 1:30. We need volunteers to cover 0930 – 1130 & 1130 – 1330 time slots.
Food management – Help needed with set-up & oversight of serving.
Hand dealers – These are the folks at each dock who manage the drawing of cards when participants arrive. It’s good to have 2 people at each dock. Land hand dealers also needed.
Tally hands – will need to collect the hands & determine the highest hands
Silent auction oversight – Folks needed to pick up bid sheets & record the winners.
Oversight of prizes for winning hands – help keep prize giving moving
Helpers for live auction – show the item being auctioned, help auctioneer keep up with bidders, record winning bidder
Payment processor – help with collection of payments for auction items
Clean up – self explanatory! We hope to be finished by 1530
Contact me with any donations or to volunteer for any of these positions. You can also volunteer for “put me where you need me” if you want to help but don’t have a specific thing you want to do. Call or text: 919-414-7719 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
There has been a human outcry for name tags just like the ones that the Bridge have and I have risen to the challenge! Please let me know via email (email@example.com) if you would like to purchase one of these nametags. Include each name and associated boat name.
It will be metal with a magnetic backing that really works well – however if you have a heart pacemaker do not order or use one of these because the magnet has been known to interfere with a pacemaker. I can make arrangements for a pin type backing if you let me know in your email.
The cost will be somewhere around 6 dollars each depending on how many we order, but we are well below one yacht-unit of cost!
The name tag will be white with black lettering and the same red NSA logo as used on the Bridge name tags. We will include your boat name along with the designation of S/V or M/V.
The lead time will be about two weeks after I have the list of who wants them, so let’s set the boat show date of April 13 as the drop dead date to let me know if you want one.
Regards and Fair Winds,
John Messer, Director NSA
We have NSA caps, visors, tee-shirts and koozies still available to purchase. I will continue to post on our Facebook page and the events forum when merchandise will be on site to purchase. You will want to bring some extra cash to the Dinghy Poker Run for your purchases! Looking forward to seeing you there!
V/C Social Media
s/v Cool Change
Weeklong cruise extended to 10 years…
Ahoy from the crew of SoundWave, docked in the historic Penn’s Landing waterfront area of Philadelphia! This city and the Independence Day celebrations were as grand as anticipated, this is an easy trip worth taking! The Chesapeake Bay cruise, the C&D Canal, and the Delaware are all interesting, busy yet peaceful, we found them great for cruising, lingering and exploring.
A pattern has developed organically. We seem to like this rhythm of lingering in a town for about 3-4 nights, then being on the move for two straight days. Probably has to do with the layout and spacing of the Chesapeake, but it is a smooth way to visit. It is said that the plans of sailors are written in the sand at low tide. Having no pressing schedule is one of the most peaceful feelings and may be the point of cruising after all!
Life usually requires attention to budget, and we are no different. SoundWave docked at downtown Hampton Roads, and the next marina was Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia! No marinas in between. States touched include NC, VA, MD, DE, NJ, PA. SoundWave anchored out in Deltaville & Solomons, did the mooring field in Annapolis for a memorable long weekend (this is a must stop for sailors of all kinds. Awesome area, history, boats and food! The mooring field right in the middle of everything is $36/night, easy with water taxis & pump-out boats. Bucket list item) From there we anchored in Bohemia River finally docking in Philly. The sunrises and sunsets, the cliffs along the shore, so much splendor. From Deltaville, we weighed anchor at first light, flew canvas in the still of the dawn and ghosted silently into the sunrise. It was surreal.
SoundWave has a heightened awareness to life safety. We did a MOB drill in the middle of the Chesapeake, sudden and tense. Light conditions, only force 3 winds, 1-2’ seas, we were motor-sailing. Our response would be graded about a B or B+ We will drill more often. In Annapolis, a female kayaker drowned about ½ mile from us, overturned, no life vest. We try to put on our vests every single time we go anywhere on Echo, whenever we are on watch, and whenever we leave the cockpit while underway. We are not perfect in this discipline, life safety is something we pray every NSA member talks about a lot.
Next, we head for NY, Newport RI, and Boston. Going for the cool of the summer. Smooth sailing from s/v SoundWave!
Chip and Honey Johnson