The Commodore's Log
Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season
As I write this, Oriental just dodged a bullet from Hurricane Dorian. Others in his wake were not so lucky. More on that later.
August turned out to be a great month of cruising - please enjoy the recaps below.
Most importantly, I wanted to encourage our members to sign up for the Oriental Cup Regatta. Taking place this weekend, September 13-15, the Nautical Co-Op of Oriental has restarted this traditional event. We are definitely the largest (and most spirited) of the three sailing clubs, so my hope is that we can have a big turnout at the event. If you don’t want to race, please consider signing up for the land events. Hope to see you there!
Finally, just days after our amazing Labor Day cruise to Ocracoke, Dorian dealt the island some pretty severe surge. Some residents even said it was the most they had seen in a lifetime. The people of Ocracoke are resilient and will rebuild, but have no doubt, it will be a long haul. I know our members want to help in any way we can, so please keep an eye out for more info on club efforts to organize some relief for one of our favorite cruising destinations. If you have specific ideas, please reach out to me! #OcracokeStrongBest Regards,
s/v Blue Mind
(Our VC of Cruising and Cruise Captain of the Labor Day Cruise was dealing with the aftermath of Dorian so please accept this guest article written on his behalf.)
Labor Day Cruise to Ocracoke
We had scattered arrivals and departure dates for the cruise but one thing was consistent..A good time was had by all!
Those who left early Friday morning were treated with smooth water and plenty of sunshine. The Pamlico Sound was as smooth as glass! There was enough wind for a bit of sailing but it was tough to keep the sails full and stay on course given the wind direction.
The Anchorage Marina and the government docks were filled with NSA boats and some members came by car and stayed at the Inn. The overflow anchored in Crystal Lake. All in all we had 30+ boats participating!
As always, there were both large and small group social events held on the beach, on the gazebo, at the brewery, on boats, at the pool and in between, people shopped, walked, swam, sunned, paddle boarded, partied, rested, read, and ate...All ways to enjoy Ocracoke! One of the great things about this club is there are lots of different types of people who enjoy different types of things so it's easy to find someone who shares your idea of "fun"!
Some members chose to leave on Sunday and others left Monday. With following winds and waves to surf on, it was a fast sail home on Monday. Storms were all around and brief soaking showers were had. The warm temperatures made this a pleasant experience!
All in all it was a terrific long weekend with great sailing friends!
2019 Cruise Planning Calendar
Only two cruises remain for the 2019 season! Many thanks to those who stepped up to be cruise captains. Time is flying by…
October 12 – 13 Fall Cruise/Raft Up, West Bay, Pamlico Sound
2020 VC Cruising Opportunity! Imagine the possibilities when YOU get to go to all your favorite cruising spots and bring a bunch of the most fun, friendly people with you! You'll have all the support you need to make the job easy AND get to serve the Association in doing the thing we love most..Boating to wonderful destinations and having a great time! If you are interested in serving in this capacity, please contact our Commodore Paul Griffin and if you have more questions about what the job entails, call our current, and much appreciated VC of Cruising, Jeff Kenyon.
Welcome New Members!
I hope all NSA members, old and new, evaded getting much damage from Hurricane Dorian. On a more pleasant note, we have new members to welcome to the club! Joining the NSA during the past month are: Scott and Yvonne Vickery of Raleigh, with S/V VonnyCay at Matthews Point Marina, and Joseph Fema and Juliette DiMaggio of Vandemere, with S/V Osprey at Whittaker Creek Marina. Please be sure to say hello to our new members when you see them!
If you have friends or neighbors who might enjoy being NSA members, be sure to invite them – and they do not have to be members to attend the fun land events during the upcoming Oriental Cup Regatta! It is a great way to learn more about Oriental’s sailing clubs!
Vice Commodore Membership
Famed Oriental Cup Regatta, Sept, 13-15, is back with NSA help
For years, the Oriental Cup Regatta was widely known and respected with racers coming from long distances to compete in the sanctioned races. Many NSA skippers participated back in the day when the NSA was more of a racing than a cruising club. That’s a part of our history that we’ve been trying to resurrect in recent years, starting during the term of Commodore Howard Cheetham, who created the first NSA Anniversary Race in 2013.
As part of the Nautical Co-op of Oriental, the NCO, the NSA is helping to relaunch and rebuild the Oriental Cup Regatta after years of decline. The NCO includes the three sailing clubs (NSA, ODC, SCOO) united to support sailing. Proceeds from the Oriental Cup Regatta will go to the Pamlico Coastal Activity Council to support youth and college sailing. The Dinghy Poker Run, also an NCO event this year, contributed its record proceeds, over $6,000, to the PCAC. The funds from the Oriental Cup will be earmarked for college sailing programs.
The Oriental Cup will offer races for all levels. There will be Spinnaker and JAM (Jib and Main) races, and a less stressful Cruising Pursuit race. The social highlight of the weekend will be a low-country boil dinner on Saturday night at O’Town Restaurant. The dinner is open to racers and non-racers. You can register for the dinner by itself, $19 per person, if you want to support the event but don’t want to race. And we need people to do that. You can register for the race and/or the dinner at www.orientalcup.org Of course, the Bloody Mary Breakfast on Sunday will be hosted by the NSA by tradition.
Please consider registering for the event at www.orientalcup.org It’s easy. If you want to buy a ticket to the dinner only, go to the website and click on the menu tab “Register”.
We need a big NSA turnout for this important Oriental event.
s/v SanctuaryWe 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
Home Sweet Home New York
It is hard for us to believe that we, two small town North Carolinians, can feel at home in New York, but here we are going on week # 5 and loving it! Our home base is a charming sailboat town called Port Washington. We found out about it through recommendations from the Facebook group Women Who Sail. This world wide group of 17,000 members is a treasure of information! Well, the recommendations were correct. Port Washington is the perfect harbor town to stay in while touring New York City. We love it so much we will be coming here every year. The biggest benefits to staying here are:
Dinghy Dock with the grocery store and shopping center right across the street.
The waterfront has a winding park that is a great place to exercise.
We never considered New York City a cruising destination until someone told Chip that he and his wife had moored on a ball and spent 8 weeks touring the city. I can totally see that now. When we were sailing around Manhattan we did see one anchorage on the West Side, but it didn’t appeal to us because of the traffic and currents. Our mooring in PW was the perfect solution and it has the taxi and pump out benefits that the city one probably doesn’t have. It reminds us more of being in North Carolina and still has all the Big Apple we can handle. People we meet in the city can hardly believe we are only paying $25 a night instead of the crazy hotel fees they are paying. It also feels like home as we are seated in church at 10:00 on Sunday mornings. One of our very favorite churches, Hillsong NYC is right across the street from Penn Station. Afterwards, we have the beautiful job of deciding where we want to eat lunch: Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian, Seafood, Peruvian, funky brunch, rooftop restaurant, singing waitresses, and a host of others.
The water taxi runs 8 am - 9:45 pm. On Fri and Sat until 11:45, so you can stay out late :)
Port Washington Harbor.
Our schedule has been to go into the city for a day/night of activities and then “take a day off” and hang around the boat/Port Washington and chill. (Gotta get that nap in and enjoy a glass of wine with the sunset at least every other day.) We did have friends from Raleigh come to visit for Labor Day Weekend and we docked at Safe Harbor Marina. Crazy sidebar: docked next to us was a huge sailboat that stays there. MITseaAh is its name. We looked it up online and saw photos of the inside, the swimming pool on the bow and the price to charter if for one week . . . $147,000! What the heck! MITseaAH photos Nice marina, though. We packed our weekend with friends full of activities and saw so many places on our bucket list. A nutty thing was their arrival. They flew into LaGuardia airport and Chip told them to get an Uber to the nearest town park. He had preselected it because it has a dock. Their Uber driver thought they were crazy to get out there, but it worked perfectly and saved us a couple of hours of sailing time that day. I circled SoundWave around while Chip dropped Echo and rowed over to get them. The people in the park watched them put their suitcases into the dinghy and then get rowed to the sailboat. Not many people arrive in NYC that way!
Steve and Gail arriving from the airport with their luggage.
One of the common questions we get is if we had to ride out any bad storms. No, we haven't. The summer storms have been mild and we have been in nice harbors that offer protection. Chip has chosen our locations and traveling days well. The dicest conditions we have experienced were in New York’s East River, and there wasn’t even a storm.. We had traveled this “Hell’s Gate” section once before about a month ago and it was benign. Recently, we took our friends on a day sail around NYC and it was very different. The currents in the river, combined with the other boater traffic, created a multitude of white caps that were compacted in the river between the cement seawalls. There was just no place for the wakes to go. We were rocking and Chip was steering like crazy. A few things inside the boat broke with the motion, but it only lasted a few minutes. Those waves wouldn’t stop me from traveling through the area again. Don’t let it discourage you, either. Just stow away breakables.
We have about another week here and then we start moving to Annapolis. Chip says there is a famous boat show there in October (wink,wink). I guess we will spend a couple of weekends looking at power boats and sailboats. Of course boaters always like to look at boats! Afterwards, we scoot down to NC to meet up with the coolest people we know and go on a Halloween Cruise to Beaufort. Home sweet home . . . NSA.
Long Island Sound is a great place to spend summer time, there is so much activity, great sailing grounds and more sailboats than powerboats. Slips and marinas are much more expensive here than in the Chesapeake and below. Mooring fields are the norm in each harbor, and they are nice fields, great tackle and usually with a complimentary launch.
We figure they have to make an entire year’s worth of revenue in 4-5 months, so it’s understandable. We spent 4 nights at a marina for Labor Day Weekend (guests visiting) and we spent 4 weeks on the mooring field, both here in Port Washington.
Same price for each stay.
You don’t really need AC here, you will need solar panels or plan to run the engine to keep the batteries topped. Mooring field life. It is remarkably nice.
That short season also affects the marine growth. The water creatures have to do their entire annual thing in a few months, and they are super-aggressive. The norm here in Manhasset Bay (pretty clean water, people swim in it and they eat the fish) is to have the divers clean the bottom every 2 weeks. Every 2 weeks. For SoundWave, this is a $200 scrape. Owie. And I just gave away my Brownie system….
Life Safety is a big focus on SoundWave. We have been stationary this month, not much sailing except about 14-15 miles in Echo, however we still try to keep the saw sharpened.
A strong case can be made for a cruiser’s physical fitness being an important safety tool. Cruising is not a sedentary activity, you do a lot more lifting, pulling, rowing, heaving and hauling than lubbers think. How many times have you had to use nearly all your strength just to hold the position to perform a repair? Engine room planks anyone? Strong sailors are safer sailors.
An interesting subtle layer is that when our muscles are not toned at all they are inefficient and use up emergency oxygen meant for the brain. This robs you of the most important safety tool on board, your wits. It is important to keep up with the fitness.
There are lots of cool ways to do this on a sailboat. We take the exercise tools below to local parks or will often workout on board, even underway. Small in form factor, these exercise tools give us the most bang for the space, and my entire gym fits in one drawer. Jump rope, two sizes of resistance bands, frisbee, water frisbee, TRX trainer, Hacky Sack, Rubber Ball. Small size stuff, still tough.
Bonus: If you are weird like me, you can add layer 2 to the fitness. We carry a water-filled punching/kicking bag and boxing gloves. What? Toughest exercise you can do in a 3’ circle.
Here’s a little video of the first time we set it up, feel free to laugh at me, I did.
It’s called an Aqua-Bag. Weighs 190lbs fully hydrated. After using, we drain the seawater out, and stow it in a lazarette.
Add in a pair of New Balance running shoes, a few bridges and hills, and you don’t need a Planet Gym membership. Without a doubt, being more able-bodied has saved Honey and me some embarrassing, expensive or possibly tragic drama. Let us know if you want some ideas.
Be safe, Sail Strong!
We pray that every NSA member talks about Life Safety a lot.
~~_/) * ~
Chip and Honey Johnson