Sharon Stephenson, Commodore
The Commodore's Log
Summer is Sailing Along
Because the cruising season is in full swing and there is so much going on, please jump to the next sections of the Neuse Juice and learn about the exciting cruises and activities coming up.
I look forward to seeing you on the water!
We’re at the height of the cruising season, having just returned from a fabulous Memorial Day weekend cruise to Ocracoke and now finalizing plans for our first week-long cruise, Week-Long Cruise I, June 17-24. Two weeks after we return from Week-Long Cruise I we’ll be departing for our Dog Days Cruise to Beaufort that precedes our Week-Long Cruise II to Bald Head Island, July 8-16. Whew!
The excitement seems to be catching. As of today, we have 16 boats registered for Week-Long Cruise I (Inland Waters) and 19 boats interested in Week-Long Cruise II (Ocean) to Bald Head Island. These are excellent numbers by historical standards.
Here’s our cruise line-up for June and July. Please read carefully; there are a lot of moving parts.
Week-Long Cruise I (Inland Waters), June 17-24. Boats registered: TRIO, Captiva, Hemispheres, Stella Maris, Island Girl, Aphrodisiac, Anticipation Too, Halcyon, Laura Belle, Artemis, Willow, Now Voyager, Chardonnay, LuLu, Marigot, and Avalon.
We’ll start by heading back to Ocracoke for two nights with a social at the gazebo on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm. Then we’ll spend a night on the hook in the Long Shoal River on our way to Manteo’s Waterfront Marina where Bruce and Kay Nuechterlein, our cruise captains, have a fun event planned for our visit to Roanoke Island. After leaving Manteo on Thursday, we’ll drop the anchors for the night at Tuckahoe Point in the Alligator River. On Friday, we head down the canal to the Pungo River and Dowry Creek Marina for our final evening with a crab fest and cookout hosted by members Steve and Carol Persche.
A reminder that all boats on Week-Long Cruise I should provision to provide an appetizer, side dish or dessert for socials in Ocracoke, Manteo and Belhaven. If you are registered but your plans change and you cannot join us, please let me know as soon as possible. We want to give the marinas accurate boat lists. Of course, if you want to join us and have not registered, there’s still time. You can read a description of Week-Long Cruise I with a link to the registration form here.
Also, I have created a Forum topic, 2017 Week-Long Cruise I (Inland Waters), which we will use to list navigation alerts, channel issues, and other information. If you’re going on the cruise, or would like to follow us vicariously, please subscribe to the forum. You’ll have to log in to the website first.
Dog Days Cruise, July 8-9, Beaufort Docks. The Dog Days Cruise precedes the Week-Long Cruise II to Bald Head Island, July 8-16. The Week-Long Cruise II starts on Sunday from Beaufort, so those planning to do the second week-long cruise will be in Beaufort for Dog Days. But since we will likely have members who will come to Beaufort for the Dog Days Cruise, but who don’t plan to continue on to Bald Head Island, we have a separate registration form. Important: Week-Long Cruise II boats should register for both the Dog Days Cruise and Week-Long Cruise II so we have an accurate head count for our social at 4:30 on Saturday in Beaufort.
For the Dog Days Cruise description and registration link go here. And please bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert for the social.
Week-Long Cruise II (Ocean), July 8-16, Bald Head Island. The cruise description and registration form can be found here. It’s particularly important that those planning to go to Bald Head Island, register soon. The poll we took last month to gauge interest was not an official registration. The marina space is tight, so it’s critical we give the dock master a good list. They have our preliminary list of boats, but please complete your official registration today. If you do not register in the next week or so, I will assume your plans have changed and you’re not coming.
We are working on a list of ICW marinas, anchorages and bridge schedules should the weather prevent us from going in the ocean in either direction. Look for that in the coming weeks. We’ll also create a Forum for the cruise for navigation guidance and other information as the date nears.
Cruise Captains Steve Linke and Dorothy Stocks have fun plans for our three-day visit to historic Bald Head Island at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. As always, please provision to provide an appetizer side dish or dessert for our social.
I know this is a lot of information to consume. If I missed something, or you are confused about the schedule, please contact me by email or phone. I look forward to seeing you on the water this summer.
Vice Commodore/ Cruising
An update from your VCs of Membership
As we continue into our most active part of the year, we are still attracting new members. This month welcome the following new members:
Seth & Barbara Braunstein – Seth and Barbara are from Wilmington and sail their Hunter 44DS “High Stepper” out of Pecan Grove Marina (slip 228).
Be sure to welcome them to the NSA when you see them at an NSA event, around Pecan Grove Marina, or in Oriental.
Just before the Oriental Boat Show, we developed a new NSA Brochure. We handed it out at the Boat Show and got several new members. We wanted to make this recruiting tool available to our members as well. That way, when you encounter friends or other sailors who are looking for an Oriental sailing organization, you will have this brochure readily available to give to them. Click here to download or print our new brochure.
As mentioned in the last newsletter we have a new supply of NSA Burgees. If yours is torn or worn and in need of replacement, just send a letter to VC Membership, PO Box 253, Oriental, NC. Enclose a check for $25.00 for each burgee you want to buy. When your order is received we will mail out the burgee. If you have any questions just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSA Seminar Series
We do not schedule as many seminars during the active sailing season; but, our next seminar is scheduled for July 29th. It is on a topic that we think appeals to many of our members and the community……. Cruising the Bahamas. The seminar will be presented by NSA members Jerry & Donna Luh, who have been cruising the Bahamas for nearly 15 years. If you have ever thought about taking your boat to the Bahamas you should attend this seminar. Check out the details on the events calendar.
USCG Weekend Navigator course to be offered in Oriental
The USCG Aux Flotilla 20-03 in Oriental is offering The Weekend Navigator course beginning Thursday, June 22 at Station 19 on Straight Road. Classes will meet from 6 to 8p on June 22, 23, 27 and 28. If you want to learn or hone your navigation skills check out this course which is listed on our events calendar.
John Phillips & Cyndy Little
Vice Commodores/ Membership
Memorial Day Cruise Recap
Memorial weekend in OCRACOKE was another great time for the NSA! There were 20+ NSA vessels in Silver Lake and 60+ sailors for the social on Saturday afternoon! Thanks to Bill Erwin and Buster Kenny for all their help in organizing this event and to all who attended!! Hopefully everyone enjoyed their time on OCRACOKE!
Thanks also to those who sent pictures. Be sure to have look here.
In the News: State Docks at Ocracoke
The National Parks Service docks at Ocracoke will be shrinking by half next year to make room for a tourist passenger ferry that will run between Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Village. The NC DOT has awarded a contract to a company to build the ferry as an alternative to the car ferries that now connect Hatteras to Ocracoke. The ferry is to be delivered by next April for use next summer.
The ferry dock, we're told, will eliminate one section of the government docks, or about half of the approximate 12 slips. We're also told this is an experiment, so if they can't get the passengers they require to make a profit, it won't continue. Here's a link to a story about the new ferry in the Raleigh News&Observer.
Vice Commodore/ Cruising
Attention all NSA Poker Players!
Our 11th Annual Neuse Sailing Association Charity Dinghy Poker Run takes place on Saturday, July 22, on the Tiki Bar deck at the Oriental Marina and Inn and again this year all proceeds raised will support Hope Clinic in Pamlico County. This is a wonderful organization that provides much needed health care for Pamlico County residents that otherwise would go without. For more information on Hope Clinic click the link (HERE)
Last year the NSA donated $4500 to this very worthy cause, however, this year Amy and I are targeting double that amount. I know this is a huge goal but I also know how much they need it plus how generous and hard working our members are. In years past a major fund raiser for Hope Clinic has been the Hope Ball, unfortunately, this spring no Ball was held and this was quite an impact to their budget. Amy and I are calling on all NSA members to join in, help make the 2017 NSA Charity Poker Run a big success and fill up some of that loss. Your help is needed, so please see my contact information at the end of this article.
The NSA Charity Poker Run is open to everyone. Membership in the NSA is not required to join in the fun plus members are encouraged to bring guests as “the more the merrier”. We will have plenty of great prizes for the best hands (last year even two-of-a kind won!), a 50/25/25 raffle and many items for auction both live and silent. There will be a delicious picnic style meal for all participants in the run, win lose or draw, beginning at 12:30 near the Tiki Bar.
The Poker hands will go on sale at 9:30AM ($10 each or 3 for $25) with the Run beginning at 11:00AM. There is no limit to the number of hands played, with players taking their dinghies to draw cards from seven “poker stops” and then play their best 5-card hands. Additionally, all seven cards can also be drawn at the Tiki Bar main station so you don't even need a dinghy.
We ask all members for help in getting donations of items (does not need to be marine related), gift cards/certificates, large or small to be auctioned or used as prizes. Plenty of volunteers are also needed to help with set-up, registration, food service, card stops, and cleanup so please contact Wade Ellison, s/v Anticipation Too (email@example.com) to learn how you can help. There is no registration needed, just contact me if you can help. Remember, you can volunteer and participate, so please help this year's Poker Run to be another big success!
s/v Anticipation Too
NSA Members in ARC
Misto through the Leewards, Suwarrow, Nuie and now in Tonga
When we last wrote we were in Huahine. We loved that island as it had a little infrastructure but was largely unspoiled and offered beautiful, slightly remote anchorages. In retrospect we wish we had spent more time there but we moved on to Raiatea and Moorea. These two islands, encircled by a single reef offered the largest religious archeological site in the islands and many pretty anchoring opportunities. We performed a complete circumnavigator of the two islands - the vast majority of it inside the reef. Then it was on to Bora Bora.
Bora Bora is the pacific island probably most often pictured in advertising and on postcards. There are many large hotels all with thatched bungalows over the water - but for us it was a disappointment. The town was rather dirty and very oriented towards large cruise ship passengers and it was extremely expensive. The weather was also slightly problematic as a depression meant that the wind came strongly from unusual directions. However despite this for the last couple of days there we were able to go to the south of the island, away from commercial operations, where we had the highlight of our stay there when we found eagle rays when we went snorkeling.
On leaving Bora Bora we had a 3 day passage to Suwarrow. This remote atoll is largely uninhabited, with only a couple of caretakers resident for part of the year (who were not there when we visited). It is the setting of the true story of Tom Neale, a New Zealander who lived alone on the island for a number of years in the 50's, 60's and 70's. His story is told in the book An Island to Oneself. We enjoyed a few peaceful days here and had several convivial get together's on the island with the other boat crews. This culminated in a Pizza evening, where one of the crew members decided to get the primitive outdoor wood burning bread oven going so we could make and cook pizza. It was a very memorable evening. It was a rather surreal experience visiting Suwarrow and knowing that you are on a small atoll hundreds of miles from other land.
Bad weather delayed our start to Niue and the 3.5 day passage was very rough with swells from both the SW and SE as well as winds in the 20's. But Niue was well worth the effort. We loved this island - with its close ties to New Zealand and it's very friendly people we had a wonderful time. There are many walks and trails that culminate in amazing views and often caves to explore, and with only 1500 people on the island it is certainly not crowded! The mooring field off this huge rock-like island is only tenable in settled weather and you have to lift your dinghy out of the water onto the wharf using a huge hoist, but despite the apparent challenges we certainly hope to go back and visit again.
Our three days in Niue passed too quickly and we moved on to the Vav'au group in Tonga. These islands are a cruisers' delight with many secluded, pretty anchorages, clear water and reef-fringed islands. We only have time to see part of the Vav'au group and hope to return next year on our way back from New Zealand and spend more time in Tonga.
Ros and Howard
Read more of Misto's Log