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September 12 2017

'The Neuse Juice'

Volumn 44 Number 9

Coming Events 

Oriental Regatta
    Sept 15-17

Sept 23-25

Oct 5 - 9

Sharon Stephenson, 


The Commodore's Log

An Eventful Fall

I’m writing this on September 11 as we watch the devastation caused by Irma through Florida and on its previous path through the Caribbean islands and also as we remember the events of 9/11/2001. It all reminds us for how much we have to be grateful.  

Last weekend while at Cape Lookout, the initial predicted paths of Irma all seemed to land somewhere on the NC coast. Everyone began to start planning for hurricane preparation, but slowly the tracks started to move westward making a coastal NC landfall seem less likely. This certainly gave us relief, even though we knew someone would get the brunt of this storm. Many of us have at some point cruised in some of the Caribbean islands, the Bahamas or in Florida. Hearing of places that hold special memories that no longer exist or seeing pictures of masses of destroyed boats brings a note of sadness but also thankfulness that we were spared. Let’s continue to keep all those folks in our thoughts and prayers.

September 11 will always be a day of remembrance for our country and the values we hold as Americans. I’m sure we all remember the events of that day and where we were when we heard the news.

Moving forward, we continue to keep an eye on Hurricane Jose, but hope he stays offshore. In the meantime, we continue with our remaining NSA events. We have two more scheduled cruises – Fall Cruise on October 14 – 15 to West Bay and Halloween Cruise on October 28 – 29 to Ocracoke. See more details for these cruises in this edition of the Neuse Juice as well as on the new website (

The Oriental Cup Regatta is coming up this weekend, September 15 and 16. This is not an NSA event, but our club will be providing the Bloody Marys and Mimosas for the Sunday morning breakfast and awards event. This is a charity event for the Bill Harris Scholarship Fund at Pamlico County High School, so come out to support the community. Hopefully some of our club members will be participating in the race. Get more info and registration at We can also use some help to serve Sunday morning.

The following weekend, September 23 – 25, is another community charity event – HarborFest. Heart Works is a county organization that provides much needed programs for children in the county. HarborFest is held at River Dunes with dinner and dancing on Friday and Saturday evenings. There is a special Boaters package which includes dockage at River Dunes for the weekend. See for details and the registration form. Another fun-filled weekend and great way to support the local community.

The last NSA event for the year will be the Commodore’s Ball on November 11, which will be held at Stanly Hall in downtown New Bern. Mark your calendars now for this fun evening. More details will be coming soon. Our annual membership meeting will be held earlier that day and all members are encouraged to come. I’m still looking for members to take over various positions on the Bridge for 2018 so let me know what position you would like to take – I look forward to hearing from you.

Hope to see everyone at some the upcoming events. 

Until next time.  

Sharon Stephenson
s/v Pelikan

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Cruising Outlook

Cruising Update for September 2017

The late summer weather has not been ideal for cruising – an overabundance of rain, and hurricanes about – but we’ve managed nevertheless to do some good sailing and socializing. And we’ve got a couple more opportunities before we put this cruising season in the archives. More about that in a moment.

A heavy rain forecast, which turned out to be quite accurate, forced us to cancel the Lazy Days Cruise to New Bern, Aug. 19-20, and move the social to the Sea Harbor Marina. Thanks to cruise captains Alice Petree and Tom McElroy for shifting gears and arranging for the club to be hosted at Sea Harbor for our social. We had a great spread of international food and drink, and several new members joined us in Sea Harbor’s fabulous clubhouse.

Our Labor Day weekend cruise to Cape Lookout was successful with a great turnout of boats, though we had to deal with bad weather at the outset. Those who went out early had a wild ride in the Bight late Friday night into Saturday morning with a South-Florida-style lightning storm with high winds.  Several boats dragged their anchors with one minor collision. Needless to say, most captains did not sleep well.

By Saturday afternoon the skies were looking better and the size of the social on the beach may have set a record. And Sunday was gorgeous. Thanks to Amy Clifton and Wade Ellision, our cruise captains, for organizing the social and carrying the large load of provisions to the beach. Several members volunteered to ferry items back home. Wade reports that everything is back in the storage unit except one red cooler. If you have it, let me know and I will arrange to meet you to pick it up.

It was nice to see several new members on the beach at Cape Lookout.

We’ve revised the cruising schedule for the rest of the season. Our Fall Cruise to West Bay has been moved from Sept. 23-24 to Oct. 14-15, because it was on the same weekend as HarborFest at River Dunes. HarborFest is not an NSA event, but it’s very popular with members. We’re planning a Raft-Up at West Bay on the inside for our social on Saturday, Oct. 14. For more information and to register, see the Fall Cruise details in the Events List. We’ll keep South River on the back burner as a back-up if the weather is poor.

And finally, we return to Ocracoke for our Halloween Cruise, Oct. 28-29, which coincides with Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on the island. You might want to start working on your costume now. Chuck Gordon has arranged for a block of NSA slips at the Anchorage Inn, which will be distributed based on your registration – first-come, first served. So, if you want a slip, make sure you read Chuck’s story elsewhere in today’s newsletter carefully.

I look forward to seeing you on the water.

Carl Crothers,
Vice Commodore/ Cruising
s/v Captiva 

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An update from your VCs of Membership 

Returning Members

In August, we had one past member to return and activate their membership.  Welcome back Jennifer Bell who with Ricky Lee sails her Hunter 27 “Knotty Girl” out of Ray’s Creekside Marina. 

NSA Seminar Series

Recent Seminars

All About Batteries and Charging Systems. 

Thanks to John Messer for giving an excellent seminar on batteries and charging systems.  This seminar was well attended with around 32 attendees.  John has provided materials which you can view and download by clicking here.  Thanks John.  I know that I will be asking a ton of questions to learn from an expert. 

Upcoming seminars

We have two remaining seminars scheduled for the remainder of the year.     

Sailing in the World ARC Round the World Rally

Join Howard and Ros Cheetham who are NSA members and are currently participating in the World ARC Round the World Rally.  They will give us an exciting presentation on what it is like to participate

All about Open CPN

We just confirmed this seminar so save the date for September 30th at 1 pm.  We will update the event list on the website within the next few days.  For this seminar, we will have one of the primary developers of OpenCPN give us a low down on all what OpenCPN can do.  Per the website it is described as a concise and robust Chart Plotter Navigating software program.  It is designed to be used continuously at the helm station of an underway ship or boat, allowing the operator to easily track their position on accurate chart images.  This should be a very interesting topic and you should look at this as a primary or backup to your existing navigation software or tools.  Additionally, OpenCPN can display tide and current predictions, as well as information on other suitably equipped vessels in the area.  OpenCPN runs on a standard pc, or laptop. Supports Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX.   Again save this date and watch for an event description soon.  We will send an email blast out as well.

John Phillips and Cyndy Little
VC Membership
s/v Chardonnay

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Lazy Days


After much indecision and gnashing of teeth the sailing part of the Lazy Days cruise on August 19 was called due to a prediction of thunder storms at precisely the time of our afternoon social.  Given the “International food focus” of the cruise, we needed some cover, which was not available at the New Bern Grand Marina. But all was not lost, as we relocated the Saturday social to Sea Harbor Yacht Club. 

Once again, we proved that NSA is not only a sailing club but a gourmet club.  An international feast was provided with delicacies from Ecuador, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Spain, Tahiti and other locales. 

Many thanks to all who attended in spite of the torrential downpours which arrived right on cue at 4pm.  Several new members attended, along with many “old salts”.  Everyone enjoyed curry, rumaki, gazpacho and bracing rum concoctions along with good conversation, peppered with the usual tall tales of sailing to exotic ports of call. Here is a link to the gallery from that event. 

One side note: there are some serving items left over from the Dinghy Poker run that I still have. Please let me know if any of these items belong to you.   

Thanks again,

Alice Petree and Tom McElroy
s/v Highland Fox

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Cape Lookout

Ahhhh, Cape Lookout

As we move toward the close of another sailing season and reflect on the wonderful cruises we've enjoyed this year, one of the most popular is the Labor Day cruise to the Bight; this year was no exception!  It's no wonder, the clear blue water, sunrises, sunsets and the “on the beach” social.   There were over 24 boats making the trip with several new members plus a few first timers.

This trip had many arriving early as some weather threatened to cause problems, but our NSA fleet refused to be intimidated and had a great time.  It got a little windy (gusts 35-40 mph) Friday night as a thunderstorm rolled through causing a rocky couple of hours and woke us up. Well hey, we're sailors!

Saturday started a bit rainy but cleared so many boarded dinghies and went to the lighthouse, the beach or just cruised around. Later the skies mostly cleared and the social was on.  With high tide the beach was a bit short but the crowd was

huge with a feast fit for a Commodore.  From all the comments “a good time was had by all”.  There were a couple of boats that arrived late on Saturday so we had another social on Sunday.

If you were there, Amy and I want to thank everyone for all the help in setting up and cleaning up plus your very enjoyable fellowship.  If you were unable to make it this year then mark your calendars for next year (it's always Labor Day weekend) and join in the fun.

Wade Ellison, Amy Clifton
s/v Anticipation Too

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Halloween Cruise,  Oct 28 to 29
Ocracoke Island Pirate Invasion!

It's time to plan the NSA's invasion of Ocracoke and enjoy their Pirate Invasion festival and Halloween! The dates are Oct 28 and 29th! We are hoping you will join us for a great weekend!

PLEASE READ this CAREFULLY!!! The Anchorage Inn and Marina has reserved 8 to 10 slips for the NSA. These slips will be assigned on a 1st come 1st serve basis based on when you sign up for the event on our website. We will send the list of boats requesting a slip and the Anchorage Inn and Marina will start calling beginning with the 1st person until they they have assigned the reserved slips. Please know that you are NOT guaranteed a slip just because you signed up. We will try to keep you informed as to when all the slips have been assigned. So the reservation list will be opened on Tuesday September 19th at 6:00 PM. This is the only way we know how to give everyone an equal opportunity to get a slip at the Anchorage Inn and Marina. 

Remember, Silver Lake is a great anchorage and the Government Docks are a fine facility. If you have any questions please contact me Chuck Gordon, 919-880-7879 ( text or call) or

Chuck Gordon
s/v Pelikan

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Club Communications

It’s Easy To Share And View Photos On The New Website

One of our favorite ways to share after an NSA cruise or event is to review the pictures from the event in the NSA photo gallery. While some members have been posting their photos on the NSA Facebook page, not every member has access to Facebook, but every member has access to the NSA webpage! With the advent of the new website, posting photos, and even adding captions, can easily be done by members. You can upload photos from your phone, tablet or computer, whichever platform you like best. Simply login to the NSA site, click on the photo gallery and find the event folder into which you are posting. You will see the prominent blue ‘upload’ button that will allow you to choose photos from your photo library, dropbox, desktop, etc. You can upload up to 5 photos at a time. Then  add a caption to the photo after it’s been uploaded, if you’d like. Simply click on the photo and  at the bottom of the photo click on “add caption”.  Have a look at the photo gallery; we think you’ll enjoy the format. And be sure to add your photos!

Bill and Susanne Lovelace
VC Communications 
s/v TRiO

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Misto World Arc

Misto in New Caledonia

We had a fast passage from Vanuatu to Noumea, New Caledonia - wind on the beam 15-24 knots and averaged 8 knots for much of the passage. Past the Loyalty islands the wind died and we entered the reef surrounding the main island of New Caledonia through the Havannah Pass.  This proved to be a well charted super-highway suitable for large cargo vessels and very well charted and marked.  New Caledonia is a French Territory and so there is plenty of EU money available here for infrastructure.  Conversely, our only cruising guide with any information about New Caledonia has proved to be woefully inaccurate and out of date!

Arriving on a Sunday we had to wait to get into the Port Moselle marina until Monday.  Tuesday was a public holiday so all government offices were closed on Monday! The marina assisted with clearing in - customs never came to visit, biosecurity turned up and confiscated a pawpaw and a grapefruit and immigration was left until Wednesday when the office was open!  Meanwhile we were free to explore the town.

We discovered the museum and saw beautiful examples of local Kanak carving - huge door posts and door steps and beautifully carved roof spears that grace the pinnacle of the traditional round, pointed, thatched roofs.  

We have sailed around the Southern lagoon and seen whales - it is the breeding season and they come here to calve.  We hid at the head of Prony Bay for 3 days while high winds buffeted us and several boats around us dragged anchor. We spent several days on the beautiful Isle of Pines - there are many species of native pine trees here which means that the foliage is unlike any we have seen on the prior islands we visited.  There we climbed to the highest point of the island and enjoyed fantastic views from the top.  We have explored some of the other islets in the lagoon - Isle Maitre where many local go at the weekend with it's crystal clear water and coral and Isle Amadee which boats a venerable, white lighthouse from the late 1800's.

At the end of August Martin Booth and Helen Doody arrived to crew with us to New Zealand.  They have crewed on two other World ARC boats and we are delighted to have them on board.  Currently we are spending a few days on one of the Loyalty Islands showing them the ropes onboard Misto!  We are currently working with an Australian meteorologist to find a weather window for our passage to New Zealand.


Ros and Howard Cheetham
s/v Misto

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