April 15 2020

' The Neuse Juice'

Volumn 47 Number 4

Coming Events 


Commodore's Log

Jeff Keynon, Commodore

S/V Calitri


Spring has Sprung – but when will things get back to normal?

This Neuse Juice should be celebrating a fantastic start to the season with the Easter Cruise and Shrimparoo in our wake, and the Hope Regala and Memorial Day cruise to Cape Lookout on the horizon.

What a difference a month makes with statewide stay at home orders and the Town of Oriental executive order to self-isolate for 14 days for residents arriving from outside the county.  I hope all of our NSA family are doing well and staying healthy under the circumstances. The loss of connectivity to family, friends, and doing things which give us joy is very hard. I pray we all get through this safely!

As with the first 2 events, NSA is watching direction from local, state and federal sources to make the right decisions for the club and our members.  As you will read below in the cruising update, we are continuing to plan for the Memorial Day and Weeklong cruises. At this point it looks like both will be possible (even if not yet probable).  Cape Lookout should be a good destination even if things are still opening in a controlled manner, and the locations and marinas along the Weeklong routes will dictate our ability to run that cruise regardless.  So – for now, let’s keep an optimistic view of the weeks ahead, and know that NSA will make the best decision with the data we have before holding any event.

Regarding membership, I am encouraged every time I see a membership renewal notice.  It helps me know that as a group there is optimism and hope for returning to normal, even if that is the “new normal”. I also know that we have a lot of more important things on our minds than membership in NSA.

If you can practice social distancing on the water, I hope to see you close enough to wave and get a picture of you out there doing something you love and to relax for a bit.  Pat and I hope to take a few short trips for anchoring out, and truly hope you can as well during this craziness.

Keep flattening the curve and fill your sails to power past this disease.


 


Cruising Outlook

Carl Crothers, VC Cruising

S/V Sanctuary


April Cruising Update

If the experts are correct, the channel light we’ve been searching for in darkness, the one that represents the decline of the Covid-19 crisis, may be coming into view. The problem is, at this point, we can’t see the second mark even though our charts tell us it’s there. This is where we are in this unprecedented 2020 NSA Cruising Season.

 We continue to hold out hope that things will improve enough to allow us to start cruising, if not by Memorial Day weekend for our annual voyage to Cape Lookout, then perhaps by mid-June for our Week-long Cruise to Albermarle Plantation. Both cruises remain open for registration.

Just seven boats have registered for Cape Lookout, May 23-25, probably because it’s just six weeks away and may seem too soon. I encourage you to register anyway, as a sign of hope that this virus is not going to ruin our cruising season. Just go here and click on the Register button. If we go, Robert Pugh and Tracy Vail will be our cruise captains.

I am encouraged by the optimism of our members that we will have our Week-long Cruise, June 13-21. Registrations continue to come in each week, with 29 boats on board so far. A slight majority have chosen Route 2, the overnight sail from Oriental direct to Manteo, leaving at dusk on Friday, June 12. Our cruise captains for Route 2 will be Chip and Honey Johnson. We still need a cruise captain(s) for Route 1, the ICW-Pungo-Alligator River route. For more details and to register for the Week-long, go  here.

I’d like to thank those who’ve volunteered to be cruise captains. We still need leaders for the following cruises:  Dog Days Cruise Belhaven, July 10-12; and Fall Cruise, West Bay, Oct. 10-11. If you’re not sure what being a cruise captain entails, drop me an email at vccruising@neusesailingassociation.org, or call me at 336-408-4993. And, as always, the details of all our cruises can be found in our Events List.

Hoping for Fair winds




Membership

Donna Crothers, VC Membership

S/V Sanctuary


Membership Renewal Time! 

If you haven’t renewed your NSA membership for 2020 and plan to do so, April is the month for that. We realize the world is a different place this year, but the NSA is hoping for a good cruising season, even if it is going to get off to a later start than usual.

Also, if any members have battered NSA burgees, we have plenty of burgees for sale, available for $25 (which is very close to our cost). I can mail or safely deliver a burgee to you; just contact me at 336 403 6534 or at vcmembership@neusesailingassociation.org.

Stay well and stay positive! We will get through this!




Dinghy Poker Run

Sharon Stephenson

S/V Pelikan


At this point the Dinghy Poker Run is still on the schedule for July 25. Hopefully, our current social isolation will be lifted by then and we can go on with the fun and fundraising efforts for the Pamlico Coastal Activities Council to provide sailing instruction for underprivileged kids.

This event is sponsored by the NCO (Nautical Co-op of Oriental), so needs volunteers from all 3 sailing clubs in Oriental. I had originally planned to have a planning meeting in early April to start making plans, but Covid-19 cancelled that. A few of you responded with your willingness to help, but more volunteers will be needed. Many preparation items can be handled virtually and then many volunteers will be needed the day of the event.

I need folks to help with advertisement, set-up planning, food, solicitation of auction items. Speaking of auction items, while you are staying home and cleaning out those spaces you usually ignore, consider donating some of your no longer used nicer items for the auctions!

Thanks for your consideration to volunteer. Let me know what you are interested in doing.

srstephenson1420@gmail.com

919-414-7719

NSA Wear

Kathy Kenny, VC Social Media, NSA Wear Coord.

S/V Cool Change


NSA Marketplace is coming soon!

In the near future, you will be able to order NSA merchandise online!  The NSA Marketplace will have pictures of the merchandise we have on hand for purchasing. I will not shipping items, as you would need to pay for packaging & shipping costs, not to mention the "stay at home" presently in effect. You will be able to purchase online and I will deliver in person as soon as we are able to. That way, you won't miss out on the size or color that you would like. The tees and caps are $20, visors are $15 and koozies are one for $3 or two for $5.

If you haven't joined our Facebook group, you can find us there at Neuse Sailing Association. This is a closed group intended for our paid members. Please continue to post pictures there, to keep us all entertained during our social distancing, as well as afterwards. Hopefully, it won't be that much longer till we are all able to socialize by land and water again! In the meantime, stay healthy and safe!


Communications

Robert Pugh and Tracy Vail, VC Communications

S/V Solveig


Robert and I hope everyone is staying healthy and sane through the Covid-19 crisis.  We consider ourselves quite fortunate to be able to ride it out in such a beautiful place with opportunities for getting out and about while still being separated and keeping each other safe. 

We have been using some of our isolation time to improve the website and develop the NSA Marketplace which should be available soon.  Keep checking back and as always, feedback is welcomed.

Hope to see everyone on the water soon!


 






 





After our snorkel stop, we headed off across the Great Bahama Bank. We motor-sailed for 60 miles in about 15-20 feet of water. We had picked a good weather day (and night), and anchored out, in the middle of nowhere. No city lights, no land in sight, just a couple other anchor lights, off in the distance. The next morning we pulled up anchor and set sail across the NorthEast Providence Channel for New Providence Island, where we anchored over night on the West End. West Bay is relatively protected, but not from the West and North West. Which leads me to my next topic, seeking protection. The cold fronts in the winter sweep through the Bahamas on a fairly regular basis. The only differences between them are; 1) Their intensity and/or duration, and 2) How far South they go, before they fizzle out. The prevailing winds in the area are from the South East to South. A cold front coming through will shift the winds to the West, North West, then North East. This year I’ve seen a number of very strong fronts (20-30 knots), that last for up to 3-4 days. Finding protection from all directions is important, as the wind shifts. Finding a place where you can hang out for 3-4 days, is just as critical.

After Nassau, we set sail for the Exumas. You can hang out in the Exumas for weeks… or months, and not run out of things to do or see. The water is amazing, the islands are amazing and the beaches are amazing. Highbourne Cay or Normans Cay are usually the first stops from cruisers coming from Nassau. Normans is famous for being the former home of a Colombian Drug King pin. Contrary to rumors, it wasn’t “El Chapo”. There is however, a beautiful DC-3 wreck in the channel, that was used for drug smuggling during the 1980’s. This is another very popular snorkeling spot.

South from there is the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. This is a protected area extending from Shroud Cay south to Bell Cay. We stopped at the Warderick Wells Cay, which is the home of the Parks Head Quarters. I highly recommend making a stop here. Services are limited, but you can get a Cell Phone signal from the top of Boo-Boo Hill and/or from the South East corner of the Park Headquarters building, if you stand on one leg, and hold your right arm up in the air. But that’s it. Now’s a good time to mention cellphone and/or Wifi Service. I have T-Mobile, with an international plan, which gives me very limited data outside the US. You can also bring a secondary phone, and purchase a Sim Card for the Bahamas. I’m told that “Mr. Sim card.com" is a good option for getting international Sim Cards. My preference is “My Island WiFi”. For $75 per month, they provide a WiFi router that supplies unlimited high speed data, available anywhere in the Bahamas, within reach of a Cellphone Tower. Most of the Islands have BTC Cellphone towers, and they are shown on the Explorer Charts as well. I usually have coverage, at most anchorages or Marinas. Although I have been known to run the WiFi unit up the mast on a spare halyard to increase my range. If you go with My Island WiFi. Order a couple of months early. They have limited quantity but can ship from Miami, if necessary.

After our snorkel stop, we headed off across the Great Bahama Bank. We motor-sailed for 60 miles in about 15-20 feet of water. We had picked a good weather day (and night), and anchored out, in the middle of nowhere. No city lights, no land in sight, just a couple other anchor lights, off in the distance. The next morning we pulled up anchor and set sail across the NorthEast Providence Channel for New Providence Island, where we anchored over night on the West End. West Bay is relatively protected, but not from the West and North West. Which leads me to my next topic, seeking protection. The cold fronts in the winter sweep through the Bahamas on a fairly regular basis. The only differences between them are; 1) Their intensity and/or duration, and 2) How far South they go, before they fizzle out. The prevailing winds in the area are from the South East to South. A cold front coming through will shift the winds to the West, North West, then North East. This year I’ve seen a number of very strong fronts (20-30 knots), that last for up to 3-4 days. Finding protection from all directions is important, as the wind shifts. Finding a place where you can hang out for 3-4 days, is just as critical.

After Nassau, we set sail for the Exumas. You can hang out in the Exumas for weeks… or months, and not run out of things to do or see. The water is amazing, the islands are amazing and the beaches are amazing. Highbourne Cay or Normans Cay are usually the first stops from cruisers coming from Nassau. Normans is famous for being the former home of a Colombian Drug King pin. Contrary to rumors, it wasn’t “El Chapo”. There is however, a beautiful DC-3 wreck in the channel, that was used for drug smuggling during the 1980’s. This is another very popular snorkeling spot.

South from there is the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. This is a protected area extending from Shroud Cay south to Bell Cay. We stopped at the Warderick Wells Cay, which is the home of the Parks Head Quarters. I highly recommend making a stop here. Services are limited, but you can get a Cell Phone signal from the top of Boo-Boo Hill and/or from the South East corner of the Park Headquarters building, if you stand on one leg, and hold your right arm up in the air. But that’s it. Now’s a good time to mention cellphone and/or Wifi Service. I have T-Mobile, with an international plan, which gives me very limited data outside the US. You can also bring a secondary phone, and purchase a Sim Card for the Bahamas. I’m told that “Mr. Sim card.com" is a good option for getting international Sim Cards. My preference is “My Island WiFi”. For $75 per month, they provide a WiFi router that supplies unlimited high speed data, available anywhere in the Bahamas, within reach of a Cellphone Tower. Most of the Islands have BTC Cellphone towers, and they are shown on the Explorer Charts as well. I usually have coverage, at most anchorages or Marinas. Although I have been known to run the WiFi unit up the mast on a spare halyard to increase my range. If you go with My Island WiFi. Order a couple of months early. They have limited quantity but can ship from Miami, if necessary.






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