June 15 2020

'The Neuse Juice'

Volumn 47 Number 6

Coming Events 


Commodore's Log

Jeff Keynon, Commodore

S/V Calitri


North Carolina enters Phase 2 as the cruising season ramps up

The saying “may you live in interesting times” must have had the year 2020 in mind.

As we enter what is normally the heart of the cruising season, NSA is on the doorstep of the Week-Long cruise.  Carl has done a great job in difficult times to arrange a cruise to Albemarle Plantation with what looks to be the largest NSA fleet yet.  And the tall order for participants to follow guidelines while having fun. My hat is off to Carl!

I will use this Log to encourage everyone to the cognizant of your fellow cruiser’s health and staying safe as we embark on this cruise. As we make our way to Albemarle Plantation, the 2 groups will be of a size where we can stay within the 25-person outdoor requirement.  Once we arrive however, we will need to be creative and not gather as one group, which will be well above this number.  We want to be welcome and welcomed back wherever we land.  Keep in mind we are all NSA representatives.

WE GOT THIS!

I would also like to thank Tracy Vail and Robert Pugh for hosting the Memorial Day Cruise. What a great time we had with a short notice change in venue. It was a great start to the season with everyone staying safe, and truly having fun and using our boats.

What’s Ahead?

Everyone should know that with every event, I am carefully discussing with the board how to best conduct each event.  As we enter July, it is possible North Carolina will enter Phase 3 of our reopening plan.  For NSA that will bring the potential for further increase in gatherings.  We will consider that carefully for the Dog Days and Lazy Days cruises, with an eye towards the safety of all members. We will also ensure that we plan active and fun events as well.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you on the Week-Long cruise, and throughout the summer.  Cruising is one thing we can still do in these crazy times. Get your boat ready and come on out!


 


Cruising Outlook

Carl Crothers, VC Cruising

S/V Sanctuary


Cruising Update for June 2020

High winds forced us to divert the Memorial Day weekend cruise from Cape Lookout to Southwest Creek in the southern-most part of South River, and it turned out to be a great alternative. Some 15 boats made the cruise to this new location for the NSA. Southwest Creek is broad and deep, especially at the mouth. We held social-distanced gatherings on a small, tree-shaded beach. Tracy Vail and Robert Pugh, our cruise captains, did a fine job of scoping out the beach, keeping us aware of social distancing and entertaining us with Tracy’s guess-this-song game (the cruising commodore actually won a prize this time). The cool breezes made for pleasant evenings with the hatches open and the wind protection allowed for still, misty mornings. Southwest Creek should be a regular on our cruise schedule going forward.

The Week-long Cruise, June 12-21, is upon us. Our boat total as of Friday was 28 boats. We will maintain our two routes to Albemarle Plantation Marina on Albemarle Sound, Route 1 (9 boats) up the ICW and Route 2 (15 boats) overnight across Pamlico Sound. Four other boats have decided to go directly to Dowry Creek Marina to meet the club. At this writing, the weather looks good with southerly winds and moderate temperatures. If the sky is clear, the overnight group will have a quarter moon over the sound.

Erik and Jean Hardtle are the cruise captains for Route 1, and Donna and I are the cruise captains for Route 2.

We will be practicing social distancing and following other state and local Covid-19 guidelines at each marina and with all social gatherings we have. More information, updates and questions are being posted to the 2020 Week-long Cruise Forum on the website. Even if you are not on the the cruise, you can subscribe to the forum and join us vicariously. Cruise registrants are also receiving regular e-mail updates.

Registration for the cruise closed Monday, but if your plans have suddenly changed and you want to join the club, contact me directly as soon as possible. Conversely, if you’re registered and have to cancel this week, please let me know.

Feel free to email or call me with questions, at vccruising@neusesailingassociation.org, or call me at 336-408-4993.

A final note. Registration is open for the Dog Days Cruise to Belhaven’s fabulous River Forest Marina, July 10-12 and the Lazy Days Cruise to River Dunes,  August 1-2.   You can register here.

We look forward to seeing you on the water!


Membership

Donna Crothers, VC Membership

S/V Sanctuary


Welcome New Members!

We have some new NSA members to welcome, just as we begin our cruising season! Please join me in welcoming Rick and Sue Fears of Oriental, owners of S/V Miss Adventure at their home dock. Rick and Sue are jumping right in, joining us on the weeklong cruise! Please say hello when you see them!

Those 2019 members who have not yet renewed will be deleted from our database by the end of the month, so if you have neglected to renew and meant to do so, please go ahead. We would hate for you to miss the Neuse Juice and our upcoming events, which are being adapted to be compliant with local guidelines but still enjoyable.

Stay well and see you on the water soon!





Dinghy Poker Run

Sharon Stephenson

S/V Pelikan

srstephenson1420@gmail.com

919-414-7719



2020 Dinghy Poker Run

After much consideration and discussion with other NCO organizers, we have reached the decision to cancel the Dinghy Poker Run scheduled for July 25. Over the past week, the number of new daily COVID-19 cases is at an all-time high, as is the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Several models are now showing NC’s peak to occur in mid-late July. Given the current rise, which correlates with the beginning of phase 2, and the projections, it does not seem responsible to sponsor an event that brings people together. Although we should be in phase 3 by the end of July, at this point we do not know what the recommended numbers will be for gatherings.

The Dinghy Poker Run has always been a fun event for the community and has been a successful fund-raiser for various organizations. We were hoping that the Coronavirus spread would be decreasing so that this event could go on, but that is not currently the case. Since this is the time frame we would need to get started on the advance organizational planning and work to hold the event, we felt now was the time to make a final decision.

Thanks to those of you who had volunteered to help with the Dinghy Poker Run and to those of you who had items to donate for the auctions. Volunteers and items will be needed next year, when we will hope for a healthy population and a big event!


srstephenson1420@gmail.com

919-414-7719


NSA Wear

Kathy Kenny, VC Social Media, NSA Wear Coord.

S/V Cool Change


Get your NSA Wear for the Season!

When you take a look at the Marketplace you will see pictures and sizes of the tee-shirts we have on hand for purchasing, as well as caps and visors. You will be able to purchase your order and have it personally delivered to you in Oriental (or at an NSA event) as shipping will not be available. The tees and caps are $20, visors are $15 and koozies are one for $3 or two for $5. 


In looking at pictures on our NSA Facebook group I see that some of you have still been able to get out and enjoy being on the water. I’m looking forward to the day we can all be on the water again and safely socializing. Until then (as well as afterwards) keep posting those great pictures and stay safe! 



Communications

Robert Pugh and Tracy Vail, VC Communications

S/V Solveig


Robert has worked hard on the NSA Marketplace so stop by and check out his efforts!  Please be patient and let us know if you find any kinks in the system. 

We also love having members share stories of their adventures on the water in the monthly newsletter.  If you have a good story to share or just want us to join you on your adventures, please consider writing an article and sending it to me around the first of the month.  

 


Sailing Adventures









 





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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