Our small fleet of boats returned safely Memorial Day weekend from the NSA’s maiden voyage to the Chesapeake Bay. It was a fantastic trip, and all agreed that a cruise to the Chesapeake should be an annual NSA event! Thanks to Cruising Commodore Howard Cheetham for proposing the cruise and to Cruise Captains Pat Thomaier and John Messer for their extraordinary organization and oversightThe seven boats – Wild Goose, Sanctuary, Chardonnay, Dulcinea, Meridian, Anticipation Too and Blue Bird – mostly headed off to different destinations once we reached Hampton on May 5, but the majority met up later in the month for the return south down the Eastern Shore starting at St. Michaels, MD. An eighth boat, Aphrodisiac, cruised the Bay in April and met the fleet in Coinjock on its way home. They shared a lot of great information.
Day 5- reaching Hampton, celebrating at Bull Island Brewery.
Aboard Meridian, the site of many skippers' meetings.
Among the ports visited were Hampton, Deltaville, Irvington (Tides Inn), Washington DC, Solomons Island, Shady Side (Chesapeake Yacht Club), Annapolis, St. Michaels, Crisfield, Onancock, and Cape Charles. Several boats anchored in some great spots like Mill Creek in Ingram Bay and San Domingo Creek. A special thanks to Tim Drake, who arranged for discount dockage at his yacht club in Shady Side, MD. He drove up all the way from Oriental during the gas shortage to show us around and have dinner.
Remarkably, we experienced good weather almost the entire month, including some good sailing days, and no accidents or serious mechanical problems. No one had to be towed, although almost every boat hit bottom somewhere along the way. The tours, socials (including the inaugural NSA Bourbonfest, initiated by John Messer) and group dinners, many pictured on Facebook, were special times.
I would encourage all members to consider joining the Chesapeake Cruise next season. It would be great to see twice as many boats flying the NSA burgee across the Bay.
Speaking of socials, you may have seen my email recently announcing the relaxation of Covid restrictions for NSA socials and a return to our customary practice of asking members to bring an appetizer and/or dessert to share. This is voluntary, of course. For more detail, please refer to the email, or if you did not receive it, let me know and I will forward it to you.
Coming up are the Week-long Cruise, June 19-27; the Dog Days Cruise, July 17-18; and the Dinghy Poker Run, July 24. Read more about these events, and the Memorial Day Cruise to Vandamere, elsewhere in the newsletter.
We have some new members, as Donna reports. Please make them feel welcome when you meet then. I look forward to seeing you all over the next few months on the water or on land.
Sailing quote of the month: “A ship, like a human being, moves best when it is slightly athwart the wind, when it has to keep its sails tight and attend its course. Ships, like men, do poorly when the wind is directly behind, pushing them sloppily on their way so that no care is required in steering or in the management of sails; the wind seems favorable, for it blows in the direction one is heading, but actually it is destructive because it induces a relaxation in tension and skill. What is needed is a wind slightly opposed to the ship, for then tension can be maintained, and juices can flow and ideas can germinate, for ships, like men, respond to challenge.” ― James A. Michener, Chesapeake
The Chesapeake Cruisers have returned, and report on the great time they had elsewhere in this Neuse Juice. Perhaps this will become an annual event. Nature reminded us that Memorial Day is only the “unofficial” start of summer and dialed the calendar back to March for our planned weekend at Lookout! With a forecast of high swells, strong winds, unfavorable tides, and a cold front bringing winter temperatures and a wind shift to the N, it was decided to abandon Lookout and find a more favorable destination for the weekend. Fortunately, long time members Scott and Sandy offered the use of their house in Vandemere as a destination where we could go ashore, grill and get shelter from the flies on their large, screened deck. The weather of course put several members off cruising and the Chesapeake cruisers were getting back too late to join us, so the 23 sign ups dwindled to only 7 hardy sailors that made it by boat.
A few others joined us by car and, with Covid Protocols relaxed, we all had a great time getting to socialize in a way that NSA is famous for!On Monday, lighter North winds made for a good sail back to Oriental for those returning – or for us to get a close reach to Ocracoke (where we will have enjoyed the festival on the following weekend).
The sun and moon are cooperating for a good night sail. It looks as if we can depart Ocracoke at about sunset and be up Bigfoot Slough before twilight. It will be 2 or 3 days before a full moon so, unless it is very cloudy, we will have a lovely moonlight night. Assuming favorable winds we will make the entrance to the channel to Manteo at dawn, so the long channel (with some confusing markers) will be in daylight. If winds are not favorable, say from the North, we can still modify the route and do the overnight to Belhaven. Manteo seems quite flexible with the dock reservations and refunds.
For those going some advanced planning is required:
Once we are in Manteo there is a lot to see, but it will require bikes and some exercise to get around, or it is possible to rent a car from the B&R Rent a Car at the Ford dealer or from Enterprise in Nags Head (they pick you up).
Fort Raleigh Historical site and the “The Lost Colony” Theater are about 4 miles away on flat roads (performances are at 8:30pm, so riding bikes back in the dark may be a challenge). There are numerous civil war sites scattered around the island, including the site of the first Freedmen’s colony. There is a NC aquarium, also about 4 miles and for those who rent a car, Kill Devil Hills and the Wright Brother’s Museum is an easy drive, or Bodie Island lighthouse is 11 miles away. For those who just want to relax after a long night, the Roanoke Maritime Museum is next door to the marina.
It is also time to start planning for Labor Day if you want to get space at the Anchorage marina in Ocracoke – see the information Chuck has elsewhere in the NJ and watch for any emails he sends out.
The remainder of this year’s cruising program is:
June 19-26 Week-long Cruise Overnight to Manteo Assistance with socials required!!!
July 17-18 Dog Days Cruise Bath or TBD I urgently need a cruise captain as Ros and I will be away!!!
Aug. 7-8 Lazy Days Cruise South River or TBD
Sept. 4-6 Labor Day Cruise Ocracoke - Chuck Gordon
Oct. 9-10 Fall Cruise West Bay or TBD
Oct. 30-31 Halloween Cruise New Bern
Vice Commodore, Cruising
Plans are being made for our popular Labor Day Cruise to Ocracoke. The Anchorage Marina is reserving our usual 10 – 13 slips. The slip assignments will be based on the order of sign up for those desiring slips. We will notify you (several times) when Registration will open.
Please remember that although we are operating on the basis of 10/13 slips, they usually will find more for us. So when you register and get you confirmation that you are registered it does not mean you have a slip. Be back to you with the Registration date.
The Nautical Co-op of Oriental sponsored Dinghy Poker Run at the Oriental Marina & Tiki Bar will be here soon. Hands will go on sale at 0930 and the run will start at 1100 with stops at 7 docks up Smith & Green Creeks. Poker hands can also be drawn at the Tiki Bar. We will serve food starting at 1230. There will be silent & live auctions. In support of sailing, we have again chosen to give the money raised to the Pamlico Coastal Activities Council, earmarked for sailing lessons for less advantaged Pamlico County youth.
We are hoping all of you will come out for this fun event and support our efforts by buying poker hands and auction items. Remember this is an event for the community, so invite your dock neighbors, your out-of-town friends & family (great fun for the grandkids!), etc.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: We are also looking for your help before and on the day of the event.
First, we need items to use for prizes for winning hands and items to use in the silent and live auctions. These can be actual items or gift certificates to specific places or for services or adventures. As you are doing your spring cleaning and have items you no longer need, consider donating those. We can also use volunteers to ask businesses and others with services to donate. We are hoping to have all items in hand by Friday July 16.
Advertising – Help now to place flyers around town at businesses, marinas, etc
Auction items organization – This will take place during the week leading up to the event. Help will be needed to prepare bid sheets, create posters and anything else needed to get the items ready.
Set up – 0800 July 24. Organize tables for hand & raffle sales & food, place auction items, etc
Poker hand & raffle ticket sales – starts at 0930. Since we have the option for land hands we will continue selling hands & raffle tickets until 1330. We need volunteers to cover 0930 – 1130 & 1130 – 1330 time slots.
Food management – Help needed with set-up & oversight of serving.
Hand dealers – These are the folks at each dock who manage the drawing of cards when participants arrive. It’s good to have 2 people at each dock. Land hand dealers also needed.
Tally hands – Will need to collect the hands & determine the highest hands. Some knowledge of poker hands is helpful.
Silent auction oversight – Monitor activity at the silent auction, answer questions, etc. Will also need folks at the end to pick up bid sheets & record the winners.
Oversight of prizes for winning hands – Help keep prize giving moving.
Helpers for live auction – Show the item being auctioned. Help auctioneer keep up with bidders. Record the winning bidder.
Payment processors – Help with collection of payments for auction items. Familiarity with using Square for credit card transactions will be helpful.
Clean up – self explanatory! We hope to be finished by 1530
Contact me with any donations or to volunteer for any of these positions. You can also volunteer for “put me where you need me” if you want to help but don’t have a specific thing you want to do. Call or text: 919-414-7719 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Boats will sortie from the various creeks and marinas to rendezvous at Oriental "1SC" on each Wednesday (weather permitting), for an impromptu race around the government marks. No need to register, just show up. I've developed a mailing list and will try to get an email out each Monday to remind everyone.
The start will be at 1800 GPS time. We will try and do the normal US Sailing countdown. This will allow those new to racing an opportunity to learn and practice the start sequence. Social will be at the Tiki Bar afterwards. Tell your friends and neighbors and if you have any questions or comments email me at email@example.com
If you want to be dropped from this mailing list, please let me know. If you know someone who wants to be added, email me their address.
See you on the water,
S/V Il Gatto
Welcome Our New Members!
It has been gratifying to see some of our newest NSA members taking part in recent events such as the Chesapeake Bay Cruise and the Memorial Day Cruise. If there are new members who have any questions about upcoming events, be sure to contact Howard Cheetham, Vice Commodore of Cruising, or Carl Crothers, Commodore.
In the past month, we have welcomed the following new members: Michael Humphreys and Patricia Malarkey of Chapel Hill, owners of S/V Mary Doll, which they keep at Oriental Harbor Marina; Matt Jones and Mary Florian of Oriental, owners of M/V Oriental Express, which they keep at Oriental Harbor Marina; Christopher and Kimberly Mullins of Skipwith, Va., owners of S/V Barefoot Journey, which they keep at Sailcraft Marina; Christian and Jean Young of New Bern, owners of S/V Night Wind, which they keep at Wayfarer’s Cove Marina; and Steven Norris of New Bern, owner of S/V Brilliant Cut, which he keeps at Bridgeton Harbor Marina.
We are happy to have about 35 new NSA members so far this year. Please be sure to say hello when you see our new members at upcoming cruises and land events!
Stay well and see you on the water soon!
Vice Commodore, Membership
We have tee-shirts ($20), caps ($20), visors ($15) and koozies for purchase online at the Marketplace on our website. Otherwise you will be able to purchase in person at the Dinghy Poker Run. If purchasing online please let me know and I will deliver to you in Oriental.
Please continue to share anything of interest on the Facebook group page, whether it is something you are looking to buy, sell or if you would like a cruising buddy on your next destination. As always photos are encouraged.
Vice Commodore, Social Media
S/V Cool Change
Hello NSA Family!
Exciting news to share over here - we are now full-time Wrightsville Beach residents!
As many of you may know we were able to find a home for Blue Mind down in Wrightsville Beach last summer in the midst of the pandemic. We enjoyed our weekends aboard so much last year we started seriously considering a permanent relocation. Wrightsville Beach checks a lot of boxes for us: sun, water, sailing, surfing, and most importantly a great place for us to raise our kids. We suppose if there is one bright spot of the pandemic for us it has been the normalization of remote work. Becky and I made the asks at our companies to permanently relocate and were met with full and complete support. (Phew!) We were able to find a house in our dream neighborhood and lined up schools for Grace and Jack. We are in the South Harbor Island neighborhood, wedged between Banks and Motts Channels. We are a half-mile walk to the beach, a one-mile walk to the boat, and steps from the water/anchorages. We plan to enjoy a lot more sailing this year in lieu of driving back and forth to the coast.We hope the NSA can make a formal cruise this way soon. Either way, please let us know if you plan to head this way - we would love to host you for porch drinks and dinner or go out for a sail together. While the cruising community is not as robust as Oriental, there is a strong small boat tradition here. We are also looking into sparking some new life into the defunct Wrightsville Beach Ocean Racing association, or at the very least drum up some interest in a casual weekly 'beer can race' event like Oriental has.
We are so grateful for stumbling upon Oriental and the NSA 5+ years ago and all the friendships we built - it has and continues to be the foundation for the adventure of a lifetime!
Paul Becky Grace and Jack
Keep those great event photos coming to to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the main website scrolling photos area. We’ll also select one photo per month as the website background picture. For the background, the photo needs to have "interesting" content along the top and sides, since the website content consumes the entire middle.
Neuse Sailing Association | PO Box 253 | Oriental, NC 28571