Late March Weather System -- stayed far enough offshore to spare the NC coast the worst of it. As of 8:00 AM, Wednesday the 24th, it is clear and the winds are gusting to close to 30 knots out of the northwest at Matthews Point. The temperature is just above freezing. All boats are riding nicely. The 9:00 observations from NOAA last night showed gusts to 31 at Cherry Point, to 35 at Beaufort and to 37 at Cedar Island. No reports of problems on Highway 12 or the Outer Banks, though the late night Sound ferries were cancelled last night due to wind.
And It's Not Just the Outer Banks -- The winter's heavy weather has damaged beaches all along the coast. For a look at the situation along Onslow Bay, this article from the Jacksonville Daily News is a good place to start.
Too Much Sand or Not Enough -- Sand is filling up Nags Head swimming pools and clogging the Hatteras ferry channel. Sand is rapidly disappearing from the beachfront at Rodanthe. So do we have too much sand, or not enough? It's a burning question for a narrow strip of sand islands called the Outer Banks. Click here for an article about sand deficits and surpluses.
What's Happening in the World of Vessel Loss -- So far this year of 2014, "Danish-flagged container vessel Svendborg Maersk was in the Bay of Biscay last week as hurricane-force winds battered the Atlantic coast of Europe. Amid waves of 30 feet and winds of 60 knots, the Svendborg began losing containers off northern France. After the ship arrived in the Spanish port of Malaga this week, Maersk discovered that about 520 containers were unaccounted for. Stacks of others had collapsed. (21-02-2014)". If you enjoy this kind of news, you'll love the Daily Vessel Casualty, Piracy & News Report at cargolaw.com, the website of law firm Countryman & McDaniel.
Work Commencing on NPS Docks in Silver Lake -- Renovations have begun as of February 27th, 2014 and are expected to be complete by May. In the meantime, the docks may be closed, so sailors should contact the National Park Service at 252-475-9034 before making plans to visit Ocracoke. See the press release for more details.
Learn to Fire a Muzzle-Loading Musket -- Fort Macon State Park has all kinds of fun demonstrations and tours on tap for Spring 2014. See their events page here.
40th Annual Beaufort Wooden Boat Show -- will be held Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Maritime Museum on the Beaufort NC waterfront. More information here.
Oriental In-Water Boat Show -- will be hosted at Pecan Grove Marina April 11th-13th, 2014. The new boats might be fun to see, but the best part will be the nautical flea market. I will be looking for a cracked A4 piston to use for an ash tray. Information available here.
How Did I Miss This Website for so Long -- The Log of Spartina contains all sorts of good stories about sailing on the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound, as well as the Chesapeake Bay. Thanks, Donnie on Y-Knot for passing along the url.
Town of Plymouth Has a Great New Public Dock -- Neuse River Sailors looking for a destination might consider Plymouth, on the Roanoke River, just above its junction with the Albermarle Sound. The town has built a beautiful new marina that transients can stay at free of charge for up to 14 days. 30-amp power and water are included, and pumpouts are available for $5. There are restrooms and showers available through the local Maritime Museum. The town boasts two museums and a replica of an Albermarle Sound Screwpile Lighthouse. There are two restaurants within walking distance of the docks, as well as a hiking trail. The Roanoke River is easily navigable and carries good depths all the way to Plymouth, and the bridge clearance is 51 feet. On top of all that, the people of Plymouth are as friendly and welcoming as any you are likely to find. The marina is on the upstream edge of town, directly under the lighthouse. Check in with the dockmaster at the Maritime Museum across the street or at 252-217-2204 to get the combination to the shower house.
Anchor Hazard in Silver Lake -- Dan snagged a heavy cable with his anchor in Silver Lake at Ocrafolk and had a dickens of a time getting free. Eventually, with Mike's help, he managed to bring the anchor to the surface along with a length of cable seemingly attached below water at each end. After freeing Marian Claire, he radioed the Coast Guard for instructions, and they told him to drop the cable back into the water. So it is still there, waiting to snag the next unsuspecting boat. Conscientious sailors might wish to plot these coordinates on their charts of Silver Lake - 35 06.736 N, 075 59.017 W. This is where Marian Claire lay snagged on the cable. Thanks Dan and Mike for getting the information out about this hazard.
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