Legendary sailor Michael Taylor's -- catamaran Wind in the Willows lies in Matthews Point Marina in February 2015. Picture here. The 87 year old Mr. Taylor has made the annual pilgrimage down the east coast and over to the Bahamas for over thirty years and is a well-known fixture of the cruising community. On his Fall 2014 voyage south, Mr. Taylor sought refuge from stormy weather in Clubfoot Creek and while at anchor fell and suffered an injury. The Coast Guard, with the assistance of Matthews Point dockmaster Tom and neighbor Bill, located Mr. Taylor and brought him ashore, where the Harlowe Volunteer Rescue Squad took him to the hospital. Our sources are that the gallant old man has swallowed the anchor and will live out his days ashore .
Wooden Boats in the Antipodes -- The Australian Wooden Boat Festival was held February 6-9, 2015. These people are serious about their boats, and the pictures of the regatta in Hobart Bay and the boats on exhibit are spectacular. Check it out here.
Oriental In-Water Boat Show -- will be held April 10-12, 2015. New for this year will be an exhibition of newly-built and restored wooden boats. For more information, see the website here.
Neuse River Music Fest -- Traditional music lovers should put February 20-21, 2015 on the calendar. The Festival will be held on the campus of Lenoir Community College, Kinston, NC. More information available here.
Corps of Engineers Allocates More Money for Dredging -- The Raleigh News and Observer reports February 3rd, 2015, that an extra $4.1 million will go to Beaufort Inlet and more money is promised for Oregon Inlet and the ICW as well. See story at newsobserver.com.
Salvage Opportunity Off the NC Coast? -- The Coast Guard air-lifted crew off 55-foot catamaran Rain Maker 200 miles off Cape Hatteras January 29th, 2015. Irene Nolan of Island Free Press reports that the $2.5 million boat suffered a broken mast. All crew were reported safe.
Manteo Distillery Close to Reality -- A couple of months ago I took a wait and see attitude, now I'm thinking this just might happen. Russ Lay of The Outer Banks Voice reports on January 27, 2015 that "the molasses has been delivered. The tanks and copper pot distiller are in place." Sounds like Russ already has plans - "If one is hardy enough and has a designated driver, the Manteo combo of a distillery and the Full Moon microbrewery packs a powerful one-two punch for any aficionado of craft brews and spirits." So, any volunteers for DD?
Shipping Schedules for NC Ports -- If you enjoy watching deep-sea freighters negotiate our coastal waters, the Sailing Schedules posted by the NC State Port Authority may be of interest.
The Macabre World of Ship-breaking -- Available on the web is "Bulletin of information and analysis on ship demolition", a quarterly publication comprised of page after page of details on ocean-going ships being scrapped all over the world. The September 2014 edition is available here.
E15 Gas at NC Sheetz Stations -- Larry Casey on Carolina Breeze forwarded a notice from BoatU.S. that certain Sheetz stations are selling E15 gas - this is not something you want to put in a marine engine. Most marinas sell gas with no corn ethanol mixed in, and that's the best thing for your inboard or outboard engine. But if you have to use gas-station gas, look for unmixed (hard to find) or E10. Thanks for the heads-up, Larry.
How Things Have Changed -- A 1960 Official Highway Map for the State of North Carolina shows a state-run ferry across the Alligator River on Highway 64, another at Oregon Inlet, and a third at Hatteras Inlet. No ferry at Knotts Landing, Pamlico, Neuse or Cape Fear Rivers. No state-run ferries from the mainland to Ocracoke, but there was a private ferry that ran from Atlantic to Ocracoke. For a digital copy of a current NC Highway Map or archived maps from 1960 and other years, click here.
Most Sailors Like Coffee, Right? -- And most of us like the sun. This is no excuse to throw away the sunblock, but the Los Angeles Times reports here that coffee consumption can reduce the risk of melanoma.
Beaufort Inlet Shoaling -- is causing problems for major shippers Potash and Nucor. Sand from the end of Shackleford Banks is avalanching into the channel, and deep-sea freighters are having to short load to reduce their draft. Dredging work is scheduled to begin February 2015, but local pilots would like to see a lot more done than is planned. Unfortunately, the $20 million needed to do it right is just not in the budget. Veteran News and Observer reporter Bruce Siceloff reports on the story here.
14-Foot Great White Tracked Through the Sound -- The big shark showed up near Stumpy Point and the mouth of the Pamlico River early January 2015 but reportedly has gone back out to sea. Click here for the story at Outer Banks Voice.
Intriguing Archaeological Find -- "Artifacts uncovered recently at a western Albemarle archaeological site suggest that settlers may have lived in the area around the time the Lost Colony disappeared." The Outer Banks Voice reports on a dig at the junction of the Chowan and Roanoke Rivers which uncovers tantalizing connections to the Lost Colony. This short article from January 1st, 2015 is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in North Carolina history.
More on the Inlets -- Island Free Press has a good article dated January 2nd, 2015 about the state of Hatteras and Oregon Inlets - both are badly shoaled. Hatteras is still open with local knowledge, Oregon is open intermittently.
Oregon Inlet Badly Shoaled -- Catherine Kozak at Island Free Press reports that a December 1st, 2014 survey showed the main channel carried only 2 to 3 feet of water and even the alternate channels are barely navigable. Article here.
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