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Sailing the Neuse, the Pamlico and Beyond

News and Announcements

Valor is for Sale -- My Cape Dory 25 Valor is for sale to make room for a bigger boat that I could take long-distance cruising. She's been a fine day-sailor and I've taken a number of longer trips on her as well, but she's not the ticket for weeks or months-long trips, which I hope to take once I retire. So, anybody looking for a good sailable CD25? Asking price $3,500. ***09/24/15 - asking price reduced, now $3,000*** Details here. Email me at

Friends on the Internet -- Waiting for weather in Belhaven last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Pete and Kourtney aboard their Danish-built wooden boat Norna. Pete is a boatbuilder and accomplished musician, and Kourtney is the well-known author and blogger "Accidental Sailor Girl". They are wonderful, gentle people, devoted to sailing and living on the water. Pete has a cd of his music available, and Kourtney has her book, at Paper Sailor Inc. I have listened to the cd a couple times through and enjoyed it, and just started reading the book. Check it out, and if you see them on a dock somewhere, stop and introduce yourself - tell them the Neuse River Sailor sent you.

Back at Matthews Point -- Sunday June 19th I got fair winds for the Neuse River and made a long day of it, Belhaven to Matthews Point in about 11 hours, including some fast sailing on a broad reach from Maw Point into the lower Neuse.

Irene Nolan on "Last Hurrah for the Frisco Pier" -- Irene has one of her sensitive and perceptive editorials posted at Island Free Press about the missed opportunities and sad demise of the Frisco Pier. The remnants will probably be removed in the fall.

Waiting Out the Storm -- Saturday 6/18 - another lay day in Belhaven waiting for the northeaster to blow out. It is very sheltered on the Cooperage dock, but NOAA is still calling for 35 knot winds out on the sound. Tomorrow looks much better, with northerlies in the 10-15 knot range.

Back in Belhaven -- Had a hard slog through the Alligator-Pungo Canal and anchored Wednesday night in the upper Pungo. Thursday motor-sailed down the river dead into the wind, tacking the whole way, to Belhaven. An offshore low is predicted to bring winds to 35 knots to the area Friday night and Saturday, so I am holed up on the Belhaven dock waiting for it to pass. Two other boats are on the dock with me, so I have company.

As Good as it Gets -- Monday June 13th dawned cool and clear and stayed that way all day. My friends Paul and Kathy dropped lines in the morning and sailed south aboard their 45 foot cold-moulded wooden schooner for Manteo, and I followed soon after. Fair winds all the way, on dock well before happy hour. Tuesday I started for home, backtracking to the Alligator River and taking a slip at Alligator River Marina. Currently doing laundry, sipping a rum drink and sitting in the clubhouse.

Hot, Quiet Sunday -- Fair winds, but with temperatures headed for the mid-90s under clear skies, I decided to spend one more day in Elizabeth City. Tomorrow should be markedly cooler with good northwesterly winds. Still debating whether to sail down to Manteo for a day or two or start homeward via the Alligator River.

Elizabeth City Rendezvous -- Friday-Saturday 6/10-11 lay days on town dock. Friends from Belhaven Daniel and Angela two boats down on Teasa. Dan sailed in from Alligator River. Marcia and Joe drove in from Manteo in their new camper van and provided sailors with a ride to the grocery store. They stayed at Lamb's Marina, parked next to the boat slips and hooked up to the 30 amp. Saturday Daniel and Angela headed north up the canal, Marcia and Joe headed west by highway. Dan leaves in the morning for points north and I await predicted northerlies Monday to go south - destination unknown.

Sailed the Albemarle -- Off Alligator River Marina Dock the morning of 6/9 and joined the parade of northbounders. Navigation is easy, just follow the boat in front of you. Then they all veer off toward Albermarle-Chesapeake and you stay to port and make for the Pasquotank. Motorsailed across the sound with light airs, then picked up a strong westerly at mouth of river and sailed close-hauled at hull speed all the way to Elizabeth City. Got one of the last available slips at Mariner's Wharf surrounded by hulking power cruisers and blue water cruisers.

Long Day Belhaven to Alligator River Marina -- 13 hours to sail about 50 miles. Alligator-Pungo Canal is a transit ditch, not much good to say about it. Word to the wise - stick strictly to the center line. I strayed slightly starboard to allow a big power boat to pass and ended up aground. The next boat through gave me enough bounce to back off and continue on my way. Later, I eased over a hair for another big boat and slammed into a submerged snag. No water streaming into the bilge, so I guess no harm done. The last 5 hours of the day I motor-sailed close hauled in an ugly chop. The "light" water on the Alligator (no dissolved salt) seems to fly farther as spray than good "heavy" Neuse River water, letting my CD25 live up to Cape Dory's reputation for building wet boats. Heck of a day. Very happy to be in the cool, comfortable clubhouse of Alligator River Marina.

Best Bets in Belhaven -- The Gingerbread Bakery on Main Street for breakfast and pastries. The Public Library for internet access and air conditioning. The Goodrich Tire dealer just across the street from the Cooperage Landing free dock for non-ethanol gasoline, access to a water spigot and generous advice on getting around Belhaven. The Community Store for being open on Sunday afternoon.

Rapid Improvement -- Tropical storm Colin brought some rain and wind to Belhaven, but nothing like predicted. As of late morning June 7th, the rain had ended and the sky was beginning to lighten. My plans are to resupply this afternoon and cast off first thing the morning of the 8th for points north.

Here Comes Colin -- Tropical storm Colin, currently gathering force in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, is predicted to be in our neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, June 7th.

On Belhaven Dock -- As of June 6th, holed up for a couple of days waiting for the weather to settle. First day out of Matthews Point, to Bonner Bay, mostly motor-sailing. Second day, a fast sail with fair southwesterly winds, on dock at Belhaven in early afternoon. Violent weather predicted for later in the day didn't pan out, but the wind blew strong and steady all through the night. This morning blustery wind and clearing skies. Taking advantage of the wifi at the library to check email. Next stop, Elizabeth City - should be there by the weekend.

Haircut in Havelock -- Found a good barber in Havelock for a last-minute cut before heading out for a sail - Sal's, 805 E. Main St.

Hiflite Safe in Port -- Latest spot (05/26/16) puts them at Matthews Point.

Bluewater Sailors -- Hiflite's 5/24/16 spot puts them well off the Georgia coast, heading north - Lat 32.30217 Lon-78.30831.

First Storm of the Season? -- Weather Underground reports area of concern to watch for possible genesis of a tropical depression during the coming Memorial Day weekend." Ocrafolk-bound sailors please note.

Oriental's Creative Solution to the HB2 Problem -- Town Dock has a World Exclusive article detailing efforts to reopen the public restroom near the new town dock that has been closed since late March due to HB2. I applaud everyone involved in this effort to help the town avoid the onerous new $10,000 daily "Gender Non-Compliance fine." Town Dock has done a wonderful job bringing this vital breaking news to the public.

List of Free Dockage -- along the ICW is available at James H. Newsome's Facebook Page.

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