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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

Bad News for Oriental -- After 42 years of service to the Oriental community, the Town and Country grocery is closing, killed by the Walmart Express "just a few hundred yards away." Yes, I saw this coming, and for sailors as well as the town this is bad news. Just a few hundred yards down the road may not seem like much when you have a car, but when you are a sailor walking from the harbor or one of the boatyards, it's a long way. So Oriental, little by little you are giving up your heritage as a working harbor and sailing center, as you become nothing more than another retirement community in a picturesque location. Announcement at Town Dock. I'm sure there will be a story to come.

Back to Normal -- As of 10/8/15 - All ferries are running. Ocracoke is open for business. Hodges Street in Oriental is open.

Rocket Launch May be Visible -- the evening of 10/7/15. "NASA rocket could make glowing clouds Wednesday night." The Neuse River is near the southern limit to see the effects, but with mostly clear skies predicted for tonight, it's worth watching for. Story at the Baltimore Sun.

Ferry Status Report 10/7/15 -- As of mid-day, the Knotts Landing - Currituck, Fort Fisher - Southport and Bayview - Aurora ferries are running and all others are not. NCDOT_Ferry Twitter Feed is probably the best place to get up-to-date information as to which ferries are running.

Old Town Dock Damaged -- Evidently a Coast Guard boat tried to leave the dock without untying all its lines and wrenched three pilings out of place. The old town dock is closed for now but the new dock is still in operation. For a report, click here.

What Happened to El Faro? -- Miami Herald has a good animation of U.S. flagged 790 foot container ship El Faro's course dead into the path of hurricane Joaquin. The vessel is missing and presumed sunk with its crew of 33.

Ferry Cancellations -- As of 3:00 pm Monday, 10/5/2015, all ferries are cancelled except Knotts Island - Currituck. Cancellations include both Pamlico Sound ferries, the Hatteras - Ocracoke ferries, Cherry Point - Minnesott and Fort Fisher - Southport. All cancelled due to high water, until furthur notice. Keep up with ferry schedules at NCDOT_FERRY Twitter feed.

Highway 210 on North Topsail Beach is Closed -- NCDOT reports on October 5th that Highway 210 is closed From Gray St. to Ocean Dr. to Green St. Looks from the map like no detour is available, effectively making it impossible to travel from one end of the island to the other. Anyone from Topsail with better information, please email me, Also, Highway 12 is closed from Atlantic to Cedar Island.

Outer Banks Update -- Ocracoke Current reports on October 5th, 2015, that "all ferry routes serving Ocracoke Island are currently suspended and visitor access to the island is still prohibited." Also, that there is another dune breach along Highway 12 between Ocracoke and the ferry landing. Meanwhile, Outer Banks Voice reports that most roads in Kitty Hawk are passable but a section of Highway 12 is closed.

No Escape to the South -- Friday, October 2nd, 2015 - All ferries between Ocracoke and Cedar Island are cancelled for at least the remainder of the day. Highway 12 at Cedar Island is flooded too badly for cars to navigate. Even with Joaquin's path projected to keep it far out to sea, persistent east winds, high surf and rain in the upstate are setting up a major flood event for the Banks.

Dodged a Bullet -- As of Friday morning, October 2nd, 2015, NOAA forecasts that hurrican Joaquin will follow a northeasterly course well off the coast. Looks like the European Model, which correctly predicted Sandy's turn inland, has nailed this one as well. It was the only model that consistently suggested an offshore course from early on.

BALTIMORE CANYON TO HATTERAS CANYON BETWEEN 100 NM AND 250 NM OFFSHORE -- NOAA Forecast for Sunday night, issued 11:30 a.m. Thursday morning - E TO SE WINDS 40 TO 55 KT...INCREASING TO 60 TO 75 KT. SEAS 38 TO 53 FT. NWS Marine Forecast

Ferry Division Preparing for Storm -- Last scheduled sound ferries will be Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m Saturday, Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 10:00 a.m. Saturday. Ocracoke-Hatteras ferries will run a regular schedule as long as they can. Then the boats will be moored in a safe harbor. The Ferry Division is prepared to reopen the Stumpy Point terminal after the storm, in case Highway 12 is breached. Press release here.

Ocracoke Evacuation Orders -- Hyde County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency at a meeting mid-day, Thursday 10/1/2015. Starting at 3:00 Thursday afternoon, law enforcement will allow only residents, property owners and vendors to board Ocracoke-bound ferries, and starting on Saturday no inbound traffic at all will be allowed. That is assuming the ferries can even continue running until them. High water in the sound is making it difficult to use the docks. Ocracoke residents are being encouraged to leave the island now or be prepared for several days of no power, water or emergency services. Full story at Ocracoke Current.

Sailors, Keep an Eye Out for Joaquin -- As of the morning of September 30th, 2015, Joaquin is officially a hurricane. This storm is forecast to skirt the North Carolina coast on Sunday as a category 2. Guidance is sketchy and the storm could potentially make landfall anywhere from Wrightsville Beach to Cape Cod, or miss mainland North America altogether. My source for the latest storm details is Weather Underground.

Matthews Point Beast Feast -- . will be held the evening of Saturday, November 14th, 2015. Kate McNally will play afterward.

Sailor Shot in Oriental -- The Town Dock has done an exceptional job of reporting the shooting of an Oriental man aboard his boat on September 19th, 2015. Click here and scroll down to see the initial reports. On September 22nd the Town Dock printed a letter from a friend of the victim that sheds more light on this act of violence.

Heavy Weather -- As of Tuesday, September 22nd, a disorganized area of disturbed weather is bringing wind and heavy rain to the ocean just off the Outer Banks. It is not expected to develop into a tropical storm, but it will probably drift westward, bringing stormy weather to the sound and river. Jeff Masters has a post at Weather Underground about it.

Lunar Eclipse -- There will be a total eclipse of the moon the night of Sunday, September 27th, 2015 starting around 9:00.

Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown -- October is big, big, big for the festivals in eastern North Carolina. Rocky Mount will host the 8th Annual BBQ Throwdown the weekend of October 9th and 10th, 2015. Website here.

New Bern Mum Fest -- This will mark the 35th year for the popular festival, held in downtown New Bern October 10th and 11th, 2015. Click here.

2015 Blackbeard's Pirate Jamboree -- October 30th through November 1st, 2015. Pirate-themed fun in Ocracoke. Looks like this festival has taken hold, after a rocky start. The first two attempts to hold it, in 2011 and 2012, were both cancelled due to hurricane threats, but 2013 and 2014 went off without a hitch. Click here.

Watertribe North Carolina Challenge -- will be run starting October 16th, 2015, from Camp Don Lee, so Neuse River sailors keep an eye out for these ultra marathoners of the water as they pass through. Matthews Point denizens get a front row seat as all competitors are required to transit the Harlowe Canal. For the gory details, click here.

United States Sailboat Show -- The biggest show in America, October 8th through 12th, on the Annapolis docks. Click here.

6th Annual Southport Wooden Boat Show -- at the old yacht basin, September 26th, 2015. Website here.

North Carolina Seafood Festival -- will be held in Morehead City October 2-4, 2015. October is National Seafood Month, as well as the last possible time to extract tourist dollars before the gray nor'easters of winter sweep in from the cold Atlantic. Click here for more information.

61st Annual Swansboro Mullet Festival -- It's festival time at as the weather turns cooler and small coastal towns desperately grasp for waning tourist dollars. Over 100 craft and food vendors will line the streets of Swansboro October 10th and 11th, all with something to sell. See the website for details.

2015 Georgetown Wooden Boat Show -- The 26th annual show is coming up the weekend of October 17th and 18th. For me, it's one of the high points of the year, and I plan to be there. Check out my posts in the Special Features section of this site to see what it is all about, and then click here for the details on the 2015 show and schedule.

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