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Bruce towed Arabella to Jacksonville to soak up the Florida sun and got in some good sailing. He saw 10.5 knots on the knotmeter, even better than the 9.25 we reached trialing her off Oriental last October.

Photograph courtesy Bruce Mierke.

My friend Lou who sails Catalina 36 Charisma helped me out with a car shuttle in February 2017 when I moved Terry Ann to Sailcraft Service, then came along for the sail across the river. Soon after this picture was made, I took the tiller back and promptly ran us aground in Whitaker Creek.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Waiting to board the Minnesott Ferry, October 2016.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Cara Mia of Oriental in the fairway between Sailcraft Service and Deaton's, April 2016.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Vermonters Ken and Francie and spaniel Skipper cruise on their big Albin trawler. They stopped in at Matthews Point for a few days to visit friends Dale and Cori, and instantly became a part of the marina family. Here they cast off for Florida on a sunny day in November, 2016.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Continuing this series of fast boats on the Neuse, here is a J28 that Bruce Mierke and I aboard Arabella paced up the Neuse River in October 2016. Close hauled in 10 knots of wind, Arabella may have had a fraction of a knot advantage in speed but the J boat pointed a bit higher. A good match all told.

Photograph Paul Clayton.

Moore 24 Nevermoore at speed on the Neuse River. Contributor Andy Denmark notes "The bottom is not foul but wet sanded 'slicker than eel snot.'”

Photograph courtesy Andy Denmark.

Marian Claire on the Matthews Point dock in October 2016.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

A few days after the Georgetown Show, Arabella was trialing off the Oriental waterfront. Builder and owner Bruce Mierke kept a close eye on the rig and sails as fellow boat-builder Greg tended the helm. The boat performed very well in light airs, hitting a consitent eight plus knots broad reaching in 10 to 12 knot winds.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Schooner Felicity featured wooden blocks.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Sunday morning 10/16/16 high tide had water in Front Street at Georgetown.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Bill Wyatt of Prosperity SC brought two Rushton-design "Wee Lassie" canoes and a Firefly rowing shell.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Bob Baird of Snellville GA exhibited his utility boat Joy B. This little 9-footer breaks down into 2 parts and the bow section will nest in the stern. The whole boat only weighs about 70 pounds. Bob says it rows easily and that his 2 1/2 horsepower outboard is plenty when he wants to power. With the high freeboard it looks like a load carrier. I think it would make an ideal tender for a medium-sized cruising boat.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Felicity is a 48 foot LOA coastal schooner built in 1969, sailing out of Charleston.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

This stand-up paddleboard is the work of Sean McQuilken of Mount Pleasant. He was at the show with his father who exhibited his work in progress restoration of a Charles Crosby catboat built in 1911.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Arabella is the work of noted wooden boat builder Bruce Mierke of Murphy NC. She comes from the drafting table of Dudley Dix, the man who designed the Paper Jet, and I found her at the 2016 Georgetown Woodend Boat Show on October 15th, 2016. Gaff cutter rigged Arabella carries 444 feet of plain sail to drive her 3,300 pounds. She should be in the water on Sailcraft Service's dock in Oriental sometime the third week in October. Bruce plans to keep her in the area for the near future. If you see her on the water, please take a picture and send it to me at paul@neuseriversailor.com.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Sultana is a replica of a late 1700s vintage merchant ship built in Boston. We followed her into Cambridge Creek, Cambridge MD while sea trialing a Southern Cross 31.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

I saw this nice Westsail 32 at Campbell's Marina in Oxford. It looks like the rig has been modified a bit, as the boats were built as cutters, this one is a masthead sloop. The main boom may have been shortened as well - something that many Westsail owners do to temper weather helm.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

On an August 2016 road trip up the Eastern Shore, I saw this replica screwpile lighthouse guarding the Cambridge, MD town docks.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Ponies at Shackleford, July 2016. The shallow-draft center console is the ideal boat for visiting the Banks.

Photograph by Kevin Hynes.

Dockmaster Tom gave me a couple old sails someone at the marina was trying to dispose of. I had been looking at the totes Cori makes from old sails and decided to make a few myself. Cori's are like fine tailoring whereas mine are what I call "guy sewing", no offense to any of the accomplished male sailmakers out there. The smaller of these is sized just right to carry two of what my boatyard friends refer to as "handles", half-gallon bottles of liquor.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

The remnants of tropical storm Bonnie brought showers to Matthews Point the first of June, 2016.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

The current owners of River Forest Manor in Belhaven have the old place looking good.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Kinnakeet is one of the regular boats on the Cherry Point - Minnesott run.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Relaxing on the expansive foredeck of his big pilothouse schooner, Captain Paul, crew Kathy, and dog Mate enjoy a hot afternoon in Elizabeth City.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Friends Daniel and Angela sail aboard big center cockpit O'Day Teasa. I met them on the Belhaven dock, and we crossed paths again in Elizabeth City.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Valor and Teasa wait out tropical storm Colin on the Belhaven dock.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

A beautiful orange dragonfly visited Valor during transit of the Pungo-Alligator Canal.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

The sign announcing the opening of the Morehead City Yacht Basin is still visible on the side of the Alligator-Pungo Canal in June 2016.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Valinor casts off for Ocracoke May 2016.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Mike Doster sent along this sunrise picture he took from aboard Marian Claire on a spring 2016 trip to Shackleford.

Photograph by Mike Doster.

Neuse River sailors relax in the clubhouse after a daysail aboard Scott and Yvonne's Catalina 30 Malida.

Photograph by Yvonne Vickery.

Valor at Cooperage Dock, Belhaven, June 6th, 2016.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

I spotted former Matthews Point resident Isabella on the dock at Deaton's in May 2016.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

This boat passed me at speed on the Neuse River a few years ago. Moore 24 Nevermoore had a reputation as the fastest boat on the river for a few years in the 1970s and 80s. Believe it or not, people race these things in blue water. It beggars conception, but one of these boats supposedly won the 1992 Pacific Cup Race from San Francisco to Oahu.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Continuing the Rosborough series, here is an RF-246 Sedan Cruiser photographed at Sea Harbor Marina in late May 2016.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

International travelers Dale and Cori made it back to the dock at Matthews Point for Memorial Day, 2016.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

On a visit to Jamestown in May 2016 we had the opportunity to go aboard the replica ships Susan Constant and Godspeed ( Discovery was not open for tours that day). The park staff assured me that all three ships are sailable and get out on the water periodically. The little Discovery, with its more modern-looking hull form (not so much tumblehome), looks like it would be a blast to sail. And all three are tiller-steered. Regular volunteers get first dibs as crew.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

VDOT ferry Surry crosses the James River between Jamestown and Scotland. Surry has a capacity of 50 cars and was built in 1979. I took the picture in May of 2016 from aboard sister ferry Williamsburg while on a road trip to Tidewater with Marie, Levi and Lars.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Annie Laurie, a classic wooden Rosborough hailing out of Halifax, N.S., lies at High Street Landing, Portsmouth, May 2016.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

I can't say for sure, but I think this is a Rosborough 30 from the famed Nova Scotian yard that is still building boats to this day. If so, it is from 1993 or later, because that is when the yard switched from wood to fiberglass construction. I found her on the dock behind Sailcraft Service in Oriental in April 2016.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Yacht broker and sometime Matthews Point Marina dockmaster Mark Eichinger is displaying this radio-controlled model at the Matthews Point clubhouse.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Matthews Point sailor and artist Michael Jahn has been cartooning on the marina announcement board. Here is his latest work, March 2016.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

This husky Cape Dory 28 powerboat visited Matthews Point for bunkers in March 2016. The owner invited me on board and showed me his progress in bringing a tired 1988 hull into the 21st century. Below the cabin floor was a new Beta to replace the vintage Chrysler that the boat was built with, mated to the original blue Velvet Drive transmission (rebuilt and repainted Beta red), all on a rebuilt fiberglass engine bed and bolted down through stainless steel motor mounts. All the through hulls were replaced along with new bronze seacocks. The ceiling liner was out and the owner was in process of replacing the overhead lighting with LEDs. Two banks held new house and starting batteries. Cabin-top hand-holds had been replaced with synthetic teak custom made using the original ones as patterns. With most of the systems and mechanicals complete, the work still to be done is largely cosmetic.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

My friends Roy and Jeannie are RV'ing Florida this winter and Roy sent me this picture taken from his kayak on the Withlacoochie River in Yankeetown.

Photograph by Roy Highfill.

High water at Matthews Point during the February 6-7, 2016 storm.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Tom plays air guitar on the bar during his birthday party in January 2016.

Photograph by Tom.

One of my favorite boats at Matthews Point, Alberg 35 Terry Ann.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

The comfortable clubhouse at Matthews Point Marina.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

The long Thanksgiving weekend gave me time to finish up this canvas bucket that I had been working on for a while. I laid up rope grommets from retired dock line for the bolt ropes and cut a round from a piece of cypress for the bottom. The bail was cut from a few feet of leftover I found in my rope box, and the canvas is good sunbrella, remnants from an awning project.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

It's a mild November morning, a good day for a sail.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Nordic Tug Westerly approaches the dock at Matthews Point in November 2015.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Lawrence Tracy brought three cradle boats and two kayaks.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Gary L. Gechter exhibited his classic 1954 Chris Craft Timeless Spirit at the 2015 Georgetown Show.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

You can buy fiberglass Optimist Prams now, but all the Georgetown fleet are wood. Not all of them have laminated gunwales like this one, though.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Big crowds turned out for Georgetown 2015.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Out for an evening cruise aboard classic 1959 Lyman Adele at the 2015 Georgetown Wooden Boat Show.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Under what used to be called a "Kodachrome sky", Marian Claire makes in the mouth of Clubfoot Creek with Dan's daughter Rae at the helm in September 2015.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Mike took this picture of Valor in Cedar Creek in August 2015.

Photograph by Mike Doster.

I got this shot of Marian Claire as I sailed away after a night rafted on Cedar Creek in August 2015. As you can see, Dan and Mike have already broken out the cups, but I'm sure they're drinking coffee.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

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Nordic Tug Westerly on the Matthews Point dock in the dawning light of an August day in 2015.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

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Ferry Chicamacomico ties up on the Minnesott dock after a run over from Cherry Point on an evening in August 2015.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Part of the small-town appeal of Morehead City is that the trains still run down the middle of the street. Norfolk Southern services the State Dock by way of a line in the median of Arendell Street, the town's main drag.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Felix the cat at Sailcraft Services in July 2014. If you've never been to Oriental, this picture might give you some idea just how densely the boats are packed around the yards. There is a good article about Felix and builder Art Halpern at the Town Dock.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

If ducks run free, why don't we? Curious, free-ranging ducks visit Valor on the town dock in Oriental, July 2014.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Suzanne sent this picture of Cape Lookout taken in early May 2015. She noted "We had a nice trip and would still be there if Ana hadn't decided to come our way".

Photograph by Suzanne Evans.

Scott and Evonne kindly invited me along for a day sail aboard their Pearson 28 on a blustery day in April 2015. Here Scott tills Selena out the fairway at Matthews Point.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

In March 2015, I met up with Suzanne and Peter and the dogs aboard Two Loves at Garbacon Shoal.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Jet and Tom butcher a side from a big hog that Jet bow-shot at the hunt camp in March 2015. I got a couple of chops for the grill, and they were mighty good.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Crocker-designed Whampoa resides on the dock behind Sailcraft Services in Oriental. Her sister, Gabriel, nee Scaup, was on display at the 2014 Georgetown Show. These were the only two boats built to the design.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

A Coast Guard barge tow passed through the swing bridge at Beaufort, SC on an evening in January 2015.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

On a road trip to Florida in January 2015 we stopped by the municipal marina in New Smyrna Beach. The dockmaster said that she held seven slips open for transients but it was wise to call ahead during snowbird season. The marina looks to be in good condition and is located just off the ICW in the basin behind flashing red "38", north of the Harris Saxon Bridge.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Larder box goes below on Valor. We built this box out of cypress to the pattern of a traditional Japanese toolbox. It holds my pressure cooker and kitchen staples for a week.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Crowds on the dock at the Georgetown Show.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

I saw this nice model of American Scout, a C2 Class merchant ship built in Wilmington NC in 1946 and scrapped in 1973, at the 2014 Georgetown Show.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

This 1938 Chris Craft looks like new at the 2014 Georgetown Show.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Houseboat Alert would make a perfect little mobile fish camp, don't you think?

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The Georgetown commercial fleet was rafted up near the steel mill. I hope someday they can be included in the show.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The Chesapeake Bay Buy Boats were back for Georgetown 2014. Nellie Crockett with Thomas J in the background.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Robert McAllister's Deakin/Garden designed cutter Exodus was on hand for the Georgetown show. This boat was built in 1962 and is still going strong 52 years later.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Michael Matheson exhibited his ICW-runner Palmetto at the 2014 Georgetown show. The boat had just been launched and builder Bruce Mierke was aboard for "sea trials" - an extended run down the ICW to Florida. He was so gracious as to invite me aboard and show me around this exquisite example of the boatbuilder's craft.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Roy took the tiller for most of the sail and motored us in to the marina minutes before the rain set in for the day. He took to a tiller-steered sailboat like he had been doing it all his life, even though he has spent most of his time in power boats. It's great to have crew, so I can get the sails stowed on the way up the creek.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

In October 2014, we had violent rainstorms and lots of wind. We got in one quick sail early in the morning, with a reef in the main and the regular jib.

Photograph by Roy Highfill.

Roy was rewarded for his early rising by this spectacular sunrise, October 2014.

Photograph by Roy Highfill.

Friends Roy and Jeannie stopped by Matthews Point in their RV and stayed over the night in October 2014. We had a feast off the grill and plenty of cold beer.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Valor in the transient slip at Ensign Harbor Marina, Whortonsville NC, September 2014.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

A Westsail 32 in the Sailcraft Services yard in September 2014.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Fishing vessel Lady Susie on the dock in Oriental harbor one fine evening in September 2014.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Professor Mike enjoys a libation from one of Dan's coffee cups aboard Marian Claire, September 2014.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Sherry decks a nice puppy drum on the dock at Matthews Point. She slayed them this September 2014 afternoon, catching seven, all right at or below the legal size limit, all carefully released to the waters of Clubfoot Creek.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Late evening view from the Matthews Point clubhouse deck, June 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Kids from one of the sailing camps across the river venture into Clubfoot Creek in August 2013. Captain, come a point to starboard and that backwinded jib will start pulling for you.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Boats at anchor in Clubfoot Creek, November 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Storm clouds gather over Oriental in July 2014.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Valor on the face dock at Blackbeard Club, January 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Spirit of Dell Quay returns from an Ocracoke trip on a rainy day in June 2014.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Spirit of Dell Quay ghosts into the marina under a scrap of sail giving assistance to an ailing engine. Nothing serious - Dr. Jack thinks he picked up a bit of weed in the raw water intake, back in Lower Broad Creek earlier in the week.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Quail motors into Matthews Point in March 2014 to refuel. Quail is a former Matthews Point boat which has been berthed in New Bern for the past two years. Jeff and crew are headed south to the islands.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The Cowboy From the Black Lagoon. Dan cleans the bottom of Marian Claire on a sunny afternoon in May 2014

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Volante sails out of Matthews Point. Here she is on a breezy day in May 2014 on the Neuse River.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Valor tied up at the new town dock in April 2014 with the Oriental Inn complex in the background.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Bertram 28 Chaos Too, en route from New Bern to Myrtle Beach, motors into the Matthews Point Marina fuel dock as Dockmaster Tom waits to take a line. It's a gray and blustery day in mid-April, 2014.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Claude motors By Golly into Matthews Point after a day sail in March 2014. I have a theory that pretty boats get more sea time, and from what I have heard the little O'Day has spent plenty of time asail recently.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Bill has been out of town all week. Cory and Dale are house sitting and taking care of me, and they are very nice...and Tom the dockmaster lets me tag along while he works around the marina...but it's just not the same...

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

We have a table on Valor again. The bracket broke some time ago, and I finally got around to making a new one with the help of my woodworking partner Joe.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Snow blanketed Blackbeard Club and a solitary car in January 2014.

Photograph by David Howard.

David took this sensitive self-portrait during a moment of philosophical introspection.

Photograph by David Howard.

David at the helm of Bill's Cabo Rico on a cold day in January 2014.

Photograph by David Howard.

David Howard sent this photograph of S.V Silent Pursuit pushing hard on a gray day competing in the Blackbeard winter series, November 2013.

Photograph by David Howard.

Blackbeard Sailing Club saw a light dusting of snow one morning in mid-November, 2013.

Photograph by David Howard.

As of October 1, 2013, documented boats kept in North Carolina must display a North Carolina registration sticker. See the NC Wildlife website for more information.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The Beast Feast was a big, fun party, best food, best music, best people, best ever, November 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Kate McNally at the Beast Feast, November 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Dan took this picture as Valor, bone in her teeth, paced Marian Claire down the Neuse River on an uncommonly gray and blustery day in spring of 2013.

Photograph by Dan Boney.

Ed Fredholm's Bluejacket "Terry V", hailing out of Austin, Texas.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Tom Lathrop's Bluejacket "Liz" on the Georgetown dock for the 2013 Wooden Boat Show.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

This one might be too nice to paddle. Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, October 2013.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Crowd on Front Street, Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, October 2013.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Best seat in the house at my favorite Georgetown breakfast spot, Aunny's on Front Street, Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, October 2013.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Early morning small boat lineup on Front Street, Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, October 2013.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Brigantine Fritha at the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, October 2013.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

When the wind blows out of the north for days on end, Pamlico Sound piles up along its southern shores. Here is the scene at Matthews Point on a cloudy day in October 2013. The water doesn't get much higher than this, except during a hurricane.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

Avid anglers Jim and Sherry have been slaying the big drum this season. Per Sherry, "Here's the photo of the fish I caught but Jim landed this past Sunday morning. He was 42" long and fell for a live mullet under a popping cork. Lots of fun to catch!" September 2013.

Photograph by Sherry.

It's late in the season, but there are still shrimp in Clubfoot Creek. September 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Spiral staircase in reproduction screw pile lighthouse at Plymouth, NC, July 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Boats on the dock at the Hinckley Yard, Thunderbolt, Georgia on the ICW just outside of Savannah, May 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Captain and crew expertly back Ching Ching into her slip at Matthews Point after a day sail on the Neuse River, August 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Morgan 382 Ching Ching sailing on the Neuse River, August 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Tug Na Hoku in Beaufort Inlet, August 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

USS New York, a San Antonio Class Amphibious Transport Dock, graced the Port of Morehead City during August of 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

UBC Bremen, a bulk carrier built in 1998, finishes unloading at the Port of Morehead City in August 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

There are two restaurants in downtown Plymouth, Stella's and the Garden Spot. I tried the Garden Spot in July 2013. I had a cup of coffee, good enough to drink black, and a slice of fudge cake with vanilla ice cream, which was as good as it sounds.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Brand new town dock at Plymouth, NC, seen from the porch of the reconstructed lighthouse.Transients are welcome to dock free of charge for up to 14 days. July 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Good-sized mullet coming up in the cast net, July 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Shrimp boats on a commercial dock in Mitchell Creek, July 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Looks to be a healthy crop of blue crab this year. This one grabbed my bait and would't let go.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The menhaden are running thick in Clubfoot Creek this year.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Tom took the lighthouse home and fixed it, and then Karen gave it a new paint job. Now it is back at Matthews Point, guiding sailors to their favorite marina.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Gigi motors her big Defever Salty Turtle out of Matthews Point bound for the Morehead City Yacht Basin in June 2013. Last time I saw this boat was at Vero Beach over Christmas of 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

After patiently awaiting her master on the dock at Matthews Point, Morgan 382 Oconee gets her turn to go for a sail on a cloudy day in June 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Rae deftly steers Marian Claire into Clubfoot Creek in front of a blustery northeast wind in June 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Last seen on these pages in Deaton's Yard for bottom work, Spirit of Dell Quay sails out of Clubfoot Creek with a fresh breeze, bound for points east on a beautiful day in June 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Vic gave me this bottle of Bahamian firewater. Doubtless produced for the tourist trade, Vic assured me that it is in fact quite good rum. I'm looking forward to putting it to the test.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

We passed through Darien, Georgia on our way home from a road trip to Florida. Darien is at the upper limits of navigation of the Altamaha River, about ten miles upriver from the ICW. The town allows transients up to 48 hours free docking.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Marie and I found former presidential yacht "Honey Fitz", nee "Barbara Ann" on the dock at Savannah in May 2013. In the background is dredge "Hampton Roads".

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

I stopped in here for a slice and a draft after stepping off Marian Claire in Portsmouth and catching the pedestrian ferry across the river to Norfolk, April 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Marian Claire sails closed-hauled down the Neuse River on the way to Oriental, April 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Jane puts the finishing touches on a painting in the clubhouse at Matthews Point, February 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Hi Flite rounds into Matthews Point Marina on a cool February 2013 evening after a spell at Deaton's getting a new propellor. The Sea Monkey is driving the car back, so Captain Dale will have to put the husky Pearson 424 into the slip single-handed. A small crowd waits on the dock to watch. You can too - click here.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Valor beats up the Neuse River in a fresh northwest breeze in February 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Beaufort Town Dock is hosting S.V. Fritha this winter, a brigantine hailing out of Framingham, MA.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Jane used this photograph as a model for her sensitive portrait of Bill's dog Charlie. Charlie is a much beloved pet to everyone at Matthews Point. All you have to do is look at her face to know why.

Photograph by Jane Whitten.

We spotted "Hannah" at Beaufort, SC February 2011.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

David and Bill board Spotted Dog at anchor in Mitchell Creek after a visit to Matthews Point Marina in January 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The beautiful Isabella rounds into the channel to Matthews Point as the beautiful Susan prepares to pick up a dock line. The suave Peter mans the helm. January 2013.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Even January can offer up good sailing weather on the Neuse River. I sailed to Oriental in January of 2013 and got this photograph of the sun going down over the harbor.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

My last look at the Turtle as Vic, Gigi and I dinghied in to the dock at Vero Beach.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Captain Vic fired up the dinghy motor to take us to shore for breakfast and grocery shopping the morning of December 28th,2012. Afterwards I had to drive back to Ocala while Vic and Gigi made final preparations to cross to the Bahamas.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The view from the after deck of Salty Turtle early on a December morning.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Looking out across the mooring field at Vero Beach early in the morning.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Gigi and Vic extended the hospitality of their cruising home Salty Turtle to your humble editor late in December 2012. Vic took the picture on the aft deck of the Turtle.

Photograph by Vic Copelan.

Neuse River Sailors Vic and Gigi dinghy in to the dock at Vero Beach Municipal Marina to pick up an overnight guest, December 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Marian Claire ghosting out of Cedar Creek on a mild but rainy morning, December 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Marian Claire in a glassy calm on the Neuse River at the mouth of Adams Creek, December 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

These December 2012 Matthews Point visitors came in with a damaged propellor. They ordered a new one and replaced it on the spot. Then they continued on down the ICW, destination Florida. I heard from them a couple days later, they were at Carolina Beach, hoping to be in South Carolina before the sun set.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Spotted Dog at anchor off the New Bern waterfront in November 2012.

Photograph by David Howard.

I cut my October 2012 coast trip short to return home to help my friend Marcia recover from a devastating house fire. We were able to salvage thousands of photographs, all soaking wet, from a tightly packed closet. In the process of sorting through and drying them, I found these two fire-damaged shots of my Vagabond 14. I hadn't even known they existed. The pictures were taken in July of 2002.

Photograph by Marcia Cope.

Joe and I sailed across the Neuse River from New Bern Point to Bridgeton and then back in blustery winds. Approaching the dock on our return, we hit a submerged piling and shattered the centerboard. My cabinetmaker friend Dale helped me build a new one. After I bought Valor, the Vag languished in a friend's back yard for years until I sold it to Neil and Sally Burke, who did a fine restoration and now sail it out of Morehead City.

Photograph by Marcia Cope.

Jane knows how to make a Christmas Cactus come into bloom. Here is one that graced the Matthews Point clubhouse in November 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Captain Bill Byrd at the helm of Spotted Dog on the upper Neuse River in light airs, November 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Hunter Cherubini Spotted Dog at her new slip at Blackbeard Yacht Club.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Bill's dog Charley awaits her master outside the clubhouse at Matthews Point.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Classic catboat asail in the mouth of Oriental Inlet November 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Matthews Point resident "Ching Ching" is a Morgan 38. Here she shows off her classic lines in light airs on a Sunday afternoon in November 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Here's a salty-looking ketch I photographed in Halifax, Nova Scotia on a road trip in 2006.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

We saw this immaculate Cape Dory motoring out of Clubfoot Creek in October 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

I can't think of anywhere with a "boatier" feel to it than Whitaker Creek in Oriental. Maybe Deltaville comes close...I'm sure a good proportion of Oriental's 1,200 sailboats call Whitaker Creek home.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

This long dock behind Sailcraft Service must hold 50 boats by itself...

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Deaton's always has a full yard, plus more tied up waiting to be hauled.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The creek is lined with every kind of sailboat, and even a few powerboats.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Here's a friend from Matthews Point in Deaton's for bottom work.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Boats line the dock waiting their turn at Sailcraft Service.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Vinnie Van GoGo's, hipster hangout and place to get pizza in Savannah. Drop in for a slice, it's on the market square. Great people watching, artistes, co-eds, Dobie, Thalia and Maynard. I stopped here after stepping off Dan's boat in Thunderbolt.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

In February of 2011 I sailed with Dan on his sloop Marian Claire from Charleston to Thunderbolt in suburban Savannah. He continued south and I spent a night in Savannah and then took a bus back to Charleston. Dan was just leaving the dock at Thunderbolt when I took this picture.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The owner was kind enough to give me a tour of his immaculate Westsail 32, photographed at one of the marinas on the Cherry Point Marine Air Station.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

A fine photograph of David's Hunter Cherubini at hull speed on the Neuse River on a cool March morning in 2012.

Photograph by Tanya.

This good-looking sloop motor-sailed past me on the Neuse River in September of 2012. The captain called over that he was headed for New Bern.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The dinghy dock at Matthews Point.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Marina kids on a fine August morning.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

The owner of this website motors his CD25 Valor against a south wind into the mouth of Clubfoot Creek.

Photograph by "Feather" Jim.

One of the instructors at the East Carolina Sailing School, based at Matthews Point, sometimes makes her commute to work on a Sunfish. We ran across her in mid-Neuse River on a Saturday afternoon in August 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Matthews Point resident Tico Time crosses the Neuse River in light airs one Saturday afternoon in late August, 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Here are a few shots of Matthews Point Marina taken in August 2011.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

I have never seen another marina that could hold a candle to Matthews Point for well-kept, beautiful grounds.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

The hammock is made for relaxing in the shade.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

The Matthews Point Clubhouse is the site for parties and dinners after sailing is done.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

It's a pleasure to walk around Beaufort and look at the stately homes. August 2010.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

The Beaufort Belle manuevers her Aurora-bound tow under the Core Creek Bridge in February 2010.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

A daily sight on the Neuse River is the barge tow between the phosphate pits at Aurora and the processing facility at Morehead City. Here the daily run passes the mouth of Lower Broad Creek, June 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Taking apart a three boat raft on Smith Creek early on an April 2012 morning. Dan's friend Handley is headed for the Oriental town dock, I will shortly drop lines and head for Matthews Point and Dan will stay on anchor for another day. Three boats, one anchor - Dan's. I wouldn't do that with just anyone...

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

This young raccoon was drawn to the marina by the persimmon tree at the end of the short dock. He spent a couple of days gorging himself, September 2010.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

This sunken barge is just downstream of the Cherry Point - Minnesott Ferry crossing. As of May 25th, 2012, it is still there. Mariners should excercise caution.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Dramatic sunset over Mitchell Creek, October 2007.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Rigged for cruising, Dan Boney's sloop Marian Claire at Barefoot Landing on her return from the islands, May 2011.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

This Cape Dory Typhoon can frequently be seen on breezy afternoons like this one in August 2011, sailing out of Matthews Point Marina.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Valor ready to go back in the water after bottom painting at Sailcraft Service, April 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Captain David Howard rigs an awning over a hatch as stormy weather approaches. Town Dock, Oriental, May 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Tartan 34 La Gelle Leigh in the mouth of Clubfoot Creek rail down on a blustery day in May 2012. This beautiful boat has just seen a multi-year restoration and is like new - or maybe better.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Students and an instructor with Carolina East Sailing School dock their Hunter at Matthews Point Marina after a stormy day on the river in May 2012.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Oil/chemical carrier Bow Viking at the Morehead City docks, probably loading phosphates. Bow Viking was built in 1981, gross tonnage of 19,639. She sails under the Singaporean flag and is owned and managed by Odfjell of Bergen, Norway.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Harrison's Cabo Rico "Stella Maris" on the dock at Sanitary in Morehead City. We sat on this dock for a couple of days in February 2009 waiting for a weather window before proceeding out Beaufort Inlet south. We came back in at Masonboro Inlet 30 hours later.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

The last pontoon bridge on the ICW was at Sunset Beach, and it was finally removed around 3/30/11. I passed through it south and north in 2005 on my first "real trip" in Valor - from Southport down to Prince Creek off the Waccamaw River and return.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Captain Dale and the Sea Monkey expertly maneuver their big Morgan 424 into the slip at Matthews Point Marina. August 2011.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

"Run Aground Dan" waits for the tide just south of the Ocean Isle Bridge on this cool evening in February of 2011. There's no worry, we are hard aground, securely anchored, and dead low has just passed. In a couple of hours we will float off, up anchor and head a short distance north to a little tuck-away that Dan knows about where we can set the hook for the night. In the meantime, Dan takes the opportunity to catch up on some phone calls missed during the last few days making time up the ditch.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Bulk carrier Federal Agno puts in Beaufort Inlet November 2010. The channel was partially blocked as a dredging operation was engaged in the ticklish business of moving a mile of pipe out the channel with several small tugs, but Federal Agno let go with a series of blasts on the horn and the tugs maneuvered the pipe into shallow water and let her through.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

My boat Valor on the town dock in Oriental on a rainy day in April 2010. I must have been living right to find a place on the dock - or maybe it was just the season.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Dinghy sailors in Banks Channel behind Wrightsville Beach. Dan and I anchored here in his boat Marian Claire in May of 2011. I had joined him in Georgetown S.C. as he returned from the islands, and I stepped off the following morning at the Seapath Yacht Club face dock to catch a bus back to Georgetown to pick up my truck. The bus station was across town from my truck, so I hoofed it three miles carrying my duffel bag. I took the scenic route back to Matthews Point by way of Conway, Whiteville and Jacksonville.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Valor sails out of Clubfoot Creek in October 2011.

Photograph by David E. Howard

Darrell Falkowski at the helm of Valor in this picture from July 2008. An experienced Great Lakes sailor, he handles the tiller with aplomb.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

The Kinnakeet is one of the ferries that plies the Cherry Point - Minnesott Beach crossing of the Neuse River.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

The prettiest pirate of the day. Stede Bonnet Race, Southport, 2006.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

If you sail the lower Neuse, you may get lucky and catch sight of this gorgeous workboat conversion off the Oriental waterfront, like I did in September of 2009.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Matthews Point Marina early on an October 2009 morning, with the fog on Clubfoot Creek.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

The Floyd J. Lupton makes a Cherry Point to Minnesott run on a calm day in November 2010.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

The care and feeding of the Atomic 4. Dan checks the oil early on a cold February morning in 2011. And they do take regular motor oil, not orange juice.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Classic plastic on the Neuse. A Tartan 27, the first in a long line of beautiful, salty sailboats. Over 700 of this model were built between 1961 and 1980. It's a great boat for the Neuse, of manageable size and keel/centerboat design. A classic Sparkman & Stephens design.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton

Years ago I used to keep my boat at Southport Marina. It was a great place to watch the deepwater ships on the Cape Fear River.

Photograph by Paul M. Clayton