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This boat sailed by Matthews Point early one morning in July 2016. She had spent the previous night anchored in Mitchell Creek.

Photograph by Paul Clayton.

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.


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