Activity Reports

Cruise captains are requested to send reports and photographs to Gordon Kellogg (Pilot) and Will Martin (Website).

2017 Reports:

COMMODORE’S CUP 2017
Ray and Kathy Ruppert

Unlike last year, when there was no wind, this year’s Commodore’s Cup was delayed a day to allow winds associated with Hurricane Maria to subside. In spite of a day’s delay, the wind gods still challenged each of the participants. Favorable winds gave way to light then quirky winds all of which was accompanied by rising temperatures. This combination of wind, no wind and increasing heat caused two boats to drop out of the race. In spite of such conditions, Joe and Carol Glorioso in Out of the Blue, crossed the finish line first; followed shortly thereafter by Jerry and Elizabeth Buckman in Stimulus. Third place went to Dennis and Lisa Marlin on Sterling and fourth place went to Doug and Lew Carmichael on Whisper. Trophies were presented at the after-race social at Sea Harbour Yacht Club arranged by Dennis and Lisa Marlin. In sum, a fine day on and off the water for all who participated.
SCOO 2017 Commodore’s Cup (posted 10/11/17)
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2017 SCOO Bath Cruise

The scheduled Bath/Washington Cruise for 11-14 September was cancelled due to the weather caused by the remnants of Hurricane Irma. However, five boats took advantage of better weather later in the week and cruised to Bath for two nights on the 13-15 of September. We didn’t have much wind, so we motored both ways. But that was welcome weather for m/v Pelican (Bob & Stacey Taylor) and Gerry Crowley in his Mako. We enjoyed dinner at Blackbeards Slices and Ices the first evening, then a social at the docks for the second evening. The social was highlighted with Gerry’s shrimp – delicious! The other boats – s/v Prosperity (Dale and Debbie Montgomery), s/v Kory (Henry and Karen Van Gamper), and s/v Jorum (Chris Behre). Bath is a great town to visit, albeit pretty limited.
SCOO 2017 Bath Cruise (posted 9/16/17)
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2017 SCOO Moonlight “Sail”
Ray and Kathy Ruppert

Undaunted by thunderstorms, torrential rains and high winds, the captains and crews of the Jorum, Pelican, Lansa, Sterling, Prosperity, Lady Jake and the Lady K gathered to watch a full moon rise over the placid waters of Greens Creek from the exceptional viewing point of Ruppert’s Marina and Salad Bar. As luck would have it, the clouds broke just in time for a captivating group photo which caught not only all the fearless sailors but the moon in all its glory. After the photo shoot, all retired to the “clubhouse” for a variety of superb summer salads, liquid refreshments and a host of sea stories. As everyone departed, there was a growing consensus that this “sail” would soon join each participant’s repertoire of sea tales.
Participating club members and guest crews:
Jorum – Chris Behre
Pelican – Bob and Stacy Taylor
Sterling – Dennis and Lisa Marlin
Lansa – Eric and Mary Anne Lind (with neighbor Rich as crew)
Prosperity – Dale Montgomery (with neighbors Bill and Gayle as crew)
Lady Jake – Rusty Boltz and Sharon Jacobs
Lady K – Ray and Kathy Ruppert
SCOO 2017 Moonlight Sail (posted 8/09/17)

2017 SCOO Which Way the Wind Blows
On Tuesday July 25th six boats departed the Oriental area for the Which Way the Wind Blows cruise to Beaufort. Four of the six boats met off of Oriental Marker #1 around 11:00 to begin the cruise. Lansa left a little before to get a head start and Jorum followed an hour and a half later. Martinique, Out of the Blue, Simple Pleasures, and Sterling grouped up around Oriental marker 1 to head south. The winds were light and out of the southwest so that put them directly on our nose. All of the boats except Out of the Blue motored across the Neuse and into the Adam’s Creek portion of the AICW on our way to Beaufort. Out of the Blue took advantage of whatever wind was out there to get in a little sail. Even though most of us never raised a sail, we were rewarded that day with cruising on the clearest waters we had seen all season on the Neuse and Adam’s Creek.
Around 1530 we rounded Radio Island and hailed Beaufort Docks on the VHF for docking instructions as we made the Taylor Creek Junction marker to starboard. The Dockmaster and his assistant put all of us in their basin together. We had only been tied for a few minutes when Jorum rounded the Taylor Creek marker and joined us on the docks.
That evening we dined at Clawson’s restaurant, across from Beaufort Docks for a really great meal. Following dinner, rumors of the Rhum Line bar lured several to investigate this mystery. Fortunately, the Rhum Line existed, but unfortunately, it was closed that night. However, the promise of it opening the next night steered the next night’s dinner arrangements to the Front Street Grill. Front Street Grill houses the Rhum Line Bar, so Front Street Grill was to be dinner on Wednesday. This allowed all who wanted to dine within striking distance of the Rhum Line Bar.
Wednesday was set aside for exploring Beaufort. The weather was clear and made for a great day to wander through the many shops, walk the boardwalk, or explore Beaufort’s maritime museum, with its wealth of relics recovered from BlackBeard’s ship; Queen Ann Revenge.
The day passed too quickly and before we could fit all of it in, it was time to meet for dinner at Front Street Grill. Front Street Grill provided another spectacular feast and following dinner a number of crews headed to the Rhum Line Bar. Others, who were more interested in quietly walking the waterfront or easing back to their boats for a quiet evening, left the “Rhum Linerers” to their adventure.
Thursday morning came way, way too early as we made preparations for our departure. We took in lines around 07:30 under clear skies and made our way around Radio Island to pick up the Beaufort Ship channel and the AICW back to Oriental. Simple Pleasures decided to wait for the opening of the US 70 draw bridge to take the Russel Slough route up to the Adam’s Creek AICW.
The entire cruise held mostly blue skies and gentle breezes for the three days. We arrived back at our slips with fond memories of good times with good friends at a great port.
Boats and crews participating in the cruise:
Jorum – Chris and Jamie Behre
Lansa – Eric and Mary Anne Lind
Martinique – Will and Beth Martin
Out of the Blue – Joe and Carol Glorioso
Simple Pleasures – Rock Rockwell and Diane Lemieux
Sterling – Dennis and Lisa Marlin
SCOO 2017 Which Way the Wind Blows (posted 8/06/17)
SCOO 2017 Which Way the Wind Blows Beaufort 1(posted 8/06/17)
SCOO 2017 Which Way the Wind Blows Beaufort 2(posted 8/06/17)
SCOO 2017 Which Way the Wind Blows Heading Home(posted 8/06/17)

2017 SCOO Annual Picnic
Nearly 50 SCOO members stared down the rain and gathered at the Arlington Place clubhouse to eat, drink and be merry! By noon, the rain had stopped and held off for the rest of the day! O’Town catered the picnic lunch, which included BBQ pork and chicken, corn on the cob and potato salad. For dessert we feasted on popsicles and watermelon and remembered the days of our youth and summer picnics of old. After lunch several folks braved the clouds (?!?) and lounged around in the pool. Veteran members met new members and the tradition continues.
Pics of SCOO 2017 Annual Picnic (posted 7/30/17)

Full Moon Cruise 2017 – Dale Montgomery
The July Full Moon trip was a success but you could not have predicted that from the weather forecasts. The forecast was for high winds and a high chance of thunder storms. Ten boats braved the dodgy forecast and sailed and motored over to South River. Six stayed overnight (see asterisk). Bluejacket served as the pot luck platform as they had the biggest anchor and the most confidence in their anchor gear. We all swapped stories and dishes as Jerry and Donna dealt with just possibly too many people on their boat. Many boats raised anchor after dinner and headed back due to the ever present threat of storms.

No thunderstorms hit and moved around the boats leaving us all for the most part dry. Everyone had a good time. I want to thank Jerry and Donna for having everyone aboard.

The following boats participated:
Jorum
Lady K *
Wind Melody
Blue Jacket *
Lansa
Simple Pleasure *
Tom Foolery *
Sterling *
Prosperity
Out of the Blue
Pics of SCOO 2017 Moonlight Cruise (posted 7/15/17)

Croakerfest 2017 SCOO Float
Pics of SCOO float in Croakerfest 2017 (posted 7/03/17)

SCOO Albemarle Loop Cruise 2017
On May 15th, two groups of boats departed the Neuse River ultimately headed for Manteo to start the Albemarle Loop. Staying with the original plan of sailing to Ocracoke first were Juniata, Prosperity, Stimulus, and Bluejacket (Miranda joining for Ocracoke only). Eight boats decided to avoid the long haul from Ocracoke to Manteo and took the intracoastal route via Belhaven and Alligator River: Jorum, Bonkers Two, Out of the Blue, Lady K, Pelican, Martinique, Lulu, and Quixotic. Kory joined us for the Columbia visit, and Martinique headed home after the Manteo visit. We found we were warmly welcomed at each port, and enjoyed free two night dockage at Columbia, Edenton, and Albemarle Plantation. We all departed Albemarle Plantation in different directions, with Bonkers Two and Out of the Blue heading north to the Chesapeake for an extended cruise, while Jorum, Pelican, and Stimulus left a day early to avoid weather, and Juniata, Lady K, Bluejacket, and Quixotic stayed in Albemarle Plantation a day or two more waiting for a better weather window to return home.
Every port had something special. In Manteo we enjoyed great shopping and restaurants. In Columbia we toured the Stiletto boat building center, owned by Jay and Meg Phillips, who were waiting to see if they would receive a grant to expand. Quite fascinating! We have since learned that their grant was approved and they are looking forward to many cruisers stopping in to visit in the future. In Edenton we were treated to their first Sunday concert on the waterfront, a wonderful happy hour at Edenton Bay Trading Co, hosted by owner Malcolm, and a wonderful dinner at Watermans Grill. At Albemarle Plantation we enjoyed their beautiful clubhouse where we were treated to several free bottles of wine which they let us chose, free games of bocce ball, and free reign usage of their clubhouse porch for games. I would say Albemarle Plantation went out of their way to make us feel welcome.
We had spectacular weather for the first half of the cruise, but it slowly deteriorated as the second week went by, causing the breaking up of the group for weather purposes. We all arrived back at home base safe.
Jamie and I were cruise captains and hosted Manteo. But, the effort by each person on this trip resulted in a great experience for all. A special thanks to those cruisers that took on cruise captain responsibilities for each port – the Luhs for Ocracoke, the Chapliks for Columbia, the Taylors for Edenton, and the Gloriosos for Albemarle Plantation, We had some interesting problems fitting our large group into the small town docks, but the cruise captains and especially Bob and Stacey Taylor made it work. And thanks to the Luhs for agreeing to anchor at Columbia.
Chris
Albemarle Loop Underway (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Underway vol 2 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Underway vol 3(posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Belhaven 1 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Belhaven 2 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop AlligatorRiver 1 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop AlligatorRiver 2 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Manteo 1 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Manteo 2 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Columbia 1 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Columbia 2 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Edenton 1 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Edenton 2 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Misc 1 (posted 7/15/17)
Albemarle Loop Misc 2 (posted 7/15/17)

SCOO Cape Lookout Cruise 2017
Finally! SCOO has had to cancel the Cape Lookout cruise the last couple of years due to weather, but this time the cruisers were treated to a Bermuda high with light winds and relatively cool air. We enjoyed sunny skies and starry nights, actually sleeping under a light blanket!
Seven boats set out from Oriental around 0900 on Wednesday, the 28th of June. Jerry & Donna Luh on BLUEJACKET, Chris & Chris Jr & Chris (III) on JORUM (3gen Bad Behre Boys!), Ray & Kathy Ruppert on LADY K, Jerry & Elizabeth Buckman on STIMULUS, Ken & Carol Small on MIRANDA, Roger & Leslie Hammer on ANGELYN, and Pat Dallas (single handling) on CAHOOTS. We enjoyed quite a push all the way down the inter coastal and out into the Atlantic, sailing much of the way across the Atlantic until the winds crept too close to our nose. We all anchored in somewhat of a line in the Southwest corner of Cape Lookout Bight, about 30 yards off shore, in about 20 feet of beautiful blue-green water. The winds were piping to about 12 knots so we opted to forgo rafting, but we enjoyed that breeze all day and night.
Most of us had to set our anchors more than once in order to have enough scope for the depth and forecast winds, and all but one boat were anchored in time for hors d’oeuvres aboard BLUEJACKET. Unfortunately when Roger and Leslie tried to reset their anchor they found themselves too far onto the sand bar extending out from the beach and were hard aground. We tried kedging, hanging on the boom, pulling a halyard with a dinghy, and a mix, but to no avail. Roger and Leslie were in good spirits, though, when they came over for the social on BLUEJACKET. Once back aboard ANGELYN, they waited for high tide to float them off and were free of the sand by 10:30 pm. But more trouble was to confront them as they found the engine would not go into forward gear. They backed away from the sand and dropped anchor, to be pulled home the next day by Tow Boat US to Deaton’s.
On Thursday some of us took our dinghies over to the Lighthouse for a quite remarkable and scenic tour. We had to hike up the steps inside, but it was SO well worth it! Others went swimming and/or strolling on the beach (about seven feet visibility), or just hung out on their boats. Thursday evening we did a pot luck on BLUEJACKET, then headed over to CAHOOTS where Pat Dallas treated us to ice cream sundaes, complete with all the fixings. PERFECT! After another great night on the hook, Friday morning we all pulled up our anchor(s) and headed home, this time fighting a bit of a current in the inter coastal even though we waited for slack water at Beaufort.
(Roger and Leslie addendum – BoatUS provided exceptional service. They came out to the Bight twice to check on us and the tow back to Oriental was done very professionally. The Morehead City tow boat passed us off to the Oriental tow boat halfway up Adams Creek. Glad I’ve been paying for the extended towing service since I bought the boat 7 years ago. The total bill if we had had to pay would have been over $1,500…Roger)
Chris Behre
First Photos of Cape Lookout Cruise (posted 6/30/17)
Cape Lookout Cruise vol 1 (posted 7/15/17)
Cape Lookout Cruise vol 2 (posted 7/15/17)
Cape Lookout Cruise vol 3 (posted 7/15/17)
Cape Lookout Cruise vol 4 (posted 7/15/17)
Cape Lookout Cruise vol 5 (posted 7/15/17)
Cape Lookout Cruise vol 6 (posted 7/15/17)
Cape Lookout Cruise vol 7 (posted 7/15/17)

SCOO Board of Govonors Meeting – May 01, 2017
At the May 1st Board of Governors Meeting, Commodore Ray Ruppert presented to Jerry and Donna Luh SCOO’s 1K Nautical Mile Award for completing a 1000 nautical mile cruise from Oriental. Jerry and Donna just returned from their trip winter trip to the Caribbean. Congratulations to the both of them!
2017 1000 nautical mile award (posted 5/31/17)

River Dunes “Dock and Dine” – April 28 – 29, 2017
Cruise Captains – Ray ad Kathy Ruppert

The first SCOO cruise of the 2017 season got off to a great start! A good strong and steady wind from the Southwest gave participating members a delightful sail to River Dunes.

Sailing together from Oriental were: Tom and Diane Carborne on Tomfoolery with Roger and Leslie Hammer as crew and Ray and Kathy Ruppert on the Lady K. Both boats were skillfully escorted by Bill and Phyllis Chaplik on their motor cruiser, Juniata. Although both sailboats were moving at a very nice clip, Bill and Phyllis had to slow down several times for the other boats. Bill claims he did not put his boat in reverse at any time and seemed very pleased that he had more fuel on his arrival at River Dunes than when he departed Oriental.

Joining these three boats at River Dunes were Chris and Jamie Behre on Jorum; Ken and Carol Small on Miranda; Rock Rockwell and Diane Lemieux with their son and granddaughter and Dick and Donna Mannion as crew on Simple Pleasures; and, Charles and Ann Stackhouse on Katherine D. Charles and Ann were officially recognized as the skipper and crew of the largest boat that travelled the shortest distance to this event. Sam Alitto and his guest on the Coast Inn developed engine problems but were able to join us for dinner.

After some brief socializing on the docks, all of the cruise participants gathered at the River Dunes Amphitheater for light hors d’oeuvres. Everyone then adjourned to the clubhouse for dinner. The food was delicious and fellowship was delightful.

Before departing the next morning, everyone gathered back at the amphitheater for coffee, pastries and conversation. With or in spite of lots of caffeine and sugar, everyone safely ventured home.
Congratulations to Tom and Diane Carborne and Rock Rockwell and Diane Lemieux on the completion of their overnight cruise requirement for membership
2017 River Dunes Dock and Dine (posted 5/31/17)

COMMISSIONING Day – April 19th, 2017
Commodore – Ray Ruppert
Dark and threatening clouds did not deter over 50 SCOO members from turning out for this year’s Commissioning Day. This year the event was held at Lou Mac Park in Oriental right on the shore of the Neuse River.

The event began with all of the past commodores present gathering around a wreath of flowers made in the colors of our club’s burgee. Carl Baxley, as the senior past commodore, and Joe Glorioso, as the junior past commodore, led everyone out to the end of the town fishing pier that is adjacent to the park. When all had gather, Rev. Charles Mosley, pastor of the Oriental Methodist Church, led us in a prayer of remembrance for each club member that died since our last commissioning day. Each individual was recognized by name with a moment of silence. At the conclusion of the prayer, Carl Baxley tossed the wreath onto the waters of the Neuse while Gordon Kellogg played a moving rendition of Taps. Then, with a poem written by a fisherman and a reading of scripture, Rev. Mosley blessed our fleet.

With the conclusion of the formal part of the day’s activities, everyone returned to the park to enjoy delicious wraps and salad provided by the Silos. Many sea stories were overheard as members gathered to enjoy each other’s company.

As with any event, many hands pitched in to make this event such a success. Special thanks go to: Donna Mannion – who served as the event “Land Captain” in the absence of a Social
Committee Chair
Catherine Baxley – who obtain the services of Rev. Mosley for us and provided the list of deceased members to be recognized
Roger and Leslie Hammer – for gathering all of the logistical items needed for hosting an event for 50+ people
Chris and Jamie Behre – for obtaining the use of the park for us and providing cookies for dessert
Gordon Kellogg – for a superb rendition of Taps
Bill Chaplik – for some great photos of the event
2017 Commissioning Day Photos 1 (posted 5/03/17)
2017 Commissioning Day Photos 2 (posted 5/03/17)

March 29, 2017 – SCOO’s Oyster Roast
SCOO’s 2017 annual Oyster Roast was held March 29, 2017 at Sea Harbour Yacht Club in Oriental. Although the day started out cloudy, cool, and breezy, the sun did come out and it warmed up providing the 48 attending members a nice day for the roast. The attendees made short work of the 4 bushels of steamed and raw oysters as well as all the terrific dishes that were brought to share.
This year’s Oyster Roast was in jeopardy as we had no volunteers to act as Land Captain for the event. Beth & Will Martin agreed to spearhead the event with the help of the other SCOO officers to make it happen. We owe a tremendous thank you to Lisa Thompson, Sea Harbour Marina’s dockmaster, for her help and guidance. As in the past Lisa was very generous providing SCOO with the venue and supplies to make the roast possible.
The planning and setup was a collaborative effort of Ray & Kathy Ruppert, Chris Behre, Roger & Leslie Hammer, and Will & Beth Martin. Commodore Ray Ruppert started off the event with a welcoming and a brief outlook for the club this year. As Beth manned the check-in table, Ray, Will, and Chris jumped in as steam cooks while Roger, Leslie, and Kathy shuttled and set up the buffet tables and supplies.
All-in-all Mother Nature provided us with a nice day, the food was delicious, the fellowship was wonderful, and the Oyster Roast was a success.
2017 Oyster Roast (posted 4/24/17)
More pics to follow

Jan 14 – Change of Watch
Change of Watch Photos 1 (posted 1/15/17)
Change of Watch Photos 2 (posted 1/15/17)

2016 Reports:
Oct 20-21 – Northwest Creek II (posted 10/29/16)
NORTHWEST CREEK MARINA CRUISE II
Cruise Captains Ray and Kathy Ruppert
Six captains braved sunny skies and a very calm river to participate in a post-Matthew cruise to Northwest Creek Marina. The Jorum, Out of the Blue, Bonkers Two, Martinique and the Lady K met at the Oriental #1 marker on Thursday, October 20th. This elegant flotilla motored to our destination where Kory joined the fleet later in day.
That evening all participants gathered in the marina’s recreation room for some light hors d’oeuvres. Everyone took heed of warnings and went easy on the hors d’oeuvres lest they not have room for dinner. As predicted, a bountiful dinner was had by all at the Sunset Grill with some hearty souls even managing dessert.
After a restful night, all returned home the next day under Carolina blue skies and very light winds.
Congratulations to the Martins and Bryans for completing their second on-the-water event with SCOO thus satisfying membership requirements.
Cruise Participants:
Martinique – Will and Beth Martin
Jorum – Chris and Jamie Behre
Out of the Blue– Joe and Carol Glorioso
Kory – Henry and Karen Van Gamper
Bonkers Two – Ken and Sharon Bryan
Lady K – Ray and Kathy Ruppert
Northwest Creek photos 1

Aug 3-5 – Dowry Creek Pool Party (posted 8/716)
After delaying our departure by a day to take advantage of the predicted lower probability of thunderstorms, most of the Dowry Creek cruisers still had to venture forth in the rain and 15-20 knot winds directly on the nose on Wednesday, August 3. Four boats arrived on Wednesday and one on Thursday:
ANSELYN – Leslie and Roger Hammer
KORY – Karen and Henry Van Gamper; arrived Thursday
LADY K – Kathy and Ray Ruppert with their two grandchildren, Samantha and Lucas
LANSA – Mary Anne and Eric Lind
PELICAN – Stacey and Bob Taylor; Cruise Captains
In addition, Ann and Charles Stackhouse and their two grandchildren joined us for dinner Thursday evening on their way home from Manteo.
After getting everyone in their slips, some of the cruisers cooled off in the Dowry Creek Marina pool and others traded somewhat exaggerated stories about how big the waves were on the Neuse and how hard the wind was blowing. Most of the bad memories were quickly forgotten over dinner in the clubhouse and a glass of wine.
On Thursday morning the cruise captains bicycled the six miles to Belhaven and were joined by the others who carpooled for lunch at the Fishhook Café. Belhaven has a section of beautiful waterfront homes along the Pungo River, however, the downtown area is still struggling to attract business.
On Thursday afternoon we conducted a blind dinghy race using what is perhaps the smallest dinghy made; it was provided by the cruise captains in an attempt to handicap everyone else, but the plan failed when Henry Van Gamper rowed away with the prize. Fortunately, we caused no damage to the marina or ourselves in spite of several close encounters with the dock, marshes, and other boats.
Thursday evening we convened in the clubhouse for dinner and silly games; the games were so silly that one has to review the attached pictures to understand what was really going on. Leslie, Samantha, and Stacey made it a clean female sweep of prizes, but not without valiant efforts by the men as shown by the somewhat awkward attempt by our next Commodore to move an Oreo cookie from his forehead to his mouth; no hands were allowed.
On Friday morning all the cruisers departed for home with ten knot winds on the beam and bright sunshine; a good end to an enjoyable and fun cruise.
Submitted by Stacey and Bob Taylor
Cruise Captains, Dowry Creek
Dowry Creek Photos 1
Dowry Creek Photos 2

July 4 – Croakerfest
Croakerfest Photos (Posted 7/11/16)

June 7&8 – Dock & Dine – NW Creek
Dock & Dine Photos (Posted 7/11/16)

May 4-20 – Spring Chesapeake Cruise (posted 6/7/16)
Seven boats signed up for the SCOO Spring Cruise to the Chesapeake Bay. Chris and Jamie on s/v Jorum flew the cruise captain pennant along with the SCOO Rear Commodore pennant, and they were in good company, including Joe and Carol Glorioso on s/v Out of the Blue, flying the SCOO pennant and the SCOO Commodore pennant; Ray and Kathy Ruppert on s/v Lady K, flying the SCOO pennant and the SCOO Vice Commodore pennant; two past SCOO Commodores, Eric Lind on s/v Lansa and Jerry & Elizabeth Buckman on s/v Stimulus; and representing SCOO’s power squadron was our Treasurer and his commodore, Bob & Stacey Taylor on m/v Pelican, and our railroader and his commodore, Bill & Phyllis Chaplik on m/v Juniata.
We planned to start the cruise by joining the Ocracoke cruisers in Ocracoke, and to also join with the one boat that wanted to sail to Manteo with us, Sharon and Ken Bryan on s/v Bonkers Two. Henry and Karen VanGamper on s/v Kory were the cruise captains for the Ocracoke cruise and I will leave it to them to make a cruise report.
Due to a nasty forecast, we opted to delay our cruise by one day, and rerouted the cruise inland via Belhaven (Dowry Creek Marina) and the Alligator River Marina. Sharon and Ken decided to join us at least as far as Belhaven. Eric Lind had set sail for Ocracoke a day early, so he missed our rerouting and successfully sailed to Ocracoke and Manteo in accordance with the original schedule. We met him as we all turned up into the Currituck Sound on the way to Coinjock. It was a pleasant surprise to see those unique red sails! Sharon and Ken experienced engine problems and elected to return to Oriental from Belhaven. We look forward to sharing many more cruises with them.
We enjoyed Dowry Creek’s hospitality and had our first pot luck meeting to discuss the rest of the cruise. Our first bad weather came as we turned up into the Alligator River and were met with 20+ knots of head wind. It was gusting over thirty by the time we got to the Alligator River Bridge, but the bridge tender was still willing to open for all of us. The next day’s voyage across the Albemarle Sound was much more comfortable. We made Coinjock that day, and Great Bridge the next, crossing into Virginia. We were invited to stay at the Hampton Yacht Club and decided to take the Yacht Club up on the kind invitation. We arrived with 20 knots of wind blowing some of us into our slips, along with a significant current helping to make it very tough to land our yachts. We had some damage, but nobody was hurt. We used one of three lay days to recover from our trip so far. We dined out the first night celebrating Mother’s Day.
Then we crossed the Bay to Cape Charles, slugging into a headwind, with cold and dreary weather. We were rewarded with a wonderful sunset. From there we cruised to Onancock, sailing the first part of the leg. Onancock was quaint, but quite welcoming. We then crossed back across the Bay to Urbanna, a mild crossing, motor sailing in the (sometimes) dense fog. The group nixed trying to keep Crisfield, MD, in our cruising plan. Bob and Stacey on m/v Pelican left us here to cruise to Washington, DC., and Eric Lind on s/v Lansa left us here to cruise the upper Chesapeake. Bill Chaplik sprained his ankle walking the dogs in Onancock and would suffer the rest of the trip, but he hung in there, and Phyllis was more than happy to pick up the jobs Bill would have normally done. We all tried to help as much as we could. We stayed an extra night in Urbanna enjoying access to the town’s stores.
We then rounded Stingray Point and entered Deltaville (south) and docked at the Deltaville Marina on Jackson Creek. We were there for the Deltaville Seafood Festival, but it was closed early due to predicted storms. The storms did come. The Seafood Festival was just okay.
From Deltaville we cruised to the York River Yacht Haven on Sarah’s Creek, probably the most professionally run marina we found on the trip. But on the way down some of us experienced a heavy gust of wind, rounding the boats up into the wind and heeling us over well past 45 degrees. Unfortunately Elizabeth Buckman was sitting at the nav table on s/v Stimulus and took a bad tumble across the salon. But she’s amazing and just kept going, although obviously in pain and black & blue on one side. We then cruised to Portsmouth. On the way one skipper didn’t like the particular position of a buoy and tried to move it. The buoy won.
In Portsmouth we were in position to make the only Gilmerton Bridge opening the next morning at 0830. The Gilmerton’s railroad bridge was in the down position the rest of the morning for repairs. Thanks for all of those that provided a head’s up to the Gilmerton’s modified schedule. We all made the opening and entered the Dismal Swamp canal with thoughts of staying at the North Carolina Welcome & Visitor’s center overnight. We would have had to raft out. But as the weather deteriorated and we went bump, bump, bump in the canal, we all just wanted to get to Elizabeth City. We ended up leaving Jerry and Elizabeth on the canal overnight as their engine died from a clogged filter, caused by bad fuel picked up in Deltaville. They were not able to make the afternoon Southport Bridge and locking at 3:30. But they joined us the next day in Elizabeth City at the free docks.
We took our last lay day in Elizabeth City, waiting for better weather. But we were met at the docks upon arrival by representatives from Elizabeth City willing to help tie us up, with kind offers to help us in our needs in any way they could. We were invited to a wine, beer, and munchies party put on by the town, but it was cancelled at the last minute. That didn’t stop us! We just put together the makings of a party at the docks…and partied! Bill and Phyllis departed after the first night and made it home to Oriental in two days. Even though they missed the party, it was good for Bill to get home and rest that ankle. For us sailors, it was a good decision to wait the extra day. We had a great sail (really the first of the cruise) down the Albemarle Sound and into the Alligator River. From there we headed to Dowry Creek again. Jerry and Elizabeth sailed s/v Stimulus almost all the way from the Alligator River Bridge to the slip at Dowry Creek, worried about a shaft noise they picked up after a particularly hard bump on a log in the Dismal Swamp Canal. We had fairly good winds on our stern and they wing and winged s/v Stimulus all the way down the Alligator canal! Check out the great pictures!
We thought we would have to stay two nights at Dowry creek because of a negative forecast, but the forecast was in error and our last day home turned out to be pretty nice.
Thank you s/v Lady K and s/v Lansa for setting off early each day in hopes of arriving sometime near the rest of the (faster) boats. And thanks to the power squadron for pushing ahead and helping the rest of us dock at that night’s marina. We were always welcomed as a group no matter where we went. We had a total of six dogs join us for the cruise, and they were welcome everywhere as well. The trip was much colder than expected, and we had our share of damage to the boats and to the bodies. We travelled as a group about 600 nautical miles. We probably ate out more than we planned and I think we all returned with meals in our fridges. But we all had a great time, learned a lot about ourselves and our boats, and would do it again in a flash!
Bob & Stacey spent 4 1/2 days in DC, then on to St Mary’s City, Urbanna, Yorktown, and then home. The weather improved at Yorktown so they had a reasonably good stay there and trip home. They arrived home in a pounding rain, the same as when we all left. Eric was last heard of on his way to the music festival in Ocracoke.
Chris Behre
Belhaven Photos (going)
Alligator River Photos (going)
Coinjock Photos
Great Bridge Photos 1
Great Bridge Photos 2
Hampton Photos 1
Hampton Photos 2
Cape Charles Photos 1
Cape Charles Photos 2
Onancock Photos
Urbana Photos
Deltaville Photos 1
Deltaville Photos 2
Sarah Creek Photos
Portsmouth Photos 1
Portsmouth Photos 2
Elizabeth City Photos 1
Elizabeth City Photos 2
Alligator River Photos (return)
Belhaven Photos (return)