Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Join us for the annual SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS celebration in the lovely, waterfront village of Oriental the second weekend in December. For the twenty-ninth year, local businesses, civic organizations and churches create a memorable holiday event for all ages. Over 2500 luminaries line the streets on Friday evening and lighted boats sparkle in the harbor. Enjoy events such as the old-fashioned Christmas Parade, or strolling, shopping, dining and music in the Sailing Capital of North Carolina.
The folks of this wonderful boaters community always celebrate in a big way and the 2014 Christmas Season is no exception. Oriental is also the home of several SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS: Oriental Marina and Condos, River Dunes Marina and Nautical Wheelers. This calendar of events was sent to us by our good friend, Bill Wheeler of Nautical Wheelers.
Friday, December 12th Events
· Visit local businesses for shopping, treats and holiday cheer
· See the Lighting of the Luminaries at dusk
· View the kayak flotilla and beautiful lighted boats in Oriental Harbor
· Enjoy the free Christmas Concert with the voices of the Pamlico Chorale
· Sample the fare at your choice of fun, casual restaurants around town
· Spend the night in one of our lovely waterside hotels or quaint B&B inns
Saturday, December 13th Events
· Enjoy more shopping and holiday cheer throughout the village
· Laugh and clap at the Old Fashioned Christmas Parade rolling through the streets at 1:00 pm
· View the Live Nativity at 3:00 pm
· Attend the free Christmas Concert with the Pamlico Chorale
· Raise a glass of holiday cheer at the local Tiki bar or other “watering holes”
Also catch the Running of the Dragon on New Year’s Eve at 8 and 11:30 on the waterfront. Bring your pots and pans to make some noise.
And the Instead of Football Regatta regatta on the river New Year’s Day. Sailboats, power boats and even kayaks are invited to join for a great day on the water. Landlubbers can view the fun from Lou-Mac Park or the high rise bridge.
With a vertical clearance of 5ft, the New Bern Railroad Bridge lies just west of the intersection of Trent and Neuss Rivers in New Bern, NC. Except for early risers and skipper comfortable navigating in the dark, these closures will affect most navigation at this intersection of the Neuss and Trent rivers.
NORTH CAROLINA – PAMLICO SOUND – NEUSE RIVER – TRENT RIVER – BRIDGE INFORMATION
The operating schedule that governs the Norfolk Southern Railroad Drawbridge across Trent River, mile 0.2, at New Bern, NC will be temporarily changed to facilitate a repair project. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed to navigation from 8 a.m. Monday, December 15, 2014 until 7 p.m. Friday, December 19, 2014. This deviation is necessary to facilitate removal and replacement of the rail lift joints. Mariners are advised to take caution. Chart 11552. LNM 46/14
The Oriental area is home to three SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS: Oriental Marina and Condos, Oriental Nautical Wheelers, and River Dunes. Please say hello for us as you enjoy this wonderful Fall weather and the delicious buys at the Farmers’ Markets.
The Oriental Farmers’ Market happens every Saturday on Hodges Street from 8-11a. Local produce, baked goods, artisinal work can be found there. There are also markets on some Wednesdays. Next markets are Wednesday Oct 22 and Saturday Oct 25. To find out what’s for sale, visit http://towndock.net/market
At the Oriental Farmers’ Market, the emphasis is on “local” — all of the items for sale are locally grown or locally made. The market turned 7 this year and it’s still growing – it now has two rows of vendors providing a great selection for a market in a town of our size. Stop by and see for yourself.
Our thanks to Capt. John Hersey of SURVICE Engineering for sending this recent ARGUS reading from the Neuse River south of New Bern, NC. You can compare the earlier ARGUS readings by clicking “Argus(MLLW)” on the top of our Chartview page with the newest ones shown in the chart clip below.
You will notice from our track when we left New Bern that I took a slightly different route. Local boaters told me that water was deep on the new route, and they were correct. It is slightly shorter, but better still is that it avoids the dog leg in the channel.
A second free town dock was opened to the public in April of this year, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=137352. Now that dock, originally intended for pleasure craft and located just to the southwest of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Oriental Marina and Inn, is being over-utilized by commercial craft, prompting needed limitations on usage. SSECN is ever so grateful to Captain Diana Doyle for these excellent photos.
Diana and did a touch-and-go in Oriental, NC the other day to pick up an anchor and our forwarded mail.
Here are three pictures to help orient SSECN readers:
The new free town dock is in and available to cruisers, next to Oriental Marina & Inn’s fuel pumps.
With the old dock, in front of The Bean, that makes four cruiser-friendly slots.
And if folks miss out on the docks, the anchorage is now pretty clear (absent of homesteaders) and there’s a great town dinghy dock.
Oriental keeps getting better and better!
Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
A second free town dock was opened to the public in April of this year, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=137352. Now that dock, originally intended for pleasure craft and located just to the southwest of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Oriental Marina and Condos, is being over-utilized by commercial craft, prompting these editorial comments and reports in Oriental’s Town Dock. Our thanks to good friend Tom Beaty for sending this report.
Here are some clips from Town Dock from the past two days:
When Oriental’s new Town Dock opened this spring on the southeast side of the harbor, it was thought to be a place where visiting boaters — cruisers, day-sailors, small craft basically — would tie up for free and visit town. In recent weeks, a wrinkle in that expectation: relatively massive trawlers have tied up to the dock, denying the smaller boaters their chance to stay at that slip.
That’s prompted a Letter to the Editor from resident Steve Snyder who asks what the Town Board is going to do about it.
There is currently nothing in the Town’s Docking regulations to prohibit the large commercial fishing vessels from using the free Town Dock intended for pleasure craft. Coincidentally, the Oriental Town Board at its meeting tomorrow night is to consider some amendments to the 6 month old Docking Ordinance.
Whether the Board takes steps to keep the large fishing trawlers away from the docks — we’ll know after the meeting. But, given some of the buzz about town in recent days, this subject is likely to come up at the very least in the Public Comment period at the opening of tomorrow night’s meeting.
Non-recreational vessels may not tie up to Oriental’s Town Docks. The Town Board voted just now to amend the Docking Ordinance to read that commercial vessels of any size — with exceptions such as recreational fishing charters, recreational charters, and tow boats — may not use the Town Docks nor stay overnight. It was an amendment suggested by Commissioner David White.
4:15p A big fishing trawler has now moved away from Oriental’s new Town Dock but its presence there since Saturday has provoked questions that don’t go away: if the dock was meant to attract pleasure craft, why are commercial fishing trawlers tying up there and what should the Town Board do about it?
The trawler was having work done from the adjacent property owned by fishing businessman Chris Fulcher. The story is here. The Town Board meets tonight starting at 7p
Letters to the Editor on the subject are here.
Oriental’s Town Board last night amended the town’s Docking Ordinance. Among other changes, it now states that commercial vessels could not use the Town Docks. There were some exceptions — recreational charter fishing vessels, recreational boat rentals, recreational charter sailing groups and tow boats.
town hall signCommissioner David White’s amendment was a response to several fishing trawlers in recent weeks tying up to the new Town Dock. The Town Dock was to have been an attractant for recreational boaters but their access was limited by the trawlers. In recent days, the Gulf Stream III, an 80 foot fishing trawler getting repaired out of Chris Fulcher’s adjacent property, had been using the new Town Dock as a personal repair yard. It filled or blocked a slip there off and on since Saturday. More on the story coming.
The Board also formally formed a permanent Harbor Waterfront Advisory Committee and voted 5 residents to it: Bill Hines, Art Tierney, Lisa Thompson, Ed Bliss & Gerry Crowley. That panel could fine tune the overall Docking Ordinance.
Left River Dunes yesterday heading for our home marina in Beaufort, NC.
We were 4-5 hours away and decided to stay 2 nights at this high end marina because it is so nice. The pool, the staff, the cabanas, the hot tubs, the porches, the quiet places to unwind…well you get the picture. One morning a dock hand was walking the dock “knocking down the spider webs” to keep up the appearance of this beautiful place. Truly a little piece of heaven so very close to home.
Thank you River Dunes staff!
We continue to hear good things about this marina in Bridgeton, across the Neuse River from New Bern, NC. Cruisers heading upstream to New Bern on Neuse River, depart the AICW at the northern entrance to Adams Creek, Statute Mile 185.
Bridgeton Harbor Marina has the best, bar none, slips and piers of any Marina I have been to. The dock master is very helpful and easy to get along with. The live-aboards are open and very helpful. If you want excitement or drama, this is not the place to stay. But for an easy access, non intimidating stay, this is the place.
A search for a number of weeks in response to a request (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=129228) by Oriental merchant, Pat Stockwell, the errant sailing vessel, Primadonna, and her crew have been found.. Our thanks to Dave Boxmeyer for sending us this update from TownDock, http://towndock.net/news/primadonna-s-latest-controversy.
It appears that the saga of the S/V Primadonna continues. The crew is in jail in Nassau and their boat has been stripped. And now it seems that the French government has gotten involved.
While it is hard to feel any sympathy for the Primadonna’s crew, based on there stay in Oriental; I have absolutely no respect for the crew of the Fata Morgana. Things are pretty bad when we have started to eat our own.
Very interesting–thanks for the follow up. For some reading this I think there is some grey area here. For example, I remember seeing an intact motorboat washed up on the rocks in New England and by the morning it was toothpicks and an engine sitting on the reef. It might have been better to try to salvage some things off the boat before it became trash on the rocks. Sometimes it is hard to tell when a boat has been truly abandoned. I personally would not take to salvaging stuff unless I had the owner’s or the insurance company’s permission or somehow knew for certain that the boat was abandoned, but how would you ever know? Also, most of us are used to being in a country where a boat like Primadonna wouldn’t stay there for long, someone would come with a towboat and take it away. In the Out Islands of the Bahamas salvage would likely have been more expensive than the worth of the vessel, so essentially it was just trash on the reef.
We do not know the vessels involved but before we pass judgement, does anyone have relevant information as to what is correct in Bahamian & maritime law/rights? The vessel will most likely never be salvaged out there so who can give us more information? How does Dave know what went on and anything else that is pertinent.
Over the weekend of April 19-20, 2014 I had the good fortune to attend the Oriental, NC Boat Show, and hold three seminars. During the show, I made the acquaintance of Bill and Camilla Wheeler and their unique business, “Oriental Nautical Wheelers.” I am very pleased to say that this firm is our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!
Oriental Nautical Wheelers is located in a historical Oriental homeplace, right on (411) Broad Street (252-249-0359), in downtown Oriental. It is within easy walking distance of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Oriental Marina and Condos, and Oriental Harbor Marina, plus the town’s two free docks. From Whittaker Creek, you will need to have auto transportation available for a visit.
How to describe Oriental Nautical Wheelers? I could say that this unique establishment contains everything “coastal” from clothing, to shoes, to home furnishings and accessories, to Adirondack chairs. However, that would overlook the wine section, the voluminous selection of all types of gifts and personal items, not to mention the “revolutionary Keira Watering Cans.”
The selection and range of merchandise is staggering, in a very good way, you understand! EVERY cruiser visiting Oriental will want to be SURE to include a stroll to “Oriental Nautical Wheelers.” Don’t believe me? Well, then just follow the photo gallery link below!
We announced a few months ago, that SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Bridge Pointe Marina in New Bern, NC, had reopened after a year-long rebuilding project. I have twice undertaken a personal inspection of Bridge Pointe’s new reincarnation, and it can be stated with no fear of inaccuracy, that this is now a state-of-the-art facility. Below, we hear more from dockmaster, Jesse Schmucher, about his newly revamped marina.
Our new state-of-the-art marina includes 150 Brazilian hardwood [decked] floating deep water slips ranging from 30FT – 150FT, cable television, free wireless internet, metered electric and fresh water connections for each slip. Our newly redesigned and completely renovated boater’s lounge includes showers, restrooms, charcoal grills, laundry, and a comfortable air conditioned sitting area. Monthly dockage rates are $6.50 per slip foot, plus a $20 Pedestal Fee + Metered Electric (13 Cents per kilowatt). We will be offering a special rate for a limited time, so be sure to contact us today at (252)637-7372 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Bridge Pointe Marina, follow the links below:
A phone call to TownDock.net confirmed the new free dock which is located just to the southwest of the fuel dock at Oriental Marina and Condos. The dock is c. 70ft in length and for now does not have amenities, although adding water, electric and a restroom, as well as more length is being discussed. SSECN is grateful to Skipper Valinoti for bringing this new facility to the attention of our readers, just in time for the Spring Migration!
Has anyone reported on the new, additional, free town dock?? It is located to the right of the Oriental Marina and is about 80 ft long with room for 4 cruising boats depending on length. Presently there are not any ammenities. However, it is planned to have heads and showers along with a pump out.
Truly a shame that (south) Florida doesn’t treat cruisers the way places like Oriental do. Seems you almost have to go north out of FL to get that southern hospitality…
The new dock is quite nice and solid looking. Only problem is that the south side of the dock is partially blocked due to the Lady Deborah, a large shrimper being docked on the next dock to the south. According to one of the locals, the Lady Deborah hasn’t moved from this spot in a quite a while.
If you don’t have too wide a beam you’d fit just fine, but it would be tight, not to mention if you have two boats on this side the one closer to shore would be blocked in.
All in all, well done Oriental. Free town docks like this should be the norm, and not the exception.
Stopped at the new pier the day after they finished it. Was the first Trawler to use it i was told. A very nice well built pier. The Rest. At the Marina there has great food and drink. Oriental is always a great stop free pier or no free pier.
The “Fire Dog” & Crew
Raymond W Smith
Bridge Pointe Marina, a new SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, flanks the southern banks of the Trent River (off the Neuse River), opposite the downtown New Bern, NC waterfront. This fine facility re-opened last Fall after more than a year of rebuilding their floating dock system which sustained major damage in hurricane Irene in August of 2012. As you can see from the comments from Skipper Fay and Mike, the rebuilding has been a big success!
Bridgepoint is a gem. Jessie the dockmaster is outstanding as is the staff at the hotel. Very helpful. Unless you can caught a ride with the “crowd at dock” taxis’ do not seem to be regulated very well, as you never know how to prepare for charges as they are private and not metered. New Bern lacks dinghy docks which is sad for the downtown merchants, walk or bike across the bridge. Beautiful town.
Fay and Mike
This discussion of mechanics and boatyards comes to us from our friends at Trawlers Forum (http://www.trawlerforum.com/) and, while the list contains both pros and cons, it does not reflect the opinion or endorsement of Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net. However, we invite you to add your favorite NC mechanic or boatyard to the list!
For diesel repair, we have had a lot of great results with Coastal Diesel in New Bern. Prompt, on-time scheduling and a team of very good mechanics. They are basically a mobile service and will come to you. It can be pricey, but once it’s done, it’s done. They just rebuilt my mechanical injector pump last week and rebuilt my genset last year. Good bunch of guys.
Deaton Yachts in Oriental is a good all-around yard. The complaints we’ve heard from there was that their time management isn’t that great. They have trouble meeting work deadlines. In disclosure, we have used their mobile service, but have not hauled out there. They have an onsite parts department and that’s a huge plus.
Wayfarer’s Cove in Arapahoe, NC is a good general yard. It’s a bit isolated from civilization and the yard, with its dirt lot instead of gravel, leaves you boat very dirty, plus, power hook-us are spotty. They have one of the best fiberglass guys in the area that works there. Tom runs the place quite well and is an honest guy. He will quote you a price and stick to it. If he falls short anywhere, it’s that he’s a bit edgy and sometimes hard to get in touch with. No email either.
I have called Bach Marine on several occasions, but have never used them. They always came in with the highest quotes and Kenny, while very knowledgeable, I have felt that I would have the same issues that I have with Sailcraft. Just a bit too “old school” with billing and communication.
Our new guys are True World Marine and Lightning Yachts. Both are boat builders (or former). They are both located in the marine industrial park where Jarret Bay is. True World is a very neat and well kept yard with good power and new facilities. Lightning Yachts is a repair place just up the road that can do about anything with boats. Both respond quickly to emails and will take the time needed on the phone to make sure all bases are covered.
Chuck Courtney is a mobile guy (Power and Sailboat Repair). He’s a good honest guy, but is very busy. I have used him a couple of times and he’s been good. I don’t think he’s the best engine guy (I would use Coastal for that), but he’s an good electrical guy.
If you want to do some snooping around, go visit Morehead City Yacht Basin and see who’s working on the boats there. Ask Mike (dockmaster) and ask for some recos.
Hope this helps.
Tom & Bess Beaty
m/v Skinny Dippin’
Sailcraft Srvice Boatyard is a full service boatyard located at 1218 Lupton Dr, Oriental, NC 28571, (252) 249-0522. www.sailcraftserviceboatyard.com/
The yard lies on the western side of Whitaker Creek, just east of Oriental Harbor.
I have traveled down the AICW for the past four years from Northport ny to fla. I have a catalina c 400 2005 sail, mystical paradise… I stop by every trip to have all my maintenance work done at sailcraft service in whittaker creek oriental nc. the service provided and the facilities are fantastic. from the owner manager Alan to the mechanics and office crew Shannon etc, the quality of service is phenominal.. it is a full service or do it yourself yard. prices are fair quality is tops. THe yard is walking distance of everything in town. They occasionaly lend a support vehicle in extreme cases. Tony Pozun NY
Oriental Harbor, on the Neuse River, is a very popular cruisers’ destination.
April 11-13 The Oriental Rotary Club presents the largest in-water boat show between Savannah and Annapolis. Expect to find 100 exhibitors showing new and used watercraft of all types – sail and power, yachts to kayaks, cruising and fishing – with many in the water for sea trials. A large array of maritime and nautical goods and services will also be presented. 2014′s show will again feature a Nautical Flea Market and a free water taxi to and Oriental’s town dock. New this year will be a Down East craftsman who will build a 14 foot rowing and sailing skiff on-site. The skiff will be given away at the show.
A search for a number of weeks in response to a request (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=129228) by Oriental merchant, Pat Stockwell, has finally located the errant sailing vessel, Primadonna. Our thanks to Steve Petty for this story from TownDock, see http://towndock.net/on-the-cover/booby-primadonna.
SV Primadonna has been located although the crew may have been detained:
“SV Primadonna, aground at Booby Cay Island in the Bahamas. It is a tiny island of 300, not normally on tourist / cruiser lists. Apparently the vessel & crew entered the Bahamas without checking in with authorities. Pat Stockwell tells TownDock.net (http://www.TownDock.net) he was told the Primadonna crew may have been arrested – Bahamian authorities are harsher about the rules than they are in the USA. The photo was taken from a US Coast Guard helicopter – the Coast Guard patrols the Bahamas as part of a cooperation agreement with the Bahamas to fight drug trafficking. ” —Towndock.net
If this is the Booby Cay that is just a bit east of Rose Island, which in turn is east of Nassau, it isn’t all that remote and I suspect the Primadonna crew will be in the not-so-comfortable confines of Nassau jail. Unfortunately, one bad apple like this can severely impact the reputation of the entire cruising community, as we have seen with the so-called “derelict” boat issue that has been used to create anti-anchoring ordinances in Florida and other places. When in reality the vast majority of the cruising community are themselves totally opposed to this type of behavior.
I doubt that these two would go anywhere near Nassau because of the entry fees into the Bahamas. I believe that they are aground between Booby Cay and Conception Island in the Bahamas. Conception Island is in a remote area and is a National Park in the Southern Bahamas. Very few cruisers visit.
There are two anchorages off Conception Island, one is located South of Booby Cay. The entrance to this anchorage is from the Southwest. If they tried to enter from the Northeast, between Booby Cay and Conception Island, the route is very shallow and full of rocks.
It’s too bad they did not sink in the really deep water a few miles from where they are. Word is that they were headed for Haiti or one of the French Islands. With any luck the Bahamas officials will confiscate their boat and throw them both in jail.
The good news is that they are gone from the US and are now someone else’s problem.
The owners of Inland Waterway Treasure Company in Oriental are seeking to determine the location of a vessel that until recently was anchored in Oriental Harbor and subsequently was towed to Morehead City. The red sailing vessel, PrimaDonna (see link below for photo), has since left the Morehead City area and its whereabouts are unknown. If you can assist in locating this vessel, do not contact SSECN, but please contact Pat or Laurie Stockwell directly at 252-249-1797 or IWPC@dockline.net.
Good morning! It’s Paul Fairbank, The Boonedocks, Oriental.
I don’t know if you have heard of the problems here with a French boat, Primadonna. The owners left this eyesore at anchor in our town harbor for over a year, managed to swindle a local do-gooder out of nearly $3000 and left to avoid a small claims judgment.
The search is on for Primadonna.!!
The full story from Towndock at http://towndock.net/news/have-you-seen-primadonna
Perhaps your readers could help. It might even save them some grief.
Sent by PAUL FAIRBANK
From “Paul’s Bunker,” at VILLAGE HARDWARE & MARINE SUPPLY
DO IT BEST No. 3444
ORIENTAL, NC 28571
There may be two sides to this story but the articles are fairly clear. I do hope they can resolve the issue. Another reminder to not co-sign checks or loan money.
Please let me know when you have the fund raising for Pat. I will be sending money. A person as nice as Pat should never have this happen to him. I am proud to call him friend.
We are grateful to Carol Small for sending us this article from Town Dock, Oriental’s waterfront news source. See http://towndock.net/. At least one of the “homesteading” boats which have been the source of much discussion and debate over the last few months have now departed. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=125893
Wednesday November 13, 2013
There’s more space for visiting boats to anchor in Oriental’s harbor now that the French-crewed sailboat, Primadonna, has been towed to Morehead City. Primadonna has been anchored in Oriental’s harbor since it arrived last November. It was one of four such homesteading boats taking up space normally used by many cruisers on their annual treks south and north. The other three boats continue to homestead in the anchorage.