News & Events for Chesapeake Bay
The Sail to the Sun ICW Rally rolls on...
Date Posted: 2015-11-05
Source: Waterway Guide Cruising Editor
The Sail to the Sun ICW Rally has reached the wonderful town of Southport NC, after an uneventful trip down the Cape Fear River, where the rally crew caught the tide just right and got a nice boost all the way down. The rain finally stopped, and all boats docked successfully at Southport Marina. Despite all of our group arriving within minutes of one another, Southport handled the rush calmly and professionally, and we were quickly tied up and free to explore the town. Two Rally boats needed some work – Zimmermans quickly completed it the same afternoon.
The Rally also caught the free daily navigation and weather briefing at the marina, presented by Hank Pomeranz of Carolina Yacht Care. As usual, Hank provided excellent information for the next leg of the journey - the whole group was impressed.
The group enjoyed dinner at Mr. P's Bistro, a popular local restaurant. From the evening conversation, Southport will be seeing a few of the group on their way back north.
It was a dreary, drizzling morning as we left Swansboro NC the day before, with only one bright spot in it - the flashing red lights on the top of the Towboat US boat that was to lead us past the notorious shoaling area known as Brown’s Inlet.
A few non-Rally boats also got word that TowBoatUS’s local captains would make sure our fleet got through this area without any difficulties. Everyone was impressed with their community spirit, which the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally had had a good dose of the previous evening.
Several restaurants got together with the Town of Swansboro and hosted the Rally with hors d’ouevres, great music, and a chance to meet some of the locals after tying up to the new Church Street Town Dock. We thank the Icehouse and The Boro, Saltwater Grill, Swansboro Food and Beverage Company, Yana’s, Swannsborough Yacht Club, and the Bake, Bottle, Brew for their fine hospitality.
It was a great evening, and we were quite tickled to learn that the Rally was the first group to be so hosted in Swansboro. All of this came about due to the efforts of Mike Dunleavy of the Swannsborough Yacht Club, and Brittany Shipp, Parks & Recreation Director for the town of Swansboro. They put this gala together in just a few short weeks after Mike and rally leader Wally Moran got talking about the Rally’s proposed itinerary.
The Rally even got a nice write-up in The Tideland News (left). Joe Rhue put together a nice YouTube montage – see video at bottom of article.
Previous to the stop in Swansboro, the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally crew had a great visit at Grace Harbor at River Dunes, a truly lovely marina just outside of Oriental. Again, we were feted with great food and drinks, and Bob Laverty entertaining. Oh, we also had Bob’s backup crew, consisting of several of the Ralliers who joined him in a rousing version of Mustang Sally. Check out the video on our Facebook page.
Then there was the The BoatHouse at Front Street Village, in Beaufort NC. If it were possible for a marina to do more for you, I simply don’t know how. They made their golf carts available for us to venture into and out of downtown Beaufort, provided their trolley so the group could go to the Maritime Museum in Beaufort, even made us a lovely breakfast the morning we were leaving. Special thanks to Claudia, who was always there to make sure everyone was happy and taken care of.
Even the community got involved, with a local business owner opening up his marine consignment shop, Anchors Aweigh, for the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally gang. And one of the volunteers at the Museum took us to the rooftop so we could see the view of the harbor from up top.
There have been of course some challenges - a rash of the Stuffing Box Blues has hit the fleet, with three boats coming down with leaky stuffing boxes, with one case of engine misalignment. Even my boat had to be towed in to Swansboro – but I wasn't going to miss the party.
In any event, the outbreak was rapidly dealt with, no one missed any events, and it’s hoped this dreaded illness has run its course.
So the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally sails on, heading further south, our most important navigation equipment a thermometer, as we chase the sun to Miami. Follow us on Facebook, and join in the fun.
Special thanks to the many other sponsors and vendors making the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally such a success:
The Deltaville Maritime Museum
The Table at Wilton
Fishing Bay Marina
Deltaville Yachting Center
Dozier’s Regatta Point
Norton Yacht Sales and Marine Services
Bluewater Yachting Center
Dismal Swamp Welcome Center
Elizabeth City Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Albemarle Plantation and Marina
River Forest Manor and Marina
Town of Belhaven Chamber of Commerce
Spoon River Restaurant
The Tavern at Jack’s Neck
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association