Cruisers migrating south along the ICW this fall should time their stops in Oriental, North Carolina, to coincide with a few special weekends. The 3rd Annual “Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival” takes place on Saturday, October 15th. The town invites musicians from around the region to play from the porches of homes and businesses along the waterfront with a selection of folk, blues, country, and pop features. Shiloh Hills and The Carmonas are headlining the festival this year and will take the main stage overlooking the Neuse River at 3:30PM. The festival will take place rain or shine since alternate indoor locations have been arrranged.
On October 22nd a seasonal favorite spices up Oriental Harbor with the 9th Annual Chili Cook-Off from 11AM to 2PM at the Oriental Marina and Inn. Local chefs offer a variety of chili to taste, and proceeds from the $10 admission tickets support the local theatre. At the conclusion of the event, visitors vote for their favorite chili.
If you don’t get enough to eat at the Chili Cook-Off there’s a new grocery store in Oriental. This favorite ICW stop has been without a grocery store for some time, but the owner of a nearby Piggly Wiggly opened a well-stocked, brand new store in town. Locally and lovingly referred to as the “Piglet”, it’s only a short drive or bike ride from the nearby marinas.
ICW Local Knowledge
A prized possession of all boating enthusiasts is “local knowledge”—a familiarity with conditions in their home waters. Knowing where they may run aground at low tide keeps local cruisers out of trouble, but cruising in unknown waters presents a challenge. Hank Pomeranz is making cruises in unknown waters much easier. Pomeranz offers a free seminar sponsored by Zimmerman Marine and Southport Marina titled Weather and Navigation Briefs on the Dock every evening during peak ICW cruising season. Transient mariners get “local knowledge” of the shifting ICW channel north and south of the marina’s location near the mouth of Cape Fear River. Pomeranz refines his seminar each day by taking reports from cruisers that call in conditions. Attendees also receive a detailed weather forecast for the following 36 hours, which Pomeranz is uniquely qualified to present as a retired U.S. Navy meteorologist. The seminars are scheduled to begin in mid-October and will run every evening at 6PM for two months.
Long Awaited Seagate Yacht Club
Delray Beach has one of the most vibrant downtown centers in all of Florida and will be even easier to visit by boat with the opening of the Seagate Yacht Club on November 1st with a new clubhouse, pool and captain’s lounge. The Seagate Yacht Club is on the property of the former Delray Beach Yacht Club only a few blocks south of the Atlantic Avenue Bridge over the ICW. The club is open to both members and transient cruisers and is an easy walk away from great shopping and award-winning restaurants along Atlantic Avenue.
By Bob Arrington, Southern Boating Magazine October 2016