Sadie Flossie B waiting for a bridge

Wrightsville Beach

There was a bit of delay getting underway this morning … fog. The downside of these balmy temperatures (overnight was 68 degrees and perfectly calm) is that fog forms. The advance part of the fleet, ahead at Topsail Sound, could move, but those boats anchored in Mile Hammock Bay, or docked at New River Marina, had […]

Bogue Sound (1)

Bogue Sound and Our Deep-Draft Vessels

In some ways, Bogue Sound is easy: Stay between the red and green dayboards. But it’s also deceiving. Just outside that narrow channel with cross-setting current or wind, it’s really shallow. As in birds-standing-on-shoals or fishermen-in-waders shallow. There are also a couple of “trouble spot,” areas that continually shoal up in the channel, raising the stress level for […]

Paul Lang Has Royer Spooner Creek

Welcome to the Fleet!

Two single-hander boats caught up with the fleet in Oriental, North Carolina. We’d like to introduce them as the first of a series of boater bios on the rest of our Rally group. Welcome Paul and Has! And, this was not a set-up, but by coincidence, they BOTH won one of today’s raffle prizes! Today […]

Oriental Harbor Rally Fleet by Dwayne

Oriental, North Carolina

If you’ve ever been to Oriental, you’ll understand the challenge. They actually fit 19 of the Rally boats, including four catamarans, into the inner harbor! A big thank-you to Oriental Marina & Inn, Pat Stockwell at Inland Waterway Provision Company, and the Waterfront Committee, for clearing town and commercial docks to make space for us. Dwayne Boettcher […]

SAIL Logo Pumpkin

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from the SAIL Magazine ICW Rally Fleet in Oriental, North Carolina!

Dowry Creek Sunrise (1)

The Platters: BBQ and Music at Dowry Creek Marina

Dowry Creek Marina is always a great stop: stunning location, friendly ambiance, poolside captains’ lounge with evening happy hour get-togethers. But for the Rally, Mary Klapperich and Nick Leva really rolled out the welcome mat, arranging a Downeast BBQ dinner with live local entertainment. Just another community band you might think? It turns out that Milton Bullock, of […]


The Inner Banks

If you have friends or family in the Rally, and you haven’t heard much from them lately, don’t worry.  We’re in the area of North Carolina known as the Inner Banks (protected by the Outer Banks). For ICW travelers, it’s known as the area with no cell service. Here’s an AT&T coverage map: That’s us, […]

Elizabeth City

Albemarle Sound

Today was scheduled for our Albemarle Sound crossing, although “schedule” is a misnomer here. You don’t schedule the Albemarle.   You go when it tells you that your particular boat model and your crew can cross. It’s only 16 miles across at the shortest point, but it has a vast fetch to the east. And it’s very shallow, only […]

Dismal Swamp Canal Janet Anderson

Elizabeth City Rose Buddies

In some ways, the Dismal Swamp Canal is one of the most challenging sections of the trip for the SAIL Magazine Rally. The navigation is a cinch, and lockmaster, Robert Peek, reassured us that the occasional “bump-bump” of a sunken piece of wood is no problem with a sailboat’s keel-protected prop. But the canal also […]

Dismal Swamp Welcome Center

Dismal Swamp Canal, Neither Dismal Nor Dreary Today

Today’s absolute highlight was the presentation by Deep Creek Lockmaster and local historian, Robert Peek. It’s hard to convey how fascinating his stories were, whether you are a history buff or not. The Dismal Swamp, a 14,000-acre high-elevation wetland, has hundreds of years of history. We learned that its tannin-rich waters are the purest in […]

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