Neuse River Swarm

May 15th, 2024

On Saturday May 11th, 2024; Steve Cardoze, Eric Frank, and Chuck Carroll embarked on an exhilarating 18 mile journey down the Neuse River in Coastal North Carolina. 

After ferrying dollies down to Whittaker Creek (near Oriental, NC), we set sail from Fairfield Harbor (near New Bern, NC) at about 10:45 with the backdrop of an overcast sky and winds ranging from 6 to 15 knots. As the neighbors looked on, the trimarans glided gracefully out the creek from Eric’s dock into the Neuse River.

The first leg was a long port gennaker reach under the shadows of a Cherry Point Marine Corps Base Air Show. At about 1:15, we stopped at Wilkinson point, where we enjoyed a well-deserved left arm break and lunch.

Energized and ready to conquer the waves once more, we departed the beach around 2:00 pm to resume our voyage. This leg was a close reach, most of which we were able to “Code Zero” our gennakers and charge along. As the day progressed, the weather remained favorable, with temperatures reaching a pleasant high of 71 degrees. At about 3:45 pm we arrived at Don and Christel's residence on Whittaker Creek. We were greeted with warm hospitality and the promise of a memorable evening ahead.

With the voyage a fond memory, we freshened up at Steve’s. While sitting on Steve’s deck, we could hear folks at the marina chatting about the Wētās that sailed in earlier. Then we returned to Don and Christel’s for a sumptuous dinner featuring a cherished Christel family recipe, savored amidst laughter and lively sea stories.

The following day dawned bright and sunny, offering ideal conditions for sailing. With the wind gusting to more than 20 knots, the Wētās showcased their impressive speed in these conditions. Don and Christel, gracious hosts and avid sailors themselves, enjoyed a fun ride on the Wetas. Don and Chuck screamed across the Neuse River aboard Dragonfly under gennaker topping out over 20 knots (see note below) with Don at the helm!  We then beat back towards Oriental both sitting on the windward ama. Then we chased Christel and Steve in his Wētā. Memories were made and friendships forged.

As the weekend drew to a close, the Neuse River Swarm bid farewell. We are hopeful that Don and Christel will join the Mid-Atlantic Wētā Fleet soon.

NOTE: Raceq’s showed a top speed of 27+ knots onboard Dragonfly during the sail with Chuck and Don. There were 11 seconds over 20 knots. I am looking into how I could validate this. Even if those 11 seconds were some kind of GPS anomaly, we were definitely cookin'!

Chuck Carroll

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