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It's Monday May 29, 2023 Dock Quote: “Happiness is what...

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

Upcoming Events

Letters: My Friend Graham Byrnes:

Salute to a friendship. Letters To The Editor

Sailing for Parkinson's:

At 80 years old. The Story

Letter: Oriental's 23/24 Proposed Budget:

One Commissioner's View. Letters To The Editor

Cruisers Become Canvas Makers at Inner Banks:

Litzenbergers swallow the anchor in Oriental. The Story

2023 Hope Regala:

Two nights and over $200k raised for the Hope Clinic. The Story

Partisan Voting Bill Was Tabled; Now it's Back:

A Sneaky Second Attempt at Partisan School Board Elections. The Story

Kitsch, Curios, and Treasures:

The 2023 Town Wide Yard Sale. The Story

May Town Board Meeting 2023:

Sailcraft rezoning, dog bites, Airbnbs. The Story

Cycle NC Coastal Ride 2023:

1,300 cyclists come and go. The Story

SailPack 2023: The Year of the Capsize:

High wind chaos Saturday; Sunday smooth sailing. The Story

2023 Oriental In-Water Boat Show:

Sail, power, paddle - even painted fish-on-a-stick. The Story

SV Sarah G:

4 humans aboard 82 salvaged feet. The Shipping News

Pamela Ann Steiger, 1950 - 2023:

Mother, Grandmother, Caregiver, Companion. The Story

Unattended Dog Attacks:

Injuries sustained. The Story

Letters: The Butts of Oriental:

Pick 'em up. Letters To The Editor

Join Sailpack, and keep the Regattas In Oriental:

SailPack Coach Dana Magliola needs some help. Guest Columnist

Representative Kidwell Tells a Whopper:

'Unanimous vote' shuts out School Board & parents. The Story

2023 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival Lineup:

19 bands playing bluegrass, folk, gospel and more. The Story

April Town Board Meeting:

Rezoning public hearing set. The Story

A Cunning Use Of Line:

Mr Cunningham's contribution to sailing. Captain's Blog

Public Speaks Out Against Partisan School Board Elections:

Supporting Commissioners remain silent. The Story

Luminary Lantern Launch on the Neuse:

2nd Annual Shine a Light Fundraiser. The Story

The 4th Annual Dragon Burn:

Burning a mythical creature supports the arts. The Story

2023 PAWS Pet Parade:

212 paws step out. The Story

Robert (Bob) Jerome Parker Jr., 1958 - 2023:

Mentor, loving husband, gentle soul. The Story

SV Pepita:

A nomad's life aboard. The Shipping News

John Radtke, 1938- 2023:

Sailor, Instructor, Volunteer. The Story

Letters: Partisan School Board Elections:

Opposing County Commissioners' Recommendation. Letters To The Editor

March Town Board Meeting:

Boat lifts approved, Audit accepted. The Story

Mr. March 2023 - Tug:

92 sinkable pounds. Pet Of The Month

Letters: Help Dredge the Channel:

For better navigation. Letters To The Editor

S/V Surprise:

Wooden charter with a motley history. The Shipping News

Point Pride Seafood Fined:

Chris Fulcher's Seafood operation receives $21.5k penalty. The Story

Letters: Phone Scam Warning:

Don't send money. Letters To The Editor

Gangland Graphics:

Hull Grafitti?. Captain's Blog

Letters: Opposition to Boatyard in Whortonsville:

Concerns for Brown Creek. Letters To The Editor

February Town Board Meeting:

Five roads to get repairs, Officers awarded. The Story

SV Thunderstriker:

Young brothers begin an adventure. The Shipping News

Chinese New Year Parade 2023:

Dragons parade by the harbor. The Story

48 Hour Film Project:

Old Theater Hosts Small Town Filmakers. The Story

A January Jump in the Neuse:

Over $5,000 raised for Special Olympics. The Story

Dog Park Mauling:

Opened gate leads to attack. The Story

Mr. January 2023 - Peanut Butter:

A shift in perspective. Pet Of The Month

From Oriente to Oriental:

Unexpected Cuban roots. The Story

2023: Year of the Rabbit:

. Drawing The Town

Use Your Vang:

Better sail control, in light or heavy air. Captain's Blog

Provision Company Gets a New Manager:

Ben Chapin takes over. The Story

Chubby's Southern BBQ:

Mississippi style eats. The Story

One of the WildLife Ramp docks in Oriental came loose in the high winds & high waters. TownDock reader Lynn Ray reports: “The dock did break away free heading for the bridge. I contacted wildlife and they retrieved it by boat and beached it in the parking lot.” Above is the recovered ramp Saturday evening… awaited being re-installed after the storm.

Sunday May 28, 2023

1:05p There’s no food truck at the Brewery tonight, but there might be music. Lili Bacon writes in:

No food truck today, but Songs from the Road band is in town and they are planning to come at 4pm and hang out. If it clears up, they will play- maybe on Front Porch? If not, they’ll hang out and have some beers. Playing it by ear …

In January, Tim Sussmann visited Oriental aboard SV Pepita. He was in town making repairs and readying his boat to travel to across the Atlantic, while doing handyman work for residents. He and his 1985 Reinke Taranga 33 were featured in the March Shipping News.

This morning, Pepita and crew arrived safely in Bermuda.

Revisit Tim and Pepita’s story – and goal to travel to Africa – here.

7:07a The Bean is open. The ferry is running.

Be brave… it’s safe to come outside.

6:34a Water levels are still high, but much lower than Saturday evening. Water is now just below the sidewalk by the harbor.

Winds are forecast to switch to southeast at or just before noon, which will further bring levels back to normal.

Saturday May 27, 2023

6:55p Winds reached 37mph earlier this afternoon in Oriental.. It’s likely that was the peak from this weather event’s visit.

4:18p High wind so far today 34mph at 2:46p. A Gale Warning is in effect until 10p tonight.

Water levels are up… with waters almost reaching the seafood shack on Hodges St. Tonight more 25 To 30 knot northeast winds forecast (water levels could rise a bit more), becoming east 15-20 late. Sunday water levels should head down, with southeast winds 10-15.

7:32a High waters have The Bean closed today. With a wind shift (and waters expected lower), The Bean should be back Sunday.

High waters & winds have the Cherry Branch ferry suspended this morning.

6:50a It’s breezy, but so far not quite as windy as forecast. From the Oriental Weather Station:

We’ve received 0.3 inches of rain since midnight. The rain forecast has lowered – now expected just to see 2-3 inches.

Oriental NC Forecast
Oriental Weather Station
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Weather Radar

The system almost looks tropical – Southeast Weather Radar shows we are the place to get wet:

click the radar image for the big animated view

Friday May 26, 2023

1:02p How high will water levels get this weekend? NOAA predicts 3-4 feet above normal (potentially another 1-2 feet higher than the high water levels now):

The rainfall prediction has trended down – we are now in a 3-4 inch zone:

The Neuse River forecast is for 25-30 knots tonight & Saturday (with gusts to 40) – all from the northeast. Northeast and east winds cause the most “wind tide” in and near Oriental.

Sunday promises southeast winds, then Monday west. Water levels should be back near normal sometime Sunday.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Weather Radar

11:25a Tom Lathrop writes in about his friend, Graham Byrnes.

9:16a Hodges Street is providing free salt baths for willing automobiles today:

7:07a Despite high waters on Hodges Street, The Bean is open… from Eric Kindle:

We are opening at seven and see how the day goes.
You can almost make it in without boots from the Village Gallery side. If it would go down, just a tiny bit more you would be good with just the walkway and no boots.

Pamlico Nikes are the appropriate fashion.

7:03a The ferry is on a one boat schedule today (as announced yesterday). That means the schedule is reduced 50%.

From Cherry Branch: 5a, 5:45, 6:45, 7:45, 9, 10, 11, noon, 1:30p, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 10.
From Minnesott Beach: 5:25a, 6:15, 7:15, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30,1 1:30, 12:30p, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7 , 8, 9, 11.
Thursday May 25, 2023

9:09a Mom Nature is bringing wind and rain this weekend. So much so that planned events are getting re-scheduled.

The guitar playing Red Rooster is disappointed: SilosPalooza has been rescheduled for August 12.

We are forecast to see up to 4-6 inches of rain:

And winds up to near 30mph:

The winds will be from the northeast. On the Neuse 20-25 knots Friday, 25-30 knots Friday night and Saturday. This will bring in high water levels in and near Oriental.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Weather Radar

The Oriental water level gauge is not operating, awaiting repairs.

8:40a If you take the Cherry Branch / Minnesott Beach Ferry, no worries – they’re on a regular schedule today. But Friday, you’ll need to plan accordingly: they will be on a one boat schedule.

ferry logo Tomorrow, Friday May 26, we will be on a one boat schedule due to Certificate Of Inspection check at shipyard. We will alert you when we resume operations. If you have any questions or for more information, please call 252-463-7000.

From Cherry Branch: 5a, 5:45, 6:45, 7:45, 9, 10, 11, noon, 1:30p, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 10.

From Minnesott Beach: 5:25a, 6:15, 7:15, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30,1 1:30, 12:30p, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7 , 8, 9, 11.
Wednesday May 24, 2023

11:33a Local naval architect Graham Byrnes was in Oriental Monday (his 80th birthday was Sunday). He sailed in on SV Carlita on the first leg of his circumnavigation of the Pamlico Sound.

That cruise around the sound is about more than turning 80; Graham has Parkinson’s Disease, and is making the 500 nautical mile sail to benefit Rock Steady Boxing – a program designed to slow the progression of Parkinson’s.

Read about Graham’s cruise and fundraiser here.

Oriental’s town board has been reviewing the town budget. Commissioner Frank Roe writes in.

10:22a Johnson outboards. They used to be a common sight, but they are becoming rarer to spot on the water. Johnson started building motors in 1903… it all ended in 2007.

In the 1980’s Johnson was still a major force in boating. They ran a TV commercial, which one might say has not aged well:

Tuesday May 23, 2023

11:07a Breezy and partly sunny today, high in the mid 70s. But there’s rain forecast for the week ahead. Take a look:

Don’t scrap your weekend plans just yet.

That 50% chance you’re seeing – it means there’s a 50% chance a drop of rain will fall at some point in the day. It does not mean it will rain 50% of the day.

That said, Saturday’s Silospalooza will go on, rain or shine.

The day long music event features four bands on the Red Rooster stage, a pizza eating contest, a cash bar, and lots of dancing. The music starts at 2p.

Monday May 22, 2023

9:35a Oriental resident Lou Ostendorf is the village’s walking knowledge base on the steamer Oriental (for which our town was named).

Lou is giving a talk tonight at the Pamlico Heritage Center in Grantsboro.

Today at 11a you can learn about the dark web (that’s the part of the internet where TownDock isn’t). More info here.

8:46a It dipped down to 55 overnight, just so you could sleep comfy. A sunny and near 80 day is ahead.

8:32a Hurricane season doesn’t officially start til June 1, but there’s an early reminder out on the Atlantic:

This won’t become a storm system, but the season is upon us. From the National Hurricane Center:
Showers and a few thunderstorms associated with a broad area of low pressure located a couple of hundred miles northeast of the central Bahamas remain poorly organized. Strong upper-level winds and dry air are expected to prevent development while the system moves generally north-northeastward at 5 to 10 mph over the southwestern Atlantic during the next day or so. Formation chance low, 10 percent.

Hurricane Center

The GOES East satellite view:

Saturday May 20, 2023

7:45a Nice morning for lobster fishing.

After the fog lifts, a partly sunny mostly cloudy day ahead, high near 80.

Friday May 19, 2023

2:42 Fess up. Who made the sky mad?

Over 3 inches of rain have fallen today.

12:52p It’s wet. It’s windy. Another day in Oriental.

Almost 2.5 inches of rain since midnight. More coming this afternoon. Saturday promises a drier & sunny day, highs near 80.

A Small Craft Advisory on the Neuse til 3p: Northeast winds 20-25 knots, becoming east 15-25 later this afternoon. The high northeast winds have water levels high. How high? Unfortunately, the Oriental water level gauge isn’t working. It has been offline since late April.

Tonight, calmer: 5-10 knots.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Weather Radar

Wednesday May 17, 2023

1:53p A lot of cruisers drop anchor in Oriental. Some stick around for a while. And some, like the Litzenbergers, go all in.

Meet Breena and Spencer, owners of Inner Banks Canvas.

7:41a Been keeping up with the NC Legislature Bills for Pamlico County School Boards possibly becoming partisan? The newest legislation – House Bill 66 – where the motion to make county school board elections partisan was added as an amendment at the last minute – has been scheduled to be heard in Committee this morning at 9:30a.

If you’re concerned about the outcome, you can contact your senator and representative this morning.
Senator Sanderson’s office can be reached at 919-733-5706. Representative Kidwell’s office can be reached at 919-733-5881.

Need more context? Partisan Voting Bill Was Tabled; Now it’s Back.

Tuesday May 16, 2023

2:00p Roads are getting repaired in Oriental this week. Add to that, paving action at The Piggly Wiggly today. Piglet shoppers will have to pick their parking spot carefully for a day:

10:21a Walk by the harbor and you’ll see Plein Air painters along the rail with easels set up, paint palettes out. They’ve also been spotted at Oriental Harbor Marina, along the boardwalk at Oriental Marina & Inn, and in Lou Mac Park.

It’s all part of the week-long New Bern Plein Air Arts Festival. And they’re in Oriental just for today.

The Village Gallery, across from Oriental’s harbor, is hosting the artists and their work. At 4p, you can see their work at a pop-up exhibition and wet canvas sale.

On this day in Oriental history: the steamship Oriental ran aground off Bodie Island on the Outer Banks. A few decades later, a town across the Sound was in need of a name. The name of the wrecked steamer would do.

Some take issue with the town’s name, not knowing the story. It could have gone differently – there were a few other wrecks off the coast in 1862.

We could have been the Town of Fanny.

CSS Appomattox, scuttled, Feb 1862
CSS Curlew, sunk in battle, Feb 1862
CSS Ellis, grounded, Nov 1862
CSS Fanny, grounded, Feb 1862
CSS Forrest, burned, Feb 1862
SS Modern Greece, sunk, 1862
USS Monitor, lost while under tow, Dec 1862
SS Oriental, grounded, May 1862
• CSS Sea Bird, rammed & sunk, Feb 1862

Monday May 15, 2023

7:50a Repaving begins on several roads in town this morning. From Town Hall:

Milling (removal of asphalt) will begin first thing Monday morning, May 15, starting on Ragan Road at the gas station, and includes parts of Neuse Dr (at the beach), Ragan Rd (from Broad to Lupton), Gilgo (from Starboard to Sea Vista), Windward (from Gilgo to Whittaker Point Rd.).

Roads will be closed to travel intermittently while this work happens.

Following milling, repaving is happening at the same places.

Also happening this morning: the third budget meeting. It’s at Town hall at 9a. At the last meeting, Commissioners carved out over $130k for road repairs. Today, they’ll look at the reworked expenses and revenues. Check out the documents here.

And out in the county, the potato fields are in full bloom. The scene on Straight Road just past Orchard Creek, Sunday:

Potato fields on Straight Road. (Cliff Hill photo)
Saturday May 13, 2023

2:33p Spotted on the Hodges Street sidewalk, by the Spirit Shack steps:

The Spirit Shack is open Wed – Sun, 10a til 5p.

Seeking a cool Mom’s Day card? They’re at the Provision Company and Nautical Wheelers.

The grilled chickens for tonight’s Ol’ Front Porch fundraiser are lookin’ fine (photo from minutes ago):

The serving starts at 5p. There’s some fiddle music too… all at New Village Brewery.

Tonight, turn your eyes to the heavens. The International Space Station will be in view:

Time: Sat May 13 8:35 PM, Visible: 6 min, Max Height: 41°, Appears: 10° above SSW, Disappears: 10° above ENE
Friday May 12, 2023

2:12p Ken Belangia plays at the New Village Brewery beer garden tonight. At The Silos / Red Rooster this evening it’s George Bailey.

Last weekend’s Yard Sale helped clear a few shelves and attics, and now Oriental residents have a chance to really unload the big stuff.

Saturday White & Brown Goods get hauled away. Appliances, furniture, big plastic stuff. Just leave it by your curb by 7a Saturday morning. White Goods are old stoves and appliances (even Olive Green ones), Brown Goods are crusty old sofas, tables, chairs.

Saturday dinner, get grilled BBQ chicken and support the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival. The fundraiser is at New Village Brewery, with live music by The Mad Fiddler and Jim Kellenberger’s famous chicken. Ol’ Front Porch merch available.

Sunday modern dance comes to the Old Theater stage. Why Act Your Age is performed by Wendy Osserman and friends at 3p.

It’s all in What’s Happening.

12:03p Last Friday and Saturday was the Hope Regala, the biggest annual fundraiser for Hope Clinic.

Folks ate, danced, bid on trips to far-away places, and raised big money.

Here’s the story.

9:39a Sunny and near 80 today and Saturday. Sunday brings in clouds and a 40% chance of rain.

Water level watchers may have noticed that the Oriental Water Level gauge hasn’t worked in a few weeks – it is stuck on 0.29 ft. TownDock Engineering has let NC Emergency Management know (they are who operates the gauge). No sign of repairs yet.

It would be nice to have the gauge back for hurricane season, which begins June 1. Storm season aside, the water level info is used a lot 12 months a year in this town.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Weather Radar

Thursday May 11, 2023

2:43p On Friday, May 5, some Pamlico residents were celebrating. They’d heard the bill to make Pamlico County School Board elections partisan had been tabled. And it had.

But it came back – quickly, quietly, and without public input. How? As an amendment added at the last minute to a similar bill for a county on the other side of the state.

Read the story here.

8:15a Does Mom need more love? The sign at The Provision Company says they’ve got it. We think they mean cards and sweet stuff, but the casual reader may be unsure. You may have to walk inside and negotiate:

6:12a Sea Vista Dr at the intersection of Gilgo Road (behind the old Town and Country Store) is closed to traffic today. A culvert beneath the road needs to be removed and replaced. Town Manager Diane Miller says:

“Once complete, [that strip of road] will be gravel only until pavers come in the next few weeks.”

Those pavers will arrive Monday. They’ll patch up Sea Vista Drive while repairing several other roads in town: Gilgo Rd, Winward Drive, Ragan Rd, Neuse Drive, and sections of the road at Dolphin Point.

You can still make it to the Whittaker Creek neighborhoods: From Broad Street, take the scenic route down Ragan Road, left on Lupton Road, then left again onto Gilgo.

Today it’s sunny with a high near 80. Southeast winds at 5-10mph.