A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

Oriental Daily Photo is a member of the City Daily Photo blog network.
See daily photos of other towns and cities around the world at:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

10.31- Sheet-faced

"Sheets to the Wind" celebrating Halloween at the Tiki-Bar

Pirates dominated the harbor area this evening, but this other nautical-themed costumed group cracked me up.
There were originally going to be only "Three Sheets," of course, but apparently the idea caught on...

There were a total of nine "Sheets" at the Tiki-Bar, but I could only fit six of them in the photo.

A hundred or more Pirates swarmed the shores and vessels along Oriental harbor and Raccoon Creek ....

One band of pirates created a new chapter in Oriental history by holding what is believed to be the first ever Beer-Pong tournament on Raccoon Creek, held aboard Low Rider (see yesterday's post) :


Friday, October 30, 2009

10.30- Low Rider

Low Rider

Low Rider, a converted forty-foot Chesapeake Bay style fishing boat, tied up to town dock in Oriental this afternoon.

I dropped by to visit while sailing the Bauer Classic (background.)

Low Rider's lengthy working deck will host plenty of grog-swilling pirates tomorrow night.

Capt. Ralph says "bring your own chair."


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

10.27- Barefoot Wade

Barefoot Wade's steel drum
Barefoot Wade, known for his lack of footwear, brings his one-man, many-instrument act to Oriental's Broad Street Grill every Thursday night.

Check out Wade's web site, and go to his facebook page to hear some of his music:



Saturday, October 24, 2009

10.24- Pig-pickin' and Hot Buttered Grits

Tennessee Ronnie choppin' up the pig
(click to enlarge)
Traditional eastern NC style Barbecue is often served up here in Oriental by Tennessee Ronnie... Tonight the occasion was a fundraiser for "Girls on the Run" held at the Oriental Marina & Inn.

"Hot Buttered Grits" performed excellent "experimental/funk/bluegrass" grooves on the Tiki-Bar deck while hundreds lined up for their chopped pork butt smothered with a spicy vinegary dressing under the tent nearby:

(click to enlarge)
I have featured "Hot Buttered Grits" before in my posting of Dec. 6 2008, when the weather was a bit cooler... You can see and hear more about Hot Buttered Grits and their "Cosmic Acoustic Soul & Funktional Trance-Missions" on their MySpace page.

... I have to repeat my comment then about how nice it is to hear a band that does not perform all of the classic rocks songs from the 60's-90's that is the usual fare... And this is indeed the only band I have ever heard play at the Tiki-Bar that does not do a version of "Sweet Home Alabama."

Friday, October 23, 2009

10.23- Four-Armstong aux. motor

Paddling to the Wildlife Ramp

This crew found themselves a bit a-lee of the Wildlife Ramp at the end of Midyette St. in Oriental, and had to break out the four-armstrong motor to get back this afternoon.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

10.17 - Capt. Ben defeats Capt. Ben in Greens Cr. Challenge

Capt. Ben defeats Capt. Ben in Greens Cr. Challenge

Capt. Ben Bruno proved both a gracious and wise vanquisher (and a budding young naval architect) when he approached me after the race was done:
"First of all, Good Try!,"

the young gentleman said to me, with an earnest eye...

"But one thing..."

(pause, to ensure no offense...)

"She needs a bigger sail,"

... another pause...

"... Oh... and only one sail,"

he said, referring to the admittedly troublesome and superfluous jib I added to the previous cat-rig ...

I'm thinkin' that's pretty much dead-on advice.
Hmmm... Back to the drawing board.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

10.14- Cutting corners

Yours truly pushes the nascent mast through the table saw, while Capt. Dave mans the "chicken stick"
Construction continues on the new mast for the Bauer Classic 10' (see prior post below, or here).

After allowing an extra 24 hours for the glue to cure due to the cool damp weather, it was time to cut the corners off of the laminated mast stock.

Cutting the square stock into an octagon helps save a lot of work and time on shaving the mast into its final round form.

Time is ticking down to the Greens Creek challenge, so this mast needs to be near final form by tomorrow if I am going to use it... otherwise I will have to stick with the current mast and hope it doesn't break during the race.

Monday, October 12, 2009

10.12- New mast in the making

Gluing up the new mast for the Bauer Classic 10'

This evening I laminated three pieces of fir together to build a new mast for the Bauer Classic 10', hoping to get her all rigged up for the "Greens Creek Challenge" this upcoming Saturday. (See my Daily Photo of the race from last year)

The race is for boats 20' and under, and many of the racers are 5' and under, it being a popular race for the younger sailors. I'm hoping not to be beaten by a 10 year old in an Optimist, but I wouldn't bet any money on it.

The Bauer Classic 10' (see my profile picture near the top of the page on the left) has been out of commission for some months since losing one oar and her rudder in a mysterious dockside sinking (see me looking for her rudder.)

The oar has been re-built, and a replacement rudder is in its final stages of construction, but I also decided to build a new mast because the current one is showing some cracks under load, and because I want to change some of the rigging a bit, particularly by raising it all by at least six inches with a taller mast so I can see under the foot of the mainsail more easily.

The glue will set for the next 24 hours, then I will begin shaping the square laminate into a round mast.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

10.8 - Cement sailboat

Ferrocement ketch at former Tom Thumb Seafood fish-house
I've heard of "chicken-wire and cement" boats before, but never saw one that I knew of until today...

When I found myself on a lunchtime fishing trip (aah, life in Oriental!... I, by the way, was not fishing, but hoping to capture a bald eagle on camera), the Capt. of the vessel I was on took me by the old Tom Thumb fish-house to see this one. He had met the owner last week, so he knew it was a ferro-boat.

Sure enough, cement boats can float! Though it looks like the un-stepped mainmast needs some work, and maybe a name on the transom.

Learn more about ferrocement boats at http://www.ferrocement.org/

The old Tom Thumb Seafood fish-house on Camp Creek has recently been turned into a marina... Not sure of the name, but I think it is Caroon Marina, named after the property owners.

Location of Tom Thumb / Caroon Marina just across Camp Creek from Oriental:

View Tom Thumb Seafood in a larger map


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10.7- Airborne Aviator

Burglarized Lincoln Aviator being lifted onto a tow truck
(click images to enlarge)
Just yesterday I e-mailed a couple or potential Oriental imigrees about how safe our town is, and how people leave their cars running while they duck into the store...

Then the town awoke this morning to find a wheel-less Lincoln Aviator resting on cement blocks outside my local tavern, right at the main intersection in the town.

Last night a young marine (at right, behind vehicle in below photo) had left the vehicle there after having too much to drink for driving... He decided to stay with a local friend (center, wearing desert BDUs in below photo) for the night instead of driving back to Camp LeJeune.

An admirable and intelligent move, no doubt, but it turned out a bit rough for the vehicle, which was stripped of its custom wheels, CD player and TV screens in the wee hours this morning.

Oriental residents have long debated the merits of having a municipal police force (the only one in the county,) and whether one or two or more police are appropriate for the town of about 900 souls.

Some say the town should simply rely on the Pamlico County Sheriff's department, as it did until some years ago... some say one officer should be enough, as it purportedly was with one fondly-remembered former Chief... and some say we need at least two police (so that at least one is on duty most of the time,) as was more recently the case until half of the department resigned a few months ago.

This vehicle burglary, which was seen by the many Oriental residents who drive past this spot several times a day, has already prompted some renewed discussion of the matter.

The Pamlico Co. Sheriff's Dept. was first on the scene (photo above left), dusting for fingerprints and talking with the owner at about 10:00 am.

The Sheriff's Dept. had long finished its investigation and left, and the owner was awaiting a tow truck when the entire (one-man) Oriental police department showed up on the scene at about 12:40 pm... Seemingly without having been contacted by the Sheriff's Dept. about the incident.

The thieves did leave one wheel behind... the non-custom spare mounted underneath the Aviator (click on image to enlarge)

[addendum: Still and all, this type of incident is extremely unusual here... On the day after these photos, one of the county's newspapers ran a front-page, above-the-fold story and photo on the burglary, which would never have even merited a mention by papers in other places I have lived.]

Monday, October 5, 2009

10.5- Harkers Island Flare

Capt. Hodges circles Jenny back around in Raccoon Creek
(click on image to enlarge)

I have mentioned the 40-foot F/V "Jenny" in a couple of prior postings, where she appeared in the background... but today I decided to take my last opportunity to feature the boat as the subject of the daily photo.

Jenny is a prime example of a Down-East NC heritage treasure... the flare-bowed wooden workboat style known as "Core Sounders" or "Sink-Netters," developed since the advent of gasoline engines by the boat-builders of Harkers Island, NC.
Boat building has taken place on Harkers Island (see map, right or View Larger Map) since 1730, when the island's namesake, Ebenezer Harker, purchased the island and set up a plantation and boat yard there.

There are currently three boat-builders on the island, all small operations... one boat at a time, hand built, and without plans - only tried and true "rules of thumb" for achieving the shallow drafts and flared bows that make the boats perfect for navigating the "thin waters" above the shoals of NC's Bogue, Back and Core Sounds, and for taking on the steep waves stirred up in the sounds by frequent squalls.

Jenny was built by Clarence Willis, who learned his craft from the master of the style, boat builder Brady Lewis.

Lewis is credited with developing the "Core-Sounder" archetype in the 1930s, particularly the signature flared bow. He is the "grandfather" of the style, and his methods have been passed down to the current generation of Harkers Island builders.

I was really lucky that Capt. Hodges circled Jenny back around after leaving the dock at the Oriental Yacht Club, or I could not have gotten the above shot of her head-on... A friend of the crew was lucky, too... He had forgotten his beer, cigarettes and lighter on-board, so Capt. Hodges came back around and First Mate "Fuzzy" made the hand-off:

(click on image to enlarge)
... Then Jenny and crew (including the ship's dog, Belle) left in search of green-tail shrimp:

(click on image to enlarge)

Some links related to Harkers Island style boats:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

10.4- Red Drum

Sandy shows off the Red Drum she and husband Robby caught today

As I was pedaling past her house, my neighbor flagged me down to get me to take some pictures of two Red Drum (sciaenops ocellatus) she and her husband caught this morning from their Mako (background).

They were caught in a local creek, though of course I can't reveal exactly where... The largest measured 25 inches, the smaller 23. Not sure which one was hers and which was Robby's, but both were pleased with the morning's catch!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

10.3- Net-working

Shuttles, twine and electrical tape at the ready for net repair

For the past couple of days, First Mate "Fuzzy" of the commercial fishing vessel "Jenny" (like in Forrest Gump, he explained) has been repairing "mongoose trawl" nets on the deck of the Oriental Yacht Club in preparation for white shrimp season.

Jenny has been docked at the OYC for the past couple of weeks while Capt. Dave Hodges and crew repaired the bulkhead between the OYC building and Fulcher Seafood Co.

Jenny is a 40 foot "Core Sounder" wooden commercial fisher, capable of operating in less than three feet of water, thanks to a shallow draft and a tunnel-mounted prop.

Capt. Hodges is particularly proud of Jenny's hydraulic system for controlling the outriggers and warp cables, pointing out that very few vessels in her size-range sport such equipment, instead relying on engine-driven pulley linkages.

The Capt. and crew have stayed a little longer than planned because Jenny's starter fritzed out... They hope to have it repaired and re-installed soon so they can begin the white-shrimp season.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

10.1 - SkyWatch Friday - "Cong Thanh"

"Cong Thanh" heads into Oriental harbor
Today's SWF photo shows the commercial fishing vessel "Cong Thanh" in the channel into Oriental harbor, under an evening sun shining through a mackerel sky.

"Cong Thanh" is a 63.5 foot, 97 ton commercial fisher built by A W Covacevich Shipyard in 1971. The vessel began life as "Capt. Jim," and has been named "Ando One" and "Jessica J." before its current moniker.
The Covacevish shipyard, located in Biloxi, Mississippi, was started in 1896 by "Jacky Jack" Covacevich, a Croatian immigrant.

Covacevich yard had a storied history of building commercial vessels (fishing, cargo, ferries, etc.), and introduced gasoline auxiliary-powered schooners to the Gulf region in 1909... The schooners would dredge for oysters under sail, but could power up the gas engine to go into the wind.

Though commercial vessels were his bread and butter, apparently Jacky Jack found time to build some smaller boats, like the cool 1933 17 foot catboat at right (much more my style!) and the 1911 30 foot power racing boat below.

The Covacevich yard ceased building boats in 1982, but continued in the repair business until it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Currently, the shipyard property is slated for 28-story, 286 unit condominium development...

I look forward to seeing the other Skywatch pictures from around the world on the other SWF sites listed at: