Friday, June 17, 2016

Mariner's Museum, Newport News, VA

One of us (Karl) lived in Newport News, VA about 1956 and remembers visiting the Mariner's Museum.  My most vivid memories of that visit were the large ship models.  I was so pleased to see these old models upon a return visit in 2016, 60  years later.

1950s era steamer

In addition there were many exquisitely done small models. Including an exhibition of the remarkable miniatures done by Arthur Cranberry.

The famous whaler--C. W. Morgan

The Nina and Pinta by Arthur Cranberry

Another project of the museum is the restoration and conservation of the wreckage from the USS Monitor.  The turret with guns and the anchor and propeller were salvaged in 2002 and have been undergoing treatment ever since.

 Combines reflected selfie and pic of the turret of the Monitor being bathed in healing fluids

 The 9 inch Dalghren gun in a bath of NaOH

 Full scale mock up of the turret of the Monitor

 Reconstruction of the scene when the turret was raised upside down

Monitor's anchor fully conserved

More than these exhibits there were hundreds of fascinating items.  Commentary would be boring so I will present some pictures lightly annotated.


 Old harpoon and display of whale's baleen

 Model of Queen Elizabeth

St. Paul as figurehead.  One of many figureheads on display.

 An Enigma machine from the Germany Navy circa 1942

The Dilema,  Nate Herschoff's race boat.  The first yacht with a fin keel and spade rudder. It won every race it ever entered and revolutionized yacht design forever.

Grand Banks dory.  Over 100,000 of these were made for fishing the Grand Banks.

 19th century gondola

Gold plated figure head from US battleship in the Spanish American war.

And there were many, many other things to see.  It was quite an eventful day for White Pepper.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

River Dunes Resort and Marina and Coinjock Marina, NC

River Dunes Resort and Marina and Coinjock Marina in North Carolina both have towering reputations and were on White Pepper's bucket list. We were able to visit both recently.

River Dunes is a resort recently carved out of the North Carolina wilderness off of Broad Creek which is only 7 miles north of Oriental on the Nuece River. It is a true 5 star marina that only charges $2/foot. Coinjock is a marina set in the wilderness of the Coinjock peninsula, but has been in existence for 50+ years all family owned. They charge $1/foot. White Pepper has always been impressed by the remoteness of eastern North Carolina, but these places are both very far away.
White Pepper at River Dunes Marina

River Dunes has the best shower facilities on the ICW. No kidding, the showers have 5 shower heads and steam outlet in a setting of marble and glass. Coinjock has marble showers, but comes in second place on the ICW.

River Dunes has scant dining facilities and no provisions for resupply except diesel. There is 5 star dining, but weekends only. Coinjock has a wonderful full service restaurant. Its signature dish is prime rib which is celebrated up and down the ICW. There are no other supplies at Coinjock except diesel and ice cream.
 Modest exterior, great menu

River Dunes has a great pool with private cabanas that would make Las Vegas hotels blush. Also at River Dunes is a cruisers lounge so plush (leather chairs, etc.) that I never saw anyone use it. Coinjock has a nice long walk along a deserted road.

Resort quality pool

River Dunes has floating docks. Coinjock has pilings, but no tide so I call that a draw.
Jan walks the long dock at Coinjock

In summary, both marinas are great places about 120 statute miles apart along the North Carolina ICW. In between is Belhaven and Dowery Creek. However, White Pepper chose to anchor in a delightful cove on the Pungo River near the entrance to the Pungo/Alligator River Canal.

Buddy boat Chez Nous at anchor on Pungo River

While at River Dunes, Oriental, NC we renewed acquaintances with Joe and Sherri Sokal. They graciously ferried us to the grocery store and brought us to a local musical festival that was great fun. Thanks Joe and Sherri!

A fun afternoon of sun, beer, friends and great music.