Sometimes last minute plans turn out to be the best. A change in our Easter weekend swarm location from Beaufort to New Bern provided just that. After not seeing each other for over 6 months, we were like kids waiting to see what the Easter Bunny put in our baskets. With vaccinations in place, this was the first much needed social outing in almost a year. All were excitedly catching up while enjoying a favorite beverage. Accompanied by all the great distractions, from the view to visiting with our friends, boat rigging was far from the immediate priority. With a chill atmosphere encompassing hospitality and sailing, swarms have increased in popularity and are the Weta family fleet fave in North Carolina.
In New Bern, located near Oriental, the sailing capital of North Carolina, sailors are definitely not in a shortage of supply. Local sailors stopped by to visit and check out our Weta Trimarans. After enjoying libations and a homemade lasagna dinner by Eric, a friendly game of darts ensued. A re-match is already scheduled for next time.
A popular tradition in the fleet is to come up with an interesting boat name and of course there's always a back story. Another Weta christening by libation, turning the boat over to the gods of the sea for safe passage. Utilizing their creative art skills, Nancy and Uwe renamed their boat Punga. In Maori mythology, Punga is the father to all "ugly and strange animals" and the son of Tangaroa, god of the sea. Also, the wetapunga is the largest of the giant weta insects. Punga sports a custom designed logo with their dog's face in the middle of the manta ray.
One by one we launched on Broad Creek and made our way up the shifty channel out into the Neuse River which spans 195 miles. 6 miles from shore to shore at the widest part of the river provides some interesting sailing. After chasing each other around for awhile in light breeze, we decided to do a destination sail to downtown New Bern's city front. Sailing under 2 bridges we arrived and did fly-bys of one of the swanky on the water restaurants. Our fleet circled up, popped our spinnakers and headed back down the river. Perfect timing as the sea breeze started filling in and hit our sweet spot of 10-15kts...What a glorious 5+ mile spinnaker run back on one tack.