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Southern hospitality just got a bit cozier at this North Carolina marina community.
In the town of Oriental, River Dunes’ 28-acre inland basin marina boasts 126 slips with full-length finger piers for vessels up to 150 feet. The protected deep-water harbor along the Pamlico Sound and mouth of the Neuse River offers easy access from the ICW.
When you arrive at River Dunes, not only will you find upscale amenities and friendly customer service, but you also step into a bustling Harbor Village packed with provisions, shopping, activities and luxury accommodations.
Unwind in the 4,000 square-foot wellness and fitness facility overlooking views of Grace Harbor and the Neuse River, or have a spa day in the lounge offering three treatment rooms for massages, facials and relaxation.
Dine on-site at Yawl’s Café in the heart of Harbor Village, grab ice cream, snacks and shop retail at Grace Harbor Provision Company, or explore interior design at The Red Rickshaw home furnishings showroom. Enjoy activities such as biking, exploring beautiful scenery, paddling the backwaters and fishing at the Lakehouse. A fuel dock and concierge boating services are available.
River Dunes is pleased to announce that they were chosen as this year’s 2022 Southern Living Idea House, an annual tribute to home design. Gorgeous wrap-around porches, hardwood floors, hand-painted stairs and more than 4,000 square feet of art, lavish furniture and intricate details make up the design of this home.
“We’re honored that Southern Living chose River Dunes,” says President Ed Mitchell. “Their selected team; architect, interior designer, builder and many others came together to create a magnificent house.” “They’re familiar with River Dunes’ quality of architecture and design, and they wanted to put this year’s house in a community that shares those same standards as their publication,” says Mitchell.
Marina guests and visiting boaters can tour the Idea House Thursday-Sunday until December. Guests can witness the harbor transform into a holiday village as the Southern Living team will return in November to decorate the house with seasonal cheer. Take advantage of the River Dunes Harbor Club and Marina for a uniquely relaxing stopover on the ICW or a longer stay with monthly and annual leases also available.
Marinalife members can enjoy a 10% discount on Idea House Tours at riverdunesideahouse.com; code: MARINALIFE.
What in life prepared you for this job at The Wharf?
I started my career working on yachts and eventually earned my 100-GRT Master Captain’s license when I was just 20. I feel like my leadership as a captain prepared me to head an amazing team here at The Wharf, and my boating experience makes me well-equipped to run a world-class facility.
What’s new and exciting at The Wharf marina and waterfront district?
The Wharf Marina itself is new and exciting! The marina was just completed this past April. It’s a brand-new facility with amenities to match, including a club house, fuel dock with high-speed diesel, a dock shop and more!
What is the number one attraction you recommend for first-time visitors to the Washington, DC, area?
It may be too obvious of a choice, but definitely the monuments on the National Mall, especially during cherry blossom season. You can’t go wrong with any of the Smithsonian Museums either – but my favorite is Air and Space. Leigh Diemert General Manager The Wharf Marina Washington, DC What traits do you think every marina manager should possess? In this industry, adaptability is key, because every day has new challenges. I also think effective leaders know how to be assertive and kind simultaneously.
If you didn’t work at a marina, what would your dream job be?
A chef! I love to cook; it brings out my creative side. It also gives me so much joy when my family tries a new dish that I prepare, and they enjoy it. I just love how food gathers everyone together.
If you could own any type of boat or watercraft, what would it be?
Midnight Express. I love fishing and going FAST. So, they’re the perfect combo!
What is your favorite marine animal and why?
Blue sharks. They are highly migratory and can be found off the coast of every continent, except Antarctica. Unfortunately, they’re the most fished shark species, so we should do more to protect them. What are the advantages or challenges to being a woman in the marina business? In the travel field, we often see women in secondary roles, like stewardess, housekeeping, etc. As a young woman in this industry, it was a little intimidating for me to approach a yacht captain and ask questions about how I can be a captain one day. But I thank God every day that I did and that my captain was receptive — never questioning my ability because of my gender. However, not every man in this industry has believed in me as much as my first captain did. I’ve had my competency questioned countless times, and still feel like I have to work overtime to prove myself to my male colleagues. Ultimately, it’s made me better at my job. I’m confident that more women will occupy roles within the maritime industry as awareness increases.
What book do you believe every boater should read?
It was to be a normal ending to a pleasant day aboard the 70-foot yacht Too Elusive as they were preparing to dock at a marina in New Castle, NH. The owners were looking forward to dinner aboard and an evening walk with their two goldendoodle dogs. Instead, the owners, their dogs and a crew member all found themselves suddenly abandoning the boat as it erupted in flames.
Boaters nearby reported seeing black smoke coming from below decks just seconds before they saw flames engulfing the boat. Fortunately, those same boaters were there to rescue everyone, including the dogs, from the cold North Atlantic waters.
Fire aboard a boat is one of the most terrifying events imaginable. Boats contain all the ingredients for fire to spread very quickly, and because escaping the fire could mean jumping overboard, you go from one peril to another.
Once a fire is detected, you may literally only have seconds to begin extinguishing the flames while simultaneously preparing to abandon the boat if necessary. While prevention is always the most important, early awareness and the ability to extinguish a fire quickly is paramount to surviving.
Smoke detectors are the best means of early fire detection, but they need to be placed everywhere in the boat that fire could ignite. This means not only in all living spaces, but also in the engine room, the lazarette and behind electrical cabinets. It is possible that had the fire aboard Too Elusive been detected, even seconds before it was, the owners may have been able to extinguish the blaze and possibly save the boat.
Smoke detectors use two different technologies to detect fire: ionization and photoelectric. Ionization devices are generally more sensitive than photoelectric at detecting small particles often produced in greater amounts by rapidly starting fires. Photoelectric devices are generally more sensitive than ionization at detecting smoldering fires, which may smolder for hours before bursting into flames. For maximum protection, select a unit equipped with dual ionization and photoelectric sensors to detect fast- burning and smoldering fires quickly.
No smoke detectors are made specifically for marine applications; however, battery-powered household units are perfectly acceptable for a boat and are easily installed. Many come with non- replaceable batteries with a 10-year life. Some units still require batteries to be replaced every year. Whichever you select, a conservative policy suggests replacing the units every five years.
The ability to extinguish a fire quickly requires the correct type of equipment, properly maintained, and the training to use it correctly. Many fire departments and private emergency training facilities offer training on an actual fire in a controlled setting. Search for opportunities in your area. In the absence of that, high quality fire extinguisher training classes and videos are readily available online. All regular crew and family members aboard your boat should take the time to familiarize yourself with the type of fire extinguishers you have and how to use them.
Any boaters spending a lot of time aboard a boat, and certainly those voyaging offshore, may want to consider enrolling in an STCW Certification course. STCW stands for Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, which was developed by an international convention as a basic set of rules for professional seafarers, including those working on private yachts.
The STCW Certification teaches how to identify safety hazards at sea and know how to respond in an emergency. Among other important items, such as survival skills and first aid, a primary component of STCW training is firefighting. A variety of private maritime training centers around the country offer the five-day program. The firefighting component teaches by extinguishing live fires and is taught by professional firefighters.
The U.S. Coast Guard issued updated fire extinguisher requirements as of April 20, 2022. For power and sailboats requiring fire extinguishers, the new standards state:
Fire extinguishers must be readily accessible
Be of an approved type
Must be within 12 years of manufacture date
Must not appear to have been previously used and be maintained in good and serviceable working condition
If the extinguisher has a pressure gauge reading or indicator, it must be in the operable range or position
The lock pin is firmly in place
The discharge nozzle is clean and free of obstruction,
The extinguisher does not show visible signs of significant corrosion or damage.
Fixed engine room fire suppression systems are an important part of many boats’ safety equipment. These systems release a fire suppressant into the engine room, which robs the space of the oxygen needed to support the flames. Fixed fire systems need to be serviced annually.
Unfortunately, this is a maintenance item too many boaters neglect.
Fixed fire suppression systems trigger automatically with a temperature sensor, additionally, some may have a manual release pin. If your boat’s fixed system has a manual release, just like with fire extinguishers, everyone on board needs to know where it is located and how to activate it. Some fixed systems have relays that automatically shut down engines, generators and blowers. Know whether your system has this feature and test that it operates when the system is inspected. If your system does not have an automatic shutdown feature, you will need to react quickly to shut off engines, generators and blowers in the event of a fire.
Another type of fire fighting device is a “condensed dry aerosol ball.” These range from 4-6 inches in diameter and contain a condensed dry chemical that is released within 3-5 seconds of the ball being exposed to the heat of a flame. The small balls can be permanently mounted in mechanical or electrical spaces aboard the boat or kept nearby and thrown into a fire.
You don’t need to become a victim of a boat fire. Have your boat inspected by a qualified surveyor, mechanic and electrician to look for defects or conditions that could cause a fire. Perform regular maintenance of all components to eliminate potential fire hazards. Carry the appropriate type of fire-fighting equipment for your type and size of boat, make sure it is easily accessible and everyone on board knows how to use it.
Add a personal touch to any boat or beach house with this marine-grade vinyl life ring. Decorate with letters, numbers and symbols to customize a creative design with your boat name, family name or nautical greeting. ($34.99+)
Insulated and made of of stainless steel, this lightweight, portable wine chiller is perfect for hot days by the water. Keep wine, champagne and water bottles as cool as North Pole snow for hours. The set includes a beautiful gift box, and some Vinglacé items offer custom engraving. ($89.95)
Nautical Boat Name Sherpa Blanket Zazzle Make a statement with this luxurious navy blue fleece blanket by personalizing it with a beloved boat name. Available in three sizes, it’s the perfect holiday treat for someone who wants to accentuate their ship or cuddle up on a chilly night. ($40 - $105.50)
Party Barge Cooler RevoCoolers This floating barge cooler is sure to make your boat party the talk of the town (and sea). Fully stock condiment trays with fruit, mixers, beer, etc. and use the condensation-free compartment for ice that lasts all day. ($168.88)
Golf Cart Float Funboy This fabulous fringe-lined floating golf cart is a fun water toy for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Bring the golf course to the pool or lake and cruise around or lounge under the mesh sunshade in the comfy two-person seat. ($110)
Led RGB Fishing Rod Holder Sea Dog This LED translucent tube insert is the perfect gift for fishing lovers. Adjust speed, brightness and choose from dynamic color-changing modes, as the Bluetooth controller lets you operate the LED rod holder from your smartphone. ($90, prices vary)
Big Joe Captain's Pool Float Big Joe
This lightweight, comfortable pool float is easily portable with a convenient on-the-go carrying handle and two front tie-downs for docking. Kick back and relax with a holiday punch in the side cup holder. ($85)
Onshore Travel Bag 727 Sailbags The Onshore weekender bag is large enough to pack several days worth of clothes, yet compact enough to take as a carry-on. Choose from a variety of neutral colors to match your swimsuit. ($290)
For the Kiddos
Inflatable Water Park Bounce House Bountech
Bring the ultimate water park to your backyard with this fully loaded bounce house. The eight foot-tall inflatable park features a climbing wall, built-in basketball hoop, water cannon and double slides that drop kids into a giant splash pool. ($279) amazon.com
World Edition 6-Pack Little Passports This company provides elf-approved gifts for children of travel junkies. Easily occupy kids with this hands-on educational set that explores cultures of six countries through games, crafts and story adventures. ($159.95)
WHICH OF THESE RENOWNED SEAFOOD TOWNS WILL HOOK YOU?
Beaufort lies on an inlet leading south to the Atlantic and is considered part of North Carolina’s “Inner Banks” and the Crystal Coast. The Crystal Coast spans 85 miles of stunning coastline in southern North Carolina, including 56 miles of protected beach of the Cape Lookout National Seashore.
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL
Located on historic Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is the northernmost city on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Visitors will find easy access to Jacksonville, the mouth of the St. Mary’s River, and coastal destinations in southern Georgia such as Cumberland Island.
Established in 1709, Beaufort was originally known as Fishtown, having been a fishing village and port of safety since the late 1600s. In addition to fishing, Beaufort was a hub for whaling, lumber, shipbuilding and farming. The earliest settlers made their mark by building Bahamian and West Indian-style homes, and the Plan of Beaufort Towne can still be seen in a 12-block historic district.
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL
First settled in 1562, this town on historic Amelia Island went through many transformations under eight flags before it became what it is today. After the Civil War, Fernandina Beach became a bustling seaport and popular destination, called “The Queen of Summer Resorts” by many Northerners. Today’s visitors find themselves surrounded by the town’s lovely relics of the past — an historic district, Civil War port and the first cross-state railroad remain.
Beaufort has a thriving scene for anglers. Cast your line off a dock downtown, book a charter or head north to Cedar Island Wildlife Refuge to catch flounder, trout and redfish. Boat tours and private charters are a popular way to experience the stunning views and wildlife of the Crystal Coast. See porpoises, dolphins and wild horses on the beach. Better yet, book with Cruisin’ Tikis Beaufort to imbibe while you observe. Dock at Beaufort Docks.
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL
Pier fishing is huge on Amelia Island, and anglers should head to the George Crady Bridge, which spans one mile of Nassau Sound. Snag a variety of fish in the area, including redfish, whiting, seatrout, tarpon and flounder. Boaters can start aquatic excursions in either the Atlantic Ocean to the east or Amelia River to the west. Go on a solo adventure, or join a tour or charter by boat, kayak or watersport with the likes of Amelia River Tours, Amelia Adventures & Kayak or Riptide Watersports. Dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina.
History buffs will feel right at home in Beaufort. Visit the Beaufort Historic Site to learn the town’s story through nine preserved historic homes in the middle of town. Three different maritime museums, including the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and the Bonehenge Whale Center offer marine merriment for the whole family. And for a taste of Crystal Coast wildlife, head over to the Rachel Carson Reserve where wild horses and countless birds, reptiles and aquatic mammals roam free.
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL
Fernandina Beach is known for its easy living. Amelia Island Welcome Center is a great place to revisit Fernandina’s history and plan your day. Make your way to Centre Street on the water to browse eclectic shops and bustling art galleries, taste wild-caught shrimp at a bistro, or grab a pint at the Palace Saloon, Florida’s oldest tavern. If you’re in town on a Friday, you might stumble upon Sounds on Centre, a local concert series.
Lost sight of the Southern Cross. Steady trade winds 12 knots, comfortable beam reach on 2-foot rollers. All are well onboard ... except me. I’ve started obsessing about cheeseburgers!
Tahiti is far behind in our wake, and Hawaii is only four days away if all goes well. After nine months of threading our way through French Polynesia and eating mostly whatever we could spear, I’m craving an old fashion, juicy American cheeseburger ... plus fries ... plus a very cold Coca Cola with double ice. I haven’t seen an ice cube for ages.
This passage is taking longer than we anticipated. The fresh food was gone a week ago, and for some reason the fish aren’t attracted to our lucky red and yellow feather lure.
My husband Bruce tried to cheer me up by serving me a SPAM burger with sliced dill pickles on freshly baked bread, but that missed the mark. To make matters worse, after my confession of burger cravings we’ve been torturing each other on night watch by conjuring up images of our dream burger in extreme detail, toppings and all. I ventured the traditional route with a mushroom bacon cheeseburger, while Bruce delved into the more extreme version of burgers piled high with pulled pork, a fried egg, and (yuck) even peanut butter.
Luckily the skyline of Hawaii poked over the horizon just before cannibalism set in. The dock lines were barely secured before I beelined for the Waikiki Yacht Club restaurant to be rewarded with the meal of my dreams. For now, I was sated and the prospect of another cheeseburger waiting for me in Long Beach, CA, made our upcoming 19-day jump home far more palatable.
In my world, anything that happens twice becomes a tradition, and traditions die hard, so even after making these landfalls decades ago I still crave that perfect burger whenever we complete a passage or arrive in a new destination. Bruce thinks it’s a little ironic that we live on a boat, surrounded by the freshest seafood, and after spending the day on the water, all I’m craving is a cheeseburger.
Imagine my delight when we tied our boat Rogue One up in what some Tampa Bay locals affectionately call “Burger Town USA.” It became my mission to seek out the best cheeseburgers in town.
Somehow within the first five minutes of tying up at the marina, the topic of cheeseburgers comes up. Funny how that happens. Dinner time was fast approaching, and I already had on my walking shoes and a direction where I wanted to head.
When I showed Bruce my list of six burger-centric restaurants, he wanted to know which one I wanted to try. “Oh, you mean try first?” Yes, we only had a couple weeks in the area, but I was on a quest.
St. Petersburg is a college town, so we started with the local campus pub known as The Tavern. Sitting on stools listening to open mic night while drinking $2 draft beers was fun, but I knew why I came. I zoomed in on the M.O.S. Burger, which lit all my buttons. Mushroom, onion and Swiss cheese were plentiful, but what put it over the top was their fresh baked rosemary herb roll.
Surprisingly Bruce passed on the Black & Blu and went for the Mac & Cheesy Burger served on soft Cuban bread and a double order of sweet potato fries. The mac and cheese was made from scratch with buttermilk, cream and four kinds of cheeses. Served with a knife and fork, it was a meal fit for two. Fortunately, the marina was only a 15-minute waddle back to the boat.
We took the next day off to accomplish boat projects, but really, I think Bruce needed to rest his stomach before continuing my burger crusade.
Recommended by several boaters as a “must see,” Engine No. 9 was next on the list. This famous establishment is an old brick fire station resurrected into a trendy burger bar. Just reading their menu was worth the trip alone. I couldn’t decide which burger: Heart Attack or One Bad Pig or Alice in Pain or Saganaki. Going with the Heart Attack, Bruce’s burger showed up with a half-pound of prime Black Angus beef topped with a fried egg, three slices of American cheese, four slices of bacon and slathered with Chipotle mayo. Whew, we’re not telling his doctor about this one. My Saganaki burger came with fried Kasseri, tzatziki sauce, feta, pickles and Kalamata olives. Cheaper than a trip to Greece, but just as delectable.
We made it through my list of the top six burger bistros evaluating the best they had to offer, but for the final comparison I was ready for Bruce’s classic Rogue One Burgers. It’s rather unassuming compared to the wildly crafted burgers we encoun- tered ashore. When we are on the move, stocking exotic toppings can be impracti- cal, so we keep it simple and stick to the basics ... with a twist.
Using the tips in the following sidebar, Bruce grills the perfect foundation and adds a slice of my favorite cheddar. Next comes the tomato slice, a pickle and then thinly cut red onion. On a toasted bun he dollops mustard, ketchup and mayo. Now comes the finale. One item that’s difficult to keep aboard is crisp lettuce, so when we’re missing that satisfying crunch, that’s where the Rogue One Burger features a layer of ... potato chips. Nothing beats taking a mouthful of a juicy burger combined with that salty crunch.
No one believes me — until they do.
Set Sail and Live Your Dreams (Seaworthy Publications, 2019) is the Winships’ book about their 10-year adventure cruising aboard their 33-foot catamaran Chewbacca. It is available in paperback and e-book editions at Amazon. The Winship’s are currently cruising aboard their Albin 34 family trawler along Florida’s West Coast.
CLASSIC BURGER BUILDING 101
The cut of the meat is crucial, so start with freshly ground chuck containing at least 20% fat, which guarantees the juiciest burger.
- Skip adding the onions, herbs, spices, egg or breadcrumbs to your mixture, unless you are making a meatloaf sandwich. - Keep the meat cold while hand forming it and be sure not to overwork or pack your meat patties into dense little hockey pucks. Keep them light and fluffy for a moister and more tender burger. - Liberally salt and pepper only the outside of the cold patties just prior to putting them on the grill. Salt added too soon will result in a dense and dry burger. - Put a small “thumbprint” or depression in the middle of the patty to prevent it from swelling up like a meatball during grilling.
- Flip the burgers only once. Wait until a seared and caramelized crust has formed on the bottom side before flipping. Turning too soon or too often may result in the patty falling apart and a dryer burger. - Never squish the patties flat with your spatula. This drives out the natural juice you’re trying to preserve. - The perfect burger is pink and juicy in the middle. Using a meat thermometer, look for an internal temperature of 145 degrees. - Now your burger is ready to be placed on a toasted bun and topped off to your heart’s desire.