DWOW explores activities on river

Published 11:35 am Monday, November 12, 2007

By By PATTI TRUJILLO, Special to the Daily News
The Pamlico River is a major attraction in Washington, drawing scores of people through downtown. There’s a group that wants to make the river more attractive.
Underscoring its mission to promote downtown as “a place to live, shop, work and be entertained,” Downtown Washington on the Waterfront has purchased five sailing dinghies from Georgetown University. DWOW plans to put those vessels to work.
The 14-foot Flying Juniors are still in Washington, D.C., according to Ray Midgett, DWOW’s maritime committee chairman.
DWOW hopes to set up a weekly sailing series, with dinghy sponsors providing crew members.
The dinghies were purchased with money provided by local sponsors, including Carolina Wind Yachting Center, East Carolina Sailing School, McCotter’s Marina, Sam’s Boat Yard and Cypress Landing Realty.
Similar dinghy racing series are in place in Washington, D.C., Annapolis, Md., Beaufort and waterfront towns across the country.
The visit of the Beaufort-based 66-foot Diamond City, a cruise ship, is another effort of downtown merchants and DWOW to highlight waterfront possibilities. Cruises on the Pamlico will be offered to the public on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday for a pig pickin’ at noon and Sunday for brunch at 12:30 p.m. Downtown restaurants will cater the meal cruises. The cutoff for purchasing tickets for river cruises is Wednesday. Tickets are available at the Washington Visitors Center or by calling 948-9415.
DWOW is assisting the city’s Planning and Development Department and Planning Board in exploring implementation of a water-use and harbor management plan. According to Ross Hamory, DWOW’s board chairman, “This will be precedent setting, no other (N.C.) municipality has a harbor-management plan.”
The proposed plan includes the creation of a mooring field between the railroad trestle and the U.S. Highway 17 bridge.
According to Hamory, the harbor plan also “looks at the regulatory authority and enforcement regarding derelict boats.”
An in-the-water boat show in Washington is still a possibility, according to Midgett, as DWOW continues to work with the National Marine Manufacturers Association and local
boat dealers. A meeting to assess the feasibility of a boat show in Washington is scheduled in early December.
Another major event for downtown is the annual Holiday Flotilla on the Pamlico on Dec. 8.