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Diamond City cruise sparkles

By Staff
Washington Rotary clubs mix with some merriment on vessel during excursion
By CLAUD HODGES, Senior Reporter
Floating festivities, fellowship, food, fun and flair filled the Diamond City on its cruise on the Pamlico River on Thursday night.
Also on the vessel were many members of the Washington Noon Rotary Club and the Washington Evening Rotary Club.
During its excursion from Washington’s waterfront eastward to the Maul’s Point area and back to the waterfront, the vessel cruised at about 5 knots during its two-hour voyage. (A knot is about 1.15 miles per hour. A knot is 1 nautical mile — 6,076.10 feet — per hour.)
Ashley Woolard, president of the evening club that meets every Thursday, was also pleased the cruise went well.
Taylor and Woolard said the cruise was an excellent way to get members and their guests together at one time during the year.
Jerry Cox, a cruise guest and former member of the Belhaven/Pantego Rotary Club, said the experience reminded him of days ago when the Washington Evening Rotary Club would meet with the Belhaven/Pantego Rotary Club.
Singer Laurie Weston added a bit of the approaching Christmas season to the night air with her renditions of “White Christmas,” “O Holy Night” and “Let It Snow.”
After her performance, people began to pep up their activities, with many of them dancing.
Food, provided by The Curiosity Shoppe &Bar in downtown Washington, was available from a central table in the enclosed main salon of the vessel. A cash bar near the vessel’s stern was a popular place during the cruise.
The Diamond City is scheduled to make other cruises on the Pamlico River today and Sunday.
Captain Farmer Styron, a 30-year veteran of the Coast Guard and a native of Cedar Island at the lower end of Carteret County, was at the Diamond City’s helm. The ship’s crew consisted of James Lewis, Chris Chadwick and Gerald Salter.
The Diamond City was built in 1963 in Biloxi, Miss. First, it was used as a ferry that had school bus-type seats for people to sit on, he said. After it was purchased some seven to eight years ago by new owners, it was modified to operate as a tour vessel, Styron said.
The Diamond City is based in Beaufort. Styron and his crew brought the vessel to Washington on Thursday afternoon, with the vessel doing about 10 knots and taking about 10 hours to make the trip.
Styron said the vessel can carry up to 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, but it usually carries no more than 800 gallons to 900 gallons of fuel.
The Diamond City has two diesel engines. It is 67 feet long and 21 feet wide. It has a draft of about 6 feet. It has two decks, a galley and a full bar. It does not have sleeping quarters.
Styron said the vessel is rented for several types of functions, including wedding receptions, private parties, specialized tours, family reunions, seminars, workshops and private company meetings.
The vessel operates from about mid-March to the Christmas-season holidays.