Author Archives: Jamie Lynn Miller

Marina Life and Times

“Sailing is one of the greatest sports out there. If you grow up sailing, you’ll be a good person.” It’s a decisive, yet dreamy observation, the kind one might expect from Captain Herb Magney.

Living the good, seafaring, yacht captain life since the late 90’s, Captain Herb continues to hone his life philosophy across the world’s ocean and occasionally, in port, over the course of a long ‘layover’ in Wilmington’s Port City Marina. Continue reading

Life on El Galeon: An Almost Spanish Sailor’s Log

On May 10, 2016, El Galeon Andalucia maneuvered her majestic mast beneath the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge and returned to Port City Marina, what last summer’s crew called the tall ship’s “most successful port visit.”

Indeed, record numbers of wannabe pirates, history buffs, and tall ship enthusiasts  flocked to Pier 33 to tour the 170-foot replica of the 16th century Spanish galleon.

“We had more than 2000 visitors each of the 10 days we were there,” shared Chef David Garcia Gallardo, one of the Spanish crew. “And Port City Marina was very comfortable, with nice bathrooms!” he said, with a laugh. “This is important to sailors arriving in port!” Continue reading

On Board the 2016 Wilmington Boat Show

From mixing and mingling with yacht enthusiasts to the latest and greatest in water, a Boat Show is a thing of beauty. “Press photos mean pictures of us on yachts, having a good time…at the end of the day, it’s pretty hard to complain,” shares Jacqui Bomar of JBM and Associates, producers of the upcoming 2016 Wilmington Boat Show. “What I love about this line of work? It’s hard to be depressed at a Boat Show!”

Based out of Greenville, South Carolina, JBM and Associates are seasoned veterans of the Boat Show business;  Bomar herself has been producing events since the 90’s. “Boat Shows can be a pretty big labor of love,” says Bomar, who also launched the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, in 1990. “I definitely have this passion for start-ups,” she says, with a laugh.

Wilmington Boat Show 2016

2016 Wilmington Boat Show, September 9-11

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From Boating to Boatyards: Marine Services in Wilmington

As a destination for boat repair, Wilmington has much to offer. The 10-mile stretch from Historic Downtown to Wrightsville Beach offers onshore diversity and ease of access, with Wilmington International Airport (ILM) just three miles from Port City Marina proper.

“Boaters using our services might spend a couple nights at the downtown Hilton, then a couple nights at Wrightsville Beach. They love the variety of the area,” says Tricia Bennett, of Bennett Brothers Yachts.

In the waters surrounding Port City Marina, both up and down the Cape Fear River, and along the Intracoastal Waterway, the Wilmington area’s boatyards are convenient, comprehensive, and competitive in the field.

Here’s an alphabetical round-up of our area’s main venues, making your sail up the Cape Fear strategic, as well as scenic. Continue reading

The Lollygagger’s Guide to the Wilmington Riverwalk

Cape Fear Memorial Bridge

Family Time on the Horizon

Winding along the Cape Fear River and dipping into Historic Downtown Wilmington, and now, stretching nearly two miles—from bridge to bridge—Wilmington’s extended Riverwalk offers an intimate look at life in the Port City. From sunrise to sunset, from merchant ships to tugboats to runners, bikers, and local fisherman, what happens in Wilmington truly happens along the banks of the Riverwalk.

Let’s start downriver and work our way uptown, to the extended pathways and the expanding riverfront. Continue reading

Boats, Belles, and Boxing Gloves: Exploring Azalea Festival


The sidewalks are filled with people, though Historic Downtown Wilmington is still several blocks away. Dazzling yellows, deep whites, rich, bold reds and pinks fill the air, the spring flowers in full bloom, and the woman on the corner is adjusting her hoop skirt.

The young woman’s sweeping curls and regal attire call to mind a fairy princess, readjusting her magic. It’s the 69th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, however, not Cinderella’s ball, and our Belle’s on her way to the Azalea Festival Parade (so is “Abby Cadabby,” the Festival’s premier high-flying helium balloon).

North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade

Colors on Parade

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Boot Camp by the Marina

“Looking for a new exercise opportunity?” I sipped my morning coffee and scrolled through Marybeth’s post on my facebook feed.

USCGC DILIFit on Wilmington's Riverwalk

Squat Photo Opp

DILI Fit, said the link, a free community exercise program with the crew of the USCGC Diligence. “Work out with the Coast Guard!” read the very catchy headline. Continue reading

Pier 33 Ready to “Rock the Dock”

Pier 33-NC Bandshell Port City Marina

Bandshell in Blue

Wilmington’s signature sunshine beams across Pier 33, highlighting the clean lines of Port City Marina’s new soundstage. As the sun sinks lower, strands of twinkling lights illuminate the oncoming dusk, which falls later and later these days. Overhead, the new band shell stretches its open limbs, its sleek, modern lines accenting the unparalleled views of the Cape Fear River.

Concert season is upon us, and Port City Marina is ready to Rock the Dock.

Starting with March 17’s Shamrock and Roll, Rock the Dock will cater to concert-goers keen on outdoor festivals, those who like their music against a natural backdrop. As the music lineup gains momentum, new artists and name-brand musicians across a multitude of genres, will find their way to Pier 33, with featured shows slated for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and of course, over Labor Day weekend.

BMG and Full House Productions, behind some of North—and South—Carolina’s most vibrant events, are filling the band shell with music. From Myrtle Beach’s Carolina Country Music Fest, including artists like Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, to Charlotte’s hip après-workday concert series, Alive after Five, BMG and Full House Productions will amplify the sound, and the energy, around Pier 33’s floating festival venue. Continue reading

Macchiato by the Marina

“Today’s Special–Peruvian Mocha Au Lait” says the sidewalk sign on North 4th Street, right outside Folks Café. Just a few short blocks from Wilmington’s Port City Marina, Folks on Fourth houses the hungry, the friendly, those seeking quality caffeine and good conversation. Being so close to the Cape Fear River, the boats, yachts, and slips along the River Walk, Folks Cafe provides a warm, aromatic welcome to dry land.

Folks Cafe on North 4th Wilmington, NC

Foks Cafe on North 4th

“I still love the smell of roasting coffee,” says Tammy Pacini, nodding toward a little side room known as the Coffee Lab, where Juan Pacini roasts organic, fair-trade coffee.

Wafting through the walls, across the bike rack, then swirling around that sidewalk sign, the scent of fresh-ground Sumatra lures in passersby—cars pull over, bikers halt, pedestrians meander inside for a macchiato, an empanada, or a house specialty, straight from South America—el alfadore, a sublime mix of coconut, cookie, and dulce de leche. Continue reading