Good morning Sea Trail. It’s been a while since I last communicated with you all but finally I have some good news!

At this time, the Sea Trail Master Association is planning on opening the MAC pool within the next week.  In reopening the MAC pool, careful consideration has been given to CDC guidelines, the Governor’s phased plans, the recommendations of the Brunswick County Health Department, and the availability of pool monitors. The hot tub will remain closed because of the difficulty of social distancing in that setting. Until we have sufficient pool monitors to cover both pools, the Pink Palace will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

While there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, please be aware that if you use this facility you and any guests you bring are doing so at your own risk.  By entering the pool area, you take full responsibility for your own protection and for disinfecting your hands and anything you touch or use.  DO NOT enter the pool area if you or anyone in your household has been ill, is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, are under mandatory quarantine orders or have been exposed to someone with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in the past two weeks.

These are the guidelines that will govern the use of the MAC pool until modified by the STMA Board:

  1. Members MUST review, sign and submit our STMA FACILITIES USAGE WAIVER prior to entering our facilities.  Please take a moment to click HERE to review, sign and submit the waiver.  This will reduce your wait time at the gate entrance.
  2. When entering the gate, Members will use their access card and then be required to verify their identity with a picture ID.  Once that is confirmed, they will sign-in on the iPad. If the member has not reviewed, signed and submitted our STMA FACILITIES USAGE WAIVER prior to entering our facilities, they will be required to do so at that time.  The pool monitors will assist anyone needing help with the iPad sign-in.
  3. Everyone MUST wear masks when entering or leaving the pool area and are strongly recommended to wear them when not in the pools. Children 11 and under are not required to wear masks.
  4. Capacity will be limited to 30% of maximum at a time or 60 at the MAC pool.  Only 35 people will be allowed in the water at any given time. To accommodate as many people as possible, please limit your visit to two hours when others are waiting.
  5. There will be a 5 GUEST LIMIT per household.  If a member has guests using the pool, that member MUST be present at all times.
  6. Please be sure to use disinfectant on your hands upon entering the pool area.
  7. ALL chairs and tables will be removed and guests are asked to not sit on the stone wall at the MAC.  Members may bring their own chairs and lounges on which to sit.  The pool umbrellas will remain to provide for appropriate shade, but please bring supplies to disinfect the umbrella handles when you leave. NO cabanas or other outside shade structures are permitted.
  8. Please maintain at least six feet between you and others not part of your immediate household, both on the pool deck and in the pool. If you are waiting in the parking lot for a spot to open up, please wear a mask and maintain a six-foot distance from any others waiting in line.
  9. NO pool toys of any kind are allowed. Group games such as volleyball or water basketball, which involve multiple people interacting in close proximity, are prohibited.  Pool noodles will be allowed in the pool area, but they must leave with the owner.
  10. NO food is allowed in the pool area.
  11. Parents and chaperones of children will be responsible for enforcing their children’s social distancing behavior while in the pool.
  12. The grills are NOT to be used.
  13. Only ONE person permitted in the restrooms at a time unless it is an adult with a young child.
  14. Compliance will be regularly assessed and if it is determined that these rules are not being strictly observed, the Board may revisit the opening

Pool Monitors will be on duty at all times while the MAC pool is open.  They are responsible for enforcing all rules established by the STMA and assuring that all members and guests have a safe and enjoyable experience.  Please be courteous to them and follow their directions. Failure to do so or failure to follow the rules outlined herein will result in the loss of access privileges and possible fines.

If we can get additional members to sign on as pool monitors, and if we see an acceptable level of compliance with the guidelines at the MAC pool, we will consider reopening the Pink Palace pool.  If you would like to serve as a paid pool monitor, please contact Don Evans or speak with one of the pool monitors on duty at the MAC.

Jack Phillabaum, STMA President


I’ve received a number of inquiries on when we’re going to open the pools, and I wanted to bring everyone up to date on where we are with that right now.

Board members have been meeting regularly to discuss this topic, and we’ve spent considerable time examining the requirements and restrictions for reopening put in place by the governor. We’ve also been in contact with other HOAs in Brunswick County regarding their plans, and we’ve sought guidance from both our insurance agent and attorneys for their opinions. Based on all the information we’ve received to date, I regret to inform you that we will not be opening the MAC pool at this time. We had hoped to have it open by the July 4th weekend, but that will not be possible.  Completion of the repairs at the Pink Palace pool continue to be delayed by weather issues, and we don’t know when that pool will be ready for use. However, unless the state restrictions are dramatically reduced, it is doubtful we will have the resources to open both pools this summer.

This decision to not reopen the MAC pool right away was not taken lightly.  Our decision was based on the following:

  • The number of newly reported cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations due to this virus are increasing in both North and South Carolina, with record numbers of new cases reported the past few days. Since Sea Trail is predominantly a community of senior citizens, the most vulnerable population in the current pandemic, introduction of the virus into our community could be devastating.
  • The restrictions set by the State are very extensive, and we do not have the resources to ensure they can all be met all the time. If a complaint for non-compliance was filed against the association or the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services was to inspect the pool and identify any compliance issues, the association could be fined and the pool closed for an extended amount of time, possibly until the pandemic is declared over.
  • Our insurance agent has informed us that any legal action related to COVID-19 falls personally on the board members, because our Director and Officer insurance policies do not cover actions taken during a pandemic. Such coverage is impossible to obtain, because no insurance companies are willing to include infectious disease events in their policies. Based on this, he has advised us not to open the pool until the governor relaxes the current restrictions. Our attorney has given us the same advice.
  • The ABCPOA (Alliance of Brunswick County Property Owners Associations) has sent information that of the 20 HOAs they have been in contact with, 9 are not opening their pools at all, 10 are opening at significantly reduced capacity, and one is open for lane swimming only by reservation.
  • CAMS, a community management company that has as clients numerous local HOAs and Condo association pools, is reporting that many of their clients who opened their pools when South Carolina relaxed their restrictions are now closing them due to the inability to adequately adhere to the required restrictions.

We will continue to monitor changes in the guidelines and will assess the situation. Our pools are key amenities and keeping them closed is something none of us want to do. We appreciate your support of our decision at this time.

Please continue to enjoy the beauty of Sea Trail and Sunset Beach during this very different summer season! Be Safe!

Jack Phillabaum, STMA President

Attention All Pickle Ball & Tennis Players

For the tennis and pickle ball players in Sea Trail, our courts will be opening soon. Once a few minor cracks on the courts are repaired, I will send out another email blast advising of the opening date.
When our tennis courts finally open for play, please note:
  • we will not be able to continually disinfect the gate or court area, so play at your own risk.
  • you are strongly urged to bring your own disinfectant wipes and/or spray for use on the gate prior to entering and exiting.
  • the benches have been removed to prevent cross infection and discourage gatherings.
  • you are also encouraged to adhere to the guidelines the USTA have established for their upcoming spectator-less tournaments
  • each player should bring their own can of marked tennis balls and use them only when they are serving.
  • touching racquets should replace fist bumps or handshakes
  • please avoid touching the net or other surfaces.
  • at this time, we are restricting the use of the courts for pickleball or tennis to residents only.
  • please maintain the six-foot distance requirement before, during and after play.
  • no large gatherings (>10 persons in the court area) will be permitted

If you see violations of these restrictions, please report them to our STMA administrator 910-579-5374 or

Reminder | STMA VAC Access

There has been some confusion over our agreement with the VAC. Here is what was in my original email blast.

“In order to take advantage of these facilities, you must document your status as a STMA member and fill out their required forms.  This can be done the first time you go there. But, in order to save time, it is better to pre-register using the link,  After pre-registering, upon arrival the first time you will need your STMA access card and driver’s license.  At that time they will take your picture for their records.  We will also soon have this link available on our website.  In addition, you will soon be able to reserve the VAC meeting rooms on the STMA website as you do for our other facilities.

Access to these facilities is limited to STMA members, their families and their guests.  Renters can only use the facilities if they purchase a VAC membership directly from them.  Daily, weekly and monthly memberships are available.”

STMA Offers Assistance Where Needed in Sea Trail Community

Good Morning Sea Trail! Thank you all for your understanding of our (STMA) concerns for your safety as we shut down our facilities. As we see the Coronavirus getting closer to our community, the STMA would like to offer the following:

Provide assistance where needed in our community in Sea Trail.  Our current plan is to coordinate two lists:
  1. A list of volunteers to help in assistance. We would need your expertise, capabilities, and what you are willing to do.
  2. A list of residents that request help and what help is needed. This assistance would be for Sea Trail residents only and limited to Sunset Beach.
  3. Steve Miller will be the coordinator connecting the dots between the two lists. His cell phone number is 252-723-8187. Please give him a call or text if you would like to help or if you need assistance. This is our initial plan and as we go forward with it we can adjust and alter as needed.

Village Activity Center (VAC) Access for STMA Members

As of February 15, all Master Association members in good standing will be able to access the facilities of the Village Activity Center (VAC).  These include indoor and outdoor pools, meeting rooms, Tiki Bar and their restaurant, House’s Place.

In order to take advantage of these facilities, you must document your status as a STMA member and fill out their required forms.  This can be done the first time you go however, in order to save time, it is better to pre-register using this link, This link will also be available on our website.

After pre-registering online, you will need to bring your STMA access card and driver’s license the next time your go to the VAC.  At that time they will take your picture for their records.  In addition, you will soon be able to reserve the VAC meeting rooms on the STMA website as you do for our other facilities.

Access to these facilities is limited to STMA members, their families and guests.  Renters can only use the facilities if they purchase a VAC membership directly from them.  Daily, weekly and monthly memberships are available.

Jack Phillabaum, STMA President