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Old 22-03-2010, 08:05   #1
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Antigua to Pirate's Cove Marina, Roanoke Island, NC

Hi Folks,
In early to mid-May, we will be bringing our sloop (45' loa, 6.5' draft, 63' bridge clearance) from Antigua to the northern Outer Banks to use a base while we start planning and building a vacation home in Duck, NC. Pirates Cove on Roanoke Island is our top choice for our home base. Any thoughts?
But the bigger problem is getting to Roanoke Island: Our thinking is that in ideal conditions, we probably can get through Ocracoke Inlet and come straight up the sounds (via the channels of course). However, if we arrive off Ocracoke and conditions are NOT perfect, we have to either backtrack southwest to Morehead City/Beaufort area (and then face a long trek up the ICW and/or sounds) or swing out and around Cape Hatteras to Cape Henry and then transit down the ICW from Norfolk. The transit down from Norfolk looks easier and faster than coming up from Morehead City. Whether we choose Antigua to Cape Henry or Antigua to Morehead City looks to be little different as far as the actual ocean passage is concerned. But coming down the ICW from the north to Roanoke Island looks much simpler and quicker than coming up from Moorehead City.
So, we think our best bet is forget about Ocracoke inlet, and sail straight into the Chesapeake and then come down to Roanoke Island via the Virginia Cut. Any thoughts?
Thanks for your interest.
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Old 22-03-2010, 08:29   #2
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I went straight down the ICW from Norfolk last fall and avoided Ocracoke so no first hand knowledge there. Looking at the charts and with your 6.5' draft I would tend to agree that Norfolk looks like a good option.

From Norfolk south was pretty straightforward. If you haven't done it before a couple of comments and suggestions.

First, several opening bridges in Norfolk and they all close weekdays during am and pm rush hours so try to plan arrival to avoid getting stuck between bridges for 2 hours.

South from Norfolk you have one lock but it's large and only moves you a foot or so. One very long, straight canal to transit with very shallow water if you stray from the channel. I only draw 5.5' so was a little less concerned but you can't fall asleep on that stretch.

The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 28-03-2010, 05:37   #3
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Be sure to check if the oil spill just south of portsmouth has been cleaned up. The ICW was closeddo to a train derailment which caused a fuel spill.
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Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda, icw, ocracoke, outer banks, roanoke

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