Originally Posted by edneely
What about leaving from Ocracoke
Island? Is that a better or worse jumping off place compared to Beaufort?
Good question... As always, "It depends..."
Primarily upon the status of the inlet at the time, and your familiarity/comfort zone with running such inlets... You would really want to get the latest in Local Knowledge from the charter
captains in Ocracoke, then scope
out the inlet beforehand in settled conditions yourself... One problem at Ocracoke since the CG pulled out of there years ago, is that the buoyage in the inlet is not updated as frequently as it was when they were on station there...
I really like the idea of leaving from Ocracoke, except for Hatteras (a poorer inlet for sailing yachts, IMHO), no other departure point will get you across the Stream as quickly, and you don't have to mess with working your way out around Cape Lookout Shoals... In addition, a departure from Ocracoke will likely ensure your decision on when to leave will be entirely your own - as it always should be - and not subject to the sort of paralysis of Group Think that can sometimes occur when waiting for a window in Beaufort in company with other boats, and everyone standing around asking "I don't know, what do YOU
Only real downside to Ocracoke compared to Beaufort/Morehead is that you'd really need to be already well-provisioned and equipped by the time you arrive there, as supplies are somewhat limited... If you need any of the sort of last-minute gear
from a chandler or hardware
that is so often the case prior to jumping offshore
, Morehead City
is obviously a much better place to be... And, Beaufort Inlet is certainly do-able at night or in sportier conditions, whereas running out of Ocracoke is gonna be dicey in anything other than good light, and rather benign conditions...
I've always loved Ocracoke, one of my favorite spots anywhere along the East coast
... I really like the idea of beginning an offshore passage
from such an 'atypical' point of departure... :-)
It's a pity Oregon
Inlet is no longer in the cards for sailors, either - for years that has served as a great 'shortcut' when running south, but I've given up running thru there anymore, that place now seems too subject to dramatic changes which can occur, literally, overnight...