64' 9" will be very exciting. I've done the ICW
several times with 64.3" (VHF antenna
is higher) and wouldn't' want to try it with more.
As mentioned, in tidal areas you just have to time your passage
to not be at high water
. Our practice is not to go under a 65' bridge within 2 hours of high tide. Depending on the bridge locations, this can mean a four hour wait and not much progress that day.
I've had more trouble with the Pungo Ferry
bridge than the Wilkerson. I once had to wait 48 hours at Pungo Ferry
for the water
level to go down after an offshore
storm. It's easy to avoid the Wilkerson by going around by Roanoke (the miles are the same and Manteo and Ocracoke
are great stops). But the only way to avoid Pungo Ferry is to go outside Hatteras.
Definitely get an accurate height measurement. If it really is 64' 9" then I'd think seriously about pulling the mast
. Hatteras should never be taken likely. It is not like "going offshore" in most places. With the mast
down, you'll save a lot of time on the ICW as you won't have to wait for most draw bridges.
South of Beaufort
NC, going offshore
is fun but to make good time you have to stay out overnight. Many of the shoals stick far out so it takes too long to get in an out in a single