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Old 31-03-2005, 07:19   #1
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Cruising the Carolinas

I have never cruised the middle-southeastern U.S. and it seems the only time I read about that area it is about passing through, either on the ICW or outside, on the way south or north.

Are any of you folks from North or South Carolina or Georgia, or have experience cruising there, and if so how do you rate it has an area to cruise extensively, as opposed to just passing through?

Are there enough hurricane holes to risk being in the area in the hurricane season or does everyone there pull their boat or leave the area?
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Old 06-04-2005, 14:18   #2
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The middle south has some very interesting and old cities along the coast that make travel throughout the area very interesting. I have made the passage up and down the ICW many times and have made it a point to discover something on each trip. The historic and cultural sites both on and near the waterway should keep a traveler busy for many years.
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Old 07-04-2005, 07:23   #3
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Thank you Jentine. Thought I would ask for comments here before buying a cruising guide for that area. Think I'll go ahead and get one. Fair winds.
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:19   #4
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Carolinas Cruising

SJS,

I've cruised a couple of areas in the Carolinas. Charleston,SC- one of my favorites, and the Outer Banks area of NC. For the Outer Banks trip, I sailed from Oriental, over to Ocracoke, then gunkholed from there. It's a beautiful area, but can also be a treacherous area if you don't pay close attention to your charts.There are a lot of shoals,even out of sight from land! The area is well marked though. I had an excellent guide book, I believe by Claiborne Young. In it, he tells of all the out of way places to visit from a historical perspective,as well as from a appreciation of nature. The Pamlico Sound is full of history and interesting anchorages. Silver Lake on Ocracoke is a beautiful,peaceful anchorage that's well worth the visit. Blackbeard used to hide out in the area around Ocracoke.There's a pretty cool museum to his likes ashore....arrgghhh!!
To sum up the NC Outer Banks in one word, I would say "wild."The natural beauty of the area is probably pretty much as it's always been.There's only so much development that can be done on "spits" of land.The area is constantly changing due to strorms, etc. With an eye on the weather, and a concientious observance of the charts though, it's a great area to sail. Full of adventure, and beauty as I imagine Blackbeard himself would agree.

The Charleston area is a beautiful area also. The battery and all the Anebellum homes along it are a sight to behold.Some of best cruisine in the south can be found in restaurants near by. Charleston is a very popular boating center though, and it can get a bit expensive. With good planning though, there's ways to lessen the burden for the prudent skipper. Charleston is still a major seaport, and large commercial traffic must be in consideration at all times for the small craft boater. I've not cruised this area as extensively as the NC Outer Banks, but I love the area and always look forward to going back. The last time I sailed there was back in 94, I think? We sailed out to watch the start of the BOC race. There's always activities going on in the area, and much to see and do. Good luck with your trip,where ever you end up!
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Old 08-04-2005, 06:36   #5
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Thanks Stede. It sounds fantastic and I have located the guide by Claiborne Young. Appreciate the tip.
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:28   #6
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Why is Oriental NC so popular with sail boaters?
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:18   #7
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What's Oriental, about Oriental?

The little coastal town of "Oriental" is a charming, sailing oriented community. I read that the town chose its name from a ship placard that washed ashore, thus” Oriental." Having been born and raised in NC, as a sailor, Oriental has always intrigued me. For many years I watched it grow thinking that it would be the next "Annapolis" on the east coast. That hasn't happened though due to numerous reasons. Environmental issues involving the Neuse River being one of them. As typical of most prime coastal areas, the people with deep pockets invested heavily in the area when land was cheap. I believe they had the same positive outlook for the area that I had. Unfortunately, fish kills from the Neuse, also killed their prospectus's on making another fortune, at least for now. Bureaucratic “Fat Cats” smell the money to made .The state has stepped up its focus on improving environmental issues of the area. Great strides have been made in improving, and protecting this state treasure.

When I was last in Oriental, the little town was thriving. Several sail lofts have opened there, as well as other boating support businesses. A few more restaurants have opened, etc. These things aren't what make "Oriental,” Oriental though. IMO, it's a state of mind just as Annapolis is. In both of these locations, you have sailors that "talk the talk, and walk the walk."

In regard to sailing, Oriental is a gem. The Pamlico is readily awaiting the sailor seeking a balance of adventure, but yet solitude when he, or she wants it. There's always good wind in the area. Much like the Chesapeake, there's a large body of water to sail and still be within some what "protected" waters. The Outer Bank sentinals,dividing sound from sea, are within a day's sail for the sailor that wants to "get away" from it all, but still be able to buy ice, and a cold one. A sailor could easily spend months, if not years just within the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds gunk holing. The "wildness" of the area uses the salt of a sailor as seasoning for a large dish of history, tales of pirates, and shipwrecks, that encompass it.

Oriental - Quant as a cobblestone street in Annapolis, but as wild as unfamiliar brew at the "Ram's Head."
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:45   #8
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Stede:
Thanks for a most engaging description of Oriental, N.C. !!!
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Old 09-04-2005, 07:01   #9
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Very helpful. We are looking forward to seeing it.
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Old 09-04-2005, 18:08   #10
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Hi Gord,

You're most welcome! I hope my un-biased perception of the area came through.

I hope all is well with you, and your's. Fair winds!
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Old 15-04-2005, 13:42   #11
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What a great description of Oriental, a town I find very attractive. Some other unique aspects are the local marine supply store that provides bikes to borrow for free for cruisers, and the dogs who roam all over town who everyone knows. They go out for the day and go home at night (probably not the best practice but it seems to work there).

At the Oriental marina which is attached to a small hotel/motel the dock master let me watch TV in the dock office after it closed so I didn't miss one of the presidential debates.

The waters in the area make for good sailing if you watch your charts closely and there are other good destinations within a days travel.
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Old 15-04-2005, 14:15   #12
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Would your boat be safe in Oriental if a hurricane hit the area?
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Old 15-04-2005, 16:26   #13
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Hurrican hide out

Irwinsailor,

IMO, I don't think that Oriental would be a good choice to keep one's boat during hurricane season. Unattended,and counting on others to maintain it anyway.I don't know this as fact, but I believe the storm surge would be greater in the area during a hurricane. Reflecting back on the physical lay out of the area, it seems to me that the Outer Banks would cause a wall of water to build up on the seaward side of them before overcoming their mass and crossing into the sound.Between the Banks, there's forty miles of open,shallow water before the mainland, and Oriental.I would think that a wall of water coming over the Banks into a shallow body of water as is the Pamlico, would create an even higher surge before hitting the mainland.

I think if you're interested in keeping a boat in the area under the conditions described above, a much better location would be New Bern,NC. It's some what NW of Oriental.To reach it, you would travel up the large portion of the Neuse River.It seems to me that this area would give better protection, and the storm surge wouldn't be as great.Of course all of this is only my theory.I'm sure sailors that call that area home could give you much more concise information than mine.New Bern is a very nice area for a larger city. Kind of a step back through the portal of time, to some extent. I imagine there are some good links here on the net that could give you some good information on the history of the city, including storms,hurricanes,etc.

Fair winds!


*** nemona - I had to chuckle when I read your comments concerning Oriental.The roaming dogs that act as "deputies" of the town, as well as your other comments, all took me back to similar observances when I was there.When I was there last,I had trailered my 26 footer down to sail the area.I needed help in raising the mast, and found a large black man working solo in one of the old fish processing sheds. He was an older man, but built very muscularly. As we got the mast raised about half way up and the brunt of the load was upon us, he burst out saying, "Lord,help me Jesus!," as sweat beads were popping out on his forehead. I about busted out laughing because I was thinking the same think while he was saying it. I guess his request was heard though because the mast did go up, and then he hurried off the boat after I insisted he take $20 from me for his efforts
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