Scoobert, people take boats like that down the ICW. You'll need to be careful, and read the nav alerts for each section on cruisers net. The great bridge lock was out of commission last I heard but check the above site. Someone recently posted that they did that section with 7' draft no problem. If you have not done much ICW time, there will be a learning
curve. Keep the reds on your right, and try to see the big picture of channel marking, and learn to "see" the deep water
. You'll likely use your seatow, just try not to hit the throttle when you bump or see the depth sounder
drop. Slow and easy in skinny water
, and kedge off if you bump. Hopefully.
Spend time each night planning the next day, and have your crew dialed in to active captain
or cruisers net so they can assist with nav info.
With a little luck, you'll just make the same dumb mistakes
we all have and be all the wiser. Just try not to anchor
to windward of anyone and take extra care not to anchor
too close. In other words, make your mistakes
away from other boats
Another option once you're in the albemarle is to go to Manteo and Ocracoke
, then to Beaufort. More sailing opportunity in the pamlico sound but beware of a brisk NE breeze and the steep chop, although off the wind
you'll be fine. Its not a straight shot so you will take it from the quarter too as you round brant.
Alligator and pungo are plenty deep, I would not let the ICW scare you outside to Hatteras. There are some problem sections, but they are well known and documented. If you fly by the seat of your pants, you're screwed. Use the resources and you'll have an uneventful trip. I draw 4', so caveat is that I'm relaying others experience.
Jealous. I love being on the water this time of year. You've got a unique approach here, to be sure, and haters gonna hate. I like your honesty, and would love to see you get through the next few weeks unscathed. Save Hatteras for the trip north. Flying north in the stream is a super experience. Bioluminescent trails, stars, gorgeous water, great boat speed. Just not a prudent option for a new skipper
heading south in mid November. Doesn't matter that you think you can do it, you probably can. Top your fuel tank
off before you head offshore
. Seems basic but some people skip it on coastal passages.