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Old 21-06-2015, 13:35   #1
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Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

Rookie question ...
Preparing for my first weekend cruise on a recently-purchased 40' Hunter sailboat. Our trips before now have just been nice day cruises. I picked a common and popular route from Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC. Click here for the chart.

Curious if anyone has made this trip and advice? I'll be cruising from Oriental through Adams Creek Canal and docking in Beaufort waterfront for early dinner. Plan is to anchor in Beaufort overnight and then sail back next day. We won't be going near the inlet ...

Tips for where to anchor? Overall tips/advice? Chart looks pretty simple through Adams Creek.

Thanks!
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Old 22-06-2015, 05:35   #2
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

You are correct that it looks pretty simple and it is. Why do you need help to basically go down a ditch that is well marked and well charted on a short and inland, protected trip to a major boating destination from another major boating destination? Other than it being hurricane season that gives you almost a week's warning, what kind of tips do you need to sail your new 40' boat??
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Old 22-06-2015, 09:41   #3
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

Should be a great trip for you. Depending on when you go up or down Adams Creek, you may be going with, or against the current. With the current is fun, you leave your throttle set and watch your boat speed go up and up. Fighting the current is not bad, it just slows you down a few knots.

After you exit Adams Creek, you can either take Russell Slough channel into Beaufort or go a little further and go under the Morehead City bridge, around Radio Island, and then into Beaufort via the Beaufort inlet channel. I recommend the later choice. Even though it is slightly longer you do not have to wait for a bridge opening at the Gallants channel bridge. Morehead City bridge is fixed 65 foot. Nothing tricky about the route. It is not super deep, but generally if you stay in the center of the channel you will be fine. At the junction of Russel Slough channel and the channel to Morehead don't try to cut the corner too tight by hugging the red markers when going southbound. I have bumped there before. Stay in the center and head a little more to the red/green split marker before turning to your right to continue to Morehead.

If you are planning on docking anyway, I would go ahead and spend the night at the Beaufort Town Docks. If you are new to anchoring, I recommend taking a few trips to South River. It is right across from Oriental and is a great uncrowded spot to spend the night at anchor and calmly practice your anchoring skills.

Have a fun trip.
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:01   #4
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

Until you know your boat well, with this your first overnighter.... monitor your battery level often if you are running refrigeration.
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:06   #5
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

I used the dock at Beaufort both times I was there... But its really quite expensive.
You can anchor right accross from the town but it always looks like theres no room. Just keep going along until you can find a space.

The first lomger trip on a boat is always exciting! So have fun!!!


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Old 22-06-2015, 11:06   #6
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

CarolinaDelt - Paul54 gave good advice. I have done this trip many times. Stay in the center of the channel - it gets shallow quick to the sides. Pay attention to the long shallow sand bar opposite Cedar Creek, you CANNOT cut that corner.
Go under the tall bridge at Morehead and then be careful of the partially submerged stone jetty going into Beaufort. Take a dock in Beaufort, the current is very strong out in the channel and a little tight to anchor. Get your ice cream cone at the general store - cheap and good! Visit the Maritime Museum - excellent!!

After you get a little experience, spend a weekend out at Cape Lookout (excellent place) and for a long weekend, go over to Oracoke - you will love both.
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Old 22-06-2015, 13:44   #7
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

Appreciate the helpful advice ...If we were to tie up for dinner, any place on the waterfront provide dockage for the time we are there?
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Old 22-06-2015, 14:51   #8
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

What Paul54 said. I hit that corner the first time through (one of my two big hits between Beaufort and Annapolis) and it felt like the stern came completely out of the water. Not sandy there! You can try to dock on Front Street, but unless you hit it at slack tide the current rips to the point where it is dangerous for a beginner. There are plenty of empty mooring balls, pick up a mooring and use your dinghy to go ashore. There are several dinghy docks and you can tie up a dinghy in front of Queen Anne's Revenge if you eat there (also a nice breakfast place with a view.) The Mexican food place is great, Beaufort Grocery, Queen Anne's Revenge, Aqua, The Cedars... all good restaurants. Live music on Front Street on Friday and Saturday nights all summer. After dinner check out Backstreet Pub, lots of local color there. The Cru Bar is a local favorite for coffee, wine and gelato.

After dinner if you want dancing and good bands, take a cab into MHC and go to Jack's or have a great cocktail by mixmaster Denny at the Arendell Room Bar.

Overall, the trip is a milk run. You shouldn't have any problems. PM me if you need more help.
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Old 22-06-2015, 15:06   #9
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

Our Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC would have to be:

Don't bother, just stay in Oriental it's much nicer.

If you really must go, choose sometime with light winds and neap tides, it was 30+ knots and spring-tides on our last visit to Beaufort and the boats anchored north of the lifting bridge we dragging in all directions, whilst those of us in the channel south of town were dancing around our anchors.
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Old 22-06-2015, 15:35   #10
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

As far as I know there are no longer any restaurant or other temporary dock spots available along the Front Street waterfront. There are still some dinghy docks. Anchoring in the creek along the water front is a little tricky. Lots of current and some holding problems. I have never tried the mooring balls. I would not be concerned about the weather unless something really nasty is predicted, or you are going to try to anchor. You will be motoring almost the entire trip.
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Old 22-06-2015, 17:00   #11
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul54 View Post
As far as I know there are no longer any restaurant or other temporary dock spots available along the Front Street waterfront. There are still some dinghy docks. Anchoring in the creek along the water front is a little tricky. Lots of current and some holding problems. I have never tried the mooring balls. I would not be concerned about the weather unless something really nasty is predicted, or you are going to try to anchor. You will be motoring almost the entire trip.
I go there at least once a week, and there is dockage as I stated. The mooring balls are easier than anchoring.
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Old 23-06-2015, 07:44   #12
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

Hi Azul,
Are there just dinghy docks, or is there some place to tie up (dock) a 36 foot boat temporarily? If so where are they? I go there often and would love a place to temporarily dock.

Also to the OP. Every time I have gone through the ICW, I have seen dolphins between markers 38 and 35. As others have said, after you do Beaufort be sure to head out to Cape Lookout and anchor over night in the bight.

Have fun.
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Old 23-06-2015, 08:06   #13
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

Give Front Street Grill at Stillwater a try for a dock during dinner.

The other is City Kitchen on top of Town Creek Marina.

I'm not sure if Fins still offers a dock for dinner or not.

Cheers,

Zach
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Old 23-06-2015, 12:36   #14
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

I just went from Beaufort to Oriental. There's a big sandbar on the N side of Beaufort sound that is marked navigable. Be careful and stay to the West of it. The only sailing I did was on the Neuse River. The rest was motoring. Have fun. I did it alone (Beaufort to Havre de Grace). The ICW required great vigilance and the weather was pretty hot and humid. More wind would have been nice too.
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Old 23-06-2015, 21:49   #15
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Re: Advice for sailing Oriental, NC to Beaufort, NC?

Hope you never need help when cursing in New England! With your response to his one I don't think many would want you here
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