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Old 02-03-2014, 10:23   #1
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Avoiding Cape Haterras

Am south bound from Baltimore. I have a 71 foot mast and need to know if I can go inside from Norfolk and clear the bridges then pop out at Ocracoke Inlet? At what mile marker would you leave the ICW to head over to Ocracoke?
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:38   #2
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Re: Avoiding Cape Haterras

It can't be done. There are several 65' fixed bridges south of Norfolk on the ICW.

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Old 02-03-2014, 11:52   #3
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Re: Avoiding Cape Haterras

David is correct. You will have to go outside and all the way around Cape Fear and then back inside the Pamlico to come up to Ocracoke. There are channels at Oregon Inlet and Ocracoke but unless you have several hundred horsepower I wouldn't get within 10 miles of those two ship eaters.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:50   #4
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Re: Avoiding Cape Haterras

Just pick your windows very carefully. When in doubt, don't.

Bridges fixed at 65 feet are:

Virginia
MM 12.6-Great Bridge Highway Bridge
MM 28.6-Pungo Ferry Bridge

North Carolina
MM 50.0-Coinjock Bridge

That is in the area you were looking at. Of course beyond that you get into many. NC has a total of 13 fixed at 64' or 65'.
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Old 02-03-2014, 13:28   #5
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Re: Avoiding Cape Haterras

We have made the trip around Hatteras both north once and and south twice in the last few years. We just waited for a two day weather window and sailed or motored along the 60 ft line within about 5 miles of the land.

There are red markers in 60 ft all the way around that keep you off the shoals. Interestingly coming south there was a southerly eddy off the Gulf Stream.

However, the weather needs to be settled and you cannot linger, motor if no wind. There is no bailout and the one time we went inside the 60 ft line there was no correlation between the chart plotter and the depth finder.

Unless you are shoal draft/center board, we are almost 8 ft, I cannot imagine going anywhere near those inlets or even the ICW. A 71 ft stick usually needs a deepish keel.

Good luck
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Old 02-03-2014, 13:35   #6
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Re: Avoiding Cape Haterras

Leave earlier than you might expect. We had great weather from Norfolk and around Hatteras, then it blew like stink and we went no where due to the gulfstream. We were going to stop at Moorhead before dark but it was too late due to poor progress and had to just keep going in some big slop all night. It seemed like we were pretty close to shore but still had the stream against us all day. That and our unfamilliarity with the shoals just NE of Moorhead and we werent comfortable cutting thru them. Probably our lack of experience in the area. I guess we timed it wrong. we had a 64.5 mast but didnt like the look of some spots goind the ICW to moorhead.
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