I would pick a spot you like, and rent a place for a few months and see if you like the solitude. Oriental, Bath, and Washington
are all small enough towns that everyone knows everyone, everywhere, and it takes 45 minutes one way to get to a big box hardware
store if the town store lacks what you need.
You might find this useful, it's the storm surge charts
for the east coast
GA SC NC Storm Surge | Weather Underground
This chart is pamlico county, and covers most of the places you name:
Anywhere still dirt covered, is the high ground where a category 5 won't put water in your house. What that means is that places get wet you will need a new car, and whatever stored in the shed is soaked wet. The lower you go, the more expensive your flood insurance
will be... which can be extreme, and flood insurance
tends to double after a year of named storms. Almost more important than the mortgage price
, is the availability and price
of flood insurance. A lot of the big name insurance agencies don't even play ball down east any more, and no quote.
Oriental is a nice place, and relatively sheltered because it is on a straight section of the Neuse river, and around club foot creek where the Neuse turns to go up north is prime sailing as the river is at it's widest right there.
The closer you get to the ferry
docks, the more storm surge you get, as the river begins to narrow.
If you go back and look at the storm surge map, there is an ancient dune ridge that goes north to south almost the entire length of North Carolina
that adds close to 20 feet of elevation above the surrounding plain. It's about where the ferry
docks are at Cherry point, and continues up along the highway in each direction. It runs down to Newport
, and then hops across the sound to a little town called Ocean, and runs north up to Greenville.
The south side of the Neuse river floods severely in storms as there is no elevation, essentially from havelock east to cedar island. Beaufort
and New Port on are relatively high ground. The land is cheap
, but if you are on the water you need to be up high. In the 1933 storm, put 4 feet of water in New Bern. It swept the shingles off the houses in South River and Merrimon.
The Pamlico River area around Little Washington gets hammered by storms as well, as it funnels up the river. If you are out at the point, you get less surge than When all the water goes away in the sound on the back of the outer banks
, it is getting pushed up the rivers. You want to be on a dune ridge, or on very high poles.
As far as the boat
If you draw much above 6 feet, a lot of the tributaries are shallow enough that you will get hung up in the mud. The "tide" is wind driven. Water is either being blown to one end of the sound or the other, and if you need the water it can be 2 feet lower with a steady wind for two days. That makes things a little bit tricky, as even some of the marina basins you'll be stuck in the mud.
Your closest and best service
centers for the boat are in Oriental and Beaufort. The Sail and rigging
shops are New Bern and Oriental.
Oriental is a little faster to get to interstate 95 than Beaufort, and Little Washington the fastest.
Greenville and New Bern are the better hospitals, Morehead City
doesn't really count. New Bern has an air port that flies prop-jets to Raleigh and Charlotte that can connect you to the world a little faster.
Beaufort has the best Inlet, unless you have gale North/South Breeze against the tide, it is an all weather
There is a word, pocosin swamp... Which is basically a swamp on a hill. If the dunes around made a basin, then you get a swamp at high elevation. This means you get mosquitos that go with them. The least mosquitoes are around Beaufort and Wilmington because the towns fog
for them, almost every morning.
The further "down east" you go, the less fogging you get and the more mosquitoes there are. The closer you get to Turn-again bay, and places where you have a sand beach with a dune line and marsh behind it the worse the biting flies and mosquitoes get, to the extent they are day-time mosquitoes...
Most other places along the coast, you want to be behind a screen
of some variety around sunset. So if you are working on the boat at the dock
, it's wind driven. If the wind is off the shore you will be eaten, if the wind is off the water, you might not.
, clamming, and oystering are other things that you might be interested in. Once you get North of Oriental on the Neuse, the Neuse is sick. So it depends if you want closer access to cleaner water, or just sailing.
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