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Old 25-10-2021, 11:22   #1
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Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

Hello locals!

It is the end of October and I'm sitting on the dock in Elizabeth City trying to decide how I want to go about "getting past" the outer banks/NC as I head south.

The area looks like it could be quite fun to sail around in (27' boat, 4'8" draft full keel) and explore, I'm just wondering if the "general climate" of this area for the month of November would dictate that a prudent sailor would move through quickly, or do I have time to explore.

Thanks for the opinions,
- AT
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Old 25-10-2021, 11:38   #2
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

Depends on the year, and typically you have about a month before you really need a heater. Keep an eye on the 10 day weather forecast.
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Old 25-10-2021, 12:08   #3
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

When does spring start in the sounds, and is it any more settled? Exploring on the way back is a possibility. For instance we launch may 1st in the Narragansett, but I wouldn't suggest anyone come to cruise until much later.

- at
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Old 25-10-2021, 12:14   #4
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

We moved from Beaufort to Edenton (near Elizabeth City) 3rd week of December last year. That was too late, froze my ass off. Going the other way would have been much better.

Edenton is worth a side trip. Otherwise not a whole lot to see anyway.
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Old 26-10-2021, 07:27   #5
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

Well, you have a Nor'easter bearing down on you now so you'll see why you want to avoid those. After that passes, expect fresh W/NW and cooler temperatures for a few days. That would be a perfect time to sail the Albemarle down to Manteo, then the Pamlico down to Ocracoke. Then check out Beaufort and make a decision on going outside or staying inside and sightseeing the ICW. Or, head up the Neuse and spend a little time at Oriental and New Bern. Nov can bring some fine sailing weather in that area but be prepared for cold snaps. You can generally sail year-round but living aboard could get chilly without a good cabin heater.
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Old 26-10-2021, 08:21   #6
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

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Well, you have a Nor'easter bearing down on you now so you'll see why you want to avoid those. After that passes, expect fresh W/NW and cooler temperatures for a few days. That would be a perfect time to sail the Albemarle down to Manteo, then the Pamlico down to Ocracoke. Then check out Beaufort and make a decision on going outside or staying inside and sightseeing the ICW. Or, head up the Neuse and spend a little time at Oriental and New Bern. Nov can bring some fine sailing weather in that area but be prepared for cold snaps. You can generally sail year-round but living aboard could get chilly without a good cabin heater.
I do infact have a great cabin heater. Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to hide in the south end of the alligator river by the pungo canal, or head back up the Elizabeth river. Friday is supposed to have SSW/SW to about 30kts. Any thoughts on which is a better idea?

Thank you for the thoughts on a proposed route to do some pamlico sight seeing - I'll research it a little more and see if it works out for me ☺️.

- AT
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Old 26-10-2021, 09:20   #7
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

If you go down the Alligator/Pungo, pretty much the only civilization is Belhaven, which has a nice little marina, a few places to eat and buy groceries, but not much else. It's rural but a nice little water town.
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Old 26-10-2021, 09:22   #8
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

In my opinion you’re in one of the best places in all of Christendom to take advantage of having a small boat at your disposal. The end of November starts being pretty cold (many years), but you’ve a month or so yet. There are so many remote and picturesque anchorages on the western/northern shore, then you’ve got the outer banks. Assuming you’re not looking for a social scene, Ocracoke and a couple of places up towards Oregon Inlet are great places to be a cruiser. Walking the ocean side beaches in a blow (with your boat tucked away in a secure spot like the docks on the lagoon at Ocracoke) is nature at its’ finest.
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Old 27-10-2021, 06:49   #9
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

Why not equip yourself with a good little heater tht will make your small boat cabin cozy. There a many secluded places to anchor and waitout for better weather. It is a wonderfull place to explore and nature is generous in winter time. I've alway dreamed of spending good time there in winter but covid-19 arrived to my chagrin....
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Old 27-10-2021, 07:13   #10
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

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In my opinion you’re in one of the best places in all of Christendom to take advantage of having a small boat at your disposal. The end of November starts being pretty cold (many years), but you’ve a month or so yet. There are so many remote and picturesque anchorages on the western/northern shore, then you’ve got the outer banks. Assuming you’re not looking for a social scene, Ocracoke and a couple of places up towards Oregon Inlet are great places to be a cruiser. Walking the ocean side beaches in a blow (with your boat tucked away in a secure spot like the docks on the lagoon at Ocracoke) is nature at its’ finest.
This is exactly what I look for, just me and my pups. I don't have money to spend on slips, so it needs to be free dockage or anchorage but as long as I have water, food, diesel, I'm fine with no one around. It's usually hard for me to get cruising advice because people tell me about the cities I can visit and I don't really give a fluff about that. I can't spend my quid on a deserted beach, which just means that much more time as a boat bum.

I'm hiding myself in the Elizabeth river until the blow on Friday is done. Then it looks like there will be a shore breeze for days allowing me to explore the pamlico.

- AT
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Old 30-10-2021, 04:18   #11
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

By Elizabeth river, I meant pasquotank. Anyways, I'm done playing in the swamp. I'm getting antsy to move on.

This morning's forecasts are a lot less settled than they have been, and now Europe and NOAA forecasts have divergent information too. I can't put together a passage plan without 50-60 mile jumps which is just way too much for me as a single hander with dogs to care for. I think I'm going to follow the ICW channels and hope I get a fair wind to blow me into Ocracoke at some point. How more OBX can you get than an island with no bridges? I'd love to see Roanoke but I guess that will have to wait for spring.

- AT
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Old 30-10-2021, 04:47   #12
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Re: Albemarle, pamlico, and the outer banks

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Originally Posted by Atcowboy View Post
By Elizabeth river, I meant pasquotank. Anyways, I'm done playing in the swamp. I'm getting antsy to move on.

This morning's forecasts are a lot less settled than they have been, and now Europe and NOAA forecasts have divergent information too. I can't put together a passage plan without 50-60 mile jumps which is just way too much for me as a single hander with dogs to care for. I think I'm going to follow the ICW channels and hope I get a fair wind to blow me into Ocracoke at some point. How more OBX can you get than an island with no bridges? I'd love to see Roanoke but I guess that will have to wait for spring.

- AT
You should be able to make Ocracoke in a few days cutting across the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds since winds are suppose to be West on Sunday then Northerly for almost a week and a half.
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