The Pamlico is a very shallow body of water and as such the waves can get very steep even though they don't get that high. 4-6 is about as high as it gets but 4-6 in the Pamlico is much rougher than 4-6 in the ocean. There are a bunch of us locals planning a circumnavigation
of the Pamlico in late April. The plan is to go up through the Pamlico to Manteo and return through the ICW. There are no lunar tides to speak of in the Pamlico, but wind driven tides can make a large difference in water depths at the upper and lower ends of the system. A strong NE wind blowing for a couple of days will reduce water depths in the Manteo area a couple of feet. In the Neuse River at New Bern the difference between a strong NE wind and a strong SW wind can be on the order of 6 or 7 feet. Most of the Neuse is deep enough where this is not a problem, but the channel at Manteo could be iffy for 4.5 feet if a strong NE Wind was blowing for a couple of days so pay attention to that. Also make sure you stay out of the prohibited areas. These are active military bombing ranges. They often provide some pretty spectacular shows from a few miles off. If you go up the ICW pay particular attention near the mouth of the Alligator river. A number of markers were moved last year and if you don't have current
charts the markers will be quite confusing. I had a friend who went to the chesapeake for a month and they moved the markers while he was gone. He missed a new marker and ended up on a bar. He draws 4.5 too.
Options for anchorages
are South River or Broad Creek near the mouth of the Neuse. You could also stop in Oriental but at 64 feet you'll need to go into a marina as you can't get to the protected waters behind the bridge. The next anchorage is Ocracoke which is 36 miles from Broad creek and about 42 from South River. North of Ocracoke you could go to Hatteras or Engelhard. You'll notice on the chart you have to go pretty far off shore to work
your way around the bars at Hatteras so it's farther to Hatteras than a simple straight line would suggest. Engelhard is a little fishing
village, not much to see but nice people. Have a nice trip no matter which way you decide to go.