Originally Posted by JohnRPollard
Did someone describe it as a "death trap"?
The only time I made that trip from Abaco north, we were much earlier in the season and chose Beaufort after studying our options carefully. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to go around Hatteras with the right forecast.
But it's worth mentioning that it's much easier to predict the weather out there when jumping off from Little Creek, VA and heading south, than it is coming from the other direction.
Especially if the boat doesn't have the sophisticated weather information aboard -- as many don't. We didn't, and that certainly influenced our decision making.
I was responding to this characterization:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Cape Hatteras, one of the three Graveyards of the Atlantic, is a nasty bit of sailing, and best to be avoided if at all possible. It can be easily avoided by going inside at Beaufort, NC and then taking the iCW north to Norfolk, VA.
I've done at least as many Northbound passages as Southbound ones. An SSB radio like the Kaito KA1103 (~$100) and wefax software on a laptop will give you everything NOAA/NWS has to offer. I pack this gear on deliveries with no strain.
In my opinion, getting good weather information is 1) important, 2) cheaper to provide for than many people think, and 3) easier to interpret than "common knowledge" would lead you to believe.
The biggest issue in my experience is deciding when and where to cross the Gulf Stream. I generally cross as far North as possible, but sometimes it is better to cross a little further down.