Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Newport, RI
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Re: advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?
I've done that trip a few dozen times and I am always very cautious of going around Hatteras. First, I would never take a short cut through C Lookout shoals; too easy to get in trouble there. I usually round Hatteras fairly close by the buoy and shoot north, giving myself the option of pulling in somewhere before I get to NY. You will need two and a half days to get to the first safe harbor. And the chances of getting a nice window much more than that this time of year are pretty slim.
Even if I'm heading to Newport the chances are 50/50 I will go through the city. I tend to stay as close to the beach as I can when I have westerlies, then I just have a nice easy sail, no matter what the wind speed...kind of like the way to transit the Gulf of Tuantepec.
So if you're prepping to leave around Hatteras; watch passageweather.com for a nice window and don't leave if there are northerlies in the forecast, they very easily get nasty off that coast. watch for the small intense lows that often form quickly over the sounds and blast offshore. Not fun.
If I had a boat that could get up the intracoastal, the chances are 85% that I would head north that way, rather than take a chance on Hatteras.
Your priorities may be different from mine. I'm doing this with other people's boats, albeit as a professional with a very experienced crew. The last thing I want is an adventure!
I'll be about two weeks behind you with an old 45-foot sloop and am planning to take the ditch.
Good luck and a safe passage!
Last edited by Andrew Burton; 02-22-2013 at 02:07 PM.