Re: advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?
From where you are - Oriental - why on earth would you want to go out around Hatteras (in MARCH, no less - perhaps the single most volatile month of the year weather wise near Hatteras), instead of running up inside to the Chesapeake? A route that probably adds 50 miles or more to the mouth of the Chesapeake than running up the ICW?
If you do go outside, better make sure there is no possibility of a front coming through before you can make the Chesapeake Entrance... I generally do like Auspicious mentions, right around the red nun "2" off Diamond Shoals, no problem in settled weather... Going further out in search of a push from the Stream this time of year is a fool's errand, in my opinion... Especially starting from Beaufort. It's one thing to hunt for the Stream if you're coming direct from the Bahamas, for example... But to go that far offshore and add that much distance to the inshore route right around Diamond Shoals, in search of a bit of fair current for a day or so, makes no sense whatsoever...
Again, especially in the month of March... Wait for a period of calm, and motor all the way around... Or, possibly catch a bit of SW breeze filling in north of Hatteras that generally presages the arrival of a front, nothing finer than sailing up along the beach north of Wimble Shoals in a SW breeze... Just be damn sure you're north of Cape Henry before the front arrives...
But, as long as you're gonna be doing that much motoring, why not do it inside?