Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Washington, NC
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I don't have firsthand experience with the inlets, but I'm in the same general area and my understanding is that the previous posters are right - Ocracoke Inlet should be considered a fair-weather inlet, especially trying to come in. Check with the Coast Guard for up-to-date information about the condition of the inlet and what to look for.
I would say Oregon Inlet is the better bet. By coming in at Oregon Inlet, you don't have to go out and around Hatteras shoals. Also it gets quite a bit of use, but it's more commercial and charter fishermen than sailboats. Getting some up-to-date local info would probably be a good idea here, too.
rdstanley's suggestion of going to Beaufort Inlet is a good one in terms of navigating the inlet itself, but you'd be going farther south and you'd still be at least a full day's trip from Ocracoke if that's your ultimate destination.
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Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little.