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  #1  
Old 02-22-2013
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advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?

Hi everyone,

Greetings from Drake and Monique aboard Westsail 42 'Paragon' in Oriental, North Carolina.

We'll be pushing off in the first weather window after March 15th, to begin our 7000 nautical mile sail to Ireland via New York, Newport, Boston, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland.

Oregon Inlet at the north of Pamlico sound is unnavigable for Paragon due to shoaling from Hurricane Sandy. I'm looking for advice from anyone who has sailed out of Beaufort, NC, and then north and around Cape Hatteras and through the passageway between the two shoals, or outside of all the shoaling.

The hundreds of ships that have been sunk here in 'The Graveyard of the Atlantic' give me great pause. But I'd rather not sail ICW to Norfolk in 4 days.

Any info greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Drake

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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?

If it were me I would be 25-45 miles off Hatteras to catch some of the stream north since your next stop is NY. No worries about Hatteras then.
Actually I am leaving Charleston 4.6 and heading north offshore. I will be 12-15 miles off Hatteras then come in the Chesapeake Bay
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?

Hi Drake,

Great question! I was thinking the same thing when I left Beaufort NC in June last year.

I take it you mean the shoals out from Cape Lookout?

I saw a passage at 34 29.1033 N 076 29.0331 W that looks fine on the chart.

The previous week I came up from the Bahamas intending on rounding Cape Hatteras but a 30 knot northerly popped up so I slipped into Beaufort to get drunk.
When I left Beaufort it was about 10 to 15 knots SE and the seas dead calm, smooth as a babies bum... but I am sure others would still be puking

I left at the same time as another guy who knew the area and as he got ahead of me I thought I would cheat and just follow him!

I expected him to zip accross some part of the shoal. But he didnt! He kept on heading down to the mark at 34 26.9674 N 076 28.3932 W

If he was playing it safe I thought I would too!

Later that evening the wind died in the butt and I motored around hatteras. The best weather to go in

If you meant off Diamond Shoals off Cape H, then as Greayhound says, keep out. The Gulf Stream picks up as soon as the water gets deeper. I was on the slope of the continental shelf. Heading to New York.

Have fun!


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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 02-22-2013 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 02-22-2013
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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!
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Last edited by Andrew Burton; 02-22-2013 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?

Good you arent trying Oregon anyway a trecheous inlet.

I am not a Hatterass lover and like to go outside the gulf stream, but have done the insoide route a couplke of times.

Looking for more than a 2 day window with no northerly component to the wind is the best way to go. You may also want to pull in to Cape May and wait for a similar to go the distance from Cape May to Block. Front comming through every few days this time of year. Also March is nortoriuos for noreeasterns off the Jersey coast. Stay safe. I also echo the route up the inland may be a better route.
Dave
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Old 02-22-2013
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Re: advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?

Hi Drake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by drakeParagon View Post
We'll be pushing off in the first weather window after March 15th, to begin our 7000 nautical mile sail to Ireland via New York, Newport, Boston, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland.

Oregon Inlet at the north of Pamlico sound is unnavigable for Paragon due to shoaling from Hurricane Sandy. I'm looking for advice from anyone who has sailed out of Beaufort, NC, and then north and around Cape Hatteras and through the passageway between the two shoals, or outside of all the shoaling.
I've long since lost track of the number of times I've rounded Hatteras in both directions.

Don't run into Diamond Shoals. *grin* Everything else is easy.

Unless you're headed straight to Newport (or Ireland) the Gulf Stream really isn't relevant. It tips over along the NC coast and aims for England.

Inside of R2 (between the shoal and bouy) is fine as long as the weather is settled. If the wind is up in any direction the big changes in depth can make things bumpy. Outside R12 is nearly always fine (absent hurricanes).

Are you planning to stop in Norfolk or head straight to New York? Straight through or inlet hop?

If headed for NY I usually run up the 70' line (ish). The seas flatten out and I can usually still get a cell phone signal. *grin*

If inlet hopping from Beaufort NC you can easily make Little Creek, Atlantic City, and Sandy Hook in long days. Weather permitting anchoring is practical in all those places. Don't even think about Oregon Inlet.

Weather is everything, especially if you're pushing straight through. What do you use aboard for weather information?

Do you have an SSB radio or other long range comms on the boat? I'd be happy to chat with you about weather and other conditions on your jump, although you're better off checking in to the Waterway Net (if you have a ham license) or Cruiseheimers.
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Old 02-23-2013
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advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?

Drake since you seem to be loaded ($) I would suggest a weather router. They will give you waypoints to shoot for taking advantage of weather and current. (Not the stream).
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokesailor View Post
Drake since you seem to be loaded ($) I would suggest a weather router. They will give you waypoints to shoot for taking advantage of weather and current. (Not the stream).
In my opinion the offshore sailor should his or her own best weather router. It's easy to get 98% of the information onboard in a timely way. You should be able to interpret it and make appropriate decisions. The ham and marine SSB nets get you that last 2%. It's not about cost, it's about self-sufficiency.
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?

Of course there is always the option of the "Slot"!
http://www.coastalmariner.com/two-cr...-runs-aground/
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: advice on sailing around Cape Hatteras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjung View Post
Of course there is always the option of the "Slot"!
http://www.coastalmariner.com/two-cr...-runs-aground/
I think not.
Thanks for the article and Coast Guard vid.
Drake
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