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Old 05-28-2013
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Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

I live in Charlotte, NC and I have about 5-6 days to go sailing coming up soon. Where would you go? Boat is a 23 foot Spirit that is a pretty sea worthy trailerable. I have coastal safety gear (except an EPIRB or PLB although I will get one if I have to) but would be going by myself. I'm young-ish and in good shape, yada, yada.

1. For an easier trip, I was thinking drive over to New Bern and go from there to maybe Oriental down the ICW to Morehead City, maybe try to go to Shackleford banks to see the ponies and head back. Pretty safe trip but could be fun. Plenty of places to stop but not sure how the sailing would be up the Neuse River.

2. Something else around Albemarle or Pamlico Sound? Any suggestions?

3. Or go for broke since this may be the only free week I have this year and go to Florida and sail the gulf or to the keys. For that I would almost certainly get a PLB for security.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

I would spend all 5 days on Pamlico sound. There is a great little marina with a ramp in Hortonville, just a few miles east of Oriental. Great place. You can launch your boat there and leave you vehicle for next to nothing. Marina has showers and a kitchen. From there you can go to Outer Banks and out to the ocean if you so desire. Good sailing, lots of interesting places. Forget going to Florida - way too far for such a short period.
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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

2nd vote for Pamlico Sound,

we had a blast there, just gunkholing and taking the easy way to various parts. Better than FL for us, as we never had the heat and humidity and 10 hours closer.

Best of luck
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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

If your heart is set on the keys you could trailer it down, put it in the water, cruise for three days then haul it back home.
Personally I would follow the advice listed above.

If you get down to Southport, NC drop me a PM.
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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

First of all, it would take you an hour to drive to Oriental from New Bern, 5 hours by boat.

From Oriental, you have two choices for your time frame. One, you can do a loop through the Pamlico Sound, or go down to Beaufort and (weather permitting) loop back through Wrightsville Beach.

Do you want to be ashore of an evening, or just anchored off somewhere? Are you wanting mainly to sail, or to go places? It's hard to recommend anything specific without a better idea of what you expect from the trip.
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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

My vote - trailer the boat to Key West, launch the boat and sail to the Marquesses and back. It's about 25-miles each way, incredible waters to cruise, do some snorkeling at Cosgrove Light, snatch some lobsters off the bottom at Boca Grande Key anchorage, and enjoy the beauty of the lower keys. I would tell you to sail to the Dry Torgugas, but that's a fairly long haul over a lot of open ocean for your boat - especially if the weather turns nasty. I know of much larger boats being stuck there for a couple weeks awaiting a weather window to return to Key West. Only 5 miles of open water across Boca Grande Channel between the Marquesses Keys and Boca Grande Key.

A note of caution: At certain times of the year there are lots of bull sharks lurking in the lower keys, some measuring nearly 12-feet. Additionally, the largest concentration of giant barracuda I've ever encountered tends to congregate near Cosgrove Light. Normally, they're not aggressive, but I would not tempt fate by spearfishing in this part of the world. Nothing is more tempting to a barracuda than a fish struggling on the end of a spear and spewing out blood.

Good Luck,

Gary

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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

Really looking for scenery and solitude. I am sure I will have dinner on land one night if I went to Pamlico but mostly just enjoy the scenery and dinner on my own. Right now I am leaning towards Pamlico, it is close enough to make things easier and maybe I'll save the keys trip for when I have more time and can bring company with me! But that bug is hitting me to get back to Florida.

Gary thanks for the advice and that does sound like a good trip. Even counting the bull sharks!
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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

I would go to Tampa and sail past Sarasota but not if you have to trailer it and rig it and unrig it in a week.

Ill second new bern to cape hatteras.
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Re: Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

Don't try to bite off too much. Makes it like work to cover all the bases.

Trailer to Beaufort and sail around for a week. You can go outside to Cape Lookout, one of the finest spots on the east coast, and spend several days hangin out. Then stop at Shackleford for ponies. also stop in at Beaufort for a bit of town life. I see a lot of fishing going on around the inlet, you could try that. And just take a day sail on the ocean. Go over and take the free dock at the Ruddy Duck in Morehead City for dinner. Anchor off the coast guard base inside the inlet if it's rough outside.
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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: Where would you cruise to from NC for a week?

I second xort. Lookout is nice to anchor out for a couple of days and Beaufort is a fun overnight stop at the town dock. You get a free beer token and often free live music on the dock. A little of both solitude and night life.
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