Let’s Go Charter Regardless how your tastes and interests run, if you thrive on great sailing, great food, great anchorages, great marinas and great people, then do yourself a favor and spend a few days sailing coastal North Carolina. Do that and I’m sure you’ll come to understand why James Taylor sang “In my mind I’m going to Carolina.” There are just so many reasons, and they’re all real good! Mike and Cindy Alyea sail their Hunter 30 ‘Bout Time on Lake Allatoona, GA, and charter whenever schedules allow. They’ve sailed the Chesapeake, Puget Sound, Florida, Southern California, the BVI, offshore and North Carolina. They’re available for questions, comment and discussion at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bicycling is a popular way to see Ocracoke and the surrounding area. Rental bikes shown here with Silver Lake in the background.
Information and Resources Cruising Guides Cruising Guide to Coastal North Carolina by Claiborne Young. The author will tell you it’s a bit dated, but it’s still a great resource. Dozier’s Waterway Guide, Atlantic ICW 2012 Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net at www.cruisersnet.net (run by Claiborne Young). Charts Pamlico Sound – 11548 www.oceangrafix.com/chart/zoom?chart=11548 Pamlico River – 11554 www.oceangrafix.com/chart/zoom?chart=11554 Neuse River – 11552 www.oceangrafix.com/chart/zoom?chart=11552 Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout – 11545 www.oceangrafix.com/chart/zoom?chart=11545
Be very clear as to the red-green convention used for the channel marks you’re navigating off of. Just because you’re headed toward “land” doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re “red right returning.” You may still be headed “out to sea” as in Big Slough Channel leading into Ocracoke. The key to navigating channels is to know where you are at all times and know where the deep water is. Keep to the starboard edge of the channel so that when the depth starts decreasing, you know immediately that a turn to port is a turn toward deeper water. Keep an eye out astern at the last marker and draw a mental line from it forward to the next mark ahead—this will help you to correct for any lateral current set.
Charter Companies Carolina Wind Yachting Center www.carolinawind.com (252) 946-4653 Oriental’s School of Sailing www.sailingschooloriental.com (252) 249-0960 Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor www.whittakercreek.com (252) 670-3759 360Yachting www.360yachting.com (305) 394-9517 On the Wind Sailing Cruises. www.onthewindsailing cruises.com (crewed charter only) (252)670-3047 East Carolina Sailing. www.eastcarolinasailing.com (instruction) (252) 557-9783
Local area tips If heading for Beaufort and Lookout Bight, keep an eye on the tide tables. You won’t need them for the Sounds but when close to the coast, you may not have bridge clearance at high tide. If the weather is warm and a bit buggy, pick an anchorage oriented open to the breeze to help keep the critters blown back into the marsh and woodlands. Hail any ferry or dredgers that you may encounter in the channel into Ocracoke on Ch 16. They want to know your plan and you really want to know theirs. Standard rules of the road apply but a few clarifying words of agreement are helpful. News & Views for Southern Sailors