Learning Materials on Pamlico Sound Area

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Inquisitor
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Learning Materials on Pamlico Sound Area

Post by Inquisitor » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:34 am

My first 2021 sailing trip in the spring will be the Pamlico Sound area. At one time I was looking to get on with Gunboat when they were in Wanchese. I took the Mac and sailed around in that area. The Admiral and I have stayed a couple of times in Oriental B&B's, but didn't take the Mac. We really like Oriental.

I would like ANY advice on the Sound, including:
  • Good locations to launch and keep the rig for say... a couple of weeks.
  • Towns to visit... with town docks, marina's so we can stroll historic locations, a hot shower, have a meal, meet friendly people. (If COVID hasn't killed that past time)
  • Places to anchor overnight
  • Places to beach the Mac (won't have a tender by then) and hike, beach comb, etc.
  • Re-provision
  • Sailboat equipment places (sailboats don't exist where I live) specifically sail lofts.
  • Book guides, preferably stuff published by locals, but also books that you can recommend, knowing their valid... "Skipper Bob"???
  • Books about the history of the area... even coffee table dream books, sailing history, pirate history, colonial history, etc.
  • Say if I wanted to do a night crossing (for practice) Oriental to say... Ocracoke. What would I need to learn... ie... dodging freighters, etc.
  • What equipment would I need?
  • I have a hand-held radio with GPS/DSC, but have no idea if it still works. No way to test it (bass boat country and they don't want people to know where their holes are). Frankly, I could use a good guide to marine radio - including laws, rules and etiquette.
  • I'll have multiple redundant GPS enabled phone/tablet chart plotters.
  • I won't have radar and won't have sonar unless someone feels strongly its a must have.
  • Anything else???
Thanks
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

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Re: Learning Materials on Pamlico Sound Area

Post by Inquisitor » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:37 am

This morning tried Pamlico and got a few old hits... prompting the OP.
I'm going to start adding things here as I find them on the forum... in case someone in the future is also interested in key words to do their own research. I know nothing about them, but casual mention in other threads.

Towns
  • Oriental
  • Belhaven
  • Elizabeth City
    Many free docks
    ~50 miles via Pasquotank River, Turners Cut, Dismal Swamp, Elizabeth River to Norfolk
  • Beaufort
Anchorages
  • Cape Lookout
  • Shackleford Banks
Links
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

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Re: Learning Materials on Pamlico Sound Area

Post by Chinook » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:05 pm

We cruised through the Pamlico Sound area in spring, 2016, on our way north while doing the Great Loop. We had rough weather on that leg of the trip, with many very windy days and very chilly temperatures. You can read about our experiences by checking out our blog (http://chinook.cecka.us), and opening up entries, starting with April 7, 2016. Waterways publishes a good cruising guide for the area. Lots of anchoring opportunities, as well as interesting places to visit. Fascinating history. Without a dinghy, you'll be heading for docks, in most instances. A reliable VHF radio is most helpful, and I consider it to be an essential piece of safety equipment. A 25 watt fixed VHF, with antenna on top of the mast, will give you much greater range, say 20 to 30 miles, compared with just a mile or two with a hand held. I recommend getting a radio with AIS, which will help you to identify and "see" larger pleasure craft and commercial vessels which transmit an AIS signal.

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Re: Learning Materials on Pamlico Sound Area

Post by Inquisitor » Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:32 am

Chinook wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:05 pm
We cruised through the Pamlico Sound area in spring, 2016, on our way north while doing the Great Loop. We had rough weather on that leg of the trip, with many very windy days and very chilly temperatures. You can read about our experiences by checking out our blog (http://chinook.cecka.us), and opening up entries, starting with April 7, 2016. Waterways publishes a good cruising guide for the area. Lots of anchoring opportunities, as well as interesting places to visit. Fascinating history. Without a dinghy, you'll be heading for docks, in most instances. A reliable VHF radio is most helpful, and I consider it to be an essential piece of safety equipment. A 25 watt fixed VHF, with antenna on top of the mast, will give you much greater range, say 20 to 30 miles, compared with just a mile or two with a hand held. I recommend getting a radio with AIS, which will help you to identify and "see" larger pleasure craft and commercial vessels which transmit an AIS signal.
As usual a total gold mind (sic) of information. I think, I vaguely remember in my first haunting of this forum you had a separate log... thank you for reminding me and now I have a bookmark into your encyclopedia. You have had one hull of an adventure. And now, I have plenty of reading material for the long winter nights. Thanks.
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Re: Learning Materials on Pamlico Sound Area

Post by Seapup » Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:53 am

Take a look at the abermarle loop, Manteo is a stop on it. We have spent a week doing parts of it every spring for about 10 years. Its more than 2 weeks of free marinas. Cuts out the need for a dinghy, we liked taking bicycles though.

Image

https://www.albemarleloop.com/

Contact the marinas listed on it for leaving the truck/trailer. We have always left from marinas in Virginia Bech/Norfolk and taken one of the ICW branches down.

Our favorite stops are Abermarle Plantation and Edenton, but have always had good experience in Elizabeth city too. Not sure if they are still headquartered in Columbia, but the Stiletto Catamarans factory was right next to the free dock in columbia. They were out testign a new model when we sailed in about 5 years ago. Wife tried to get me to race them....we kinda kept up :P

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Re: Learning Materials on Pamlico Sound Area

Post by Inquisitor » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:27 am

Seapup wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:53 am
Our favorite stops are Abermarle Plantation and Edenton, but have always had good experience in Elizabeth city too. Not sure if they are still headquartered in Columbia, but the Stiletto Catamarans factory was right next to the free dock in columbia. They were out testign a new model when we sailed in about 5 years ago. Wife tried to get me to race them....we kinda kept up :P
OUT-STANDING! Guess I shouldn't have been so restrictive, but I did mean inside the Outer Banks will be our go-to grounds for a while. Albemarle Sound and Loop will be perfect for getting re-acquainted with the Mac and the area.

I'm not used to the staying at marina's. The few times I have gave me sticker shock $3/ft just to tie up. No water, no electricity. I understand people have to make money, but $75 a night, I kind-of expect a clean room, bed and hot shower, not just a pole and place to step off the boat. This will be refreshing... to know ahead of time.
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Chinook
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Re: Learning Materials on Pamlico Sound Area

Post by Chinook » Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:38 am

I don't recall marina rates in your area running anywhere near the $3/ft range. I do fondly recall the free municipal dock at Elizabeth City. We stayed there in 2003 and again in 2016. First visit was in the fall. Their tradition there was for a volunteer to greet each arriving boat and present a rose after helping to land. The roses were done blooming that fall, so they gave us a cotton ball on its stem instead. Wine and cheese gathering in the adjacent park was also a daily event at 4pm. A woman who was a long term resident there made it her business to befriend every boat tying up there. She came by, hailed us, and offered us a ride to the YMCA (3 miles away), which had free showers, and to the local grocery store. We gratefully accepted. We also went with her on their annual Halloween Ghost Walk, which was an incredible experience. Aviation theme that year, since it was the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight. Not hard to see why Elizabeth City calls itself "The Harbor of Hospitality." When we cruised up the ICW in spring, 2016, we made sure to stop for the night there once again.

Being from the northwest, however, we never did fully adjust to those tiny little fixed dock/piling thingys which are called boat slips back east. It was a revelation to learn that not all boat slips have floating docks.

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