Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by CaptGDunz, Nov 30, 2012.
Anyone been through recently (Post Sandy)? Any updates or current local knowledge appreciated.
I would call that marina that's right inside there, I think it's Pirate's Cove Marina, or the Coast Guard station that's located there as well. Both of those should be able to give you some updates on the inlet.
Oregon Inlet Fishing Center is the marina that is right next to the inlet.
Oregon Inlet Fishing Center
we used to go through there quite alot afew years ago. it changes all the time and the little tiny bouys are not reliable.. however, there is a more or less steady stream of good size commercial fishing guys coming or going out of wanchese.. it is worth waiting abit if you see one comeing or going and following them in or out... gets skinny real quick there and even though its sand it doesnt do a sportfishermans props any good..
FYI: I spoke to a few guys in the know at Virginia Beach Fishing Center and based on what I heard, perfect weather and sea condition I went "around" and steered clear of the inlet.
Can someone please explain to me the benefit of using Oregon Inlet (except maybe for a boat fishing their way down the coast). It's a local inlet without much traffic, and it's always been described as an adventure as in " it changes all the time and the little tiny bouys are not reliable.. ". If you go that way and find the inlet too risky you're stuck back-tracking to the Chesapeake or rounding Hatteras. In my earlier days I rounded Hatteras in a gale and it cured me of ever wanting to do it again, especially as it doesn't seem to save a tremendous amount of time. Since then my plan has always been in at Norfolk and out at Beaufort.
I do exactly the same thing. My guess would be is if someone is going around Cape Hatteras. Maybe a 35 knot sportfish and need a place to stop. Who knows.....
north bound is different.......more options
From Beaufort to Ocean City or Cape May is an easy one day trip through Oregon Inlet for the faster boats, full cruise except for a couple no-wake zones in Adams Creek weather permitting of course. Not that it is the only reason to keep the inlet passable but the charter and commercial fleets are the biggest on the NC coast which isn't having the best of times lately.
On a side note I was up in Hatteras this weekend picking up a boat and was amazed at the desolation up there due to the highway 12 washout from Sandy, it was worse than I've seen in 40 years of going up there. Normally there are crowds of surf fishermen and fishing business is still booming but it was totally deserted. Only one restraunt on both Hatteras and Ocracoke Island was open and one gas station. Locals are taking it in stride but things were worse than the little media coverage they've been given.
Headed north or south it's the fastest way and has less issues IMHO. Coming from Beaufort go inside till Oregon inlet then outside is much faster and you are not dodging pots every 20 feet or going thru the bridges and no wake zones. Same issues avoided going south. Get good info ahead of time - it's part of the job; isn't it?
I went through Oregon Inlet two weeks ago. Most of the bouys east of the bridge are gone or off station. The dredge that they normally use cannot get to where it is needed as it draws 5' and there are locations where it is only2.5' deep.
We called the CG. They send a small boat to the bridge every day to do a fresh survey. While we were waiting a small local boat came out using the fifth span south of the channel. After talking with them we entered there. It was at the top of the tide and we had 8' east of the bridge, 10' under and 15 on the west side. It is narrow and the tide rips through there. The channel west of the bridge seams the same an it was when I went through it in September. The commercial fleet in Wanchees is mostly gone as they have had depth problems for more than a year and no $$$ to fix it. The further south you keep the more water there is BUT there are barges and work boats repairing the old bridge and they will be doing testing for the new bridge very soon.
OK, tell me again why it makes sense to take that inlet with someone's million dollar boat? Saving half a day doesn't sound like a good enough reason to me. In fact, if the commercial fleet has left, the dredge can't get where it needs to be, there's spots with 2 1/2' and the buoys are gone or off station it sounds like they've given up on it to mother nature.
I went thru this spring and found no bouys off station and the depth was not an issue at all. Depth was 10+ feet and the channel by the bouys and by reef reading was simple and easy. The storm after Sandy prevented us coming down the outside and thru OI this fall. (Not to say it was deep enough after the storm.)
The ACE budgets have been cut for many years now and apparently they do not use recreational $$ when computing cost benefit ratio for dredging projects. Interesting since they have recently built two new roads and a long bridge to get people to the OBX. The dredge that cannot get there is owned by ACE so it is easier and most likely cheeper to use. They need to contract for a different type of dredge to clear out the channel. Additionally construction for a new bridge with the fendered opening more to the south where the natural channel is migrating starts soon. The area has one of the largest charter fleets on the east coast and is a destination unto it's self. Additionally there is a large collection of high end boat builders there and the commercial fleet has a large land based support system. Many jobs have been lost so far in the sacred "small business " sector of the economy. Hopefully they can hang on until the new bridge is completed.
The local population are the salt of the earth, or in this case salt of the sea kind of people who will help a stranger just an soon as a friend. Hard working skilled crafts people. And the local restruants serve great food. As you can tell I really like that area and it is one of my favorite ports of call.
But to answer your question the reason I have used Oregon Inlet is because it is the destination for many of my deliveries. Personally I have never found the inlet as bad as some people say. But my home port is Beach Haven NJ and I am used to little Egg inlet which like OI is a natural inlet with no jetties. This past spring I ran OI at low tide with no problems. Like all natural inlets the channel will shift and it is the bridge that causes most of the problems. It is 30 miles shorter cutting across the sound vs rounding Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout. Due to weather in the past I have gone inside through Norfolk and it is a nice ride but can add time and expence. Once inside OI the small bouys are a problem in the afternoon with the sun in your eyes. I run mostly sport fish boats so when weather and depth allow I will use Oregon Inlet.
I agree that if that's your destination, and especially if you run it regularly, it's the way to go. We all use many less than ideal inlets when that's where the boat is going or for a variety of other reasons. I use Moriches inlet up here on a fairly regular basis, and most years it claims several boats, but I've been running it all my life. I also completely agree with your assessment of the people along the N.C. coast. Good people. It's the taking of risk to save a half day on a NY-Fl. transport that I question. My big fear with that inlet is that I'll get there and find it too dangerous to use and be stuck either going around Hatteras or back-tracking all the way to Norfolk. As for going around Hatteras, I've avoided it since getting caught in a gale there back in '91. 5 boats went missing that I heard of that night. Call me a chicken, but at least I'm still here.
For me it's probably also a bit of tradition I'll admit. I've been stopping at Coinjock since my first transport.
Oregon Inlet Today
I was on my way north planning to stop at Coinjock tonight. Looking ahead and to beat Friday's weather to NY I decided to go out of Oregon and up to Rudee. I called Towboat US and USCG Station Oregon Inlet. I was informed the Bridge Navigation Channel (through the Fender System), having recently been dredged, was completely blocked. I was told to use the next opening south. I passed through at 1430 with a screaming outgoing tide. The next opening south was half blocked. I had to favor the south side of the opening and turn to the south as I cleared the bridge abutment. The current was pushing hard toward the abutment. Immediately, when clear of the bridge you must turn and head toward the green can and stay away from the red. It was all plain to see but not for the faint at heart. It's definitely not a place to transit or even plan or steering toward without getting as much local intel as possible. I am on a 42' IPS boat that doesn't need a ton of water. There was also a Army Corp Boat working out there that came in before my transit, another source of info.
Where were you coming from that you would have been running outside to there? I've never seen the prudence in using those inlets at their best. I've made Coinjock in a day's run from Hilton Head doing aprox. 29 kts and coming in at Beaufort, and from Beaufort with almost everything else I've run up the coast (It's only 130nm). Sure sounds like you took some unnecessary risk, and could have paid a heavy price.
I left Wrightsville this morning ran outside to Beaufort where I went in and was headed for Coinjock. I looked at Friday's weather for the Jersey Coast and decided to jump out at Oregon Inlet. I will finish this delivery to NY tomorrow instead of Friday. The purpose of my recent post above was to provide current information for those that do use Oregon Inlet or might consider using it. I did Risk Management prior to making my decision. Those that do not and try to transit the Inlet without up to the minute info will pay a heavy price. I was not the only boat to transit the inlet today. The fishing center had 7 boats out and another "delivery" vessel came inbound prior to my heading out. With the info provided it wasn't an issue. It is not for the inexperienced nor those who haven't used the inlet in many years.