It can be done in two days if you can cruise fast- 12 kts or better or three days if you can only go 6-7 kts. Don't try it at night.
For a three day trip:
Beaufort to Dowry's Creek Marina east of Bellingham or anchor out just below the canal. It will be a long first day, about 80 SMs. Then on to Coinjock for the next night or if you want to do the Dismal Swamp Canal stop in Elizabeth City and tie up at their free dock. The DS Canal is closed right now due to bridge work but may open in a week or so.
For a two day trip anchor at the north end of the Alligator-Pungo Canal or stay at the Alligator Marina at the west end of the Alligator bridge. It will be a long first day, about 120 SMs.
made the trip several times . after entering canal at Norfolk Va. you will have several bridges to clear before you get to Great Bridge ,Va.
in Great bridge ,you have a small set of locks, the bridge in Great Bridge and then two swing span bridges south that will not open to private vessels at commuter hours . DO NOT try to run the canal in this area at night , I have and ended up having to be hauled out and have props redone (1600.00) logs and debris abound this time of year! its a long run from Great Bridge to the Alligator River Bridge unless your boat cruises in the mid twenties (sporty speeds). I would figure three days in a downeaster, Coinjock Marina has good food ,plenty of dock space, Alligator River Marina , Swan Quarter and Oriental have good dockage. All and all a nice trip and lots of scenery
Easy trip, but don't try it in the dark, lots of range markers that can be difficult to see. I don't remember where, but the bouy's flip around at some point (red on right to green on right or visa versa). Coinjock used to have cheap fuel and a great steak (they had one of those if you can eat it you get it for free).
I have made this trip several times in a 55 Searay and we have always made it in one day
. If you start early, and have a pretty fast boat....you can make it from Atlantic Yacht Basin in Great Bridge, VA to the town docks in Beaufort, NC . If you go the other direction (Beaufort, NC to Great Bridge, VA)....you need to get to the draw bridge going to the navy base by 3:00pm (I think - double check). If you arrive after 3, the draw bridge stays closed for a few hours.
You can go up the pamlico sound not much debris ffor nightime running. Just pay attention to wind forcast (don't want to be going up the sound on a ne wind etc) can stay in Ocracoke (it'll grab you and put you in a ocracoma) , hatteras or englehard watch out for the bombing range off long shoal (stumpy point).
Hi Bill - are you in NC permanently now? Good for you - enjoy it! I will be digging in running Dave's boat again this year (as well as mine). Fluke regs a little better - but lost a week in May. Anyway - sorry to hijack the thread - just wanted to say hi...