Sunday, February 05, 2012

Pamlico Sound

Not long ago I received in the mail "101 Things I Think I Learned While Sailing With Marlene on Different Drummer." It was written by a sailor whom I met last summer. He and his wife were cruising aboard their 39' catamaran, and they spent several days at Ocracoke. One afternoon they joined Al and me clamming in the sound. Here is his  lesson #8:

"The Pamlico sound is thirty-five miles wide and seventy miles long. There is a place in the middle of it where, with no land in sight, you can run your boat aground, even if you only draw three-and-a-half feet of water. We found that place. It's called Brandt's Shoal."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the "Joe Bell" flower. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Any insight as to how the rest of the tale turned out, Philip?

    We've all heard "why" the waters around Ocracoke came to be known as The Graveyard of The Atlantic. I find it interesting to note, when reading stories like your latest post, that the waters and shifting sands remain treacherous, despite modern technologies that would seem to have tamed them.

    During a trip to Portsmouth Island about 10 years, I recall the captain of the boat (one of the Austins, I believe) telling of an expensive private vessel that had recently run aground in Ocracoke Inlet.

    As I recall, the misadventure didn't end well--or at least affordably--for the errant sailors.

  2. I am sure the Different Drummer was fine. They didn't "wreck"; they just ran aground, a not uncommon occurrence in Pamlico Sound if you wander out of the channels. I imagine they worked their way off with the engine, or waited for high tide.

  3. Anonymous3:23 PM

    Just one more item to add to my list when I write my book , "101 Reasons I Am A Devout Landlubber." Still I do enjoy reading about it, as long as I don't have to deal with the top 2-- my fear of deep water, and the dreaded mal de mer.