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Frying Pan Shoals-NC

Discussion in 'North Carolina' started by Jud1417, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Jud1417

    Jud1417 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Fernandina Beach, Florida
    Hello all !

    I am looking to make a trip in the coming weeks. Any suggestions on where to stay
    (Cape Fear ?) and a decent boat ramp in the area.

    Thanks beforehand
  2. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    Do you want on the ocean or inland OK? I assume you are trailering a boat. There are 2 fairly good ramps in the Southport area (I am assuming you want to stay near there). There is one at the Southport Marina and a public ramp near by. I have a lot of hours on the waters between Southport and Frying Pan Tower. The tower and any reef worth diving is at least 35 to 40 miles off shore. The closest wreck is around 25 miles off shore. I hope I don't sound disrespectful or overly cautious but unless your boat is at least 23ft with a reliable engine, loaded to the hilt with electronics and very seaworthy with a captain that has lots of hours in rough seas you should reconsider going out. The shoals are a long way off shore, the river channel is tricky in itself and there will be few other boaters that far off shore this time of year. I have seen glass slick days that have turned to 5 ft waves in a few hours and coming back in from 40 miles out into 5ft waves is not fun.
    As a minimum you will need at least 2 captains if you intend to dive, one of which is on the boat at all times. Leaving the boat anchored with no one or a novice on board is foolhardy. Currents can be ripping at times and getting blown off your anchor line or having it come loose is common. We lost one diver and almost 2 more a few years ago in this same area. They anchored the boat and all went diving, got into a heavy current and got blown off the anchor. One got back to the boat, the Coast Guard found another at dark and the 3rd was never found.
    My best suggestion, bring the boat if you like to explore the inshore waters and do some fishing. Then get with one of the diving operations in the area if you want to dive.
  3. anytime

    anytime Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: SC
    The ramp with the best access to the ocean is the Oak Island ramp. Here is a link with directions. If it is a nice weekend expect to find a packed parking lot.
    Southern Coastal Region Boating Access Areas A-M

    Hotels should be cheap and there are a ton around. I am sure you could find something for around $60 per night out on Oak island or in southport.

    Lots of big fish in on the shoals right now, if you are going to be hunting.

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