Hatteras Lighthouse vs. Ocracoke
The previous two posts showcase the prime locales for Hatteras wavesailing in NE wind. There is debate as to which place is better and both sides note the plus and minuses of each spot.
I would say that the following likely applies:
If conditions warrant “survival sailing” at Lighthouse Beach, then the southern facing beaches such as Ocracoke would likely be best. There are times when Lighthouse Beach is completely blown out and it is simply a washing machine as far as the eye can see. The fun factor in these conditions is quite low since it feels more like survival out on the water if you even make it out past the surf zone. Ocracoke is fantastic when there is sizable swell wrapping from the north, or a strong southern ground swell. However, waist to chest high surf stemming from a northern wind swell questions the worthiness of the drive even if conditions are side-off to offshore and "clean." The tidal effect either makes or breaks the lineup, and the wave is generally pretty weak. The outside swell lines are hard to find, and the micro chop/bump makes it difficult while bouncing all over the place.
On the other hand, if Lighthouse Beach is not a washing machine, there is usually sizable outside swell which provides easy pickings for an outside turn back to the wave break. Lines do form and DTL riding can be done with an opened sail at the top turn. Fast moving current can be an issue, but launching near the groin generally lessens the current and can make it easier to get out. The Lighthouse also provides fun ramps for jumps and other aerial acrobatics. Though, it can get crowded with surfers and kiteboarders all jockeying for a narrow area of waves downwind of the groin.
Quality vs. quantity this past week was dependent upon whether you prefer bigger surf or cleaner wave zone lines. Given the two days and the options between Lighthouse Beach and Ocracoke, its a tough call, but I would have to pick Hatteras Lighthouse Beach. "Grass is always greener..."
See what we missed on Tuesday at Lighthouse Beach!
Glad to see that the kite crew scored big time in the surf, and not in the ferry traffic!
(All kiteboarding photos by Lane DuPont)
Tuesday, Lighthouse Beach - Jay eying a nice section!
Tuesday, Lighthouse Beach - Tommy with arm raised...well overhead high surf!
Caleb on a nice line Monday at the Lighthouse. Missed it on Tuesday!
Photographer: Bill B