Boating, Fishing, and Travel Information for Cape Lookout Bight, NC
Boating in Cape Lookout Bight, NC Map View
Lookout Bight, on the west side of Cape Lookout, affords good anchorage for large vessels, except with winds from south through west to northwest. Power Squadron Spit, the west side of Lookout Bight, is subject to continual change and is partially protected by a rubblestone breakwater awash at low water and hardly visible when a heavy sea is running; its outer end is marked by a lighted buoy about 300 yards northwestward of its seaward end. Mariners should give it a wide berth in bad weather.
Good anchorage for small vessels can be had in the inner bight northeast of Catfish Point in 7 to 14 feet, good holding ground of soft mud. Prevailing swell from the southwest is effectively excluded, but the surrounding terrain is too low to greatly restrain the force of wind. A severe blow from the northerly direction may cause a vessel to drag
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Cape Lookout is the extremity of a long and very narrow sand beach projecting into the sea where the coast angles sharply westward. Cape Lookout Light (34°37’22″N., 76°31’28″W.), 156 feet above the water, is shown from a black and white diagonally checkered tower on the north point of the cape. Cape Lookout National Seashore, a Marine Protected Area (MPA), is located between Ocracoke Inlet and Beaufort Inlet.
Cape Lookout Shoals extend about 9 miles south-southeastward from the cape where they are marked by a lighted buoy. Their greatest width is about 2 miles, and depths over the shoals range from 2 to 18 feet. Lookout Breakers is the local name for the ridge, covered 2 feet, about 4 miles out on the shoals south of the cape. Between Lookout Breakers and the cape are several other spots which break heavily.
Outside the shoals proper is an irregular shoal with a depth of 29 feet over it in about 34°25’26″N., 76°23’41″W.; thence about 3 miles south-southeastward there is a wreck cleared to 39 feet. These can be avoided by passing south of the lighted bell buoy about 18 miles south-southeastward of the cape. In thick weather a vessel should stay in 14 fathoms or more if uncertain of its position. A number of wrecks and fish havens with varying depths over them are in the vicinity of the shoals; some are marked.
A channel extends from deep water in Lookout Bight through Barden Inlet and Lighthouse Bay to deep water in Back Sound. The channel is very unstable and has a tendency to fill; strangers should use extreme caution. The channel is well marked; however, the uncharted buoys and daybeacons through Barden Inlet are frequently shifted in position to mark the best water. Local knowledge is advised.