Portsmouth Island 11-20-2020 AAR (1 Viewer)

Phares

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On November 20, 2020 we loaded into the 80 Series and took off for Morris Marina in Atlantic, NC to take the ferry boat over to Portsmouth Island in the Outer Banks for a weekend of relaxing and surf fishing. Our goal was to eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, sleep when tired and to catch some fish. We caught the ferry back on the afternoon of November 22, 2020 and headed home for Charlotte, NC.

Dates: November 20, 2020 to November 22, 2020

Weather: Sunny and Warm with lows in the upper 50s and highs in the upper 60s. Very little wind. Sunday morning was overcast and a little cooler with light showers starting approx. 1200

Vehicle: 80 Series Land Cruiser w/ lift on 35” tires

Lessons Learned:

Call early for the ferry. I called November 6th and had one option for travel times. Ferry ride was 160$ round trip and took 50 minutes dock to dock

Reduced tire air pressure to 28 PSI from 36 PSI once on the island. Not sure if it was even necessary

Drove up and down the island, never had to shift into Low, but did drive in ‘2’

You CAN buy ice from the Marina in the standard cubes or in giant blocks. Blocks might work better for your "caught fish" cooler.

You CAN NOT buy bait from the Marina

There IS NO gas or ice for sale on the island

Neuse Sport Shop has all the gear/bait you need for the trip

The sun set at 1730 and it got very, very dark. Have everything setup for bed/dinner before then.

It is worth waking up at some point in the middle of the night to look at the stars. Incredible.

Trip from Marina back to Charlotte took 6 hours with several stops for gas and pee breaks

Bring a kite/ball to play for the kids.

Bring more clothes than you think you will need in case you get wet etc.

Sand will get everywhere.

Bring lots of water

There are people to ‘jump’ you if your battery dies but I was still a little stressed about this

A recent fluids flush would be beneficial.

One of our reels ‘busted’ so bring at least 2 rigs.

We had 3 coolers, one for food, one for beer, one for anything we caught/bait.

Modifications that were worthwhile/necessary:

A stock Land Cruiser can make this trip. It is only a matter of convenience or personal needs. Don’t let any of this stop you from going.

The outlets/USB ports I added to the center console provided all the power necessary for our phones for the drive. And because it is wired directly to the battery it isn’t necessary for the truck to be ‘On’ for them to charge.

The lift with AT tires handled the sand with no issues of clearance or traction. I didn’t make any water crossings because I couldn’t find any.

Modifications before the next trip:

Helton Hot Water System

On Board Air System

Dual Battery Setup

I used an 11’ pole with a 6000 series reel and 20lb monofilament. We also had a couple 9’ poles with braid and mono and a 7’ pole. We caught black and red drum, sting rays and skates, puffer fish, a shark, blue fish. We had this pamphlet (Amazon product) to help with fish ID and a copy of the NC fishing regs to ensure we complied with all laws and regulation. You can get a great copy of regs with pictures for free at Neuse Sport Shop.

I will be sure to update this if I can think of anything else. If you have questions about anything specific let me know. This was my first trip but will not be my last.

Black Drum.jpg


Camp (1).jpg


Camp.jpg


Fire.jpg


Fishing.jpg
 
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This is so rad! I'm hoping to do this with my FJ62 next year. Did you have any water crossings? Some videos I've seen have shown heavy road flooding.
 

Phares

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This is so rad! I'm hoping to do this with my FJ62 next year. Did you have any water crossings? Some videos I've seen have shown heavy road flooding.

No, there was no water crossings necessary to enjoy the beach. That being said we did not go to the village. I tried driving North along the beach to circle around but you couldn't get there that way. I imagine if you cut to the West side of the island and go North you will get to the village, and that is where I've seen some video of water crossings. I'd like to get to the village the next time I go. If anyone has any directions on how to get to the village I'd love to hear them.
 

Phares

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Awesome. Puffer fish are great to eat. They are called chicken of the sea. Good looking black drum and red drum as well.

We weren't sure about the puffer fish. I was told to fillet them up and they are like chicken nuggets. We caught 5 or 6 of them.
 

JohnVee

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Yep. Cut from the bottom side to almost through the fish. That lets you break off the head and pull down the skin. Super easy. Super delicious. Don’t bother filleting them, they’re pretty forgiving to cook.
 

JohnVee

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To answer an earlier question here about the road to the village, the center sand road doesn’t go that far north. You have to take the beach until you see the small sign for the village. The problem now (as of late summer) is that the island has been bisected well below the river/swamp/road from the beach to the village.

There are only two roads on the island...the center sand road that starts at the cabin area, and the beach. Those are the only places to drive that aren’t linkages or the village ‘road’.

Read my article in Toyota Trails Sept/Oct issue for info that was current as of late summer.
 

Phares

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To answer an earlier question here about the road to the village, the center sand road doesn’t go that far north. You have to take the beach until you see the small sign for the village. The problem now (as of late summer) is that the island has been bisected well below the river/swamp/road from the beach to the village.

There are only two roads on the island...the center sand road that starts at the cabin area, and the beach. Those are the only places to drive that aren’t linkages or the village ‘road’.

Read my article in Toyota Trails Sept/Oct issue for info that was current as of late summer.

Shameless plug! I'll check out that article for sure. I don't think that sign is there anymore. I saw lots of "Ramp" signs and I wasn't sure what those meant. We got to the Northern most part of the island on the ocean side and there was what I assumed to be the break between PI and Ocracroke. But it might be this wash you speak of.
 

Phares

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I thought I mentioned this above but I didn't. While we were on the island a baby right whale was found dead on the beach and scientist showed up to take care of it and figure out cause of death. I took some pictures but they are not nice to look at so I will not post them. It was sad and cool at the same time.

Below are links to a couple of articles that discuss the baby right whale that was found dead on PI and a follow on article talking about right whales in general and the two new babies!

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