Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ocracoke Inlet

Ocracoke Inlet is the only Outer Banks inlet that has been continuously open since Europeans began keeping records. Numerous other inlets have opened and closed in the last 450 years. Because of its strategic location and navigable status Ocracoke Inlet saw considerable shipping traffic. In the early 19th century as many as 1400 sailing vessels passed through Ocracoke Inlet in a year's time.

Historic Inlets
From Place Names of the Outer Banks
by Roger L. Payne

In 1846 the situation changed. In that year a hurricane opened Hatteras Inlet, and mariners soon discovered that the new inlet was less dangerous and more easily navigated. As shipping moved to Hatteras Inlet, so did many of the pilots from Ocracoke and Portsmouth who guided ships from the Atlantic into Pamlico Sound.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Capt. Horatio Williams and his schooner, the Paragon. You can read the story here: www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112115.htm.


  1. Anonymous6:04 PM

    Philip, other than pleasure craft,tourism and a few fishing boats is Ocracoke Inlet of any real value today? I know that question sounds harsh but what IS it's real value now, if any?

    1. So what is "value"? Are you asking about economic value, aesthetic value, environmental value? Regardless, the answers are complex, and I don't pretend to be able to quantify value. I suspect your question is about economic value. Pleasure craft, fishing boats, and tourism all provide "value" to Ocracoke and North Carolina. Environmentally, Ocracoke Inlet provides "value" to the ecosystem of Pamlico Sound, the Outer Banks, and coastal North Carolina. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can answer the question with more certainty.

  2. Anonymous6:28 PM

    what I was getting at was like shipping, is ANYTHING even shipped through the inlet. I was just curious is anyone even did that anymore? It would be nice if someone did. thanks for answering. good site here. (Kelly in Charleston)