Boating, Fishing, and Travel Information for Ocracoke Island, NC
Boating in Ocracoke Island, NC Map View
Supplies in limited quantities are available at Ocracoke. Gasoline, diesel fuel, water, and ice may be obtained at the piers.
A toll ferry transports passengers and autos daily from Ocracoke to a ferry landing on the north side of Cedar Island, about 12 miles by road north of Atlantic on the mainland and also to a ferry landing at Swanquarter, about 25 miles north-northwest of Ocracoke.
Vessels are requested to anchor only in the southern end of Silver Lake so as not to interfere with ferry traffic. Diesel fuel, gasoline, marine supplies, a pump-out station, water, ice, berthing with electricity and a launching ramp are available nearby. The National Park Service piers on the north side of the basin have berths with electricity and water.
Click the “Map View” button above to see a chart of this harbor.
Ocracoke Inlet, 27 miles west-southwest of Cape Hatteras Light is entered over a shifting bar between the southern end of Ocracoke Island and the northern end of Portsmouth Island; the bar is subject to frequent changes. A lighted whistle buoy marks the approach. Other buoys marking the inlet are not charted, because they are frequently shifted in position; local knowledge is advised. Ocracoke Inlet Crab Spawning Sanctuary, a Marine Protected Area (MPA), is in the inlet near Ocracoke Island and Pamlico Sound.
Ocracoke Light (35°06’32″N., 75°59’10″W.), 75 feet above the water, is shown from a white tower near a clump of woods on the western part of Ocracoke Island and about 3 miles northeastward of Ocracoke Inlet. Ocracoke Coast Guard Station is 0.4 mile north of the light.
A microwave tower about 1 mile east-northeast of Ocracoke Light is reported to be prominent.
Several channels or sloughs lead from Ocracoke Inlet through the shoals to deep water in Pamlico Sound. Teaches Hole Channel follows the western side of Ocracoke Island and connects with Silver Lake through a dredged channel at Ocracoke. It also joins Big Foot Slough Channel northwest of Ocracoke which leads to Pamlico Sound. In 2011, the midchannel controlling depth in the entrance channel to Silver Lake was 6 feet. Teaches Hole Channel is subject to frequent changes; buoys are frequently shifted in position. In 2011, the controlling depth in Big Foot Slough Channel was 4.2 feet. The channel is reported to shoal considerably between dredgings. Strong currents have been experienced in these channels. Mariners are advised to exercise caution while navigating in the area.
A swash channel, marked by a light and daybeacons, connects Big Foot Slough Channel with Nine Foot Shoal Channel. which leads off in a northwesterly direction. The controlling depth is about 5 feet through the swash channel to Pamlico Sound. Some local vessels use this channel as a short cut, but Big Foot Slough Channel is the recommended channel.
The town of Ocracoke is 3.5 miles inside the inlet.
Silver Lake, a circular basin at Ocracoke, affords good anchorage in depths of 12 feet, and has several wharves extending from the shore to depths of 10 or more feet.