Directions to Sail into Ocracoke Inlet and Port of Bath from The Great Western Ocean 35 th Latitude
Map Directions in lower right hand inset of The Chart of his Majesties Province of North Carolina
Map by James Wimble drawn 1729 for the Lords Proprietors scale of 15 leagues
Okerecock. Make towards the Bar and You’ll see a flag staff or a flag hoisted which the Pilot is generally do on the W End of the
Island when they see a ship off then make towards Okerecock I bring Beacon I to Bear W by N. that Course will lead you close to the
Breakers in 17 fe. For Beacon Island keeping close to the said Island till you come towards the N. End.Then steer away E NE for
Teache’s Hole in 4 fathom. Come to an Anchor & take in a Pilot. This Harbour serves for Albemarle Sound as well as for Pamlico.
All the rest of the Bars shift often and are not to be trusted by those who are not well acquainted with them. ..The tide runs in till
half ebb where the Tide rises 5 ft on all the bars. Winds generally blow from Nov till March NWly from March til May, SWly May
to July, NEly July to Nov SEly 20 leagues from land the current sets NE 4 Miles hour, along shore.
'A view of the Custom House with part of the Tower, taken from ye River Thames, London.’ 1753
In 1703 the Colony of Carolina overseers, the eight Lords Proprietors, commissioned the first Port Bath customs
officer James Lee whose duties included sending audited copies of shipping records to the London Custom house
and to the provincial Governor and General Assembly. Customs duties were taxes on imported and exported
goods, and a vital source of revenue for kings and governments. The Custom House was the office where
shipping agents or vessel captains would bring vessel and cargo documents to customs officials. Port Bath
customs collection district was established 1715, Port Bath’s first customs house was built 1723 and is indicated
near the wharves on the Sauthier Bath map of 1768. London's first Custom House was built around 1275, and rebuilt
in 1378 and 1559. Destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, a new Custom House was built by Sir Christopher
Wren during 1669-71. This suffered severe damage after a gunpowder explosion in 1714, and the Custom House was
rebuilt on Wren's foundations in 1717-25. Ripley's Custom House burned down in 1814.
Image Credit: Maurer (artist), John Bowles (engraver & publisher), John Bowles & Son (publishers), Robert Sayer (publisher) 1753.
National Maritime Museum, London.