06/15/11

Outer Banks Makes Coastal Living’s List For Best Coastal Bike Trails

Coastal Living just released its list of best coastal bike trails on its website. It came as no surprise to us that the Outer Banks made the list. Hatteras Island is known for its abundance of recreational activities, including a favorite past time for young and old – riding bikes.

For distance cyclists, there’s no better route than right along NC Highway 12. With a bike lane that extends for 55 miles, and a flat, even route throughout the entire stretch, (aka, no hills), Highway 12 attracts cyclists from all over the world who want to go the distance and enjoy some amazing scenery along the way.

Looking for a more leisurely ride? Explore the trails along the Pamlico Sound and maritime forests. For example, the National Park Service grounds around the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse offers a multitude of trails, or the Salvo Day Use Area has small paved unused roads winding along the sound. Many communities, like Wind Over Waves and Hatteras Colony in Salvo and Avon, are also perfect for bicyclists, with winding roads and little traffic. Kinnakeet in Avon and Hatteras Village are especially nice for bicycle rides with historic houses and scenic architecture and island historical spots.

If you didn’t bring your bikes with you on your vacation you can always rent them! Ocean Atlantic Rentals offers bike rentals, as well as rentals for just about all of your beach needs, and they offer delivery service! Visit them online at www.oceanatlanticrentals.com, or call their Hatteras store at (252) 995-5868.


06/9/11

Outer Banks Anglers Set to Participate in 53rd Annual Big Rock Tournament

The 53rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament is happening June 10th-18th along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. Big Rock is a modified release tournament targeting blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish. Gamefish levels include dolphin, tuna and wahoo. This six-day event will bring out hundreds of the best fishermen in the world, all hoping to take home part of a cash purse that exceeds more than $1 million – a huge difference from the original Big Rock purse of 250 silver dollars!

The waters off the coast of the Outer Banks and along the coastline of North Carolina are notorious for their record breaking blue marlin catches. Did you know there was a time when the existence of blue marlins along the coastline was purely a myth? Residents in Moorehead City, NC had been told many tales by sailors about the blue marlin, and eventually decided to find out for themselves if they existed or not. In the summer of 1957, the small town raised a small cash prize and a small charter boat fleet headed out in hopes of catching the elusive fish. During that summer, many captains claim to have spotted the marlins, but none were ever caught. That all changed September 14th when Raleigh angler, Jimmy Croy, snagged a 143-pound blue marlin aboard the Mary Z. The crew radioed in their catch, and by the time they pulled into port the small town had gathered to greet them with an impromptu parade and a wagon full of silver dollars! For more Big Rock history, click here.

Last year, 155 boats fished the waters off Morehead City, North Carolina and competed for a record purse of $1,658,450. This year looks like it’s shaping up to be an even bigger event, with the 14th Annual Keli Wagner Big Rock Lady Angler Event kicking off the festivities the evening of June 10th. For the complete schedule of events, click here.

Local boats Hunter and Qualifier, both from Manteo, and Sea Creature from Hatteras have already registered and are gearing up for the tournament. On Big Rock’s website you can listen to the captains throughout the day via their boat radios. At the end of the day they also have live feed of the boats coming in to weigh, which you can watch here.

The Big Rock is a non-profit tournament and has donated over $2,300,000 dollars to charity and worthy organizations. Randy Ramsey, board of directors President says, “Our goal is to offer participants the finest sportfishing tournament experience while helping support Big Rock’s many worthwhile charities.”

For more information on the Big Rock tournament, click here.
For a list of retailers selling this years Big Rock T-shirt, click here.
Watch last year’s weigh-in video here.


05/27/11

Cape Hatteras Named #5 Best Beach in America!

Once again, Cape Hatteras has been declared one of THE BEST beaches in the country by famous Dr. Beach! Each year Dr. Beach travels the nation’s coastlines, searching for beaches that meet his strict criteria for “best beach.” The 2011 list has just been released and Cape Hatteras came in at an impressive #5! Those of us that live and vacation here think it is #1!

Dr. Beach uses a list containing 50 criteria, rating sand softness to scenery to the amount of jellyfish in the water! Here is what Dr. Beach said about Hatteras Island:

“Bulging far offshore of the mainland coast as a barrier island, Cape Hatteras was the first National Seashore. Providing some of the best board surfing along the East Coast, as well as the most famous lighthouse in the United States, Cape Hatteras attracts beachgoers to its historic fishing villages. Nature lovers adore the excellent beachcombing and superb fishing.”

Those are just a few reasons so many people choose Cape Hatteras as their vacation destination. It is the perfect place to relax with your toes in the sand OR participate in an adventure on the water. There is no other place in the country like Hatteras Island. It truly is a unique area with gorgeous, clean beaches, breathtaking scenery and bountiful history.

Every day is like a vacation and all of us here at Surf or Sound Realty are proud to work on one of THE BEST beaches in the country and happy to share it with our vacation guests who love it, too!


05/14/11

17th Annual Hatteras Village Offshore Open

Photo courtesy of Hatteras Village Offshore Open

Photo courtesy of Hatteras Village Offshore Open

The 17th annual Hatteras Village Offshore Open kicked off Wednesday and wrapped up today with thirty-four boats on the open waters.

Forecasters were calling for cloudy skies and and a pretty good chance of the thunderstorms, but sunny skies and warm weather prevailed for the anglers.

Cash prizes and trophies were awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in different categories.

HVOO started in 1994 and has become a unique tournament enjoyed by local captains and fisherman, as well as visitors who all share a love for Hatteras waters.

Be part of some of these tournaments coming up:

Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament June 10-18
www.thebigrock.com

Hatteras Marlin Club Tournament June 19-25
www.hatterasmarlinclub.com

Hatteras Grand Slam Billfish Tournament July 8-9
www.hatterasgrandslam.com


04/12/11

Visit The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the Moonlight

Every year the National Park Service offers an amazing chance to experience the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the moonlight. The NPS will be offering Full Moon Tours of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse the evening of April 17 to the visiting public and local communities.

Two tours will be given, one at 7:30 p.m. and a second at 8:30 p.m., and each tour is limited to 30 people. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Full Moon Tour ticket sales will start on Friday, April 15. The lighthouse ticket booth is open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. daily. Full Moon Tour tickets are non-refundable.

As there are no lights inside the lighthouse, climbers will navigate the 257 stair staircase using handheld flashlights. During the climb, park rangers will provide stories of the arduous duties of the lighthouse keeper. From the watch room, visitors will be able to view the light up close and in motion and hear of the operation of the beacon, past and present – a truly unique experience. Outside on the lighthouse balcony (weather permitting) climbers will get a glimpse of what the lighthouse keepers of old were able to experience – seeing that beam of light reaching out to sea and the startling reflection of the newly risen moon on the ocean.

Things to know:
1. Full Moon Tour tickets, limited to the first 60 purchasers, must be purchased in person, in advance, at the lighthouse ticket booth. Full Moon Tour ticket sales will begin Friday, April 15. It is anticipated that tickets will sell out early. Standard admissions fees apply – $7 for adults, and $3.50 for children (11 and under) as well as seniors (62 and older). The lighthouse ticket booth, located at the lighthouse site, is open from 8:15 a.m. – 4:40 p.m. daily.

2. Each participant must bring a handheld flashlight with fresh, serviceable batteries.

3. All participants are required to be at least 42 inches tall and must climb the steps on their own – they can not be carried! If unsure, check with the park rangers before purchasing your non-refundable ticket. Also, keep in mind that some youngsters, although meeting height requirements, may not enjoy the dimly lit, sometimes claustrophobic environment.

4. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

5. For safety reasons, all participants must climb and descend with the group. No exceptions.

6. Know your limitations! The lighthouse is tall, dark, often hot, humid, and can be a challenge to climb. There are no internal lights or air conditioning.

7. All routine lighthouse safety requirements, as well as restrictions to eating, drinking, gum etc., apply. This information will be provided to you when you purchase your ticket.

8. Tickets are non-refundable. If the program is cancelled due to weather, the ticket holder may exchange the ticket the following morning, April 18, between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. for a replacement ticket useable only on April 18. This ticket will be for day climbing only.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Moonlight Tours – just one of the many things to experience on Hatteras Island!


04/1/11

Record Breaking Bluefin Tuna Caught Off Hatteras Island Coast

Corey Shultz (bottom right) and friends with his catch. Photo via GrindTv.Com

Corey Shultz (bottom right) and friends with his catch. Photo via GrindTv.Com

You never know what type of fish you may catch in the beautiful blue waters along the Hatteras coastline. Maybe cobia; or perhaps a Spanish mackerel; or possibly one of the giant bluefin tuna that shows up this time of year where the Gulf Stream and Labrador Current meet off Hatteras Island. Maybe you will even catch a record breaking bluefin tuna. That’s exactly what Corey Schultz, of Waverly, Virginia did!

Shultz and some friends hopped aboard the Sea Breeze, a chartered fishing boat at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, and set out on their journey. Little did they know it would turn into a history making adventure! It took two-and-a-half hours to reel in the monstrous bluefin and all eight men to pull the titanic fish aboard. They still had no idea just how magnificent their catch was until they weighed the fish at the dock. What justifies a North Carolina record breaker? 805˝ pounds. Yes – you read that correctly! Huge! The previous NC bluefin tuna record was 744 pounds in 1995 – also caught off Oregon Inlet!

It just goes to show that you never know what kind of fun and adventure you are in for when you visit Hatteras Island! Maybe YOU will be the next record breaker when you plan your vacation with Surf or Sound Realty!

If you have any pictures of you or your family fishing on Hatteras Island we want to see them! Post them on our Facebook page and share them with the community!


09/16/10

Night Beach Driving Permits Available Beginning September 16th

The National Park Service has announced that night beach driving permits are now available for off-road vehicle use on the ocean beaches between 10pm and 6am. The permits are available from September 16th to November 15th, 2010.
The night driving permit must be read, signed and dated by the driver of the off-road vehicle and must be visibly displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle. You can download and print the permit from the national seashore’s website at http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm. The permit should be printed in color, if possible.
A hard copy of the permit is available at any Cape Hatteras National Seashore Visitor Center, Whalebone Information Center, the Hatteras Weather Station in Hatteras village, as well as local area tackle shops.
Visitors, be aware that there are sea turtle nest protection areas in effect and please drive with caution. These posted areas are closed to all ORV, pedestrian and pets. For more information, please call the National Park Service at (252)473-2111 ext 148.


08/26/10

Rip Currents Awareness

What are rip currents?
Rip currents are channels of water that develop in an opening in a sand bar. Though relatively narrow near the beach, rip currents can increase to over 50 yards in width as they extend up to 1000 feet offshore. The velocity of the water can be as high as 5 mph.

How to identify rip currents?
Rip currents can be identified before entering the water. Look for an area of murky water due to sediment mixing as the channel opened in the sandbar. If the rip current has lasted a long time, the color of the water will appear darker than the surrounding water because of the channel carved by the flowing water. Rip currents will also move objects and/or foam steadily seaward and will cause a break in the incoming wave pattern.

What to do if caught in a rip current?
* Remain calm. Remember, rip currents can pull a swimmer away from the shore but not under the water.
* Swim parallel to the shore until you break free, then swim diagonally toward the shore. Do not attempt to swim directly back toward the shore
* If you cannot swim out of the current, float until it weakens, then swim diagonally toward the shore.
* Ask for help by waving your hands.

Please keep in mind the following Safety Tips:

* Stay out of the water during dangerous surf conditions.
* Know how to swim. Non-swimmers should not rely on floats, such as boogie boards, while in deep water.
* Always swim near a lifeguard.
* Locate rip currents before entering the water.
* Tune in to NOAA weather radio and monitor websites (National Weather Service, Eastern Dare County, NC) and local media for updated surf conditions during your stay on the Outer Banks.
* Check with the lifeguards about rip currents and other hazardous conditions.
* Do not attempt to rescue someone caught in a rip current. Notify a lifeguard or, if there is no lifeguard, yell directions on how to escape, throw the victim something that floats, and call 911.

This information was provided by the National Park Service. For more information on rip currents, ask a lifeguard or check the website at http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.


08/3/10

Beach Bonfires Offer Evening Fun on Hatteras Island

Beach bonfires are a fun way to enjoy the Cape Hatteras beach at night. Far from bright city lights, there is nothing quite like the crackling sound and campfire smell of a beach bonfire – with its warm glow illuminating the night sky. Be sure to stop by area convenience, grocery or tackle stores for conveniently bundled firewood and a shovel. Don’t forget to grab graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows for making warm gooey s’mores! Simply delicious and oh so fun! Sitting around a beach bonfire is a great way to end the day, sharing stories and spending time with family and friends.
Before heading to the beach with all of your supplies in tow, be sure to read, print, sign and date your Beach Fire Permit. These permits are required as of May 1, 2012.

Please review the rules set forth by the Cape Hatteras Seashore Recreational Area to ensure the safety of you, your family, and the surrounding natural environment.

National Park Service Rules for Beach Bonfires:
-Bonfires are allowed from 6am to 10pm (prohibited between 10pm and 6am).
-From May 1 to November 15, bonfires are allowed on the ocean beaches of Coquina Beach, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras, and the Ocracoke Day Use area.
-From November 16 to April 30, bonfires are allowed throughout the park.
-The bonfire permit must be present and signed by the reponsible adult (18 years of age or older) in attendance.
-Fires are prohibited within resource protection closures or within 100 meters of any turtle nest closure.
-Bonfires are to be no greater than 3 feet in diameter and may only be ignited and maintained seaward of the ocean dune, below the high tide mark and at least 50 feet from any vegetation.
-The use of non-wood products or wood products containing non-wood items (e.g., metal, glass, plastic) for fire construction is prohibited.
-Fires cannot be left unattended and must be completely extinguished (cold to the touch) upon termination of use.
Please be sure to clear your area of all trash before leaving the beach and remember the to leave the Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches in a clean and safe condition for the next visitor.


05/28/10

Cape Hatteras Named #4 Best Beach in the U.S. by Dr. Beach

Cape Hatteras was named the 4th best beach in the US for 2010 by Dr. Beach! Up from #7 on the list in 2009 and #8 on the list in 2008, Cape Hatteras is an excellent place for beachcombing and fishing.

The Top 10 list is compiled each year by the coastal expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman, director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research knows as “Dr. Beach.” He uses 50 criteria to measure the beach quality. Some of these include sand and water conditions, cleanliness, wildlife, weather, safety, views, and amenities.

The complete list of the Top 10 beaches for 2010 is as follows:

1.Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York
2.Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida
3.Coronado Beach in San Diego, California
4.Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
5.Main Beach in East Hampton, New York
6.Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
7.Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
8.Beachwalker Park in Kiawah Island, South Carolina
9.Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii
10.Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida

We hope you will make Cape Hatteras of North Carolina your travel destination this year!