OBR Photo Contest First Place Winner! – 8.13.12

Congratulations to Robin Lee for being our first place winner!

This dramatic long exposure of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse portrays the structure in its regal stance of solitude, illuminated only by the stars and its own watchful light blanketing the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

Robin’s prize is a Kindle Fire! All runners up will receive a hand-drawn OBR t-shirt.

CLICK HERE to view all the runners up and tell us what you think! Thanks for the beautiful photos; keep them coming!!



ORV Access Reopens to Cape Point!

Acting Superintendent, Darrell Echols, announced the reopening of the east side of Cape Point in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to off-road vehicle (ORV) access effective immediately.

According to the newly adopted Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan, the designated ORV route from 0.4 mile north of Ramp 43 to Ramp 44 and south to Cape Point is currently open to ORV traffic from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. daily. The night-time beach driving restrictions are still in effect on all National Seashore beaches from 9:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m.



OBR T-shirt Winners 8.1.12

The following 10 people were randomly selected to receive a FREE OBR t-shirt, congratulations!

1. Keely Holdren – Charlotte, NC

2. Kara Barber – Greensburg, PA

3. Robert W. Pirigyi Jr. – Girard, OH

4. Desiree Bowman – Rising Sun, MD

5. Kelley Smith – Greensboro, NC

6. Wendy Weiler – Ruckersville, VA

7. Linda Thomas – China Grove, NC

8. Carla Stewart – King William, VA

9. Don Weigand – Riverside, IL

10. Jerry Frantz – Sayre, PA

Please email kurtk@outerbeaches.com with your size and style. I will let you know if we are out of your choice. Thanks!

OBR Weekly Photo Contest Winner from 6.25.12 – 7.1.12

Congrats to Robin Lee from Owings Mills, MD!

As last week’s OBR photo contest first place winner, Robin will win an OBR t-shirt and will be entered into our monthly contest to win a Kindle FIRE!

This week’s theme is “Sunrise and Sunset” – CLICK HERE to vote!!

Here is last week’s winning photo. A beautiful long exposure of the World famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse!

NCAA March Madness T-shirt Winners!

Well the tournament is over and we have our top 5 bracket winners! The following people each get an OBR t-shirt, and the first place winner gets 5 shirts!

1. “kinglouie52” gets 5 OBR shirts!

2. “RedRaiderMark” gets 1 shirt

3. “Kristinahoop22” is not eligible since she works here (nice job coming in 3rd though Tina!)

4. “KremDawg12” gets 1 shirt

5. “kelly_guaghan” gets 1 shirt

6. “Lisa6425” gets 1 shirt


– Size and style: We have mens and womens styles. Small to XL in womens, and small to XXL in mens.

– Name and shipping address.

Thanks for playing! Here is your prize 🙂

Halloween Contest Winners!

Here are the winners from the pumpkin category (in no particular order). Please email kurtk@outerbeaches.com to claim your t-shirt prize. Everyone had some great pumpkins, but these were my favorite. Thanks to everyone for participating!

Posted by Dawn Stricker

Posted by Emily Beers Kerwood

Posted by Wendy Birdseye Pavlus

Posted by Gale Midgett

Posted by Joy Spencer Mills

And now for the costume category winners!

Posted by Lori Biedenbach Miller

Posted by Lisa Detweiler Rodriguez

Posted by Darcy DeVille

Posted by John McGinley

Posted by Lynn Yoder

Thanks again for participating. We loved all of your costumes and pumpkins, and we hope you had a fun and safe Halloween! Remember to email kurtk@outerbeaches.com to claim your OBR t-shirts!


Outer Beaches Realty


The Irene Story from Hatteras Island

The purpose of this post is to provide a comprehensive storyboard of events for the situation on Hatteras Island, from today dating back to August 26, 2011. Words can’t really describe the position in which Hurricane Irene has placed many of Hatteras Island’s locals. Hopefully these videos can serve justice to the disaster at hand. The Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo areas are still very much in need of serious help.

Here is the first official Hurricane Irene coverage video. I shot this at 8:30 am, Thursday, August 25th. Notice my happy-go-lucky attitude, and notice the condition of the area of which I am standing.

The next video was taken by Kristina Hooper in Buxton later that afternoon. Kristina’s Father, Elvin Hooper, was boarding up his house at the time of this interview. His vast knowledge of the Island is conveyed here, and you will see a follow up interview with Elvin (later in this blog post) from after the storm. Elvin Hooper was born and raised on Hatteras Island.  He has been here for 62 years, and was born in Buxton when they had a small hospital.

When I first posted this next video from the same afternoon, I received plenty of negative remarks such as “waste of time”, and “why would you post this?” Well I hope now, people can fully understand the symbolism behind these red and black flags, and the deep history they represent.

This next video was the last one I took from Thursday, August 25, 2011. We still had no idea what the fate of our Island was at this point. Some of my friends actually drove down this night in hopes of waking up early to surf Irene’s frontrunner swells. They woke up, looked at the surf, and the Ocean was angry, so they fled the Island.

It is now about 8:30 am, Friday, August 26, 2011 – and I decided to take a 30-minute time lapse video of Irene’s outer bands approaching the Island.

The following video was taken right after I shot the time lapse. At this point I start feeling a bit nervous after watching the latest forecasts for Irene’s track. The old Salts always say “watch out for the one’s that come up the sound”. Well that was exactly what this one was expected to do. When I get nervous, I say “um” a lot.

Now, I really start to feel the humidity from the approaching storm. My shirt was hot and wet, so I removed it. Trying to make light of a serious matter, I decided to walk you through the “Hurricane survival kit”. When I look back at this, I am almost embarrassed and ashamed I even did this. But cold snacks are definitely a must!

This next video was taken about 2 hours after the survival kit video, and in those 2 hours the humidity level jumped from about 85% to nearly 100%! This is a great angle from “Aah View” in the Outer Beaches Realty rental program. They have an outstanding view of the Avon Pier from the top level. You can see the conditions slowly getting worse here.

Here’s a video from the same location shot about 4 hours later. The humidity level is still maxed out, and the wind seems to be picking up a little more at this point. This will be the last video from Friday, August 26, 2011.

The next video was taken upon Irene’s landfall at 6:30 am, Saturday, August 28, 2011. We were seeing strong wind and rain, but nothing we haven’t seen before. The top part of the storm was serving up Southeast winds from the Ocean. This is where things get exciting for anyone who enjoys the rush Mother Nature tends to deliver.

This one was taken a couple of hours later, in the Oceanfront view vantage point at the end of Tigrone Boulevard during the peak of the Southeast wind strength. Here, I am still trying to have fun with a very serious situation. We were still unaware of the severe Soundside flooding to come.

After about 12 hours of strong Easterly winds, the eye passes directly over Hatteras Island. This video is taken during the passing of the eye. The calm atmosphere allows us to drive around and inspect for wind damage. We find little severe damage, and we think the worst is over. Although we still had no clue what happened to the other Villages around Avon, we thought the entire Island was in the clear.

2 Hours later we go back to the Sound and assess the recession of water. It was almost shocking how we couldn’t even see where the water had gone. People were walking around nearly a quarter mile out on the Sound, and the winds were very strong out of the East still. I think we all had a sneaky suspicion that something weird was happening, but we wanted to believe the worst was over and the flooding wouldn’t be that bad.

A few hours later, we head back out to the Soundside of Avon to see if the water had started coming back in. The wind had switched from E to SW. Usually, the wind slowly makes its way from E to NW, but this time it stayed SW at about 40 mph for almost 12 hours! This video shows the start of the flooding, again, we thought this would be the worst of it, and we had no idea what was happening anywhere else on the Island.

This is when things get real. I notice the water is nearly 3 feet deep on the Oceanside of Avon, so I start wondering how deep the Soundside is. All power is completely out, and all I have to illuminate anything is a flashlight app on my smartphone. When I walk outside, it just so happens Alex is across the street checking on the main office generator. I start to think about my family and friends, and all of the people still on the Island.

Now it’s 6:30 am, Sunday, August 28, 2011 – the morning after Irene. I haven’t slept all night, and all I can think about is my family and the rest of the Island. I decide to drive around and assess the damage. The water has started to recede, but there is still plenty around. This is only the beginning. We still have NO clue how the rest of the Island, and the Outer Banks in general has fared.

After venturing around Avon, Alex Risser (OBR President) and I decide to head north to the Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo area to see how things are. We still had no clue what to expect, but we heard from Scott Leggat (OBR VP) that things were pretty bad. He was right, to say the very least.

A few days later, I decided to examine the ferry dock at Rodanthe, as well as the north beach campground damage. The military presence was young, and Food Lion was nice enough to supply the Island with free ice and water.

At this point, I decided to let a few days pass between videos. The nature of the situation was settling in, and it was becoming more real than ever. Driving around with a camera watching the locals pile their lives up on the side of the soggy road led me to start a fundraiser with the exposure my youtube videos had attracted. After some brainstorming for a few hours, HELP 4 HATTERAS was born. A week later, we raised over $5,500 dollars, and I plan on raising plenty more. People who love the Island, and can’t get here to help, have been buying H4H gear from HELP4HATTERAS.org – shirts, coozies, magnets & oval stickers are for sale, and 100% of proceeds go to Hatteras Island disaster relief.

Here is a video interview with Graham Leggat, a local surfboard builder, artist and surfer. Graham lives on Laughing Gull in the Village of Waves, which is a very localized area. Everyone on the road was flooded out, their lives in piles.

This next video is intended to shed light on the excellent work that our NCDOT has done to repair the breach of Highway 12 in Rodanthe.

We decided it would be a good idea to show people the emergency ferry process. After I posted this video, some people may have gotten the idea that I was blaming the ferry system for running the operation incorrectly. I want to assure everyone that I was not trying to come across that way. I admit I got a little caught up in my own frustration toward a very unfortunate and serious matter. For that I apologize, and would like to commend the ferry system and their workers for everything they are doing to maintain supply and property owners access.

Once I got back on the Island, I immediately wanted to check on the Highway 12 repair project in Rodanthe. After all of the large swells we had been having, I thought the sand bridge they were constructing would have been a little washed out, but I was surprised to see how strong it looked. While the progress is impressive, we knew we could count on these hard working Men and Women to get the job done in a timely manner.

The last video in this compilation is a follow-up talk with local resident of 62-years, Elvin Hooper.  I work with Elvin’s daughter Kristina, who had the initial idea to interview her Father while he was boarding up his home in Buxton before the storm. We had a lot of views with positive feedback on the first video, we had to do a second. This post-Hurricane Irene interview discusses the history of the Island’s natural state, and how the recent years have taken a toll on the natural defenses of the Island from situations like this.

Thanks for reading, watching and considering a donation to Hatteras Island Hurricane Irene relief efforts! The local community needs our help to get their lives back to normal so they can welcome visitors back to their beautiful Island!

Kurt Kessler with Outer Beaches Realty

T-shirts! (S-XXL)

Stickers & Magnets!

Coozies for your Cold Snacks!

July Photo Contest Winners

Not only was July a hot month for weather, but it was hot for facebook fan photos as well!  Here are our favorite fan photos from July 🙂

1st place winner - "Ramp 55" posted by Crystal Lynn Thornton

Thanks Crystal!  This photo is beautiful, it reminds me of something you see from the 60s.  I love the contrasting colors and textures in this photo, you win 2 OBR t-shirts for this gem!

2nd place winner - "The Return Trip" posted by Laura Cassanos

This is one of Laura Cassanos’ two entries.  The first one was a shot of the boat heading out to check crab pots, and this one is of the same boat coming back in.  Hence the title, “The Return Trip”.  I love the beauty of this photo with the sheet glassy sound and stunning sunset.  Thanks Laura, this photo earned you an OBR t-shirt!

3rd place winner - "Family" posted by Jane Allwood Adkins

What a photo!  This one really depicts what Outer Beaches Realty is all about, bringing families together on Hatteras Island.  I absolutely love how the eye starts at the textured sand and moves deep into the photo eventually focusing on the thunderstorm over the Atlantic Ocean.  Thanks Jane, this photo earned you an OBR t-shirt!

4th place winner - "Following a Shower" posted by Jenny Kindinger

I love this one!  This is one of those photos that makes you feel like you’re standing right there.  I can hear that truck splashing through sandy puddles while the storm grumbles as it passes overhead.  Stunning photo.  Thanks Jenny, this one earned you an OBR t-shirt!

5th place winner - "Jumping for Joy" posted by Michelle Hamill

This one just puts a smile on my face 🙂  That’s how I feel every morning when I look at the beach on Hatteras Island!  The colorful “Outer Banks” tubes with the Rodanthe Pier in the background puts this one on the top 5 winners list.  Thanks Michelle, this one earned you an OBR t-shirt!

Well that’s all for the July photo contest winners!  Thanks to everyone who posted their beautiful photos of our beloved Hatteras Island.  If these 5 winners would please email kurtk@outerbeaches.com with your t-shirt style, size, and mailing address – we’ll have them to you as soon as possible!  We have mens & womens styles with mens S-XXL, and womens S-XL.

Thanks for reading!

– Kurt & the OBR family

Clear Water Swim

For the past 2 weeks or so, we’ve been experiencing that menacing weather pattern of southwest wind with blazing hot and heavy air.  Yesterday was a nice break in the mid-summer pattern!  The wind switched from hard southwest to light east.  When the wind blows southwest that long, upwelling occurs, which means the wind pushes the Gulf Stream water back out to sea, and brings dirty cold deep water to the surface.  When the wind switches onshore (out of the East), the warm, clean waters of the Gulf Stream come right to our shoreline.  I decided to take the waterproof GoPro camera out for a swim, here are some photos of Hatteras Island at its best, enjoy!

Canonball Jelly

Canonball Jelly 2

Canonball Jelly 3

Water Fountain

I hope you liked the photos!  Remember, the best time of year is fast approaching, so book your home through Outer Beaches Realty to guarantee the best value for your dollar, thanks 🙂

– Kurt & the OBR Family

Reality TV Visits Hatteras Island

Getting Away Together is a PBS reality TV show that follows groups of friends and family to various vacation destinations around the Country.  The Outer Banks has been chosen as one of the best destinations to include in the debut season starting in October!  This is huge for vacation rental managers all over the Country, especially here on Hatteras Island.  President of Outer Beaches Realty, Alex Risser, is one of the main reasons this show went from an idea, to a reality!

Yesterday, the group was filming at REAL Watersports in Waves, NC – where they did some shopping, enjoyed a soundfront lunch at MOJOs, and took kiteboarding lessons from the Pros.  Here are a few photos, enjoy!

Alex Risser having a chat with Producer/Director, Jerry, before production begins.

REAL professional team rider Jason Slezak getting mic'd up for the classroom scene.

REAL professional team rider Sam Bell getting mic'd up for the classroom scene.

Jerry directing the shopping scene.

Filming the shopping scene.

Filming the kiteboarding classroom scene.

Jerry directing the kiteboarding lesson scene.

Filming the kiteboarding lesson scene.