Our family was introduced to the Outer Banks by our visionary grandfather, Harvey. He was a young businessman with a love of the outdoors. His passion for fishing led him to sparsely populated Hatteras Island, an island enriched by its people, the beauty of the landscape, tales of pirate ships, a coastline full of shipwrecks and sunken treasure. He considered the Outer Banks to be a fishing paradise, a peaceful respite from rigors of the business world. Only true love could have made our grandmother, Veronica, travel with him to what she initially considered to be a godforsaken, mosquito-laden place. She was none too enamored with her beloved on the day they arrived, too late to catch the last ferry back home across the Oregon Inlet where the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge now spans. This meant spending the night on the island to wait for the next ferry in the morning. Grandmother came to love the island and could fry a freshly caught speckled trout or flounder that would rival any chef.
I have fond childhood memories of spending summers on the Outer Banks swimming, seashell hunting, fishing every day with both of my grandfathers, climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, building boats out of scrap wood, watching the high winds and waves during hurricanes and sitting on the front porch of Grandmother and Granddad’s Coast Guard House eating ice cream as the sun set over the Pamlico Sound. What I did not realize is that years later, in 1987, I would come back to the Coast Guard House in Salvo to start the Hatteras Watersports business, would eventually meet my wife, Kathy, and that we would choose to raise our family here. Our family sits on the very same front porch that I did as a child and enjoys the Hatteras Island heavenly breeze and views. We are happy to be a part of this community and enjoy the lifestyle the island has to offer. We are grateful for Granddad’s adventurous spirit that brought him, and us, to Hatteras Island, the place we now call home.
Pea Island Life-Saving Station
He relocated it from its original site just north in the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge to its current location in Salvo, NC. The size of the house made it impossible to move it as a single unit, so it was cut in half, moved south several miles to Salvo and reassembled in its current location in Salvo.
Richard Etheridge made American history on January 24, 1880, when he became the first African American to be appointed to the position of Captain (a.k.a. Keeper) of a U.S Life-Saving Service Station. He served for more than 20 years as the Pea Island Station Keeper of an all African American crew (a.k.a. surfmen) until his death on May 8, 1900.
We are committed to continuing the Hatteras Watersports tradition of providing vacationers with top-of-the line equipment, Southern hospitality, incredible waterfront views of the Pamlico Sound and an opportunity to see the Pea Island U.S. Life-Saving Station where Outer Banks and American history was made. We hope to make your visit with us one you will remember fondly and look forward to seeing you!