After all the November swells and storms today we experienced, today was our first almost flat day in quite some time. It is Sunday November 29th and also the first nice sunny day we have seen in about 3 weeks. Not unusual for this time of year. Seems like a lot of years the first couple weeks of December usually brings small conditions with extreme tides and that is what we experienced today. After all the severe erosion and storm surge of the remnants of Ida, and another swell shortly thereafter the sand bars have been rearranged in a way very rarely seen. It was one of those days that you only wish you could only shrink yourself down to a foot high and you could catch some of the best waves ever seen on the Outer Banks. In some places there is no beach at all and 100 yds north or south the beach is as wide as we have seen in years. Definitely a unique day on the Outer Banks.
I know it has been a while since I posted but I just got busy and shortly I will backtrack and post some thing from the past couple of months but this is about right now. On the 1st of November, my friend Jeff Oden and I went to visit a friend who just finished building a beautiful new home aptly named Ventana a las Olas in Rancho Santana, Nicaragua. Hoping to get some good waves and a last shot of warm water before the winter. Nicaragua is known for consistent offshores all day long. October is rainy season and almost always ends at the 1st of Nov. This year they have not had one so we were hoping for even better than normal conditions. The other phenomena that will bring the onshores is a a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean. Well, 2 days after arriving Ida formed, bringing with it rain and onshores. We still surfed daily, had fun, and enjoyed good times with old friends but didn’t quite get the waves we had hoped for thanks to Ida. She finally pulled out of the Caribbean and headed up to the Gulf our last couple of days and we finally got the offshores back with a nice head high to overhead swell. Now it should be noted that I was traveling with Jeff Oden who owns the Sea Gull Motel in Hatteras village, the same one that was wrecked by another storm with the name of Isabel. Even he will tell you to stay away from women who’s name begins with the letter I. Leaving Nicaragua and flying to Raleigh we flew right back into the remnants of Ida as she worked her way up the Eastern seaboard. Just like the abnormalities in Nicaragua they continued for us at home. Usually, Hatteras is hit with the worst winds and rain and as we drove past Rocky Mount heading east the wind and rain increased. Driving past at least 10 car accidents in 30 miles it wasn’t looking good for us as we just knew it would be worse on the coast, confirming that as we drove past the flooded farms around Columbia. As we crossed the Alligator river bridge we were surprised to see it only blowing about 15-25 out of the NE. As we crossed the bridge to Manteo it was only blowing about 10-15 and by the time we crossed Oregon Inlet it was barely blowing. There was plenty of swell in the ocean and as we drove by the S-curves the dune was down but very little water on the road at low tide. We were fortunate to get thru as later that afternoon the road was washed over and out. While the ocean was about as big, rough and mixed up as could be the weather on Hatteras Island was 70 degrees, light wind and sunny, while Virginia Beach, Nags Head and Wilmington were getting pounded with rain and wind it was as nice as could be here. On Friday the 13th we woke up to the same but that would soon change, about 9 am the winds came out of the north along with the clouds and even more swell driving up the sound tides to combine with even stronger Ocean swells at the high tide that afternoon. On Thursday the swell was really confused coming from all directions but on Friday it became more northerly with a wrap around swell on the south side that was as usual mostly closing out with the odd one here and there. Stayed pretty stormy here all day on Saturday but I heard Joey and Brett made it out late this evening at the lighthouse. It doesn’t look good for the road in Rodanthe as it has sustained extensive damage. I only have a small camera but here is a short vid I took of the surf on Friday evening. Posted on You Tube Enjoy the gallery and check out the pics on Island Free Press. Don Bowers slide show and Daniel Pullen slide show
We’ve had a pretty good run of surf here this summer. I wish I had some more pics of the better days but Daniel was one of the “surf sacrifices” for the first swell of the summer. The 24th of June produced a nice NE swell with clean conditions and the early morning had a few overhead sets with light offshores.
The day before my son Hyatt was working on his car and stuck his hand in the fan blade requiring seven stitches in the pinky finger. Daniel was out surfing early that morning and was caught inside on a larger set . Someone was outside taking off to late , and as Daniel did his duck dive the nose of the pearling board pierced his foot requiring stitches and left a nice bruise.
Todd up at OBBC took a nose to the leg , more stitches and we had all the makings of a surf sacrifice. Small rideable waves followed the rest of the week if you played the tides and the wind and on Monday the 6th of July there was a choppy swell on the south side with a pretty stiff SW wind that picked up [Read more...]
Hey this board is not red, it’s green. It’s a surf shot of Joey Crum on his old green fish. We built this one for Joey about 5 years ago and last year he finally retired it “last” summer. Many hours were logged on the green fish and it has seen all sizes of waves and all conditions. Some days it was well overhead and closing out, not a fish type wave at all but Joey would take it out and still surf it well.
If you have been to Hatteras any time in the past 5 years and there was a swell of some kind you probably saw Joey out on his green fish. Joey rides short boards also but likes his fish designs done old school. The green one was glassed with all 6 0z glass , Green resin tint, cut laps, glass on twins, gloss and polish – the works. I think he rode it so much that it had been delaminated twice and repaired twice gaining weight each time and it was never a “Super Light” to begin with. Last summer he ordered a new fish and this one was to be a little different than the old green one. This one had the old school nose but a modern tail with a tri fin, not a twin like fish usually are done. [Read more...]
Yeah, I know this is supposed to be about surfing but there hasn’t been much this month and the water has been crystal clear. This is a very rare occurrence on the Outer Banks and I wanted to share these pics with everyone.
After the last post, the water has stayed clear for almost 2 weeks. There has been a couple of small SE swells pop up , bringing in the gulf-stream with few fun waves to go with them. On Saturday the 6th a front passed through early in the morning and there was some swell to be had on the south side. All the surf reports predicted waves this day so there were quite a few people down. There were some shoulder high sets but the wind came up with a lot of east and killed it but then backed off in the early afternoon for a bit before picking up again.
The next day there were no predicted waves and the waves were about chest to shoulder, fairly clean with decent winds. The swell increased during the day peaking early afternoon. The water was crystal clear and looking at the waves in the morning the color looked like I was in the tropics. No swell was predicted so there was no one around. I surfed early with one other person and did a second go out by myself. Even the bath house ( one of the more popular spots and has a decent sandbar now) only had about 3 people out.
The following week had little waves and you could get a surf in for an hour or 2 if you played the tides right but the real story is how many days the water stayed clear. Everyone forgot about surfing and was snorkeling, diving and spearfishing. Frisco was clear, all the north side was clear, I heard all the way up into Pea Island was clear. Enjoy the pics, taken at the first jetty.
All pics courtesy of Daniel Pullen
May which is usually a good month for surf let us down this year. If you were into windsurfing or kiteboarding it was the month to be here. Warming temps and sideshore winds. The first 9 days of the month the wind blew SW at least 15-25 if not more. There was some rideable days of surf when it would get just enough west to clean up some of the sideshore mess but they were mosty desperation go outs. Then there was a few days of NE wind chop, then a couple of days of SE wind chop and then 2 more days of SW winds followed by 3 days of NE wind 25-35 finally calming down some on the 21st.
The thursday and friday before Memorial day there was some fun waist to shoulder high days in Frisco. The strange thing was all of a sudden the water went back down to the low 60′s after flirting with 70 degrees all month. All the sideshore winds all month have worked to dig a pretty good trench down the beach on the north side destroying most of the sand bars but for some reason there is a plethora of sand bars on the south side. It is very rare that that the south side has better sand bars [Read more...]
photos taken by Robbie Johnson. To see more pics of the same day check out http://www.surfcarolinamagazine.com/photos.html
April, 2009 would be the best month of surf so far this year, but it was still up and down, surf and water temps. Started out with some South west winds blowing in warmer water which was a relief since it had been so cold this winter. On the 3rd of April it blew hard SW all day building a swell about head high. The wind went offshore hard about an hour before dark and there were a few fun waves to be had but I’m sure it got better during the night sometime. [Read more...]