As the wind and waves subside from the remnants of Ida, a quick follow up on what’s happening. All in all I think everyone around here has seen worse damage from other storms. It was more similar to a Nor’easter without the winds, and it definitely wasn’t tropical in nature either. As of today on Tuesday the 17th the road is open again to traffic but only if you have 4 wheel drive. You can see the track in the picture. I’ve heard rumor that they may get one lane of pavement open today , if not today they will do it as soon as possible. They have put a ferry in place that runs from Stumpy Point to Rodanthe, crossing time 1 hr 45 min. This will be used to bring down vehicles that cannot pass on the sand road. For more info on this check out Island Free Press. I love the aerial view of the point, It changes so much it is incredible. It almost looks like a little wave could wrap in but I know with that kind of shape it would be really hard to have a swell direction and wind that would combine to make any kind of a wave. For more aerial view pics check out Don Bowers photo gallery on islandfreepress.org. As far as the surf goes, yesterday finally provided a decent day of waves. As usual , there was a lot of current to paddle against and the vast majority of waves were to fast to make but if you got in the right place at the right time there was a good one to be had. Here is the follow up the buried Porsche on Cottage Ave.
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
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...]
Since the last time I posted on March 16th we’ve had two pretty big lows form off the coast creating really large swells. Wednesday March 18th and Thursday March 26th the surf was really big and breaking way outside on the outer bar. The strange thing was both of them grew in size rapidly without a NE wind which is rare for around here.
These kind of swells aren’t really rideable and you have to wait for it to calm down for it to get rideable. It took a while for the first one to clean up as we were plagued with bad NE winds for several days even as the swell dropped. It finally cleaned up enough to get rideable on Sunday afternoon on the 22nd but the wind came offshore for a few hours on Monday morning the 23rd and there was some nice cleam waves about head high. It only lasted a few hours and by 11 am the wind had come back up NE pretty hard. Those couple of hours the waves were the best I’ve seen in a while. The morning and evening of the 26th the road was closed in Rodanthe on the high tides due to ocean over-wash.
As the sea calmed down the wind would come up out of the south again creating a cross chop with a mixed up swell. A couple of souls paddled out in the mess between rain squalls on Friday the 27th in the afternoon Joey and Matt (slotted here) picked a few off as evidenced by the photo of Matt Munden, but believe me they took a beating in 49 degree water to get a few. The southerly winds killed it and the swell dropped quickly. Since then we have gotten into this pattern of lots of SW winds so the water has warmed up quickly. Sunday the 29th, Friday the 3rd and Monday the 6th the wind has switched from the SSW to West right at dark and blew really hard all night long knocking down what little swell the SW winds had picked up.
Although each time the day after there was a small but rideable offshore day and each time the wind has blown the SW the water gets warmer. We hit 60 degrees on the north side yesterday with 65 on the south side and they are catching drum on the point. It is blowing SW again and it’s supposed to blow west again tomorrow, so the pattern continues.
This is all new for me so I will try my best to keep you informed on what is happening with the surf in Buxton and on Hatteras Island. If you’re looking for a daily report, check out SwellInfo.com. I will be doing a daily morning report on their site and I will still do the daily report on 252-995-4646.
I used to do a monthly report for the Surfer Magazine publication “The Surf Report”. I found it somewhat interesting to compare other locations and see how the surf compared to here during the same time. Hopefully some of you will like to compare in the same way. I will try to post weekly info and maybe even more frequent if conditions exist for a change. Wave height and quality are always viewed differently through different eyes but I hope you enjoy the posts. Lately we have not been in a very good pattern for surf. Lots of fronts with NW winds and they just aren’t generating much swell.
The NW winds have been cold and the water temps have been cold (low 40′s) so I don’t have a whole lot to write about. We finally got a couple of warm days and yesterday even though the surf was really small the day was so nice I just had to paddle out. I only lasted about 45 minutes not cause of the cold but there just wasn’t enough surf. – Scott