One Kook’s Safari: The ABCs of the summer of ’14

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A surfer takes a turn off the lip on Thursday’s overhead waves. Surfers flocked to the water from throughout the region for the weekday swell.  By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning. A surfer takes a turn off the lip on Thursday’s overhead waves. Surfers flocked to the water from throughout the region for the weekday swell. By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning. Well, that went quick.

How did Labor Day weekend get here so fast? Well, I guess you blinked. Either that or they’ve changed the length of July and August somehow. I, for one, blame Obama.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to talk surfing, and how we are three for three so far on the hurricanes of 2014 and it’s not even September yet.

By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning.

To no one’s surprise, the predicted swell brought surfers from throughout the region to the shore. A couple of guys who drove from just outside Philadelphia joked that there were more surfers in the water than the total population of year-round residents.

Tommy Barbour of Ocean City hit the water by 6 a.m., and said it was already crowded then. There was a deep lineup just about anywhere there was a break. Barbour said he would have been happy to trade a couple feet of swell for a place to ride without a three or four other surfers taking off.  

A surfer ducks under the lip of a wave on Thursday morning. A surfer ducks under the lip of a wave on Thursday morning. The crowds were bigger for Hurricane Arthur, which followed a similar track in early July and also led to a big turnout of surfers. Those waves weren’t as good as forecast, Barbour said. But they were way bigger than what the Jersey Shore is used to for July, and in August, Bertha sent big, clean waves rolling in all day long. There was also another big midweek swell the next week, without the fanfare but bringing in some excellent rides.

Thursday’s waves included a few bomber sets, and in some areas there were more closeouts than clean rides, but the swell looked set to continue through the day, dropping down to about waist high before sunset, with smaller but still clean waves expected over the weekend.

Lest it seem like we don’t take strong, overhead waves seriously enough, keep in mind that they are dangerous, and can be deadly. The storm is being blamed for rip currents that cost a 17-year-old boy his life in Sandy Hook, and there were other deaths elsewhere, including a drowning in Maryland.

On the other coast, Hurricane Marie threw even bigger waves around, and a surfer was killed in Malibu this week in the heavy swell.

By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning. By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning. If you paddle out into hurricane swell, be careful, keep your eyes open, choose your wave carefully and look out for underwater hazards. Just look after yourself, OK? I don’t have enough readers to spare any.

The worst I saw Thursday morning were a couple of closeouts giving surfers a strong, salty shower, and there was one collision that ended with an unexpected embrace in the whitewater, and both riders came up laughing. 

By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning. By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning.

By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning. By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning.

By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning. By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning.


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