Action from Hurricane Earl
Hurricane Earl was the big news of late last week. The hurricane approached Cape Hatteras as a category 4 storm prompting local authorities to issue mandatory evacuations for both residents and visitors to Hatteras Island. Though the evacuation call was in the best interest given the storm's approaching fury, Earl quickly degraded as it neared Cape Hatteras and brushed by with minimal damage/effect. All in all, the aftermath included some soundside flooding, ocean overwash at vulnerable stretches of Rt 12, and downed tree branches and pine cones. Though, the SandBar in Buxton did lose part of its roof, and the Frisco Pier finally collapsed. See local coverage on Island Free Press.
As for water action, Earl was the surfers storm. The fast pace of the hurricane, timing, and lack of surrounding weather conditions kept windsurfing or kitesurfing windows of opportunity to a minimum. Coupled with the mandatory evacuation and NPS closures, no word of wavesailing or wave kiting were noted (other than the national spotlight (Weather Channel and CNN) for Dimitri M as he made an oceanfront kitesurfing run by the camera crews in front of the Ramada on Thursday as the storm began its impact!). However, for the surfing enthusiast, Earl provided some excellent conditions both in the lead up to his arrival as well as the follow through. The most intense action was found at Avalon Pier on Friday, Sept 3 where local pros hit it for some tow-in action in the heavy stuff! There are a ton of pics of the tow-in session; however, they are all located on Facebook. Here are a few found on 99.1 The Sound's Facebook Fan page. Also, a nice SurfLine story and gallery of surfing Earl.
As for pre and post-Earl surfing, there were a number of fun days as the swell began to impact the islands Tuesday, and vacated Saturday. I had some fun sunrise sessions as well as a great Wednesday afternoon outer bar session (until I broke my board while finishing up for the day on the inside bar). Saturday the surf was firing, and with a backup board, I hit it at the north side of Jennette's Pier! As for windsurfing, I did catch a fun B&J session at Jockey's Ridge on Friday taking the new 2011 MauiSails 4.5m Legend and 2011 Quatro Quad LS 75 for a spin! Though, I will post a full review later in the season once I introduce this kit properly to the Hatteras Atlantic!
All in all, Earl was the surfers storm. Wavesailing will have to wait until the next tropical swell... perhaps for Hatteras Wave Jam 2010 coming up in a little over a week!?!
Here are a few photos I snapped during the days of Earl:
A little video from my buddy Tony featuring the Friday Earl sesh at JRidge!