Hurricane BillThis is apparently what I looked like when deciding to surf Hurricane Bill saturday morning. I hadn't really ever seen waves this powerful in person, so I was very skeptical that I'd come out alive.
Turns out, I barely did. Laura, Erin, and Tim told me that basically I got maximally unlucky. After busting my ass to get out there, a set showed up WAY out. It was probably a 10-12 foot wave, and held me under for a long time (another wave passed before I found the surface). The set was long too - about 6-7 of these monster closeout waves. Anyway, that pretty much did me in for the morning and early afternoon. There are unfortunately no pics of this mess.
So I had a lot of time to watch the few people who made it out there. These waves were not on set, but they were still big and powerful.
(Click on any of the pics to get larger versions)
This girl was ripping it up, I think she was the only girl out there for a long time.
Some people were so excited to finally get a wave, they celebrated instead of looking for the line. Can't blame them.
Surfers weren't the only ones enjoying the waves. This guy was NOT the waverunner driver who crashed and lost his waverunner and required the Coast Guard boat to leave the harbor to find him.
Here's one of the sets - about 6-7 waves, about the same size that destroyed me. Some of these guys were pushed all the way to shore when it hit.
In the foam it looked like a water treadmill. It was so difficult it turned almost everyone back who tried eventually. At one point after a set there were only 13 surfers who could stay out there.
Some guys managed to get a hold of these set monsters.
I went back out at Deal that afternoon and was pretty much happy with the inferior conditions because I was alive. I surfed Manasquan Sunday but it was smaller (6-10 feet) and word had spread. There were over 250 guys out there, including Andy Irons. Lots of waiting, and lots of pulling out.