April 5, 2011

Surfing: One warm water day is the highlight of a cold winter


This has probably been the worst winter of surf that we have had here on Hatteras in a long time.

Add to that the fact that the water temperature was dipping into the low- to mid-40s in mid-December, and it makes for a long winter for surfers.

The best waves of the winter were on Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12.

Every once in a while in winter, we will get a finger of the Gulf Stream to spin off and warm the water near shore 15 to 20 degrees.

That is what happened on March 11.

We had a hard south wind for a day and a half, and it blew the Gulf Stream in. Portuguese man-of-wars were piled up the beach.

The water the week before was in the mid-40s. On the morning of March 11, it was in the mid-60s.

That makes paddling out and surfing a lot more enjoyable.

The photos in this slide show were taken on the morning of March 12.

The surge of warm water is a surf photographer's hope in the winter as well, for as the sun rises over the ocean, it backlights the light green crest of the wave-- making for epic photographs.

I would have much rather been swimming out there to get photos, but I sent the camera for my water housing off to be cleaned and repaired.

The water on Saturday, March 12, had already dipped back down into the low 50s.

So much for warm water, but it was great while it lasted.

So bring on the warm weather and good waves. Outer Banks surfers are more than ready!

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