A Rare Surf Window Before Joaquin


The life of an East Coast surfer is so frustrating. The same can be said for surfers on many coasts, but here on the East Coast, we seem to be bombarded with constant onshore winds and narrow windows for good surf.

But for one day at the end of September, it was good to be a surfer. Last week’s winds finally let up and on last day of September, an eerie calm settled in over the Mid-Atlantic Region and the ocean delivered some fun, clean surf.

Grey skies blended into a grey ocean as clean and fun head high surf broke along the Outer Banks of North Carolina and into Virginia Beach.

Long time OBX surf photographer Mickey McCarthy sent these images to hrScene. McCarthy told me, “This year’s El Nino has not been good for surf along the OBX, but the calm weather pattern finally broke before last week’s Eastern Surfing Association contest at Jennette’s Pier. The surf Wednesday morning was firing with a south swell sweeping up the beach. Though we really only got about 5 hours of fantastic surf, it was

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Photo Courtesy: Mickey McCarthy

worth the onshore winds and rain. This was our first real swell in a long time.”

Just go back to last week’s weather. Howling winds whipped up the ocean into one big foam ball for days. Catching some clean surf between that storm and Hurricane Joaquin seemed almost out of the question. Wednesday’s swell was a narrow surf window for sure.

And getting back to last week’s Easterns, despite hard onshore winds and driving rain, the ESA plowed through with the contest. It was a surf contest held in tough conditions.

Mickey McCarthy
Photo Courtesy: Mickey McCarthy

Here’s what McCarthy had to say about the 48th edition of the Easterns, “A huge thanks to the Jennette’s Pier staff for letting the contest move to the pier when the rains came. They let the judges have the top deck of the pier house while the support tents moved under the pier. The biggest worry this year was the kid’s events. Some parents were worried about the little groms going out into the large surf. As it turned out only the most surf savy of the little ones could make it past the inside impact zone with most surfing the waves reforming on the inside. Though the weather was terrible for most of the contest, 2015 will go down as one of the most exciting Eastern’s in years.”

Wednesday was just one good surf day in a long flat September. We surfers can only be thankful and hopeful now that October is here, more good surf days are bound to follow.