Cowabunga dude!

Hurricane Bill passes by and generates impressive surf.

Jim Cerny, editor

(hurricane tracker from Microsoft, NAVTEQ)
Hurricane Bill came and went on August 23, after a week of hot, humid weather put us in a tropical mood. The storm stayed offshore so that we did not get wind or rain, just big surf at the beaches. The storm-tracker shows where the hurricane was at 8 a.m. on the 23rd, with top winds of 85 mph. High tide in the afternoon coincided with the largest swells, with a steady easterly breeze and a temperature at the Rye shore of about 81 degrees.

At the buoy two miles off York Beach, in 203 feet of water, wave heights of about 10-11 feet were measured at this time, an indication of the size of the swells offshore.

In a compilation of New England hurricanes, the three hurricanes usually singled out are the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635, the Great September Gale of 1815, and the Hurricane of 1938. In my own living memory the strongest storm was Hurricane Carol in 1955. Let's hope we continue to have hurricanes like Bill, with non-destructive surf and few if any other impacts.

But wait, there's more! See pictures at the end, of storm Danny, the week after Bill.

The next section of photographs were taken by Jim Cerny at the cove called Rye on the Rocks (aka Bass Beach) in Rye, always a popular spot with surfers. There were about 35 surfers in the cove and another 20 or so on the next point to the south.

Wave breaking at Rye on the Rocks.

Wave drawing back.

Waves chop up seaweed.

Waiting for the right set of waves.

A busy wave.

Two surfers are up

Surfer starts a run.

Wiping out.

Riding the wave.

Finished for the moment.

Kicking out.

This section of photographs were taken by Gail Beamer at Jenness (Cable) Beach in Rye.

Rescuing a lifeguard chair. From left: David Manfredi (blue), Tom McDonough, Tom Beamer (yellow), Tony Manfredi.

Life guard watching the waves.

Swimmers in the waves

Four in the waves.

Tropical storm Danny

Tropical storm Danny formed the week after Hurricane Bill and followed a similar path, but never gained hurricane strength and was extra-tropical by the time it passed New England. Danny produced heavy rain and angry seas as it passed by, with winds gusting 30 mph at the immediate coast and briefly up to 50 mph offshore. Maximum wave heights were about 10 feet, but quickly flattened out the next day.

Angry seas north of Wallis Sands.

Surf breaking near Rye on the Rocks.

Seagulls wait out the storm at the New Castle Common.

September, 2009