Eye of the Storm
Today brought the first true “noreaster” since I’ve been living in Maine. I was excited about this because: A: it was too warm to be snow, and B: I was hoping to experience the high surf that typically comes with these storms.
I checked my tide table because I wanted to along Ocean Drive near high tide. This also seemed to correspond with the time that the storm would be peaking. So donning my rain gear, and wrapping my camera in a plastic bag, off I went in search of surf.
The seas were indeed rough, and before I left I checked the buoy data for the area and they were reporting wave heights in the Gulf of Maine to be 11 – 12 feet (normal is 3-4) feet. Many of the waves were breaking off shore, so this diminished somewhat the impact of the breakers against the rocks.
The photo above is looking toward Otter Cliffs about 11 a.m.. Yes, it was that dark. There was no hope of using a tripod; between the wind and the rain. There were times it was challenging just to hold my camera steady in my hand when the wind was gusting…….but this gives you an idea of how the seas were building.
If you look closely at the photo above, you will see two “idiots” looking at Thunder Hole. Interestingly, Thunder Hole was not as active as I thought it might be, but nevertheless, the gates were closed and these people were simply ignoring them. People have literally been swept out to sea (and never recovered) from these rocks (the last time was almost 3 years ago). I refuse to take chances like that, and I stay a safe distance above the surf and toward the back of the rocks. During a storm rogue waves are not uncommon and you don’t stand a chance once they grab you.
Aside from the idiots, it was an exhilarating feeling to be that close to the elements. Unfortunately, the rain pants I ordered had not arrived yet, so I was pretty soaked from the waist down. But hey, that’s what hot showers are for right?
I spent perhaps 45 minutes out on Ocean Drive, in and out of my car. The last shot, shown below, was taken from Otter Cliffs, looking down about 150 feet. It gives a good sense of how the seas were roiling today.
Hoping that tomorrow it will be drier and with any luck, the surf will still be high as the storm pulls north and out to sea; as these stormy opportunities don’t come very often.